Cheap Sleeps

Many years ago (long before my brother starting appearing the in Pirate movies) I had a dream that Johnny Depp and I were business partners in Cheap Sleeps.

I happen to dream in feature length movies often with landscapes influenced from reading William Gibson novels in the 80s and hanging with the likes of the Survival Research Laboratories guys.

Cheap Sleeps was a series of sleeping chambers that could be rented by the night for 10.00. It was my creation: 6 steel silo-like buildings with an elevator in the middle that made various stops at sleeping pods. The pods were smaller silos and were stored vertically against the building when vacant. When in use (accessed with a purchased card) they turned horizontal for a 10 hour stay.

Our clientele was mostly transients. Do you recall those old linen towel dispensers in bathrooms? Your pulling on the towel would also cause another roller to pull in what was soiled. This is how the bedding was changed in Cheap Sleeps. Whenever someone carded out the door the roller would change the linen!

It was a thriving business and Johnny was an investor but a mega slacker. Some of the silos were beginning to show rust and Depp was refusing to make with the elbow grease.

We had a small office below the flickering red neon CHEAP SLEEPS sign and one night, while listening to rain spatter on the tin roof I scolded Johnny for being greedy and unconcerned about a gleaming surface. His apathy was infuriating and his proclivity for flicking ashes on the floor while dabbing orange Kool Aide behind his ears was getting on my last nerve. Worse, he dressed like one of our clients but with an expensive deliberation that I found to be mocking.

He scoffed at my proposition for a free sleep-in once a month.
He was all bottom line, leather soles, and smoky whiskey. His hair had been dyed a rich shade of red oxide and his jeans had been professionally ripped.

He snottily informed me that rusted steel was the preferred finish of choice for many surfaces in his home. It was maddening.

The End.


Send Flowers

I have to go back.
I missed doing photos of the stained pink pointing on this exquisite building. It's critical because the emphasis is on the phenomenaland v aried brickwork and the terra cotta relief. The objective was no visible mortar hence the staining and using rubbed brickwork wasn't an option. Marble steps and limestone foundation.

Sunflowers in a vase surrounded by egg and dart:

Radial, bull nose, pyramid, and were those edges rubbed off?

The owner kindly talked to me about his building which was built in 1895 and is
located on 39 Iowa. Thanks Tom!


Glazed White Bricks at City Hall

I am enamored of the glazed white brick walls in the courtyard at City Hall. I like to think they were used to bounce and reflect light during dismal winter months. Like today. And yesterday. And the day I took these photos last week.
Being completely solar powered I'm headed for Snoozeville. I may even skip Judge Judy.

Seriously ripped columns:


Twenty years ago

One early November morning in 1979 my mother called me at work to tell me Jack's father had been killed in a car bombing. I had heard the news but never made the connection between John Paul Spica and Paul, the guy who owned the produce stand in my neighborhood.

During the next few days I learned just who his father had been via the newspapers (you can do a google search).

I worked downtown, and rode the bus home which stopped at Vandeventer and Shenandoah. I'd cross the hot asphalt in my high heels, buy some produce and wonder about the aloof guy running the stand. Eventually his girlfriend starting working with him and then his son, Jack.

I knew Jack and I lost contact with him years ago. It's one of just very few regrets. He was one of those exceptional people who had the ability to grace a life.

If you have any info please contact me via email on my profile page (and not by comments). Father and son did not share the last name and I no longer remember how to spell his last name.


The Hill

Tim and I used to dine at Zia's on The Hill until I noticed how anxious I became during the ride. I was completely unhinged by the architecture to the point of worrying about spontaneously combustion.

Tim (who is an architect and my constant companion) tolerated (per usual) my increasingly worrisome rants about the chaos I was perceiving: Ultra Modern storefronts next to homes built in the late 1800s. Permastone added to facades. Bizarro painting of limestone and brick. Venus and Adonis sculptures where mafia meets bling in the front yard. YIKES!

I was usually driving which added to the chaos with my literal knee jerk brake stomping whenever I was freshly appalled.

I eventually insisted we had to dine elsewhere but here's some recent photos through the gloam...or maybe this is how I usually experience The Hill.

Just look at this poor house with an elaborate wall that now suffers from siding. CHAOS!

Triple arch alert!
Seriously, triple arches are repeated throughout our city. I'm starting a file of triple arches photos and will report as soon as I've canvased all neighborhoods. Of course this could take years and I lack direction. Just ask Tim, he's been in the car when I'm driving.

Nothing like protecting a slab of concrete with a chain link fence!

Art deco facade:

One remaining granitoid street:

See? Triple arches everywhere. They're EVERYWHERE I tell you!

American Pulverizer

Located on Macklind just south of the Humane Society (where Beau has a standing monthly appointment).

Caling all Bears


They're back!

Yesterday I stepped out of the car on Kingshighway and heard, Caw, caw, caw. I was immensely relieved to hear a crow, the first call I've heard in a decade.

If you're a fan of Crows I recommend reading Desert Notes for its surreal stories, insight and riveting prose. It's a slim volume, probably out of print, check Amazon.

Beau has cooties!

"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make." -Count Dracula discussing wolves.

Here's poor Beau howling and wearing his Dracula collar:

He was really encouraging me to saddle up and put him back in the car.

That's a soft collar he's wearing, also called a comfort or comfy collar. It's a great alternative to the hard plastic collar given Beau developed a reaction to the plastic. Bumping into the door frame and furniture with the hard collar was frustrating him, I could hear his sighs. So I went to Google, clicked on Shopping and did a search by relevance (lowest price first) where I found this comfort e-collar for 28.00 (shipping included). At Petsmart they're around 40.00 with tax for his size.

Beau has ringworm and it's a beeyatch.
It involves bathing him with medicated shampoo every three days that should be followed by a lime dip which smells like rotten eggs. Since it's cold outside and he's now being bathed inside we've eliminated the lime dip. Pheeeewww (Beau and I agree on this.)

Of course he is contaminating the environment and since it's impossible to see the stuff a relentless cleaning regime is required. Each time he is bathed the bathroom, the gloves I wear, the six towels used to dry him and the shower curtain gets bleached. Every three days.

Every hard surface gets bleached along with my clothing.
Carpets get vacuumed (10 minutes for each carpet and every day) and the bag carried out after one use. The hardwood floors get mopped then washed with Lysol. The couch is currently barricaded and is also vacuumed because he is wily and can leap over the barricade when I'm sleeping.

Ringworm is 'very contagious to all mammals' said his Vet (the amazing and attentive Dr. Wright at the Humane Society of Macklind).

I learned everything I needed to know from a four page hand out from the HS.

My internist incorrectly identified the rash at the base of my neck as ringworm. Dr Wright took a gander and said that I am cootie free. In the interim (it can drag on for years) Beau wears the collar to prevent licking the infection and spreading it on his body.

Beau is progressing well but his servant Renfeild is exhausted from cleaning, bleaching, and doing laundry.

Mid Century Hell - for Andrew Raimist

I've never been a huge fan of Modern Architecture with it's factory appearance, chronic box references, and reflective glass windows. It's not boring, it just lacks the warmth and wonder of a Craftsmen Bungalow.

Just east of Hampton there's a huge cluster of the stuff. Take a drive along Elisabeth, 59th St. and January. Most of these buildings are union halls and related businesses. Check out the parking lot to building ratio along your tour.

I do enjoy that the Weinhardt building has a matching sidewalk.

Along the tour I spotted this massive retaining wall and two BBQ constructions of some killer bricks in back yards:

While I dislike the 'style' of architecture there's some elements I love like these brushed aluminum railings:

Sure, slap some tiles on the brick wall to jazz it up.

Cool decorative copper. I'm astonished it hasn't been pulled off the building.