Friday, November 16, 2007


November mornings such as this one: chill setting in, the sunlight just wan enough to remind me that even in weather there is mediocrity. There is a charmlessness in the eclectic architectural styles that dominate these neighborhoods--what were people thinking? I admit there are some among us who find a certain fascination in some of the least imaginative dwelling structures. (My friend Tom likes to visit from over in Minneapolis and photograph the most unlikely houses--in those pictures he is able to reveal a strange narrative--kind of an emptiness, actually. If you went to the art show at the state fair, you might've seen one of his "houses." Do check out his website, collection of photographs from all over the world, which he updates daily.) So, yes, at least they (houses)provide cheap shelter but it's as if the dullness of this kind of November morning overwhelmed the men (sorry, it had to be that particular) who came up with the idea. I'm thinking of boxes with a door, asbestos siding, small aluminum framed windows and unadorned concrete front steps. Add to this a cyclone fence around a tiny lawn and a mean yipping dog and you get the idea. The onset of winter lays bare some rather uncomely scenery. The city has been demolishing some of the worst offenders. Now there are holes. What will we fill them with?

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