Radio Belly! Cat Shovel!

Screaming: I deny honeymoon! I deny honeymoon!
running rampant into those almost climactic suites
yelling Radio belly! Cat shovel!
O I’d live in Niagara forever! in a dark cave beneath the Falls
I’d sit there the Mad Honeymooner
devising ways to break marriages, a scourge of bigamy
a saint of divorce-

Meanwhile, on Fly Street . . .

A long-gone building at 42 Fly Street in Buffalo, also long gone. In the infamous Canal District, the baddest of red-light districts in the entire country. This is one kind of old building I really like. Lots of character and a very utilitarian building besides. The current use of the property is for several of the Marine Drive Apartment buildings.

Oh Lordy

Freight Train Blues, sung by Roy Acuff. Listen on YouTube. A seminal song of my childhood. On the reverse of the record was Roy’s great “Wabash Cannonball”.

In the smell of bread

Garfield Weston, longtime head of George Weston Limited, Canada’s largest food company, was born in the apartment above his father’s Toronto bread factory in February 1898. BreadYears later, he recounted a family story of how his father, George Weston, brought him down to the bakery floor, shortly after his birth, to put him “in the smell of bread.”

Willsey Laundry

The Willsey Laundry was incorporated in 1912. This building, now The Foundry, was built shortly after that. Designed by G. Morton Wolfe. Lots and lots of windows.


Some itinerant Guatemalan craftsmen came through The Foundry Saturday and left us this banner.

Dulce et Decorum est

Pro Patria
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

Photo by Ian Parkes.

Lab Thing

The “what is it?” from a few days ago, morphed into something else. Spotted at Buffalo Lab.

Art Nouveau in Buffalo

The original Hotel Statler, later the Hotel Buffalo, a groundbreaking Ellsworth Statler hotel in Buffalo. This amazingly ornate and colorful building, clad in multi-hued terra cotta, was demolished in the 1960s. Photo from Library of Congress.