Archive | September, 2017

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

30 Sep

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As Good As it Gets

30 Sep

The Culture of Cities

30 Sep

From the standpoint of the working classes, the period after the middle of the sixteenth century was one of increasing exploitation, and with regard to their quarters, one of increasing dilapidation and constriction.

The contrast between the new residence quarters of the rich and the decaying medieval quarters, now overbuilt and crowded, or the even more wretched new accommodations, was marked in every city where the two were placed side by side: Paris, London Edinburgh, Berlin. To understand this servility and depression, one must realize that before the humanitarian conscience of the nineteenth century had begun to alter social attitudes, destitution had been accepted as the normal lot in life for a considerable part of the population. In the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, it has been estimated that as much as a quarter of the urban population consisted of casuals and beggars. In a memorandum dated 1684 the Chief of Police in Paris referred to the “frightful misery that afflicts the greater part of the population of this great city.” Between forty and sixty-five thousand were reduced to outright beggary.

The groundwork of a large servile proletariat was a necessary feature of the blaze and pomp of baroque life.

Some of them (proletariat) rose into service, where they were provided with a uniform, a more or less sufficient supply of food, occasional opportunities for pilfering, and security of employment during good behavior. In these respects army service and domestic service had many points in common. The rest begged and cadged and seized odd jobs, they sank further into thieving, pimping, pickpocketing and prostitution, and they ended up in the gutters of Gin Lane or the gallows of Tyburn. I have taken example from London: Wein, Madrid, Naples or Berlin would have served equally well.

 

Lewis Mumford; The Culture of Cities (Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. New York ©1938) pp. 121- 122

Wrong Way Wright

30 Sep

“I doubt if there is anything in the world¬†uglier than a Midwestern city.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Wall of historic downtown building collapses

30 Sep

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/local/2017/09/29/wall-historic-downtown-building-collapses/717394001/

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