Yes, Virginia, there is a plaque
- Blog Post by: James Lileks
- December 24, 2013 - 1:56 PM
What’s special about this place?
. . . and what does it have to do with this?
Answer at the bottom.
DID YOU TRY TURNING IT OFF AND ON Here are 11 IT questions younguns may expect to hear from clueless parents when they go home for Christmas. Unless, of course, Dad and Mom have been using computers for a quarter of a century, and know how to show the hidden files on the Mac so they can access the library and toss out the plists, and the kid hasn't ever had to do anything more complex than reboot the laptop after it froze.
KABOOM The tallest, and possibly ugliest, building in Flint goes down.
When I saw stills of the demolition, I noted a long, two-story building with an ornate facade, and I took to Google Streetview to find it. They spent a lot on money on this one: it’s just dripping with pseudo-Spanish / Moorish details.
There didn’t seem to be a front door on this side, so let’s take a look around the corner . . . Ah.
If you’re a fan of grand old movie theaters, you’ll find more here. Every city has one of these, if they're lucky. If you're utterly bored at work today, just clicking away and looking busy when you suspect that no one anywhere is doing anything, pick a state on Google Maps. Find an old highway. Drive down the main streets of the small towns, and find the old theaters. There's usually one. It's usually closed.
As for the house at the top of the page: it’s 115 West 95th Street. the address on the letter little Virginia wrote to the newspaper, asking if there was a Santa Claus. Newspaperman Francis Pharcellus Church decried "the skepticism of a skeptical age" - yes, everyone always thinks their era lacks the solid virtues of the past. Which doesn't mean they're not right. Here's a yellowed copy of the original paper.
As for what the house has to do with George Jetson: Virginia O'Hanlon's cousin - born 15 years later - was George O'Hanlon, who voiced the Jetson patriarch.
There you go. Merry Christmas!
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