Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How did it look back then?

This is a map of Lucerne from the 1881 edition of Baedekers, which at one time was the indispensable guide to European travel. I wonder what the city looked like then? How much more of a medieval or Renaissance city it resembled? How many modern buildings have been constructed in the last 129 years, in that way that old European cities have of nibbling away at their architectural heritage when they are not permitted to do away with it altogether, as in parts of Great Britain? What would the personal narrative of a person in 1881 have looked like?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stolen place names

I went to Maine recently. On my way to the Acadia National park, I passed through a village called Lucerne-in-Maine. I looked it up on the internet when I got back to Chicago, and discovered that it was developed about 100 years ago as a 'planned community', but this idea was shelved when the project ran out of money during the Depression. It was called Lucerne because it is surrounded by wooded mountains and lakes in an area that the locals call 'the Switzerland of America'. Apart from a big resort hotel, there was no real town as such.
Lucerne-in-Maine, USA
I suppose the surrounding area is reminiscent of Swizterland. But I would bet that the real Lucerne is very different.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

She pitied him

from a series of prints based on
random internet photos
She pitied him, and that is why she was more patient than she would normally have been with a customer. It was the lined face, the hunched shoulders, the frayed collar of his old dress shirt, and the slight odour of sacramental candles that did it.