John Cale, Lou Reed, Patti Smith & David Byrne, NYC, 1976
Wanda Tinasky, ostensibly a bag lady living under a bridge in the Mendocino County area of Northern California, was the pseudonymous author of a series of playful, comic and erudite letters sent to the Mendocino Commentary and Anderson Valley Advertiser between 1983 and 1988. Tinasky was thought by many to be novelist Thomas Pynchon, but is now widely believed to be an obscure Beat Generation poet named Tom Hawkins.
- Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television
- The Hall of Uselessness
- Poison Penmanship
- Airmail — Letters of Bly and Tranströmer
- Rebels in Paradise: The LA Art Scene and the 1960s
- Home Ground: A guide to the American Landscape
Buster Keaton at MGM Studios in 1965
In 1954, J. Edgar Hoover reports in a secret memorandum that George Ivanovich Gurdjieff is brainwashing Frank Lloyd Wright. He is apparently unaware that Gurdjieff has been dead the past five years.
— Hello Goodbye Hello by Craig Brown
This is Houdini about to be sealed in a crate & dropped into New York Harbor, summer 1912.
September 23, 1955: James Dean spots Alec Guinness being turned away at the Villa Capri in Hollywood because the restaurant is full. Dean has never met Guinness but he’s a fan of his early comedies. He races down the street, catches up with Guinness and his party, and offers to let them have dinner at the Capri with him. He also shows them his brand new, still undriven Porsche 550 Spyder. Guinness has a dark premonition (he’s had these throughout his life) and tells Dean, “Please do not get into that car! If you get in that car you will be found dead in a week.” Dean tells him not to be so mean and they have “a charming dinner.” One week later—September 30—Dean smashes his Spyder into another car and dies.
Source: "James Dean is forewarned by Alec Guinness", Hello Goodbye Hello by Craig Brown
At the time of the film’s release, Bambi received mixed reviews from the critics, mainly because of the lack of fantasy elements in the film and objection towards a dramatic story of animals and their struggle to against human interference. Hunters spoke out against the movie, saying it was “an insult to American sportsmen.”
The review by Time Magazine also brings up a controversy with Bambi that has existed until today, the reaction by the hunting community. The Time review states, “Disney’s indictment of men who kill animals for sport is so effective that U.S. sportsmen who have seen the picture are gunning for him.” 52 Hunters had been angry with the film even before its release. Raymond J. Brown complained in the summer of 1942 that, “Bambi showed hunters engaging in low, unsportsmanlike practices-killing a doe, shooting deer in the spring, hunting deer with dogs, and setting the autumn woods ablaze to drive game,” and called for a disclaimer to precede the movie.
For a few seconds, perhaps, I held the history of Europe in my rather clumsy hands. He was only shaken up, but had I killed him, it would have changed the history of the world.
— John Scott-Ellis on hitting Adolph Hitler with his Fiat in 1931. Hello Goodbye Hello, Craig Brown
The Atlantic Garden was a beer garden and music hall established by William Kramer in 1858. Capacity: 1,000.
From the New York Times in 1910:
Dwellers, of the Bowery paused and rubbed their eyes yesterday when they passed Atlantic Garden, for the front of the famous old resort, which has stood almost unchanged on its site just below Canal Street since before the Civil War, was plastered over with billboards in Yiddish announcing a Hebrew variety programme.
The old Atlantic Garden that William Kramer established in 1858 is a thing of the past. Kramer died some time ago and his two sons are now in charge. “There is the sentimental side of it, of course,” said William Kramer Jr., “but from a business standpoint there was nothing else to do. The German and Irish population that formerly supported us has moved far away from the Bowery, and we must adapt ourselves to the changed conditions.”
The Atlantic Garden is a large hall which extends from 50 Bowery back to Elizabeth Street. In the front is a barroom and in the rear a concert hall with stage where vaudeville performances went on while patrons ate and drank at the tables. In 1858, when it was first opened, it was the centre of what was the popular section for the better class of Germans. To the east was the district where the Irish centered.
The new resort became very popular and it was customary, particularly among the Germans, to take their families there in the evening and enjoy the music, which was a special feature, and the “variety”—which was at that time a conspicuous novelty. It was the only place of its kind and gradually became famous. Owing to its proximity to the theatres of that time it was not without its patronage by well-known people, for the Bowery was not then so far removed from the centre of things.
Mr. Kramer took advantage of the new form of entertainment, at that time known as “variety,” and the forerunner of the present vaudeville craze. One of the specialties was “teams” of negro performers. At the time negroes were none too plentiful in New York, and their appearance was looked on as something of a novelty. In 1884 Charles Eschert came to the Atlantic as musical director and brought with him the first “ladies’ orchestra.” He has been the leader there ever since, and the “ladies’ orchestra” has been kept up.
In 1879 Mr. Kramer changed the Thalia [Bowery] theatre, which he had come into control of several years previously, into a Yiddish playhouse. It was the general opinion along the Bowery that he was foolhardy since there did not seem to them to be enough possible patronage for a theatre of that kind there. The Thalia adjoins Atlantic Garden. But the latter, after the heyday of its fame had passed, began to find itself deserted as its patrons moved away.
Of late years the proprietors have made concessions to the march of events by adding moving pictures to their programme; but this was not enough to stem the tide, and William Kramer Jr. and his brother Albert decided recently that the day of the Atlantic Garden, under this old policy, had passed.
This is where I put notes, short essays, strange things, etc.
My more frequently updated blogs:
chicagocentury.tumblr.com/ is a daily project in which I read the Chicago Tribune from 100 years ago and write about a few of the things people might have been talking about.
fieldnotesinthefield.tumblr.com/ is a new project in which I publish photos of my notebooks in use. It’s a sort of visual diary that has as its constant my actual diary. I hope to publish submitted photos here as well.