ailiet: (union station)
-Turn of the century photographs of Spitalfields, London taken by Horace Warner, an overview of 1930s foods, the British Pathé archive, and a collection of vintage christmas catalogs. A collection of places in Hollywood, a history of coin-op cuisine, and an Art Deco airport in Brooklyn.

-Before Air-Conditioning by Arthur Miller - "Every window in New York was open, and on the streets venders manning little carts chopped ice and sprinkled colored sugar over mounds of it for a couple of pennies", and Coney Island in 1940.

-Histories of the St. George Hotel and the Morse Dry Dock and Repair Company. The Digital Comic Museum, and the letters of an American doctor upon the liberation of Dachau, which "complicate that sanitized picture of the G.I., revealing him instead to be what he was in real life: undeniably heroic, courageous, dutiful, dedicated, brutal, vengeful, and ethically compromised".

-Sample rooms from the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Interesting bit about housing reform around the turn of the century:
No room in a now existing tenement house shall hereafter be occupied for living purposes unless it shall have a window upon the street, or upon a yard no less than four feet deep, or upon a court or a shaft of no less than twenty-five square feet in area, open to the sky without roof or skylight, or unless such room has a sash window opening into an adjoining room in the same apartment[...]

-New favourite thing: photos of washing lines stretched between buildings. In a similar vein: photos of Brooklyn and the surrounding area from 1918-1945 via Historypin, the Brooklyn Visual Heritage collections, the Brooklyn Public Library's Flickr page (it looks like Steve could have used the Walt Whitman branch, which seems... rather appropriate), and Berenice Abbott's photos of New York.

-The Waldorf Astoria's archives, the BBC's People's War, and the Brooklyn tag at Forgotten New York. Ed Clark's photos of Brooklyn in 1946, the atrium train station of the Brooklyn Army Terminal (via Scouting New York, see also Brooklyn Relics), and a collection of WW2-era history and reenacting information. Private Pete learns to be a good soldier, and a Russian hedgehog finds himself in the fog.

-Courtesy of the Council of Books in Wartime over one hundred million books were shipped and sold cheaply to US armed forces around the globe:
"Dog-eared and moldy and limp from the humidity those books go up the line," wrote a war reporter from the southwest Pacific. "Because they are what they are, because they can be packed in a hip pocket or snuck into a shoulder pack, men are reading where men have never read before." A lieutenant in the Marshall Islands wrote of seeing men devour books "by a dim flashlight under a shelter half, even after the air-raid siren has already blown and they should be in a foxhole." Another soldier reported that "the books are read until they fall apart."

-A guide to finding historical photos via the NYPL, a short history of the Vitagraph Studio ("[which] boasted the first glass-enclosed studio, a studio tank for battle and sea scenes, costume and set design shops, vast editing and processing rooms and lavish sets"), and a look back at the 1939 World's Fair. Sinister architectural collages, the decaying Admiral's Row, an introduction to Dorothy Day, and the online collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of the City of New York.

-Brooklyn's Wonder Theatre, a documentary about New York in the 1930s, and what to do with a kitchen bathtub. Macy's Thanksgiving parade balloons, the old tradition of Thanksgiving masking, what to do when you've been called up to military service, and European landscape photographs inspired by the Brothers Grimm.

-A brief history of women cartoonists in North America, a profile of Nell Brinkley, and a poem by Siegfried Sassoon. Photos of London during the blackout, and an archive of Brooklyn newspapers from 1841-1955. A history of army rations, a book about the twenties written in the thirties (and one about the thirties), and photographs of Grand Central and Penn Station.

-NYC's pneumatic tubes:
The Pneumatic Tube system was once an essential part of New York life. Cylinders containing letters, packages, or at least in one case a live cat, were shot through tubes by air pressure, at a rate of 35 mph, and these tubes ran all over New York from Harlem to the Lower East Side, from Canal Street to the Planetarium, even from Manhattan to Brooklyn itself. [...] At the height of its operation it carried around 95,000 letters a day, or 1/3 of all the mail being routed throughout New York city.

-More tubes, historical subway maps, a WWI hospital run entirely by women, and a chart of comparative army ranks from the 1940s. The photography of Fred Stein, and The Henry Ford of Literature: "Selling for as little as five cents and small enough to fit in a trouser pocket, these books were meant to bring culture and self-education to working people, and covered topics ranging from classic literature to home-finance to sexually pleasuring one’s spouse."

-A documentary about tuberculosis in America, and The Doctor Who Made a Revolution: "By the time Baker retired from the New York City Health Department in 1923, she was famous across the nation for saving the lives of 90,000 inner-city children. The public health measures she implemented, many still in use today, have saved the lives of millions more worldwide."

-Vintage cards, photos, and ephemera at The Passion of Former Days (including soldier sing-alongs). An article about the non-existence of the Brooklyn Battery Bridge and the obnoxiousness of Robert Moses. British women in WWII at the Wartime Memories Project, and backstage with burlesque dancers in the 1930s.

-The Mohawks in High Steel by Joseph Mitchell, excerpted from Up in the Old Hotel, a portrait of New York from the 1930s and onwards. Profiles of NYC neighbourhoods from 1943, and a guide to talking dirty throughout history. 170,000 Depression Era photos, and a Simple Sabotage Field Manual from the OSS.

-Steve Rogers Is Historically Accurate and I am utterly delighted ♥

quick fish

Jan. 18th, 2014 09:00 pm
ailiet: (union station)
-Douglas Adams, Cookies: "This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person is me."

-Interview with Anita Brookner at the Telegraph:
There is a delightful story of Brookner arriving at a publishing party, lingering for a few moments with a friend before disappearing in the crush. Two minutes later the friend was surprised to see her making her way back out. 'But Anita,' the friend protested, 'you've only been here five minutes.' 'And I'm so happy that three of them were spent with you,' Brookner replied.

-Juliet Jacques on football:
If I want a poetic take on the inevitability of death I’ll read Beckett, and if I want a critique of Judaeo-Christian values, I’ll read Nietzsche. (You can put your own Joey Barton joke here.) Neither offers the joyful unpredictability of a football match, though, nor any opportunity to tell a small assembly of Grimsby Town fans, through song, that not only are they rubbish, but also that they stink of fish.x
ailiet: (the fall)
Really, my roundabout tag serves the same purpose as my recs tag, just for non-fannish things that I want to keep an eye on for whatever reason. That being said:

  • I'm slowly making my way through Longform's Top 10 and Byliner's 102 Spectacular Nonfiction Articles of 2012.
  • The Innocent Man (Part Two) - is long and heartbreaking and really, really good. I'll be checking out the rest of Pamela Colloff's work.
  • But first up is David Grann's Trial by Fire, a 2009 profile of Cameron Todd Willingham in The New Yorker.
  • Seeing Jeremy Brett as Maxim de Winter feels a little strange to me, (possibly because he has a sort of natural warmth and resonance that I've never associated with the character) but I'm still enjoying this adaptation of Rebecca from 1979.
  • Knights Errant, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, and The Fox Sister have recently joined the ranks of things I try to catch up with at irregular intervals.
  • J.L.Carr's A Month in the Country and John Meade Falkner's Moonfleet are both beautiful books, and I need to remember to pick up a copy of each (particularly the Carr, since the NYRB does such lovely covers).
  • ailiet: (billy jane florette)
  • BibliOdyssey - A collection of etchings, illustrations, and vintage book art.

  • For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her: On Paul Legault’s Emily Dickinson - A review of Legault's paraphrasing interpretation of Dickinson.

  • The Lord of the Rings Family Tree Project - "An attempt to place every character in J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional universe in a family tree."

  • Moby Dick Big Read - "‘I have written a blasphemous book’, said Melville when his novel was first published in 1851, ‘and I feel as spotless as the lamb’." I'm terrible at listening to audiobooks, but I may have to put the effort in for this one (and clearly Tilda Swinton needs to do this kind of thing more often, because I could listen to her all day).

  • On the Comfort of Bad Books - An interesting piece about books, comfort, and the definition of quality in literature.
    I understand why, among writers, who are usually endless-appetite readers as well, the reading of books other than Real Books is a vaguely shameful activity. We all live on borrowed time, and there’s DeLillo and Nabokov and Pynchon I’ll never get to because of the hours I’ve spent reading… well, I’m even afraid to tell you their names. You can and will judge. But I do it anyway because sometimes I just need the comfort of falling into something that is ready to catch me. I need it to hold me. That feeling is a little sacred to me, actually. I guard my escape quite jealously, because there are times when I need it to go on.

  • Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük - A brief history of an invented language (and an ode to umlauts).

  • You better not tell me you forgot - Terry Castle reviews Lisa Cohen's biography, "of three now almost forgotten lesbian women: the American heiress and intellectual polymath Esther Murphy; Mercedes de Acosta, the Cuban-American Hollywood screenwriter, memoirist and seductress extraordinaire (Garbo and Dietrich and Isadora Duncan were among her conquests); and the brittle yet pioneering British fashion editor and stylesetter Madge Garland."
  • ailiet: (the fall)
  • English Church Architecture - Please, tell me more about your chancels.

  • Forgotten Palaces - Thomas Jorion's photographs of abandoned palaces in Europe and Italy.

  • Maddie on Things - I'm generally a fan of dogs perched on random objects.

  • Theatres by Franck Bohbot - Beautiful photographs of empty theatres (and other places).

  • Beat Boutique - "To delve into the history and holdings of music libraries is to greatly complicate one's understanding of the term selling out"

  • What did you say? I can't hear you... - Kathryn Hepburn reads a letter she wrote to Spencer Tracy eighteen years after his death. The video is absolutely heartbreaking, and makes me want to go looking for a good biography (the little I know is from the Scandals of Classic Hollywood Series, which is excellent and really, really fun when it's not busy being a bit tragic).
    Who ever thought that I'd be writing you a letter. You died on the 10th of June in 1967. My golly, Spence, that's twenty-four years ago. That's a long time. Are you happy finally?

  • 1491 by Charles C. Mann - A fascinating article about the 'pristine myth' of North America, and the human history of the Amazon rain forest.
    To Elizabeth Fenn, the smallpox historian, the squabble over numbers obscures a central fact. Whether one million or 10 million or 100 million died, she believes, the pall of sorrow that engulfed the hemisphere was immeasurable. Languages, prayers, hopes, habits, and dreams—entire ways of life hissed away like steam. The Spanish and the Portuguese lacked the germ theory of disease and could not explain what was happening (let alone stop it). Nor can we explain it; the ruin was too long ago and too all-encompassing. In the long run, Fenn says, the consequential finding is not that many people died but that many people once lived. The Americas were filled with a stunningly diverse assortment of peoples who had knocked about the continents for millennia. "You have to wonder," Fenn says. "What were all those people up to in all that time?"
  • September 2014

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