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JHK’s Three-Act Play, Big Slide
A log mansion in the Adirondack Mountains…
A big family on the run…
A nation in peril…
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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again. Here’s JHK’s holiday classic: A Christmas Orphan.

11-year-old Jeff Greenaway hears his mom and dad argue one night after an office Christmas party. He infers from their garbled squabble that he is an orphan, found in a willow basket on the welcome mat outside their New York apartment. Thinking now that his parents are imposters, he steals away to Grand Central Station and buys a train ticket to Drakesville, Vermont, where he intends to start life all over again.
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JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
Kindle edition only


 

Featured Eyesore of the Month

March 2017

James Howard Kunstler : March 6, 2017 10:23 am : Eyesore of the Month

Behold the Troy, Michigan, Children’s Hospital, apparently based on the idea that little kids will associate chemotherapy with playtime. Yes, the USA is a toxic stew of molecules not found in nature, and this building actually looks like Willie Wonka’s Carcinogen Factory. The yellow stands for “Roundup” (Glyphosate) engineered into the very genetics of the corn that ends up in your child’s Froot Loops; orange stands for the dye that gives Cheez Doodles their vivid radioactive glow; and blue represents the clinical depression induced by all the off-gassing carpet back in the family room at home in the subdivision. Love the planting bed in the foreground with the rusty steel pipe mysteriously protruding. And that would be for… uh…? The usual tropes of brain-dead, off-the-shelf Modernism are on display, of course: the horizontal window bands evoking Ye Olde Insecticide Works, the canonical flat roof, the absence of any ornament that alludes to natural forms or expresses the contours of femininity (horror!). The kicker: you can be sure the grounds crew is using Roundup on the grass.

Thanks to Frank Griffo for nominating this humdinger.

10 Comments »

March 2017

James Howard Kunstler : March 6, 2017 10:23 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the Troy, Michigan, Children’s Hospital, apparently based on the idea that little kids will associate chemotherapy with playtime. Yes, the USA is a toxic stew of molecules not found in nature, and this building actually looks like Willie Wonka’s Carcinogen Factory. The yellow stands for “Roundup” (Glyphosate) engineered into the very genetics of the more »

February 2017

James Howard Kunstler : February 7, 2017 3:23 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold, the 60-story Tipsy Lego Tower a.k.a. the M City Building proposed for downtown Mississauga, Ontario, Canada — Toronto’s little sister city to the west — designed by an outfit called CORE Architects. What original minds! Everybody and his uncle in the global architariat has been coming out with towers meant to appear tectonically unstable. more »

January 2017

James Howard Kunstler : January 2, 2017 4:11 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Beh0ld, this humdinger, The Wrapper” (artist’s rendering) designed by architect Eric Own Moss for Culver City, California, a dreary gerrymandered backwater of Los Angeles under the LAX flight-path. Is the building wearing a straight-jacket to prevent it from hurting itself? It demonstrates that the architecture “community” won’t tire of playing self-referential computer games with large more »

December 2016

James Howard Kunstler : December 3, 2016 10:09 am : Eyesore of the Month
Click here for slide show Mixed use suburban style: golf course housing “community” located right next to the county prison. This is among many images from Ron Pollard’s new photo survey of American landscape horrors, We Kill Everything. Enjoy the slide show which so strikingly depicts the sorry condition of our nation’s spirit as expressed more »

November 2016

James Howard Kunstler : November 2, 2016 11:12 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech in Pasadena, California, designed by Thom Maynes’ Morphoses team. I’d call the style “Bizarro Corbu” after the early Modernist, Le Corbusier (human name: Charles-Édouard Jeanneret). Bizarro derives from the trope in the old Superman comics, “Bizarro World: an alternative universe of industrial madness populated by sub-humanoids with more »

October 2016

James Howard Kunstler : October 4, 2016 10:35 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold, “The Vessel,” designed by one Thomas Heatherwick for the gigantic Hudson Yards apartment project on Manhattan’s West Side (developer: the Related Companies). This ridiculous “urban landmark” (so-called) will be 15 stories high, composed of 154 flights of stairs and 80 horizontal landings. Heatherwick says the idea is based on “the ancient step-wells of India.” more »

September 2016

James Howard Kunstler : September 2, 2016 7:45 am : Eyesore of the Month
  Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page! Behold the Aspen Art Museum designed by Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize for Architecture. As the old joke goes: is that the building or the box that the building came in? Beneath the plywood lattice stands something that looks like a dog food processing facility. more »

August 2016

James Howard Kunstler : August 2, 2016 9:58 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the new Easton, Pennsylvania, city hall, yet another dismal composition of blank masonry walls and tinted glass curtain claddings for that perfect despotic government effect. Note how its demeanor resembles the attitude of a prison chain gang guard. See below the old Easton city hall, a 1920s beaux arts beauty (and the tallest building more »

July 2016

James Howard Kunstler : July 3, 2016 10:35 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. Observe the interesting relationship between the incoherent building and the freeway on-ramp, with the mediating embellishment of chain-link fence. A better visual metaphor for the mechanized brutality of the mid-20th century would be hard to find. Yet, one might ask: does it make the city more »

June 2016

James Howard Kunstler : June 2, 2016 10:51 am : Eyesore of the Month
     Megaphone to distant alien civilizations? No, just a decommissioned Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on San Francisco’s Geary Boulevard. Rather than scrap it, they transformed it into “street art.” (Probably would have been cheaper to take it down.) Geary Boulevard is one of the more remarkably depressing thoroughfares in urban America, considering that the more »
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