austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I admit it's kinda eerie, but this proves my chaos theory

Our purpose visiting Traverse City, for the afternoon, was just to enjoy a pretty great downtown area. It's comparable to Ann Arbor in being a place with attractive shops and and old-fashioned street-front theater and another theater in what turns out to be a repurposed museum building. We had just missed the Traverse City Film Festival. If we had known that the week before they were showing, free, the 1916 Snow White or The Maltese Falcon or Network on then big screen then we still wouldn't have gone because they were showing these at 10:30 am for crying out loud. But it gives some idea what the theater is like.

(Also I noticed on the schedule that the weekends offered the ``State Theatre: Cherrry Fest Matinee'', for several days over. Typos know how to find the automatically-repeated content cells.)

On the sidewalk by the State Theatre is another Little Free Library, with a facade imitating the Theatre's. They take their Little Free Libraries seriously around Traverse Bay. The other theater, Bijou By The Bay, looks like a converted electric substation. But it actually had been a local history museum pioneered by Conrad H Foster, who among other things managed the State Theatre. The museum, originally built as a WPA project, folded in the late 90s and got converted into a second area one-screen theater. They were showing The Secret Life Of Pets, I guess reflecting their being half-popular-films, half-film-festival-films.

We ate in the bookstore, some local/independent thing about the size of your standard Barnes and Noble, one with both an upstairs and a downstairs cafe service. And one guy splitting his time between them. Also, one vegetarian wrap per stand, so getting a snack and coffee/tea involved a lot of going up and downstairs for everybody. The place has this enormous magazine section. I happened to find one that's devoted to roadside attractions, and which had an interview with Bill Griffith, the inexplicably-syndicated cartoonist whose Zippy the Pinhead spent about twelve years straight talking to roadside attractions. If that weren't aimed enough at our interests the magazine also had articles on Elzie Segar's birthplace, and on Popeye roadside attractions. Also Superman stuff. The magazine could not have been more aimed at us if they had put our names on the cover.

Toy Harbor was as lovely as ever, although they didn't have the raccoon Folkmanis puppet that I could try on and move well this time. That's fine. I shouldn't be buying more puppets given how little actual puppeteering I do, even though I keep thinking to start doing it for local furry conventions. They had a compelling array of plastic monsters, including some translucent sea serpents and dinosaurs and the like that would just be perfect for some application I haven't thought of yet. Also there was a wooden-block toy parking garage, tucked on the far uppermost shelf, waiting for six-year-old me to buy. 43-year-old me passed, with reluctance.

We ducked into a convenience store because we really needed somewhere to cool off and something to drink and the shop promised to be all lovely and unrenovated for decades. We weren't disappointed. The shop looked exactly like it might have in 1982, down to the typeface used for section headers on the walls and there being price stickers on everything. It was just glorious. And wood-paneled with harsh fluorescent bulbs overhead.

There was a camera shop, a real actual certifiable place to buy real cameras and lenses and stuff like that. It was closed by the time we got there. We were unhappy.

We did duck into the Cherry Republic store. This is a little chain built out of Glen Arbor, I think, originally, selling cherry-based stuff. Jams, jellies, candy, wines, sodas, everything. We used it as the chance to nibble a few samples of chips with cherry-ish toppings. And got some sodas which tasted sooooo very good given how hot a day and how much sunlight there was. We sat at a table outside, watching a seagull perched atop what I imagine was a local TV station's traffic camera. A hipster sitting at the table opposite the entrance complimented my camera, a compliment that only makes sense because my camera has an old-fashioned 70s-camera styling. It's a fairly standard modern consumer thing otherwise, but it looks good for what it is. Best clearance sale thing I've gotten in ages.

Trivia: The first payday for Civil Works Administration relief employees was the 23rd of November, 1933, two weeks after the executive order creating it was signed. 800,000 workers received checks. Source: American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, Nick Taylor.

Currently Reading: Flash Gordon On The Planet Mongo, Alex Raymond, Don Moore. Editor unnamed. OK, so Flash having won this Battle Royale gets named King of some unconquerable kingdom under Ming's nominal rule. Fine. And it takes Flash upwards of two days to conquer it. Dandy. Ming disbelieves Flash's claim to have conquered the kingdom and demands proof, so Flash declares war(!) on Ming who he's at least implicitly accepted as his emperor(!!) and while taking the nation to war is a de facto proof you have control over it this is not the sane reaction even if Ming's ``visaradiogram'' message was all imperious. Sorry, Flash, you're just plain in the wrong here and by the way you get your whole army killed(!!!) and yourself captured and turned into a water-breather so good one you fantastic addle-brained author-blessed-for-no-defensible-reason dingbat. Furrfu.

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