Now a Payless ShoeSource, this building was once the Plaut Brothers department store, which billed itself as "Jamaica’s Largest Department Store" in a newspaper ad from 1911, back in the good old days when you could still get a tin of Mennen’s Borated Talcum Toilet Powder for a mere dime. From what I can tell, the store expanded around 1914 with the acquisition of the property next door, but it had dropped the "largest" claim in its ads by 1926, when crinkled bedspreads were on sale for $1.59 each.

While searching old newspapers for information about this store, I came upon a column called "Thumps and Thuds" that used to run in the Long Island Daily Press back in the late 1920s. Each column is just a collection of unrelated, pseudo-humorous one- or two-liners. But reading these "jokes" in the 21st century is a very strange experience. Many of them evoke the image of a terrible stand-up comedian bombing on stage, while others, now devoid of context, are simply baffling. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:


It may not be significant, but the divorce evil and peanut butter developed at about the same time.

There doesn’t seem to be much trouble meeting expenses — one meets them everywhere.

Twenty-four camels have arrived for distribution to zoos in this country, says a dispatch. They’ll like it here.

Doubtless the twin-bed idea was originated by a man whose wife liked to eat crackers in bed.

Any flyer who has 110,000,000 with him is justified in saying "We."

Distribution is the big problem. Many a man with buttons on his coat sleeve uses a nail for a suspender button.

A bill has been introduced in the Indiana legislature which would authorize the Secretary of State to issue permits to children under sixteen years of age to drive their automobiles back and forth to school. This would also enable the youngsters to drive out into the country and get their lunch fresh from the cow.

Now they are charging crookedness in some of the chess tournaments. Next thing you know they will be telling us that the croquet games are fixed, too.

Entertainment by radio isn’t wholly satisfactory. It gives people no opportunity to show off their new clothes.

One way to build the world’s greatest navy would be for the ladies to contribute the money they now spend for compacts.

If your trouble is so obscure that five specialists are needed to diagnose it, your income tax is something over $7,584.

Fable: They had to choose between a new rug and new tires, and they bought a new rug.


Want to read more? (And how could you not?) Just check out these links.

This cool evil building was spotted on Flickr by user Hobo Matt . Original date: 2013-08-22 16:09:49

Tagged: , nyc , xmap

Une ancone

This is called in Furlan an ancone. The word comes from the Greek eikon, like the Italian icona. We don’t refer to an ancone as a small picture of the Virgin or Saints that is kept at home, but as an image, or more images, in a small building like this. The italian word ancona refers to something similar, but only to images kept on the altar of a church (italian synonym is pala d’altare).
This ancone is quite large, having the form of a brick wall aedicule with three niches. Similar aediculae are found along roman roads, dating two thousands years b.p..
An ancone is usually built at crossroads or where a road passes through a mountain pass. In this particular case the place is a sort of small pass on the hills between the Cuâr (Corno) and Judri (Judrio) valleys. The reasons for building such structures are at least two. The first is to protect wayfarers against "Evil". Crossroads are known as places where witches met, and high places are as well used as meeting point for them. This reason mixed with the need of confirming the christianity of places that were still considered sacred by people, even if this were pagan sacred sites. Many sacred buildings in Europe, and so even in Friûl, are on places considered as sacred since more than three thousand years b.p..
The concern of the Church for the pagan culture resistance in this area was great, even if Aquileia was the main christian centre of a wide area since the first centuries a.C.; the more, you ought consider that our ancestors had their own pagan "army against evil", formed by the benandants, referred to as "good wizards" or "good witches". This was of course unacceptable. Well, that’s another story.

Credit goes to Flickr (Cjasar ) for this evil building. Original date: 2008-09-23 06:37:39

Tagged: , Ancone , Eikon , Icona , Aedicule , Edicola , Popular art , Sacred art , Arte popolare , Arte sacra , Bosco Romagno , Prepot , Prepotto , Friûl , Italy