Wednesday 17 September 2003
Pix Of The Day: Blackpool To Las Vegas In A Step
CREDITS: © National Geographic/POD MAP: Blackpool (and detail).
When clicked, thumbnails load image original source page.
Click here (L to R) for larger versions    of the images.
Yesterday we added another National Geographic POD (Picture Of The Day) to others featured here in previous 2003 issues, on [9 June] [2 July] [6 July]. The images yesterday represented the part of the USA where we now live. Today we thought it was fun to represent where we lived before we came to the USA… well almost: we now live about the same distance from Las Vegas as we previously lived from Blackpool. The contrasts over those miles are much the same too, though both towns have the same vulgar energy, albeit with differently colored collars.
Blackpool grew apace with the cotton towns of northwestern England, providing a cheap vacation destination for the mill workers. We will not try too hard to draw a parallel between Vegas and Blackpool. However, one very obvious difference is that gambling in Blackpool though not illegal, is controlled by the UK's nationwide laws, so is relatively small scale and low key. Visitors who enjoyed a game of keno in Nevada's Sin City may enjoy a game of bingo in Blackpool, though the prizes may be a trifle disappointing. By way of recompense, Blackpool lies beside a temperate ocean, rather than in the middle of a hot and arid desert.
Clicking on the thumbnails will take you to the source page with a background introduction to the pictures; clicking on the numbered keys in the header will open the page with a larger image.
On This Day In 2002: Far Out Farr - Tue 17 Sep 2002
Regular readers of this weblog will be familiar with John H. Farr, whose photographs of Taos, NM have often graced these pages. Indeed, today's featured picture, Taos Mountain, was taken by John as the seasons changed at 7,000 feet of altitude in the high Rocky Mountains around Taos. John is also a writer, one who fell in love with northern New Mexico, and abandoned his comfortable life in lush green Maryland to pursue his dreams in the harsher environment of Taos, with some harsher realities to be learned. Now he has published an account of his experiences, called Buffalo Lights. Interestingly he has chosen the e-book format, which is being released in advance of the paperback edition. Follow that link and you may read three sample chapters with a full synopsis of the contents. Then for a paltry $9.99 you may download the e-book; payment includes free updates as material is revised or added.
Taos has attracted writers since the early part of the last century. The full list contains luminaries like Spud Johnson, Myron Brinig, and perhaps the most revered of them all Frank Waters. English writer DH Lawrence tried to start a community there under the patronage of heiress Mabel Dodge Luhan, whose stellar lifestyle attracted a whole coterie of the literati and glitterati of her day. John's going to have his work cut out to follow in those footsteps! The list of Taos artists is equally impressive: our favorites are Georgia O'Keefe and Lady Dorothy Brett (only the less whimsical paintings), who was the only person, with the exception of Lawrence's wife Frieda, to join him in the Rananim Community.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)