Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Random Photos

I love this old currency exchange on Halsted. It's been there since at least 1981, as I would have to wait at Halsted and Archer for the bus to the U of I. Other buildings have been torn down around it, but it survives. These are all photos from my Chinese Maid and Tent Man roll. Another photo of a plane near Midway, this one from on the bus. I sometimes have my camera ready and you can actually see the shadow ahead of the plane as it kind of spills down the bus window onto the street. The last one is of this odd storefront that sells paintings up near the Miami Motel. A few months after it opened, the owners put this mannequin in the window. Looked kinda cool.


Charles Gramlich said...

Had a dream the other night I was wandering New York city all by myself after everyone else in the world had disappeared. These pics remind me a bit of that.

HemlockMan said...

The bottom photo is pure art, Wayne.

When I was a kid, and beginning to write, I happened to meet a gentleman named Ryerson Johnson. He was, even in them thar days of my kidness, very old. In his 80s. As we talked he told me of his days as a pulp writer and editor. I could talk for hours about the things he told me.

But one thing he mentioned was something that happened in the mid-50s when the pulps were all dying off. He was then working as Bennett Cerf's editorial assistant and was on his lunch walking round Manhattan. He saw a new shop that had opened in a formerly abandoned storefront. The thing that caught his eye were the stacks of pulp paintings leaning against the front door holding it open. He walked in. The placed was PACKED from floor to ceiling with the paintings that had been the covers of thousands and thousands of pulp covers. THOUSANDS of them, Wayne.

He spoke to the proprietor, because he saw covers of magazines that he (Ryerson) had written. Turned out the guy had bought them all from several publishers (most notably Street & Smith) who'd had them all stored away. He'd got them for $2 to $5 each, depending on the publisher. He was selling them from $25 to $50 each.

To make a long story short, he closed after a short time. Sales were very poor and he couldn't afford to keep the shop open. Ryerson said he walked by one day and the place was empty.

And, yes, Ryerson did buy a few--paintings for pulp covers wherein he had stories, or created from images from stories he had written. I finally visited Mr. Johnson in Maine at his house and he showed me the few he'd bought from the guy.

All of that stuff would be worth many thousands of bucks each, now.

Capcom said...

Nice pics. I've always liked being covered by a plane's shadow.

What a story Hemlock!