(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘motels



Your correspondent is heading for the meeting place of East and West, where connectivity is uncertain, so this will be the last post for a few days.  Regular service should resume on or around October 8.  On the theme of travel, a re-visit to an old friend of (R)D, the estimable James Lileks

Imagine the pitch to the investors:

“It’s going to be a futuristic, state-of-the-art motel with every modern convenience from water beds to 8-tracks. The entire dining area will be covered in deep-pile pink and purple carpet. But wait – here’s the best part. It will look like an abstract sculpture of a giant turkey. We’ll bill it as a romantic getaway – and call it The Gobbler!”

Whether every excruciating detail of this complex was planned out in advance, or whether it just happened, , I don’t know. I don’t know much about this place beyond the pictures you have here. This is a brochure taken from the Hartwig Gobbler, a motel-bar-restaurant off I-94 in Wisconsin. The brochure dates from construction, which must have been in the late 60s. But I got the brochure on a trip in March of 1984, and the restaurant was as ghastly then as it is in the pictures…

 Prepare to be astounded, then flip through the brochure


As we hit the highway, we might send dramatic birthday greetings to Euripides; he was born on this date in 480 BCE (or so we might conclude:  while there is no documentary evidence supporting this date, we know that he was born on the same day that the Battle of Salamis was fought, and that is believed to have been this date).  The youngest of ancient Greece’s three great tragedians (with Aeschylus and Sophocles), Euripides wrote over 90 plays, of which 19 survive (or 18 if doubts about his authorship of Rhesus are accepted).  Euripides contributed many innovations to drama, perhaps main among them his representation traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances– creating a narrative approach that is still going strong in Spiderman, The Dark Knight, and biopics galore.

Successful in his time, Euripides had his critics; like Socrates, with whom he was associated, he was lampooned by Aristophanes and others as a decadent intellectual.  But unlike Socrates, who famously stood trial, Euripides is said to have “retired”–voluntarily exiled himself– to Macedonia, where he lived in the court of King Archelaus.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 28, 2012 at 1:01 am

Are we there yet?…

As Memorial Day marks the start of summer vacation season, and memories of family automobile odysseys fly by, readers can thank James Lileks (pre-blog readers will remember his Gallery of Regrettable Food) for a collection of vintage postcards he calls “The American Motel

Yuma, Arizona

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

Travel further down memory lane at The American Motel.

As we start our engines, we might recall that it was on this date in 1859 that the clock tower of Westminster Palace (aka The Houses of Parliament)– Big Ben, the largest four-faced chiming clock (and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower) in the world– first ticked.

Big Ben