Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

This is the best I can come up with for a festive Christmas bad mansard. I guess the solid block of green trim makes it Christmas-y. In a Twelve Days of Christmas theme, here are its gifts.

  1. bad Home Depot door
  2. the door seems to be floating, suggesting maybe it was built up to fit the smaller specs of said Home Depot door rather than a larger city-style door
  3. missing window panel on second floor covered by plywood
  4. lacking porch
  5. wrapped in siding
  6. did I mention it was TAN siding
  7. windows not historically appropriate
  8. brackets and cornice painted one uniform shade of green
  9. shutters also not original to a house of this era
  10. looks like basement windows buried under yard
  11. the green shutter on the top is falling off
  12. the mailbox?
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mansard et Music

I'm sure the greater St. Louis area is wondering, "hey, what is the badmansard family listening to this Christmas?"

My favorites:

Fairytale of New York by the Pogues. Is there anything better than this sweet Christmas song sung by a toothless drunk Irish guy who slurs his gal is a "old slut on junk." Kirsty MacColl sings the female part. She was tragically killed in 2000. She was a back up singer on many Smiths and Morrissey songs (Golden Lights, Ask and Interesting Drug).

Merry Chistmas Darling by the Carpenters. Yep. Love the Carpenters

Winter Wonderland by the Cocteau Twins

Good King Wenceslas

Ding Dong Merrily on High

The Holly and the Ivy, especially the Judy Collins version

Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney. I know some hate this song but I have good memories of driving around Queeny Park in the back of our Nova in the snow listening to this song.

I Saw Three Ships, except the Sting version. Sting should only be permitted to sing Police songs.

Merry Christmas Mary by Johnny Cash. While hardly a carol, this is one is the best Christmas homages (and maybe only) to Mary.

Our favorite-- tasteful drum roll please-- Il Est ne le Divin Enfant. Whether by the Chieftains, Annie Lennox or the Vienna Boys Choir, j'adore this French carol. Above is Siouxsie and the Banshees, including the Cure's Robert Smith.

And these songs make me want to put a dirty knife in my eye:
Rocking around the Christmas Tree.
White Christmas
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Happy Christmas/War is Over (blech!!!)
Mariah Carey songs of all type and variety
I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
any Christmas song performed by Candlematch Nickelbox or its contemporaries

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That joke isn't funny any more

This sad, sad little thang is at Pennsylvania and Chippewa. Despite the freezing temps, I pulled over and took a picture. And this unhappy, depressing Smiths song went through my head.

A song about parking on the side of the road and laughing at people (well, their houses). A bad mansard CLOSE TO HOME (this house is a few miles from my own; I think this was in Marine Villa).

I don't think Morrissey was thinking about bad mansards when he and Johnny Marr wrote That Joke, but I still felt slightly ashamed taking this picture because this little guy is in such bad shape.

park the car at the side of the road
you should know, time's tide will smother you
and I will too
when you laugh about people who feel so very lonely
their only desire is to die
well, I'm afraid it doesn't make me smile
I wish I could laugh

but that joke isn't funny anymore
it's too close to home
and it's too near the bone
it's too close to home
and it's too near the bone

So there you have it. A mansard that tore at my heart and made me feel shameful. A house that is so very Smiths-y. South City St. Louis is quite far away from Morrissey's hometown of Manchester, England, but somehow I can imagine him and this house understanding each other.

an aside: I did see a solo Morrissey perform at the Orpheum in 1998 (guessing on date). He was pissed at the venue and even madder when all people wanted to hear was Smiths songs. He performed for 40 minutes, told the audience St. Louis sucked and stormed off the stage. And folks thought it was still awesome. After we left, my husband got drunk sick in the St. Charles alley at 11st Street. As he puked, he reminisced about how much the Smiths had meant to him as a younger man.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Park Clayton

As best as I can tell, this is neither in Clayton nor adjacent to a park. It is, however, near Clayton and close to a couple of parks. Mansard apartment in Dogtown.

Speaking of dogtown, I think it is important to have friends residing in key locations:

  • A Soulard friend who has a warm house with a clean bathroom for Mardi Gras
  • A Shaw friend on Flora Place for the art fair
  • A friend on the WG 4th of July Parade Route
  • A friend in Lafayette Square for the bike races
  • Someone with a good view of fireworks (Kirkwood, WG, downtown, etc)
  • and, finally, a Dogtown friend for the St. Patrick Parade. Amy Z. is my dogtown friend. Our picture above.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I admit to liking this color combination

Another from our friend Karen Gadbois in New Orleans. I've always kind of liked turquoise blue and red together.

Do you think this was at one time a franchise restaurant , like a Jack in the Box or KFC?