(Im)possible Chicagos is a series of hallucinatory joyrides through one hundred and twenty five asynchronous Chicagos.

Alexander Trevi‘s first joyride through (Im)possible Chicago traversed Acer Necropolis.

Trevi recently completed his nineteenth, wherein:

At night when you’re out driving, you can tell which neighborhood you’re in by the light of the streetlamps, because each ward basks in its own different hue. For instance, if the streets are all aglow in azurite, you’re definitely joy riding around Marquette Park.

Zoning codes require that windows are tinted according to the neighborhood’s chromatic identity, so no matter how the interiors are lighted, houses, skyscrapers and 7-Elevens do not give off wayward wavelengths.

Even your car lights beam out the same color. But when you cross over into another ward, they instantaneously switch filter to match that ward’s assigned spectrum.

(Im)possible Chicago #19

boxercising earthquake

A friend called a few weeks ago to tell me about a skyscraper that had to be evacuated after an earthquake in Seoul. For ten minutes the building made wide metronomic swings. Thing was, there had been no earthquake registered in the area. It was a mysteriously super local event. After a two-week investigation, the epicenter had been narrowed down to the building’s twelfth floor gym where the side kicking, upper-cutting, and fist-jabbing of seventeen middle-aged Korean women boxercising to Snap’s 1990s hit “I’ve got the Power” seemed somehow to have hit the building’s resonant frequency, sending the whole structure into convulsions.

(thanks, David)

“They are tearing out part of the heart of Buenos Aires”

The interior of the historic Cafe Richmond was gutted a couple of weeks ago; a spot once frequented by Jorge Luis Borges and Graham Greene may be replaced by a Nike Store.

The plight of the Richmond has dominated local media since the cafe’s insides were gutted last Monday morning. Apparently to ensure it could not be returned to its former splendour even if the local government rules against the Nike shop, the Richmond was emptied of its historical interior, right down to its grandiosely comfortable Chesterfield wingback leather armchairs, in a 3am raid. The movers took the precaution of pulling down the security camera on the front of the building first.

“It’s against the law,” said Monica Capano of the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission. “The Richmond is one of the city’s emblematic landmarks.”

For a personal view: Oh, no: La Richmond by my friend Charlie.

quote out of context

The basis for rejection is flawed. Many high-profile structures would fit within the strangely contrived rule against invoking the imagery of phallus shaped buildings. One element of the mark that apparently offended the PTO was “the circular design at the base of the design and the shape of the design at the top. None of these elements are present in a traditional design of a tower or obelisk.” (Office Action at 2). One can only infer from the rejection that it is meant to imply that the “circular design at the base” represents testicles and the “shape of the design at the top” to represent the “dome” of the penis. It is important for the Examiner to keep in mind the aforementioned teachings of famed psychoanalysts – simply because a structure is phallic in nature, does not mean it is a penis. One may invoke the symbol of strength, the phallus, without it being a literal tallywhacker.

via Popehat

Mondrian Drop Ceiling

Casey's Mondrian Drop Ceiling

Thought I’d share something I’ve been working on.

With a lot of help, I created this Mondrian style drop ceiling. When my friend was installing a drop ceiling in my room crowded with ductwork and utilities, and the ceiling wasn’t going to come out very uniform, we joked that we should just make the ceiling of all sorts of different size panels. And then it hit us.

So, we plotted out the desired locations for rails and determining the panel shapes, and fit everything together, unpainted. The panels were labelled and removed for painting. Next, running complex computer simulations, a second friend and I came up with the color pattern. The rails were painted in enamel, mini rollers were engaged, and the whole thing was put back together again very carefully.

It is surprisingly difficult to get a complete photo of an entire ceiling.

Much love and thanks to N, D, and R.

More photos of the process on my tumblr.

Iowa State Fair Update

Gigantor: A one-pound hamburger served between two grilled cheese sandwiches and topped with macaroni and cheese will make its debut at the Bird’s Nest at the top of the hill at 3000 East Grand Ave., by the AE Dairy Stage.

Artifice and foam rubber

In fact, so much artifice and foam rubber is often used to create the sexually alluring woman that it’s sometimes difficult to know where the lady ends and the foam rubber begins.

Via dangerous minds by way of Roger Ebert.

headline of the day

Architects design home made entirely of Hummers

You’ve Been Eminent Domain’d

I guess this is what you get when you put an extension on a house this close to the ever-widening DC beltway, but man… I still feel bad for these folks.

The Bradbury Building

Another thing Amanda did while I was in Los Angeles was give me a tour of the city that was both incredibly personal and instructive. The most amazing moment was how she handled taking me to The Bradbury Building. It almost feels unfair to describe it — so you can get a glimpse of what the experience was like — because that’s the opposite of how she handled it. She just said, I’m going to take you by The Bradbury, and we parked, and then we walked in.

optical illusion of the day

slow motion landslide in New York

It’s oozing slowly, Kozlowski says, no faster than three feet per day. But it’s so big that scientists have been arriving from all over the country to study it.

neighbor’s house

Remembered from winter.

How Archivists Helped Video Game Designers Recreate the City’s Dark Side for ‘L.A. Noire’

Earlier this week, video game enthusiasts and fans of L.A. history cheered the release of Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire, a police procedural game noted for its faithful reproduction of Los Angeles circa 1947. To recreate a city now hidden beneath 64 years of redevelopment projects and transformed by age and expansion, production designers with the game’s developer, Team Bondi, consulted several Los Angeles area archives.

from the spam

Architecture is a visual art, along with the buildings speak by themselves.


Part of the (now closed) Iron City Brewery.

church on the hillside

The dome of Immaculate Heart of Mary on Polish Hill, and a closed warehouse.


Demolition rubble, an undemolished building, and sky.

Trees cocooned in spider webs after flooding in Sindh, Pakistan

Trees cocooned in spiders webs after flooding in Sindh, Pakistan

(Via @josephpearson)

Grain And Railroad. U.S. 56, Kinsley, KS 67547

The Only Frank Lloyd Wright in Detroit

Stumbling upon an abandoned Frank Lloyd Wright in their neighborhood of 25 years, Norman Silk and Dale Morgan had a vision to restore the mid-century gem to its grandeur.

(via marginal revolution)

from the comments


Okay, someone is home, I’m not going to say who, and they are purposefully milling about. I’m not going to say what’s going on except to say it’s nothing untoward. The window in front of that large white plaster sculpture in the first NYT gallery photo is open. There’s a very nice view of the front of that. It’s got a large boob-like thing on the side you can’t see in the NYT photo (and I’m thinking Mr. Bra would appreciate that). The gold boxes aren’t glowing. No one is watching the giant big screen TV. There. That’s enough. The shade is down. Now we can all feel igry for each other.

the Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory

In October 2007, Mr. Wells bought this land — a 40-acre parcel — for $8,000 in cash, adding a 20-acre tract for $5,000 a year and a half later. It took nine days and $1,600 to build the shell of his one-room house, the first structure in a compound that now includes four shipping containers under a soaring arched roof planted on a lacy framework of metal trusses, all of which he made himself. He gave it all a fancy moniker, the Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory, but you can call it the Field Lab for short.

By the following summer, he had started a blog detailing his daily struggles and small triumphs, planting guy wires for the wind turbines or extracting a scorpion from the composting toilet.

His blog is here.

P.S. Grace beat me to this on Twitter. I’m watching you, Grace.

from the archives: March 18, 2010

Damn, this was fine.

Like you’d expect, it started out good and the comments made it all more betterer.

searching for the house of Ruben Bustes

Daryl, Sheila and I saw something today we think is the setting for a story. Driving through an old Oak Cliff neighborhood, looking for the house of Ruben Bustes (that’s a story in itself), we came across a one story ranch on a corner lot. The back was fenced with low chain link fortified inside with cactus. Inside the yard was another fence, also fortified with cactus, that housed a small dog house. I think that’s all we’ve got. Please tell us what it means.


This would solve all my problems. All of them.

(Via Dylan, who got it from Charlie)

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