Friday, April 5, 2013

1930: Real Toronto Revisited

The R100 over Toronto's skyline, as seen from the harbour.  The three towering landmarks are the Royal York Hotel (now the Fairmont Royal York), opened in 1929, at the left of the photograph, the clock tower of the 1899 City Hall, seen at centre right, and the Canadian Bank of Commerce building, opened in 1930, seen at right.  Each of these buildings held the record for Toronto's tallest structure when they opened, but quickly outdid one another for the record.

Streetcars and automobiles on Front Street in front of the Royal York Hotel. 1930

Photos: Toronto Then and Now (1), City of Toronto Archives via Wikimedia Commons (2)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1930: Real Ostend Revisited

Oostende railway station was opened in 1913 during the reign of Albert I of Belgium. The station is designed to connect trains and ferries and is built with Scottish Granite, Bluestone from Soignes and Limestone from Euville. It is constructed in a classical style of architecture inspired by the French architect from the 18th Century François Mansart and the Louis XVI of France style.
Regie voor Maritiem Transport used to run services connecting into Dover Western Docks or connecting into trains to London Victoria or London Charing Cross stations, run by Southern Region of British Rail and finishing in 1994. There was also ferries to Folkestone Harbour also with boat trains to London Victoria or London Charing Cross stations.

Postcards (both pre-1930): I Love O (1), Europeana (2)

Real Ostend
Real Ferry
Ostend-Vienna Express

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Real 1972: Cabaret Poster

Wiktor Gorka. A poster for Cabaret (director: Bob Fosse)
Poland, 1972

Позволим себе еще немного порассуждать.
Мир щедр на добрые советы. Особенно если вы пишете или только собираетесь написать книгу. "Не пишите для всех, - скажут вам, - найдите сперва свою аудиторию. Фанатов по-настоящему популярной компьютерной игры. Любителей определенного вида оружия. Преданных поклонников какого-нибудь комикса или сериала. Кстати, отчего бы вам не написать сценарий - дело это куда более перспективное, чем книга".
А как же мир, который вы придумали? "Мир... То есть, гхм, сеттинг... Да зачем его придумывать? В незнакомом сеттинге читателю неуютно. Возьмите уже готовый, известный, - и валяйте!"
Советы, безусловно, ценные. И к ним стоит прислушаться. В случае, если вы сами принадлежите к числу поклонников, любителей, фанатов (см. чуть выше). Или чужой сеттинг вам настолько нравится, что вы готовы использовать его в качестве декораций для своей драмы. А если нет?..
Та книга, над которой мы сейчас работаем, запросто могла бы стать приквелом к очень известному научно-фантастическому произведению. А "Путешествие посторонних" воспринималось бы куда легче, если бы на каждой второй странице появлялись всем знакомые имена. Но вряд ли бы нам самим это понравилось.
Конечно, нельзя полностью игнорировать запросы рынка, веления времени и требования конъюнктуры. Но нельзя им и полностью подчиняться. Ибо автор пишет книгу в первую очередь для себя. Такую книгу, которую он сам хочет прочитать. Такую, какой еще нет на его полке - и не будет, если он ее не напишет.

Monday, April 1, 2013

1930: Real Hoax

In 1930 Republican leaders throughout the United States received letters inviting them to a May 26 party at Cornell University in honor of the sesquicentennial birthday anniversary of the esteemed Hugo Norris Frye, aka Hugo N. Frye. The letter, anticipating its recipients might not be fully aware of who Hugo N. Frye was, summarized his contributions to U.S. history: "This little-known patriot of Central New York has been deprived of the fame that should have been his for his part in the organization of the Republican Party in New York State. Born on a little farm in the struggling hamlet of Elmira...", etc., etc.
None of the politicians could make it to the event, but almost all of them replied, expressing their regret at being unable to attend but also noting their sincere admiration for Frye. For instance, Secretary of Labor James Davis wrote, "It is a pleasure to testify to the career of that sturdy patriot who first planted the ideals of our party in this region of the country..."
Unfortunately for the Republican leaders who responded, Hugo N. Frye didn't exist. He was the satirical creation of two student editors at the Cornell Sun, Lester Blumner and Edward Horn, authors of the "Berry Patch" humor column. Hugo N. Frye was shorthand for "You go and fry!"
When May 26 arrived, the Hugo N. Frye Sesquicentennial Committee hosted a celebration. The laudatory comments written about Frye by the Republican politicians were solemnly read out, to the accompaniment of laughter and applause. And the next day, the Cornell Sun ran a gloating headline on its front page, "Vice-President Curtis, Prominent Republicans Acclaim Fictitious Party-Hero, Hugo N. Frye."
Within a day news of the prank had spread to the national press, and for the next week Republican leaders were the brunt of jokes throughout the nation:
New York Times, May 28, 1930

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Real Brandy de Jerez

Fundador brandy (mentioned in our Chapter 5) claims to be the oldest Brandy de Jerez, with Fundador being the Spanish word for Founder. Brandy de Jerez is brandy made in the Jerez region of Spain. The Jerez region is notable for the production of sherry in the “sherry triangle” of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
In Spain, there were promotional 45 RPM records for Fundador:
– Выпьешь чего-нибудь?
– С удовольствием.
Антон достал из буфета бутылку "Фундадора", плеснул в пузатые рюмки, поставил на столик тарелку с засахаренными фруктами.
– Извини за скромное угощение. Если хочешь, потом сходим куда-нибудь поужинать. Но сначала поговорим.

Info: Drink Like Hemingway

Images: Curiosando (1), Unhearted in the Atomic Attic (2)