Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Let's Look At Coventry's Job Centres

In an effort to up the excitement, we visit the heart of world culture and soccer violence, England. In this post we will visit some English settlements and learn more about that unique urban feature, the Job Centre.

This venerable building has been modified with a tasteful facade so that all might know the location of this Job Centre. This one is actually in Bedworth, but I think it's quite picturesque. Bedworth falls under the same postal code, so its fair game.
  • geraniums and seating so you can enjoy the view of this pedestrianised area with your back to the Job Centre
  • thoughtfully located by funeral services and pharmacy
  • just across the street from All Saints Church
  • Lloyds Bank is just on the corner
  • you missed the charity jumble sale on Smorrall Lane, a chance to meet this graceful flower of Bedworth:

The jumble sale was on the other side of the A444 motorway, but it would've been worth the trip. She was selling everything for 25p - a fair English maiden AND a bargain.

You blew it.

Coventry's Job Centre is so big I couldn't hope to capture it in anything but a satellite photograph. That youth with the white cap is the kind of thug who once beat someone to death for supporting the wrong soccer team.

  • the English are rarely sober, so we have metal posts sticking up out of the sidewalk to tell us when to stop driving
  • public trash cans, or 'rubbish bins', are emblazoned with the city or county's name and coat of arms, begging to be vandalized
  • all rubbish bins are bomb proof, because of the Irish
  • Englishmen worth their salt despise public property and adore vandalism; this isn't relevant, but I thought you'd better know I once threw a toilet at the glass lobby of a Safeways - in any other country the glass would shatter, but because this was England it bounced

11 miles East of Coventry we find Rugby, a town made world famous in 1937 for being the birthplace of the jet engine.

  • Rugby can't afford geraniums: instead, there are some nice hedges to spruce up the place
  • only two Indian restaurants nearby - are we sure this is England?
  • plethora of warnings on the entrance: violence and anti-social behavior have no place in the Job Centre
  • dentist across the street, but have you ever seen the state of English people's teeth?
Now I feel weary, jaded and disillusioned ... let's end this on a positive note.

That's better!

Laundromats Of The 49th State

Bolstered by the Earth shattering success of my first post, I plunge now into the heart of the matter: laundromats of Fairbanks, AK. Brace yourselves.

Cushman Plaza Laundry is our first destination. This modest facility is thoughtfully located by a disabled parking space. There's even a sign in the window to indicate the owners tolerance for the disabled. I'd say this is probably the best laundromat in Fairbanks, but I'll reserve my judgment until I've seen more than one.
  • classic neon "Open" sign
  • new maintenance guy
  • $8 for the giant washer - ouch!
  • outdoor seating for sunny afternoons
  • wi-fi and tanning

Coin King Laundry does not offer washing and folding. Honestly, this place looks like a dive: several customers may have been stabbed in the seedy, superfluous semi-porch. And it also doesn't help that the Speed Queen sign has been struck by lightning.Though it has to be said the basket of laundry on the curb is a nice touch.
  • timeless '50s style neon sign, doesn't look functional
  • mysterious stains on the asphalt outside
  • clean, reflective windows

You would think that this blight on the Alaskan tundra was the product of a very unimaginative architect, but don't judge Forbes Laundry by its facade. Like '90s Hole album, The Forbes is Pretty On The Inside. And these are the men behind the magic:

Meet bookish Ross Adkins, owner-builder of The Forbes, and his partner in cleanliness manager Jeff Dickens.

And let's not forget The Forbes' attendants, the Clemmonses: mother Dyea on the right, daughter Mandy on the left. Now Cushman Plaza Laundry doesn't look so hot.

My quest is complete. It's The Forbes ... or nothing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Inaugural Post: Trashcans and Dumpsters of Socorro, NM

Today I decided to open up Google Maps and see where the people of Socorro, NM keep their trash. Let's see what we've got.

Note that the wheel on the left corner is a couple of inches off the ground. Though it's relatively small, it might topple onto a baby: approach with caution.

Something not quite right about these two: no lids, and the backs are missing. A good Academy Awards dress if you want to get noticed.

I wasn't going to include these, but they are a good example of 'the huddle'. Part of being a good trio is knowing when to stick together.

There's dignity here, a sense of uprightness and the desire to be something fancier. This one dreams of being a piano.

This atrocity can be found outside the Soccorro County Detention Center. Anyway, you might say they need an extra dumpster, but I think they could have squeezed it all in neatly with a little effort.

This one again! I must have come full circle. What are the chances?!

Well, I think that's an omen and I should stop now before things get out of hand. Impressions: Soccoro seems like a desolate place. I saw one woman lurking in a doorway and a group of youths on the sidewalk. That's in an hour's wandering the streets.

The cars of Soccoro vastly outnumber the people, to the point where you think they might actually be the people, but transformed somehow.

Also, the Detention Center, Police HQ and Youth Center are all in close vicinity. This seems logical in a town where only youngsters dare to walk the streets.