Confederacy Of Awful

In the traditional sense, the word “awful” had the precise opposite of its meaning today;  something “awful” (or “awe-full”) created awe in the listener or viewer, rather than making one want to puke.

I suspect that “awe-full” was intended in the creation of this list.  But as one who as World Emperor would impose a retroactive global ban on any structure taller than twenty floors, the list simply makes me want to head for the barf bag.

As far as I’m concerned, of course, “Ten Best Skyscrapers” could just as easily be “Ten Best Snakebites”.  That this is an annual competition depresses me even more.  Here’s one example, taken at random:

And, to add insult to injury, the “Tour Alto” (6th place) is in Paris.

Kill them all.

Sunday, Italian Style

It’s Italy Day here on this back porch of mine:

…and here are some fine Italian things.

First up, a matched pair of Rizzini shotguns:

Next up, a 1955 Fiat 8V, styled by Zagato:

…and a 1967 Fiat 2400 Dino Spider:

Speaking of fine Italian models of yore, it’s about time we looked at Sophia again:

…and her younger compatriot, Monica Bellucci:

And speaking of yummy:

 

Where could one buy such things?  Well, in Milan, for instance:

That’s all Italian style, folks, and it’s pretty much unbeatable.

Back To The Future

So it seems like our public buildings are no longer going to look like this:

…but rather, like this:

all because of this:

Biden Purges Non-Partisan US Commission On Fine Arts In Unprecedented Move Against Popular Classical Architecture

The commission is an independent federal agency established by Congress that advises Congress and the White House on public (civic) architecture on federal lands and in the District of Columbia. Established in 1910, its seven members are chosen from “disciplines including art, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design,” and are appointed by the president to serve four-year terms. No commission member has ever been asked to tender their resignation before their term was up.
The Trump administration stressed classical architecture, though traditionally the issue has been non-partisan and has included such champions as former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and former Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
While classical architecture remains the hands-down favorite of the American public, its opponents are powerful in academia, elite architecture circles, and, it seems, in the Biden White House. Biden revoked former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Beautiful Again” executive order early in his administration, with supporters claiming classical architecture is somehow connected to fascism.

Yup, those pesky Greeks, with their Corinthian columns and friezes, were all about fascism.

Even though the word “democracy” (an Ancient Greek institution) stems from the Greek word demos, meaning “crowd”.

Bloody Fool

Good grief.  Try this idiot on for size:

A woman who bought THREE of Italy’s €1 houses has warned of the real price of renovating the bargain-priced properties.
Solar consultant and business owner, Rubia Daniels, took up the fantastic offer in Mussomeli, Sicily – but quickly realised that it would total a MASSIVE €60,000.

No doubt she thought that the houses were going to be in pristine Islington-style condition, and that she could just move in and start enjoying the bargain.  (She bought the other two for her children, by the way.)

 

Of course, what she got for her $3.90 were three houses that were in a state of disrepair approaching write-off — hence the low price — in a dying village without, say, a Home Depot (US) or Homebase (UK) outlet anywhere nearby.

And frankly, even if the whole tripartite reno does cost €60,000 she’ll still have three houses that cost €20,001 each, in this place:

…which quite frankly looks like any shithole town in Sicily where even €1 is too much to pay.

Kim’s Hell

This is what happens when I get curious about stuff and set out to explore.

Last week, I read that former Spain- and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas (one of the best goalies ever, btw) has divorced his journototty wife Sara:

…and moved to a “Japanese-style” penthouse in La Finca.

Where dat?

Not being familiar with Spain, I eventually found out that it’s a swanky suburb of Madrid.  (I should also mention that I caught the giggles because I first read “Finca” as “Fica” — the Italian slang for “pussy” — but I recovered and went on.)

I should have stopped upon learning that La Finca was a Madrid suburb.  But noooo, I had to see what it looks like.  Casilla’s penthouse apartment (see here) should have given me a clue, but when I DuckDucked it, I saw stuff like this… endless examples of foul glass and concrete boxes modernity:

       

I could go on, but I think you get the drift.  (If you want to see bigger pictures — gawd help you — just DuckDuck “La Finca Madrid”.)

As a rule, I quite like traditional Spanish architecture — especially the Catalonian style:

 

…and as for apartments and public buildings:

 

Compared to those, La Finca Horrible doesn’t even come close:

I think I need to look at something beautiful, just to recover from that hideousness.  Here’s Paz Vega:

Now that’s some classic Spanish architecture for you.

Shelter

And then we have this plaudit, following the Chinkvirus lockdown(s):

Shelter in place has us focused on the characteristics of a home that makes us happy. What makes us happy in a home has not changed, but since we are spending more time in a home than ever, we are focused on what makes us happy in a home. Neighborhoods become more important during shelter in place. Here is a home that exudes the elements of a home we enjoy when we shelter in place. Architect Max Levy designed this home that is immersed in nature, enjoys the shared greenways of the neighborhood, and is surrounded by vibrancy.

And this “immersion in nature” looks like this:

You know where this is going, right?  Let’s look at the interior:

It would not surprise me if the cushion coverings were hiding concrete blocks.

This excrescence is part of a series of five houses which inspire us to shelter in place, and only one of the five does not inspire me to load up the Molotov cocktails and go for a little drive down some “shared greenways”.  Here it is:

…and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, this house was designed IN 1939.

All the above are located in Dallas (not renowned for anything classical, architecture least of all), but I do know the real estate market around here quite well, and I can truthfully say that the only houses I’d consider buying in the city would be the few still standing which were built before WWII.

All the rest are either foul beyond words (“mid-century modern” aaargh ) or else ultra-modern carbuncles like the ones above.  The newly-built ones, by the way, all look like they’re owned by Russian oil oligarchs, retired Cowboys footballers, Arab oil sheiks or Colombian druglords.  (And that’s not just my opinion, by the way:  Mr. Free Market, who has been on several tours of the area conducted by Yours Truly, has even worse things to say.)

Here’s one in Plano which exemplifies the type:

At least it looks like something a little classical.  But the supercars parked oh-so casually in the driveway give the game away.

It makes me not want to buy lottery tickets, if that’s all that obscene amounts of money could buy me.