Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Widely Shallow

I never trust people who brag about being low maintenance, down to earth or unpretentious. I am the opposite of all of those things and damned proud of it. I think most people who boast that they have such qualities are masking something much more sinister and are the types that garner multiple restraining orders.

Thus I've long been fascinated by the A. Everett Austin, Jr. House of Hartford, chronicled in the book Magician of the Modern which outlines the life of its namesake who preferred to be called "Chick". When built in 1930, it caused an uproar for being the height of pretense (a grand compliment in my book) and for being only one room deep. Each room seemed to have been designed like a stage set. How else would you design a room?

Having started with a career in journalism, that sensibility has long since guided me as I have knowledge one room deep about a galaxy of topics. It, no doubt, reflects these times we live in and too many channels to choose from. Although I've had many in-laws in Connecticut, I've never made it to visit this house which is up there with the Green and Green houses in Pasadena as a site of nearly holy pilgrimage.

The JunkPlex, of course, is a mix of stage set and a gallery of cabinets of curiosities.

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At 10:19 AM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

The true proletariats don't know the meaning of the word. I concur. I can't stand when people claim to be one thing when in fact they are the if a declaration of identity will magically make them so, or fool people into believing as much.
Why can't people just be?

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Salty - And we all wear drag of some sort unless we're nudists, and nudists are usually the last ones we want to see naked.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

I lived for 12 years in the hartford area and totally missed the austin house - how could that be, I'm ashamed and here I've long considered myself a voyeur of pretense - one room deep you say, crazy!!

will definitely have to hunt it out next time I go for a visit....

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Mouse - I'd be up for a pilgrimage with you. Apparently you have to go "by appointment" and make a donation. Perhaps we could come up with some junk to donate.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger jason said...

I'd love to see some of the rooms!

And is that him, the builder, (or perhaps "author" might be even better) of the house there?
Kinda dreamy there in that pic.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jason - Yes, that's Everett "Chick" in the photo on the right. In his prime he was gorgeous.


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