tract houses

Six dangerous libraries

1. A library packed with secret doors; every bookcase having its own special book that can be levered backwards to swing out some secret panel or other, behind which you inevitably find another room of the library; that room also being replete with rotating stacks or trapdoors or suchlike. As you travel through, the books become stranger. Here there is a narrow chimney of notebooks in metallic blue, filled out with octal numbers in a neat cursive. A wood-panelled hallway contains a seventy-volume treatise on the scientific illustration of cephalopods. Here a spiral staircase hemmed in on both sides by books so angry that they are barely coherent. At the bottom of the staircase a manhole cover that one may lever up to find a shallow blue pool surrounded by sorrowful memoirs. Eventually one comes to the library’s heart, where all paths but one lead; an unremarkable octagonal chamber lined with unpublished stories by Borges. There is no way out of this room, which is haunted at night by laughter from above.

2. They say trees, who are wont to consider their deaths on occasion over their lifetime’s long dreaming, have two views of libraries. The first library of the dreams of trees is a respectful memorial, sombre and learned. The second is that of untimely tree-death, pulped novels, hateful tracts; a lurid charnel-house of mixed-up tree-flesh. There have been times when the trees decided that some library or other had become the physical representation of the second dream. It is not wise to be in a library when this happens. Trees are slow in their revenge, but implacable.

3. There are also places where the world’s more debatable books flee to avoid being pulped. Vast bookeries of them roost under motorway bridges and in the eaves of power stations. This is where the coverless textbooks of yesteryear flap off to, and software manuals three versions out of date, and the disreputable autobiographies of the long-forgotten, and cracked-spine conspiracy books of all sorts. In the oldest corners one may find great rustling stands of Victorian sheet music. Although they are not actively harmful to humans, they have not forgotten that humanity no longer means them well. And there are other things that bed down with them too, things that have promised to faithfully read them in exchange for protection, and those things are best avoided.

4. One way that one may dispel a dangerous spirit is to catch it in a book, making it into a harmless story. Some of the worst dreams of humankind have been captured in this way. There have been cases, however, when the process went wrong, leaving various nightmares half-in and half-out of books. A small library located five hundred metres below Samarkand collects these books as a service to the world. Should you find the tunnel down to its entrance, you will be able to identify it by the banging and scraping noises, which are audible from a significant distance away. We do not recommend entering.

5. Connoisseurs of sausages may be interested in the small libraries installed in select butchers’ shops for the schooling of the sausage race. These libraries take as input various types of minced meat and casings, and produce as output fully-formed, educated sausages ready for the outside world. It is not certain as to whether books are involved at any stage in the process. It is possible that the sausage we consulted about this matter may have supplied us with a fake CV.

6. Of course there are also those who regard all of you as a book of sorts. Though you are subject to informational decay, the electric knots of humanity’s billions of meat brains constitutes an important galactic information repository. This is why licensed alien abductors have to fill out an inter-library loan form and agree to return abductees to within a millennium or so of when they got them out.

Finding my way Home

The second of my @mores2sl contributions. This story is a modern AU and is rated M for mature subject matter, sexual situations and coarse language. Reader discretion is advised. Also available on AO3 and FFnet.

Originally posted by stupidteletubbie

It’s past eight when I finally make it to the Hob. The gang is crowded around our usual table, and already it’s littered with bottles and glasses. We have a standing date, drinks and pool every Friday night at six-thirty, but I seldom make it on time. I love my job, but my boss is kind of an asshole and I end up staying late more often than not.

Even from the door I can see that Annie is perched in Finnick’s lap. I thought that when they got married last year the PDAs would stop, but marriage seems to have intensified their need to touch each other. Johanna is beside Finn, and probably stealing swigs of his beer when his attention is diverted. Cressida, Jo’s girlfriend, and Thresh, my neighbour, have their heads bent in serious conversation. And, saving me a seat on the aisle, is my best friend in the world. Peeta.

Every time I see him my chest tightens, just a little. I’m so damned lucky to have him in my life.

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they say heartbreak tastes like acid rain
& cold fries & neat vodka.

ours burned a forest fire in our throats.
ours disintegrates us.

i was always your Panorama-girl, your Bird’s-Eye View girl, reshaping your stars, undoing your abstract disaster, always bubblegum stuck to your flannel sleeve.

i drive the Ford pick-up - my bleary-eyed monstrosity, home. pass bogs and tract houses and trailers and rest stops. cheap diners & cheap thrills, a boy with bloodshot eyes on the side of the road, angel face and demon breath.
i close my eyes & he dissapears.

your blue-petalled stare and my Harley Quinn fantasy, pig tails & plum lipstick, knuckles that thirst for blood & feet that chafe for you & wine, wine, wine. / chasing glowing cars along with the ignition roar of the Thursday night wild-flyers, you dig up your Boy Scouts trophy from when you were twelve, i circle the pond; hellish hyena / wanderlusting girl with her prismatic lies.

now all i think about is last summer and a battlefield of raindrops and the pearly whites of eyes and you and you and you.

now it’s all wisps of memories floating away from us: sugar-coated skies, butter fingers & carnival lights, a silent unhinged melody played out by shaking felt-pen inked fingers, watching Buffy re-runs on your couch, tangled thighs & lip-syncing between the pressing heat of candlelight, memorising the soft chorus of your bumping heartbeat, retelling stories of all your muddy glory.

they say heartbreak tastes like black blood
& cough drops & 4 am air.

—  The Taste of Heartbreak // j.r

This Women’s History Month, the National Museum of Women in the Arts wants to know: Can you name five women artists? Learn more about their #5WomenArtists campaign, and follow the hashtag all month long. 

This image is part of Martha Rosler’s House Beautiful series, which combines clippings from the home decor magazine with images of the Vietnam War. 

[Martha Rosler. Tract House Soldier from the series House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home. c. 1967-72. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © c. 1967-72 Martha Rosler]

EDIT: We’ve kept the static exterior posted above, but just below the cut, the animated version is included to view the other wonderful features of the homes on the market now.

Our digital enchantment team has brought the animated life of Witch Weekly on to our tumblr as well! Check out the advert for Accio Real Estate Firm: from country cottages, to hidden row houses, to unplottable housing tracts, they’ll find the home of your dreams for you!


When you think of tract homes, you think of houses that look the same: the same color scheme, the same style; homes that form two uninteresting walls on either side of a suburban street. That might be the case today, but nearly 60 years ago — at a time when “real” architects wouldn’t touch tract homes — one architect did everything he could to break the monotony. His name is William Krisel, and he’s being honored by a place whose look he helped define — Palm Springs, Calif.

The minute you see Krisel’s homes, you’re taken back to another era. They have distinctive angled roofs, high windows and desert color schemes with pops of rich gold or vibrant blue. They also have lots of glass and elegantly simple lines, a signature of all the houses in the city’s Twin Palms tract neighborhood. One of those homes belongs to Heidi Creighton, and she knows just what she has. She says it’s “a Krisel-designed home, and it would be classified as a Model A-3 sunflap flat-roof tract house.”

Meet The Architect Who Helped Bring Modernism To The Masses

Photos: Darren Bradley/Courtesy of Darren Bradley

anonymous asked:

What about the relationship between architectural style, climate, and practicality? Where I live in south-east Queensland, Australia, the architecture of traditional Queenslander houses is very different stylistically from "traditional" American houses, but they're beautiful and also designed well for the hot, humid climate, especially in a pre-airconditioning world. Many new tract houses seem imported from america, and totally unsuited to the climate, relying on air-conditioning. Thoughts?

What’s the same about Queenslander houses is also true of southern plantation houses in the United States- the porch was a big deal because you could be outside and still sheltered from the sweltering heat. Plantation houses also have tons of doors and windows so you could open them all up and get a cross breeze flowing through your house. Pretty efficient.

Super-Science Fiction, October 1959.

Cover by EMSH.

Ed Emshwiller (1925-900 was an illustrator whose work was ubiquitous in pulp science fiction magazines and paperbacks from the early 1950s to mid 1960s.

Surprisingly, he lived and worked in tract-housing suburb Levittown on Long Island–the polar opposite of the exotic, alien worlds he depicted on his canvases. He used his family and suburban neighbors as models for his otherworldly scenes.

In later life, he was a pioneer of digital animation.


When you were a kid, I’m sure this happened to you at least once: you were lost in a crowd, small and bewildered in a sea of giants. Suddenly, you saw your dad—relieved, you jogged to catch up to him and squeezed his hand. But when he turned around, a stranger’s face stared down at you instead. You spent a few seconds drenched in freezing panic before your real father ran over and hurried you away. You forgot about the stranger and that half-second of terror almost instantly.

Most kids forget, just like they forget the other minor horrors that make up childhood—the barking dogs, trips to the dentist, bikes crashing into bushes. I wish I could forget, and I wish that what happened to me when I was a kid was just a stupid thing I could laugh about. My girlfriend Sarah would tell me to not even write this, to let what’s in the past stay in the past. But I need to get this all down. I need to remember.

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Someone here said that New York was getting under his skin. It made me realize that New York never gets under my skin. Streets without sidewalks get under my skin. Cookie cutter tract houses get under my skin. Manicured lawns get under my skin. In ground pools. PVC fencing. Mini vans. Strip malls. Chain restaurants. Mediocrity gets under my skin. Surrender gets under my skin. New York never, ever gets under my skin.

cosmicbrowniebits  asked:

Hello, I have a question. I see and hear the term estate a lot in reference to British neighborhoods. I heard it constantly when I watched Misfits and I saw it on your post about the cat that lives on James' estate. What exactly does estate mean in the UK? In America, it's a big house with a lot of land.


The word ‘estate’ here can also mean a big house set in a large plot of land, but in more regular use it refers to a housing estate, i.e. a whole bunch of houses built together as part of one development. One thing about the UK is that we have a lot of people and not a huuuuge deal of developed space, so quite a lot of urban areas are redeveloped really quickly and all at once, meaning that you tend to get contractors building about 400 identikit houses on the same bit of land, for time and efficiency.

It might be this type of thing, which is the kind my boyfriend lives on: 

which Wikipedia tells me is also referred to as ‘tract housing’, or colloquially as ‘cookie-cutter housing’ in the US due to the fact that it basically all comes from the same mould!

It could also be this type of thing, which is the kind my dad lives on: 

The word ‘estate’ also often connotes public housing (e.g. a council estate) so a lot of the time people will refer to areas of council housing as ‘estates’, and therefore assume that the word ‘estate’ refers explicitly to council housing, but that’s a bit of a misnomer as an estate is just any area of mass housing built as part of one development, if that makes sense! The one that my dad lives on is a council estate, but the one that my boyfriend lives on is not. Wikipedia tells me that the US equivalent of that would be housing projects.

Hope that makes some fraction of sense - I always forget about the differences in UK/US vernacular!