Monday, June 5, 2023

ATTN: Tim Cook

My surroundings already are “an infinite canvas.” I suspect that yours are too.

[I don’t discount the possible usefulness of a headset for people with vision troubles. But reality itself is already an infinite canvas.]

“White ladders”

A walk in the dark yields “a night of revelations.”

Steven Millhauser, “Clair de Lune,” in The Knife Thrower and Other Stories (1998).

Related reading
All OCA Steven Millhauser posts (Pinboard)

Recently updated

“NEVER CLOSED” Now with a link to an application to the National Register of Historic Places that teems with diner history.

Sunday, June 4, 2023


[Munson Diner, 200 11th Avenue, Manhattan, c. 1939–1941. From the NYC Municipal Archives Collections. Click for a much larger view.]

From Michael Engle and Marlo Monti’s Diners of New York (Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, PA, 2008):

In 1921, Harry Zelin (born Samuel Zelinsky in Poland, in 1893) and his partner, Irving Greenman, rented space at 106 East 14th Street in Manhattan under the name Munson Lunch Company and started a quick lunch restaurant. After twenty-one years, Zelin opened his first restaurant at Greenwich and West Houston Streets, in the old Union Freight Terminal. In 1944, Zelin, under the name Delano Realty, acquired an existing old-style diner built in 1930 on the southwest corner of 49th Street and 11th Avenue. The following year he opened the Munson Diner, a new Kullman model with streamlined stainless steel and blue porcelain enamel flutes. He gradually added other diners and, by 1959, had at least five, including four on 11th Avenue: at 24th, 37th, 42nd Streets, and the aforementioned Munson Diner at 49th Street. Under the Delano Realty moniker, he brought a 1958 Silk City diner to 375 West Street, which was recently the Rib Restaurant, a now-closed barbecue joint.
The first restaurant: 588 Greenwich Street.

The older diner at the southwest corner of 49th and 11th: 681 11th Avenue.

The diner at the corner of 37th and 11th: 456-458 11th Avenue.

There’s no tax photograph for a 42nd and 11th location.

Diners ran in the Zelin and Greenman families: other family members owned three Market Diners and the Empire Diner. Here’s an elegy for the Market Diner at 43rd and 11th. Still going at 210 10th Avenue (under different ownership) is the Empire Diner. A tad upscale, no?

The Kullman diner at 681 11th (which replaced the diner in the photograph) is now in the Catskills, in Liberty, New York, living on as the New Munson Diner. Google Maps has it in its new location.


A reader passed on a link to an application to place the relocated Munson Diner in the National Register of Historic Places. The application’s thirty-seven pages are teeming with the history of that diner and of diners generally. Thanks, reader.

Related reading
More photographs from the NYC Municipal Archives (Pinboard)

“Bagels against th’ current”

In today’s Zippy, Dingburg seniors remember “th’ seventies,” when there was only one kind of bagel:

[Zippy, June 3, 2023. Click for a larger view.]

Related reading
All OCA Zippy posts (Pinboard)

[In truth, there have always been onion bagels. Black-and-white too, I think. Martinizing is a Zippy preoccupation. For instance.]

Today’s Olivia Jaimes?

Today’s Nancy is meta in more ways than one. The drool-soaked comic within the comic: check. But also: is that picture on the wall a picture of Olivia Jaimes?

Related reading
All OCA Nancy posts (Pinboard)

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, by Ben Zimmer, is to my mind ideally Stumper-y. Not exceedingly difficult, but difficult enough. It has novelty: 1-A, six letters, ”NINE ____ (anagram of PUNISHMENT).” It has the defamiliarization effect: 32-A, five letters, “What clickers often augment.” It has odd rhymes: 52-D, four letters, “Ore door.” It has saucy misdirection: 61-A, seven letters, “They’re seen in shower scenes.” It has a terrific fifteen-word answer: 36-A, “One you’d expect to hustle.” It does not have a virtual-reality headset, and I could not care less.

Some clue-and-answer pairs of note:

6-D, nine letters, “Sabermetricians, for instance.” The answer is new to me.

27-D, six letters, “Slew.” LOTSOF? TONSOF? From the toughest (west-central) part of the puzzle.

28-D, six letters, “Glorify gleamily.” Not easy to see what with all the bright light.

35-D, nine letters, “Court crime.” Feels timely.

40-A, four letters, “Muggers.” Clever.

48-D, five letters, “Aurous appellation.” I had to type out the clue to understand the answer.

54-D, four letters, “Cheaters, casually.” Or “still more casually”?

58-A, seven letters, “Ready to show some muscle.” Eww.

My favorite in this puzzle, 49-A, twelve letters, “Competitors in the IPA market?” I don’t mind a pun.

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.

Friday, June 2, 2023

“Way up in the dangerous air”

Steven Millhauser, “Flying Carpets,” in The Knife Thrower and Other Stories (1998).

Related reading
All OCA Steven Millhauser posts (Pinboard)

Whatever became of the Lisa?

Do you remember the Apple Lisa? Do you know what beacame of it? A short film from The Verge: Apple’s Secret Burial.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Somebody Somewhere renewed

[From Bridget Everett’s Instagram.]

I’m happy to see that Somebody Somewhere has been renewed for a third season. It’s a show that deserves a much larger audience.

P.S.: It’s the anti-Succession.