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The World On A Matchbook

February 2024
1min read

One Man’s Cyber-Smithsonian

Care to take a cheerful guided tour of the long-lost world of 1950s magazines for real guys (e.g., For Men Only and Sir! ) or a stroll through the history of Times Square? James Lileks, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Newhouse News Service, has a Web site, www.lileks.com , where you can do those things and much, much more. He has created a seemingly unending labyrinth of sites-within-the-site, such as the Orphanage of Cast-Off Mascots, Matchbook-o-Rama, Big Little Books (Worst. Comics. Ever.), and Jetsam Cove (“… if it doesn’t go elsewhere, here’s where it goes”), all leading to the most distant reaches of the somewhat recent past, especially the 1950s through 1970s. For instance, in Have a Seat! Restaurant Postcards From the Days Before Chains Took Over, he shows us the ancient neon nighttime glow of the once-modern Crawford’s Sea Grill, in Seattle, observing, “You can smell the fish wafting from the ventilators: you can easily imagine the thick sound of the car doors slammed shut, the honk of the ships on Puget Sound, the breaking glass of WTO protesters. Ah, Seattle.”

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