Biblioteques San Frontiers

November 22, 2009

Is it my imagination or are libraries getting modeled on big bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Nobles?

See below the re-model of the Squirrel Hill Branch of the Pittsburgh Public Library.


Squirrel Hill Branch--Pittsburgh Public Library



I propose a movement against this. Call it Biblioteques San Frontiers (“Libraries Without Borders”), because the pun is too tempting. If anyone reading this has similar photos of libraries that have adopted this Borders/Barnes & Nobles aesthetic, please post them below in the comment box.

posted by Caroline Picard


Marginal Notion #33567934 : Imitation Tofu

Made from a blend of flavorless meats, Imitation Tofu uses meat products to recreate the delectable taste of soy products. HIGH PROTEIN body builders will love.

Marginal Notion #33567935: Hurricane Buster

Why not control the weather? With this device you can prevent any and all hurricanes by placing a cool current in the bottom of the sea. Comes with a James-Bond-Villian lair off the coast of Cuba.

***THIS JUST IN: BILL GATES MADE ONE ALREADY. that is. he made a hurricane buster. that guy, I swear. he’s something else.*****


  • At the bus stop two kids—probably brothers—wait on their way to summercamp. One is pointing out all the buildings within sight that have turrets or are otherwise over 2 stories with odd protrusions, saying, “that one too; and that one; and this one over here; and yeah that one too…” The other kid responds incredulously, “all of those houses are haunted?” “Yes, and we’re very fortunate to live in a neighborhood where we know which houses are haunted. That’s why I think I’m going to stay here when I get married.”
  • At the wrought-iron table of the outdoor seating of a French café two men sit with coffee. One tells the other, exasperated, that he saw in the morning a slight young Asian girl waiting for the bus pull out a Steel Reserve, “big can,” from her coat, take a long drink, and put it back. He then asks, hopefully, “can we blame that on the economy?”

Minutes (San Francisco)

July 10, 2009



  • At the halfway house at the top of the hill, one recovering who smoked turned to another recovering who smoked, gestured to a third recovering who smoked by himself on the bench in a prostate position with both his hands and arms converging and draped over the crease of his crotch with the cigarette hanging in his mouth and said, “doesn’t he make so much more sense as a tranny?”
  • A gentleman held the door open to an office building for a co-worker who happened to arrive at the same time as him. She looked at him coyly and said “No suit today?” He replied, pleased with himself, “I didn’t know you’d be in at work today.” Secret smiles were had before the elevator.
  • As a man in the wheelchair tried to get off the bus and the ramp of the bus was lowered and the hydraulics of the bus exhaled and the bus kneeled while traffic waited a passenger on the phone said to his quiet mistress “Don’t the handicapped have their own mini-buses for this?”
  • On the 1980’s BBC version of Sherlock Holmes last night, Holmes surprised everyone by falling for a woman named “Irene.”


  • At the halfway house at the top of the hill, the residents were holding an impromptu trial in the courtyard. The long bench was filled with chain-smokers, and a tall fence separated the whole scene from the street. As one of the “attorneys” was making his case to the jury, the opposing counsel rubbed his index fingers together and prolonged the word “Shame.” The attorney speaking turned to the bench, and said “let the record show that Dwayne made ‘shame sticks’.”


  • On the street, one man saw another man who looked similar. Similar height, similar built, similar features. So the first man followed the second. He went out of his way by several blocks to get a sense of how people view him when he walks.
  • The second man knew he was being followed after two blocks, because he was paranoid and had just come off of 6th Street. He thinks most people are following him, and on the street he is usually technically correct, but this time he actually correct. The second man added half high steps and backward walks to his usual forward gait.
  • Two homeless men were swapping clothes on a sidestreet, because there are no alleys in San Francisco. One was a head taller than the other, but they both seemed relieved to be donning fresh clothes.
  • Six sailors stood around on leave giving directions to a young Hispanic woman. The young sailors relished in the casual nature of civilian life, where talking to a pretty lady can be non-sexual and non-hierarchical. Everyone walked away from the interaction pleased with the outcome.


• At the halfway house at the top of the hill, two men argued about the mindset of topography. One was sick of the other calling the area at the bottom of Hayes Street, the “Hayes Valley.” He screamed that it’s at the bottom of the hill, it’s not a valley. He pointed out that not every time you go down a hill do you descend into a valley. He finished with the fact that you never go back up a hill on the other side, so it doesn’t even feel like a proper symmetrical valley. One of the smokers watching turned to his friend and said, “The Shenandoa, now that’s a valley.”

• A 6-year old at the bus stop with his young mother was doing the moonwalk.

• At the coffee-stall, the kids were exchanging 4th of July stories. One loudly declared that he developed a new invention that was going to “revolutionize things.” He told everyone there the nature of his invention, but one by one and mouth to ear to make sure that each knew it was a secret.

• A homeless man set up a garage sale on Market Street to clear out some of his excesses.