Tag: Sunlight

Day 998: Crossing Abbey Road


This Friday marks the 45th anniversary of what I believe to be the greatest album of all time.

Before you flick lint in my beer or pelt me with wads of Big League Chew for not designating this title to Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates of Dawn or Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Too-Rye-Ay, allow me to point out that there are many albums that are flawless – sometimes in spite of a number of actual flaws. Nary a wayward note blemishes Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key of Life, and Paul Simon’s Graceland is among the few utterly perfect slabs of 1980’s vinyl. For me, “the greatest” combines not only artistic and technical brilliance, but the subjective distinction of having served as the soundtrack to many of the most fantastic moments of my life. Your results may (and probably do) vary.

The story of Abbey Road is one of pure, primal mirth, flecked with auburn specks of encroaching melancholy. It is the last glorious and romantic trip to Maui for an otherwise doomed marriage. It marks the greatest rock band in history (an assertion I’ll stand by as wholly factual) producing one final brushstroke upon their legacy before heading their separate ways.


This is not a happy group.

In January of 1969, the Beatles were moving in four different directions, and had been for over a year. Their plan was to return to the studio, record a back-to-their-roots album, perform their first concert since the summer of 1966 (the Pyramids in Egypt were a proposed locale, as was a barge adrift in the Atlantic), and film it all for posterity. This attempt to reconnect resulted in a cavalcade of arguments, the grandiose concert reduced to a noon-hour gig on the roof, and the temporary quitting of George Harrison. Read more…

Day 853: Flipping The Bird At Your Neighbors And Calling It Home


There are many reasons why one would construct a house. You might be tearing down an old dilapidated monstrosity, or maybe you’re breaking fresh ground that was once farmland – doing your part to fly the banner of urban sprawl. Perhaps you’re on estate land that has been re-zoned and you’re claiming their little chunk of suburban paradise. Then again, sometimes a home can be built purely on spite.

Yes, spite. That frazzle-haired, conch-kneed crone, wagging her accusatory walking stick with a crotchety shimmy at her mortal foes. This wicked spinster has inspired dozens of domiciles over the past 300 years – fully inhabitable and architecturally-sound testaments to the power of passive-aggression. A spite house might block a view or access to sunlight. It could barricade a quick passage or spoil an idyllic street. One thing it always does is send a message.

A spite house is more effective than a sign and more enduring than a malicious prank. It delivers far more essence of fuck-you than a punch to the jawline, and without the threat of incarceration. Have a beef with your neighbor? Check your local building codes and see if you can get away with something like this.


No one knows why Thomas Wood built this strange house configuration on Orne Street in Marblehead, Massachusetts. It could be that he hated the plot of land he had been allotted, nudged right against a fork in the road. Some say he hated his brother and the two lived side by side without speaking to one another. This strange residence – now 298 years old – still stands and is still occupied, presumably by people who don’t possess such a loathing of their neighbors. It’s now a tourist attraction known as the Marblehead Spite House. Read more…