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Names of Tiny Town's Animals Sculpted by WPA Artists Lost Forever

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 a lion

TINY TOWN, USA –– If something tells you it's all happening at the zoo, smite the thought. Then go to the zoo. There is one here in Tiny Town. Behold the cast stone sculptures made by artists commissioned during the Great Depression by the Works-in-Progress Administration. These fanciful objects originally were placed in the child's outdoor playground at the now extinct Biggs Memorial Hospital. That was back in 1938, when Adolphus Hitler posed for the front cover of Time Magazine as Man of the Year.

Children who played in the long gone garden may still be alive. The artists may still be alive, though unlikely. But these animals are alive. There is spirit in these works. 

elephant bear

The Biggs building and its towering 300-foot smokestack on West Hill -- once next door to the current hospital -- was a marker for sailors on the lake and one of the last remaining set pieces of fine 19th century institutional architecture in the area. Walls were two-feet thick; ceilings at least 14 feet high and lots of windows for light -- and more importantly, windows that opened.

Compare to the modern facility with its permanently sealed doubled glazed windows and glitchy trapped blinds that don't respond, installed by a company that no longer exists.  Ah, well. What do you want anyway when you're lying there in a bed in the throes of agony? Short answer: A morphine drip. Who needs windows? 

hippo

orangutan

It's worth a trip up to the Cayuga Medical Center (CMC) just to check out these little stone beasts. The landscape architect did a nice job of creating a quiet space on the campus. Therewith -- a little waterfall, lush vegetation and places to sit and eat. 

dog

Speaking of food consider the CMC's cafeteria. Edibles there are on par with any institutional cooking or diners; also snacks and coffee and better yet it's pretty damned cheap. Or it was the last time our food critic was up at the place recovering from a case of bad clams. 

Food, art, gardens, survivor's euphoria. What more do you want almost for free? 

Be forewarned, however: There is a pervasive air of sadness about the garden. We do not know the names of the animals and surely they had names, much as the artists themselves owned a pronoun. There is one animal of a species we can't even identify and appears to be some manner of vegetarian dinosaur.

Was it one artist or several? If so, what was the setting of their work? We mean, were these works done from memory, photograph or a visit to a Great Depression Zoo? And imagine a more depressing place than a zoo in the Great Depression. Well, Warsaw, Poland perhaps. They were about to get crushed by the Nazis and there we were plastering Hitler on the cover of a propagandist magazine. 

Note that half these animals are in submissive postures as if still caged.  The elephant is balancing on a ball and looks doped. The lion is clearly nuts. The hippo's lower jaw is stuck forever in sandstone.

Much as we would like to credit the WPA artists for their work, we would like to credit the animals whose suffering, now long done, provided some measure of distraction for masses yearning to breed freely in America, just before World War II when the lipstick and Coca Cola and big steel wars began in earnest and the universe changed forever under Amanita Muscaria skies. 

Photos by Anon; Text by Anon -- in homage to the general anonymity of the animals and the artists. 

 


 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2009 13:57
 

A Downtown Stroll and Bow Hunting with Mom

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lou hot dog downtown 1

.evo 102trio chi-town kidsdowntown 2 go game

save the deer

TINY TOWN, USA –– From the top right: Stop by Lou's and score a hot dog. Come along, take a stroll through Tiny Town's Boulevard d'Asylum ... Above you see the Sky Pirates, a flock of pigeons that have been trained to perform areial acrobatics -- they can fly in circles and land with elan atop the newly refurbished State Theater; business is brisk inside Evolution 102 where every day is freak day for teens; a trio of young fiddlers from Chi-town show off their skills and take money from the easily impressed -- these kids were pretty much in tune for most of their show and probably made our Suzuki spawn re-consider air guitar; the no-visible-means-of-support Go club met for a round of Confucian cooperative engagement; and, ruminant-loving citizens sought support to end plans for culling the deer herd in Cayuga Heights. Tinytowntimes.com hunting columnist Rocky T., is offering his services as guide for a day of Bow Hunting With Mom in the Heights. The mayor of Cayuga Hgts. has offered his second story bedroom window as a deer stand for bow hunters who bring their mothers for the kill. Bag as many as you'd like and try some of Rocky's fresh venison sausages when you get a chance. Deeee-lishus. 

–– C. Penbroke Handy

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 July 2009 12:48
 

Flora and fauna of Wegmans super store

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TINY TOWN, WEGMANS PARK, USA –– Behold the wonders just west of the Wegperson's parking lot. Above, lovely purple wildflowers growing along Cayuga Inlet. Below, a male gold finch looks for the pet food aisle; a coupla common female ducks attempt to seduce a customer into throwing his life away in the scummy waters; and, a fat ass dragonfly takes a breather on a stick that happened to be just the right place to perch at just the right time.

All photos by Franklin Crawford

wegmans gold finch weg ducks

wegmans d-fly

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2009 10:48
 

Cass Park July 2009

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 CASS PARK, TINY TOWN, USA ––

baberuth
childgarden
inletreflect
rollerderby
warfare
womsoftball
womsoftball2
Ithaca pitcher lets one loose in Babe Ruth League match-up against South Seneca
play stop back forward

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

 

All photos by Franklin Crawford

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 18:33
 

New Owner New Attitude

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balloons over hyundai

The Hyundai dealership on Meadow Street is going the extra mile this month. A new owner with a new attitude has attached pretty balloons to the cars on his lot in an effort to attract prospective customers. The editors at TinyTownTimes.com applaud this innovative approach to auto sales. Although the product is not made in America, Ithacan-Americans everywhere like pretty balloons. 

Last Updated on Monday, 13 July 2009 23:07
 


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