The Sidewalks of Paradise Garden

Among the most stunning features of Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in Summerville, Georgia, are its sidewalks.  Some bear representational images of buildings, others are abstract aggregations of potsherds. Some bear text messages, others are virtual encyclopedias of Finster’s tools. These mosaic ribbons threading through the garden are a potent representation of how his creativity found expression in every aspect […]

A World in Salt & Pepper Shakers

Salt and pepper shakers pack concentrated meanings into tiny packages — miniature appliances, little foods, dwarf monuments, pint-size people, tiny bits of abstraction. They can be elegant or kitschy, modern or backward looking, but at best they resonate in a myriad of ways. Visit the Gallery

Llangollen’s Carved Wonderland

Wales’ Plas Newydd was the seat of the famous Ladies of Llangollen. Inside is their collection of wood carvings from the 18th century and earlier (but no photos allowed!). Outside the house is covered with carvings that appear to be of similar vintage, though they were placed there after the ladies’ time and are coated […]

Bizarre Bazaars: Yet More Crazy Store Names

One more installment (for now) from my backlog of crazy store names. Find more than 500 other great names at the main Bizarre Bazaars hall of fame. Also: The Angry Chair hair salon, Newington, Connecticut Babies and Brats, Pawling, NY Bad Design, Switzerland Cafe Bong, Clark Street Card ‘N All, Closter, NJ Dead People’s Things, […]

Out of the Way Folk Art Fence

This pique assiette folk-art fence in Chicago’s wonderful Bowmanville neighborhood appears to date to 1973. It fronts a nondescript house on a nondescript, low-traffic street. Very few people driving by on the nearest thoroughfare are likely to recognize that they just passed an important folk-art site.