News of the Cities, From West to East

Today’s lunchtime news chum brings together three articles related to specific cities. So let’s go through them, from the West to the East:

  • Los Angeles. Mention the name “Felix” to people of a certain age, and a little ditty comes to mind: “Felix the Cat / the Wonderful Wonderful Cat / Whenever He Gets In A Fix / He Reaches Into His Bag of Tricks”. As people in Los Angeles, and they will think of Felix Chevrolet, a car dealer near USC with a gigantic Felix-the-Cat sign. Well, that sign is in the news, because what what once used to be a lovely neon sign has been updated to be an LED sign, and people are complaining that it’s just not the same thing. They’ve started a petition to bring back the neon (petitions being all the rage). For me, what is more worrisome is the trend. Neon has a lovely glow about it. Just imagine if all the wonderful neon in Las Vegas were replaced by boxy boring lettering (oh, that happened) or LED lights stimulating neon. Would it be the same?
  • St. Louis. In the heart of St. Louis is a wonderful quirky museum called the City Museum. It is an adaptive reuse of an old shoe manufacturing facility, and the place is just wonderful. I visited it quite a few years ago and had a delightful time. The museum includes cranes, old bridges, a human-sized hamster wheel, vintage opera posters, a room of preserved insects, a bank vault, a fish tank full of turtles (and one very friendly 39-pound catfish), and at least one alien dressed like Elvis in a coffin—all accessible via stairs, elevator, tunnel, or slide. The museum also houses an aquarium and an old-fashioned shoelace-making facility. I mention this because Mental Floss has a wonderful article on the City Museum, covering 11 uniquely awesome things about the museum. These include a 10-story slide, a school bus perched on the edge of the roof that you can go into, a ferris wheel on the roof, the world’s largest (working) pencil… and largest underpants… well, you get the idea.
  • District of Columbia. Ah, the lovely District of Columbia…. our 51st… oh, right. It seems DC is up in arms with the Dept. of Defense, insisting that the DC flag be flown whenever other state flags are flown. The request grows out of a complaint from a DC couple upset that state flags were flown for each of the graduates at a Naval Station Great Lakes graduation ceremony, but not the home flag of their son. The state’s district’s non-voting delegate to congress is urging the Senate to accept a provision of a House-approved defense bill that would require that the flags of the District of Columbia and the territories be displayed by the armed forces whenever the flags of the 50 states are raised. As for the DOD, they have encouraged military departments to display the D.C. flag but left the final decision to discretion of commanders. M’self, I think we should solve the problem another way. We have loads of “states” wanting to leave the union (well, really, people therein, although many cities want to secede from their states and remain part of the US). So why don’t we turn the tables around and add DC and Puerto Rico as states? Let’s encourage the people that want to live here!