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View From a Hotel Window, 3/22/22: Parma

Aw, hell yeah, pure parking lot goodness. Of all the hotel window shots this trip, this one is definitely the most parking lot-licious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tonight: Parma/Cleveland! At the Parma-Snow branch of the Cuyahoga Public Library! 7pm!

Tomorrow: Boulder! At the Boulder Bookstore! 6:30 (I think, doublecheck with the store)!

— JS

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

17 replies on “View From a Hotel Window, 3/22/22: Parma”

Your “view from a hotel window” photographs made me think of the old book “Boring Postcards USA”, published by Phaidon. I think you might find it entertaining (in a somewhat bleak and surreal way). I had a copy many years ago, which sadly I misplaced.

If one spends some time studying the crack patterns in parking lots, one finds unique characteristics in each. Some are quiet literal, like seeing a face or a dog or a bird, while others present a more figurative pattern that seems to try to tell us something in a strange, unknowable code. Other parking lots, like your example today, seem to tell us to go away and stop looking for meaning in parking lots.

Thank you for coming to Parma, and the library here! Storytime for adults!! It was a great evening and we enjoyed the readings and conversation. It was great meeting you. Kaiju is awesome! Love all your books.

Parking lots depress me. All that potential for useful buildings wasted. Or actually living land like a park, meadow, or forest.

And all it takes to reduce the amount of space wasted on parking spaces is smarter design, while being better for the city’s budget and better for everyone living, working, or otherwise existing near there.

I’d say that the only people who benefit from lots of parking lots are the asfalt repair crews, but that lot doesn’t look like it ever received any maintenance so even they don’t benefit.

I think that hotel was just down the street from Parma, in Independence. Parma isn’t known for any decent hotels. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you last night.

Parma? From 1963-1966 the Cleveland TV personality Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson) hosted a live Friday-night horror movie show on WJW, Channel 8 (it also aired on Saturday afternoons), called “Shock Theater.” He was an outrageous character doing weird and sometimes disturbing sight gags, showing bad horror movies, and going off on all kinds of things he thought suitable for scorn. One of his standing, oft-repeated things to do was to mock the city of Parma – well, he really mocked just about everything and everybody who was, in his opinion too straight, too up tight. For him Parma was a handy symbol of conservative, white socks, flamingos-on-the-lawn, Polka playing America. And … he was known to blow up things on set with firecrackers, like plastic action figures, model cars, and so on. For a time he collaborated with another personality to create a taped set of skits called “Parma Place,” but the station management made him stop doing that, as the mayor of Parma raised a big stink. Whenever Parma was mentioned, he’d say “Parma?” like it was some strange disgusting thing, and bombastic circus music was played. And I can’t help it – even nearly sixty years later – whenever I hear “Parma” I flash back to the sound of Ghoulardi saying it.

Just as a side note, Ernie Anderson was the father of the film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer Paul Thomas Anderson.

Oh, and to the actual topic at hand, I greatly enjoyed The Kaiju Preservation Society!

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