The Difference Between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Here’s Novak Djokovic after his grueling five-set comeback victory over Jannick Sinner in their Wimbledon men’s singles quarterfinal on Tuesday.

And here’s Rafael Nadal after his grueling five-set comeback victory over Taylor Fritz in Wimbledon men’s single quarterfinal yesterday.

Draw your own conclusions.

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The New York Times ‘Omituary’ of Hells Angel Sonny Barger

Hells Angels poster thug Sonny Barger has finally joined the choir invisible, as New York Times obituary reporter Clay Risen detailed the other day.

He cultivated the motorcycle club’s outlaw image and was a pivotal figure in its emergence as an emblem of West Coast rebellion in the 1960s.

Sonny Barger, who as the charismatic face of the Hells Angels grew the hard-charging motorcycle club from its roots in the San Francisco area into a global phenomenon, in the process making it an emblem of West Coast rebellion — and, federal authorities said, criminal enterprise — died on Wednesday at his home outside Oakland, Calif. He was 83.

His former lawyer and business manager, Fritz Clapp, said the cause was liver cancer.

Raise your hand if you had that cause of death on your bingo card.

Of course, there’s also Barger’s Hunter S. Thompson connection, as Risen recounted.

“In any gathering of Hell’s Angels,” Hunter S. Thompson wrote in his book “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” (1967), “there is no doubt who is running the show: Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger, the Maximum leader, a six-foot, 170-pound warehouseman from East Oakland, the coolest head in the lot, and a tough, quick-thinking dealer when any action starts. By turns he is a fanatic, a philosopher, a brawler, a shrewd compromiser and a final arbitrator.”

Inexplicably, though, Risen failed to mention an essential detail about Thompson’s ride with the Angels, which New York Times book reviewer Leo Litwak noted in 1967.

Hunter Thompson entered this terra incognita [the world of the Hell’s Angels] to become its cartographer. For almost a year, he accompanied the Hell’s Angels on their rallies. He drank at their bars, exchanged home visits, recorded their brutalities, viewed their sexual caprices, became converted to their motorcycle mystique, and was so intrigued, as he puts it, that “I was no longer sure whether I was doing research on the Hell’s Angels or being slowly absorbed by them.” At the conclusion of his year’s tenure the ambiguity of his position was ended when a group of Angels knocked him to the ground and stomped him…

Also absent from Risen’s omituary was this surreal reckoning between Barger and Thompson during a 1967 Canadian Broadcast Corporation talk show.


Barger’s indictment of Thompson’s time with the Hells Angels included the following:

1) Thompson’s book “is 60% cheap trash”

2) “I wanna know why we didn’t get the two kegs of beer you promised us. This guy here, he’s sitting here, he’s making a million dollars, he made it off of us . . . There was nothing about  money, nothing about a share in the book – all we wanted was a couple of kegs of beer so we could get drunk – and a copy of the book for each of the Oakland members.’

3) “And when you got your  head thumped on, you wrote a letter to Ralph and said seeing I got beat up and I got my head thumped on, I don’t owe you nuthin’.”

CBC host: “Why did they thump him?”

Barger: “Alright, this man here, you got into a man’s personal argument . . . Junkie George was beating his old lady. And Junkie George’s dog bit him. To me this is a personal feud – if a man wants to beat his wife and his dog bites him, that’s between the three of them, right?”

So to recap: Thompson inserted himself into Junkie George’s personal argument and got a (not as bad as he claimed) beating too.

A suitably gonzo obituary would not have omitted all that, right?

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I Was So Wrong About Cincinnati’s Abandoned Subway System

I did seven years in Ohio from the late ’60s to the mid-’70s, as I’ve detailed elsewhere.

Ever since then I’ve believed three things I was told about the Cincinnati Subway System That Never Was.

1) It was built in the wrong direction – East/West, which would have been little used, instead of North/South, which those (largely minority) communities really needed;

2) The gauge track the builders laid did not match any subway cars that were being manufactured at the time;

3) To cut their losses, city officials rented the abandoned underground tunnels to the Canandaigua Winery for storage.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

I arrived at those conclusions because my old pal cowboyjessejames sent me this Forbidden Explorer video of Cincinnati’s abandoned subway system. It was produced by The Proper People, “two friends, Bryan and Michael, who travel in search of abandoned buildings to explore and photograph.”

It’s a totally amazing ramble through the remnants of a ghost subway.

As Bryan and Michael relate early in the video, in 1916 80% of Cincinnati residents voted to replace a polluted canal running through the city with a subway system.

Ground was broken in 1920, and work proceeded for five years until the original six million dollar budget ran out. Once the Great Depression hit, the subway project was toast.

What remains became the target of Bryan and Michael’s exploration. “The main tunnel,” one of them tells us in the video, “runs for over two miles beneath the city and contains several complete stations. It follows the path of Central Parkway . . . ”

In 2017 the duo found a way into the tunnel and spent four hours walking through it and talking about what they saw. And what they saw was a lot of this.

Cincinnati officials might have abandoned the subway system, but the Queen City’s taggers certainly did not. This stretch is representative of the tunnel’s entire two miles.

The Forbidden Explorer video, however, detailed much more than the post-abandonment graffiti in Cincinnati’s ghost subway, as over three million viewers have witnessed.

Interestingly, in 2016 – a year before the Proper Boys embarked on their tunnel trundle – Andrew J. Hawkins filed this monumental piece at The Verge, which starts out detailing Cincinnati’s anemic public transit system, then pivots to The Train to Nowhere.

Under the streets of Cincinnati lies the vestige of a different vision — sealed underneath heavy manholes, hidden behind ivy-draped steel gates, and kept out of the public eye by the city’s highest officials. This is the city’s abandoned subway system, nearly three miles of empty tunnels and platforms now decorated in dust and graffiti. It is a vast subterranean space that stands as a monument to one of the biggest transportation blunders of all time. Had it been completed, the rapid transit system could have transformed Cincinnati. Instead, a decade after the project broke ground it was canceled, never to be completed. It is the nation’s largest ghost subway.

Hawkins added this: “Visiting Cincinnati’s abandoned subway today is nearly impossible. Over the years, the city has done a magnificent job of obliterating almost any above-ground vestiges, save for a handful of innocuous grates embedded in the sidewalk along Central Parkway. Station portals were bulldozed. Tunnels bricked up. Overpasses knocked down. Hardly anyone is left alive who remembers the rise and fall of the subway firsthand. There’s no way into the tunnels — unless you know where to look.”

The Proper Boys obviously did. So, as it happened, did Jake Mecklenborg, author of Cincinnati’s Incomplete Subway: The Complete History.

Mecklenborg took Hawkins on a tour of the abandoned subway and its history, and also brought Hawkins up to the present.

In 2002, Cincinnati’s voters had a chance to resurrect their incomplete subway, to transform it from a graveyard of embarrassment to a linchpin in a multi-billion dollar transit plan. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority proposed a ballot referendum called Metro Moves, which would have created an extensive light-rail system incorporating the three remaining 1920s-era subway stations at Liberty, Brighton, and Hopple streets . .

Metro Moves was the result of a decade-long effort to bring light rail to Cincinnati. Moreover, it was the city’s chance to erase the stain left behind by their unfinished subway project. But Hamilton County residents rejected Metro Moves in a 2-to-1 vote, with over 68 percent voting against the project.

Ave atque vale, rapid transit in Cincinnati.

Last word goes to The Verge’s Andrew J. Hawkins.

Today, most people don’t know why the subway was never finished. Even Murray Seasongood, the posh city manager who was most responsible for its demise, didn’t seem to understand his own role in the boondoggle. When he was researching his book, Mecklenborg stumbled across an old interview from the 1960s with Seasongood, who was in his 80s at the time. The interviewer, a college student from the University of Cincinnati, asked him if he regretted killing the subway. “He was very jovial, very enthusiastic,” the student said of Seasongood. “But as for the details of the subway system, he could not recall them.”

Seems totally fitting, yeah?

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Why Rafa Is So Special As a Tennis Player – and a Person

Yesterday, as you no doubt already know, the great Rafael Nadal won his 14th French Open men’s singles title and his 22nd Grand Slam tournament title by defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.

Nutshell video.

Afterward, Rafa detailed some of the physical obstacles he had to overcome to achieve that historic result, as Liz Clarke and Ava Wallace noted in the Washington Post.

During the news conference that followed, Nadal, who has been accompanied at this year’s French Open by his doctor, explained he has needed to take anesthetic injections in two nerves in his left foot before each of his matches to compete.

“I have been playing with injections on the nerves to sleep the foot,” Nadal said, “and that’s why I was able to play during these two weeks — because I have no feelings on my foot.”

The primary risk, he said, wasn’t from the injections but the chance that he could suffer further while numbed. “It’s a big risk in terms of less feelings, a little bit bigger risk of turning your ankle or produce another [injury] there,” he said.

Yet it was a risk he deemed worth it — at least for this tournament.

But, Rafa said, he won’t do that again. He’ll try “what he described as a radio-wave ‘burn’ or ablation of the nerves in hopes it will offer longer-term or permanent relief.”

And if that doesn’t work?

“It’s not about being the best of the history. It’s not about the records,” Nadal said. “It’s about I like what I do, you know? … What drives me to keep going is the passion for the game, [to] live moments that stay inside me forever.”

God bless Rafael Nadal, because for almost two decades, he has also created moments that will stay inside us forever.

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NY Mag: Why No One Should Root for Celtics in the NBA Finals

Will Leitch, the normally level-headed contributing editor at New York Magazine, filed a piece the other day under the headline, Why You Should Root for the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

The headline, however, really should have been, Why No Right-Thinking American Should Even Consider Rooting for the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

After showering the Warriors with multiple fanboy paragraphs, Leitch does the to be sure minimum for the Celtics.

In a public-relations battle between [the Warriors] and a team from Boston, it’s no contest at all. And that’s a bit of a shame, because this Celtics team is the most likable in recent memory, a cohesive unit of talented players who clearly adore having each other as teammates.

And blah blah blah Jason Tatum . . . blah blah blah Al Horford . . . blah blah blah Ime Udoka . . . blah blah blah.

But here’s the kick in the nuts graf.

If they weren’t the Celtics — which is to say if they weren’t from Boston — you’d be tempted to cheer for them. But they’re the Boston Celtics, so you can’t. You get it. The Celtics don’t inspire reflexive hatred like the Patriots. They lack the we-were-once-so-tortured-that-now-our-fans-get-to-act-like-assholes-forever vibe of the Red Sox. But they still play in a city that has won way too much over the last 20 years, trading in its underdog status for cocky villainy in the process. Plus, there are just too many Boston fans with a “let’s avoid this guy at Thanksgiving” feel about them. You want to cheer for Tatum and the crew, and then you see this and … well, it’s just really hard. Maybe in a decade or so, if no Boston team has won anything between now and then, it will be permissible to cheer for one of them. Maybe. For now, Boston will serve the role of foil.

The hardworking staff totally gets the reflexive Patriots hatred and the Masshole Red Sox fans, but Leitch’s you see this indictment of the Celtics is kinda lame.

So . . . a douchebag sat courtside at a Celtics game. See:Dog Bites Man.

As for Will Leitch Bites Celtics,: Not a lot of teeth there.

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New York Times Details the Double Toll Drone Killings Take

The history of warfare is a steady progression of distancing, as battles evolved from close combat to push-button carnage.

On Page One of yesterday’s New York Times, Dave Philipps captured the current war footing.

The Unseen Scars of the Remote-Controlled Kill

Civilian Deaths Haunt U.S. Drone Crews

REDWOOD VALLEY, Calif. — After hiding all night in the mountains, Air Force Capt. Kevin Larson crouched behind a boulder and watched the forest through his breath, waiting for the police he knew would come. It was Jan. 19, 2020. He was clinging to an assault rifle with 30 rounds and a conviction that, after all he had been through, there was no way he was going to prison.

Captain Larson was a drone pilot — one of the best. He flew the heavily armed MQ-9 Reaper, and in 650 combat missions between 2013 and 2018, he had launched at least 188 airstrikes, earned 20 medals for achievement and killed a top man on the United States’ most-wanted-terrorist list.

The 32-year-old pilot kept a handwritten thank-you note on his refrigerator from the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was proud of it but would not say what for, because like nearly everything he did in the drone program, it was a secret. He had to keep the details locked behind the high-security doors at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev.

There were also things he was not proud of locked behind those doors — things his family believes eventually left him cornered in the mountains, gripping a rifle.

As the Times piece notes, “[drone] crews have launched more missiles and killed more people than nearly anyone else in the military in the past decade, but the military did not count them as combat troops. Because they were not deployed, they seldom got the same recovery periods or mental-health screenings as other fighters. Instead they were treated as office workers, expected to show up for endless shifts in a forever war.”

And that took its toll on Kevin Larson.

Captain Larson tried to cope with the trauma by using psychedelic drugs. That became another secret he had to keep. Eventually the Air Force found out. He was charged with using and distributing illegal drugs and stripped of his flight status. His marriage fell apart, and he was put on trial, facing a possible prison term of more than 20 years.

Right before he was to be sentenced, Captain Larson ran. He was tracked down by California police with the help of – wait for it – a drone. He then shot himself rather than face a long prison sentence. But . . . “[in] the end, the Air Force had decided not to sentence him to prison, only to dismissal.”

Stories like Larson’s have been told before in even more dramatic fashion. I wrote about one example here in February of 2015.

Well the Missus and I trundled over to Central Square to catch the Nora Theatre Company production of Grounded and man, it was fabulous.

A hot-shot fighter pilot’s career in the skies, “alone in the blue,” is ended by an unexpected pregnancy. Reassigned to a windowless Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 12.46.40 AMtrailer in the desert outside Las Vegas, by day, she hunts down terrorists, her face lit by the dull grey glow of a drone’s monitor. At night, she returns to her domestic life with husband and daughter. As she tracks a high-profile target half a world away, the pressure mounts.

It’s a total tour de chair force, depicting what it’s like for drone pilots to go to war all day and then go home at night. (The history of military combat is a history of increasing distance from the actual killing field – think trench warfare to the London blitz – but never before has combat included going home for dinner.)

George Brant’s 90-minute monologue is strikingly delivered by Celeste Oliva (Boston Globe profile here), who absolutely owns the stage for every second of this haunting production (directed by Nora Theatre Company Artistic Director Lee Mikeska Gardner).

All we could say when the play ended was . . . Wow.

Here’s the trailer from a 2014 production of Grounded at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre.


Day-hopping to war presents different perils than occupying a battlefield,  but they can be just as deadly, as the family of Air Force Capt. Kevin Larson – and many others – well know.

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Dead Blogging ‘Real Photo Postcards’ at Boston’s MFA

Well the Missus and I trundled over to The Fenway the other day to catch the big Turner’s Modern World exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts and say, it was meh.

(Then again, you can judge for yourself with a trundle, or let reviews by the Boston Globe’s Murray Whyte and the New York Times’s Jason Farago help you decide.)


Since we were already there, we turned from Turner to Real Photo Postcards: Pictures from a Changing Nation (through July 25) and say, that was swell.

In 1903, at the height of the worldwide craze for postcards, the Eastman Kodak Company unveiled a new product: the postcard camera. The device exposed a postcard-sized negative that could print directly onto a blank card, capturing scenes in extraordinary detail. Portable and easy to use, the camera heralded a new way of making postcards. Suddenly almost anyone could make photo postcards, as a hobby or as a business. Other companies quickly followed in Kodak’s wake, and soon photographic postcards joined the billions upon billions of printed cards in circulation before World War II.

Real photo postcards, as such photographic cards are called today, captured aspects of the world that their commercially published cousins never could. Big postcard publishers tended to play it safe, issuing sets that showed celebrated sites from towns across the United States like town halls, historic mills, and post offices. But the photographers who walked the streets or set up temporary studios worked fast and cheap. They could take a risk on a scene that might appeal to only a few, or capture a moment that would otherwise have been lost to posterity. As the Victorian formality of earlier photography fell away, shop interiors, construction sites, train wrecks, and people acting silly all began to appear on real photo postcards, capturing everyday life on film like never before.

Featuring more than 300 works drawn from the MFA’s Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive, this exhibition takes an in-depth look at real photo postcards and the stories they tell about the US in the early 20th century. The cards range from the dramatic and tragic to the inexplicable, funny, and just plain weird. Along the way, they also reveal truths about a country that was growing and changing with the times—and experiencing the social and economic strains that came with those upheavals.

Representative samples, starting with Telephone Operator, 1907 or later.

Long’s Place Lunch Car, about 1914.

Man and Woman in an Automobile, 1918.

There’s so much to see – and read – in the exhibit, it really requires several visits to take it all in.

But judging from our initial foray, it’s well worth multiple trundles.

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Dead Blogging a Tour of the Magnificent Eustis Estate

Well the Missus and I trundled down to Milton the other day to take a tour of Historic New England’s Eustis Estate and say, it was spectacular.

Start with the exterior, a stunning medley of multi-colored stone, multi-patterned brick, and multi-dimensional windows.

As the Historic New England website notes, the estate is “A Marvel of the Aesthetic Movement . . . a rare surviving example of late nineteenth-century architecture and design.”

Designed by renowned Boston architect W. Ralph Emerson and built in 1878, the Eustis Estate sits on eighty acres of picturesque landscape at the base of the Blue Hills. Full of stunning, intact architectural and design details, the Eustis Estate is a historic site unlike any other in the Greater Boston area.

Inside the mansion, our excellent tour guide ushered us from one beautifully crafted room to another. Herewith, some representative samples.

And here’s a thumbnail history.


The mansion is a joy to behold in person, not only for its relentlessly artistic interior, but also for the artwork hanging on its walls, as Boston Globe correspondents  Patricia Harris and David Lyon detailed in this 2020 piece.

An evolving New England, captured in 45 paintings at Milton’s Eustis Estate

Visitors to Historic New England properties are usually so engrossed in the architecture, the furnishings, and the stories of the families who lived there that they pay little notice to the paintings on the walls.

“But the paintings are one of the hidden gems,” says Nancy Carlisle, senior curator of collections for the heritage organization. “We have an unbelievable collection when you pull it out of context and put it all together.”

That’s exactly what Carlisle and co-curator Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief of Fine Art Connoisseur, did over the last 2½years. They whittled HNE’s holdings of about 700 paintings down to 45 for “Artful Stories: Paintings from Historic New England.” The works date from the 1730s to 2018, presenting perspectives of New England that evolve over time.

If you happen to be trundle-impaired, the Eustis Estate website at Historic New England is a fabulous farrago of photographs, videos, and archival material.

Well worth the clicks.

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Dead Blogging ‘Glass Lifeforms 2021’ at Fuller Craft Museum

Well the Missus and I trundled down to Brockton yesterday to catch the current exhibitions at the Fuller Craft Museum and say, they were swell.

Let’s start with Glass Lifeforms 2021 (through April 24).

Glass Lifeforms 2021 features contemporary artworks inspired by Harvard University’s acclaimed collections of plant and invertebrate models produced in the 19th and 20th centuries by Czech glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka. An open call exhibition, Glass Lifeforms 2021 includes artists working in various glass techniques, including lampworking, glassblowing, pâte de verre, and others. Exhibited works were selected by a jury based on accuracy in representing the organism, aesthetic beauty, presentation, and originality.

Representative samples from the exhibit feature all those characteristics.



You should really see the exhibit in person to appreciate the amazing level of technical skill and, er, craftsmanship involved. This video provides a taste of it: Project organizer and exhibiting artist Sally Prasch gives an exhibition preview, followed by a panel discussion in which the exhibition jurors “share insights about the jurying process, scientific glass blowing, and artists’ enduring fascination with the natural world.”

Also on exhibit at Fuller Craft is Under New Management: The Commodification of the Permanent Collection (through April 3).

Under New Management: The Commodification of the Permanent Collection features works from Fuller Craft’s collection selected by guest curators and Boston-area artists Oliver Mak, Kenji Nakayama, and Pat Falco. Operating as a fictitious marketing company, MFN Integrated Solutions, the curatorial team aims to activate the collection while challenging the perception of museums through exhibition curation and design, including promotional posters created by artists/sign painters Nakayama & Falco as retail advertisements for each artwork. By reframing the works as commodities, the exhibition disrupts the oft-opaque nature of cultural institutions and offers new ways of looking at museum objects.

Representative samples:

Check out the entire virtual catalogue – it’s a hoot.

Amy Genser: Shifting (through December 3, 2023) is a monumental installation in which the Connecticut artist “works with paper and paint to explore her ongoing obsession with texture, pattern, and color. Using paper as pigment, she layers, cuts, rolls, and combines the humble material into vibrant tableaux that are inspired by the natural world—the flow of water, the shape of beehives, the organic irregularity of plants, and more.”

Like this:

It’s even more impressive up close.

Last but not least is Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure.

This multimedia exhibition by New York artist Melissa Stern combines the visual, literary, and performance arts and a spirited cast of characters formed from clay. Taking its name from Sigmund Freud’s original description of psychoanalysis, The Talking Cure centers Stern’s twelve ceramic sculptures, each one born from her own imagination. To bring them to life, the artist invited twelve writers to create inner monologues for each of the characters and twelve actors to perform them for audio recordings. Viewers are encouraged to scan QR codes to listen to the audio performances in order to inhabit the artists’ minds and become part of the characters’ worlds.

Full disclosure: the Missus and I didn’t have time to either scan or listen. But another museumgoer did both and seemed totally engrossed in the audio performances.

Either way, well worth a trundle.

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Boston City Hall: ‘A Building People Love to Hate But Shouldn’t’

The other day the hardworking staff stumbled upon this Architectural Digest post headlined “10 Buildings People Love to Hate but Shouldn’t: Reconsidering Brutalism, architecture’s most argued-over style.”

Immediately we thought, Boston City Hall has got to be one of them.

And bingo – number three with a bullet.

Boston City Hall was created by the masterful principals of Kallmann McKinnell & Knowles with Campbell, Aldrich & Nulty (also architects) and engineers LeMessurier. Completed in 1968, the building is the centerpiece of the city’s famous (some critics of the design would say “infamous”) Government Center.

Detail of coffered concrete overhangs at Boston City Hall.

Here at the Global Worldwide Headquarters, we’ve long put on the pom poms for Boston’s Brutalist Boondoggle, roundly endorsing New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable’s glowing tribute to the new building on the occasion of its 1969 unveiling.

Huxtable’s critical verdict was thoroughly upbeat.

Boston can celebrate with the knowledge that it has produced a superior public building in an age that values cheapness over quality as a form of public virtue. It also has one of the handsomest buildings around, and thus far, one of the least understood.

It is a product of this moment and these times – something that can be said of successful art of any period. And it is a winner, in more ways than one.

Except . . . it’s been a loser in every way since then.

Over a decade ago, the hardwincing staff noted this piece by Boston Globe architectural critic Robert Campbell about “what people would choose for demolition here.”

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder

Readers vote for Boston buildings they’d rather not see

The ugliest building in Greater Boston is Boston City Hall. At least, that’s the opinion of Globe readers. For second ugliest, they’re split between the Government Center Parking Garage and the twin white towers known as Symphony Plaza East and West, which stand at the corner of Massachusetts and Huntington . . .

Of City Hall, one e-mails, “It’s scary, right out of ‘1984,’ intimidating and grim.’’ Another disses it as “a hideous and disastrously non-functional abomination of a building.’’ And another calls it “a landmark which is infamous, not famous.’’

Campbell himself was “a fan of this powerful, ugly-and-wonderful building, and I look forward to the day when it gets the loving and inventive spruce up it needs and deserves.”

And . . . we’re still waiting.

Oddly enough, two months earlier the Globe Magazine had featured a piece by staffer Sarah Schweitzer headlined, “In praise of ugly buildings: Could this be the decade during which Boston’s most ridiculed are recognized as treasures?” The praise was, shall we say, somewhat less than full-throated.

Resentment of modern buildings was bound to be acute in Boston. We are a city that revels in our history. The mid-century-modern buildings — most notoriously, those that rose in Government Center on the site of the leveled Scollay Square — buried blocks of history to make room for themselves. But the buildings’ defenders say that past sins must be forgiven and that the buildings should be recognized for their own history — that of ushering Boston into the 20th century. When they were built, Boston was suffering from the departure of its manufacturing base. Nothing of note had been built in downtown for decades. The new buildings rising on the skyline were a sign of turnaround. “These buildings countered the perception that Boston was an economic backwater,” says Mark Pasnik, a Boston architect.

That “economic backwater” perception is long gone. But City Hall’s “ugly building” tag will likely live forever.

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