Like much of the surrounding North Broad Street area, the block would spend the early part of the 20th Century dedicated to the proliferation of America’s auto industry. As the nation’s love affair with the automobile continued to evolve, the industrialized area just above City Hall proved highly conducive to its maturation. As the image here below, taken from G.W. Bromley’s 1910 Philadelphia Atlas, shows, the site in question was simply identified as a Motor Shop.
Some people are born to be artists, as if the impulse to draw, paint, sculpt, write, compose, make films or photographs were not a choice but hard-wired—a destiny.
David Lynch seems to be such a fated individual. Since at least 1966, when he enrolled as an advanced painting student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, he has been making icky, funny, violent, sexy, naive images and, as documented in this scrupulous retrospective in the museum next door to his old school, he has never stopped.
American audiences are no longer sympathetic to small-town police in this way, and certainly not to fast-talking feds. Messages about the rot and corruption that lies beneath our postcard-pictures of roadside diners, cherry pie and logging mills are no longer novel. These days everybody knows the prom queen is on coke; it’s expected. These days, Kyle MacLachlan, who played Agent Cooper, plays the mayor of Portland on Portlandia, a show about the precocious and self-important excesses of “hipster” culture in the Pacific Northwest.
Owls are now twee, not spooky.