The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-18-2006, 06:48 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Weird Houses on my way to work

The Passing Show on my ay in always fascinates me. I've mentioned in the past the house with the sign that says "Warning -- Do Not Enter While Alive", which sounds like it should be a resty home for zombies. Now I have:


1.) The Fortress -- on a little rise is a tiny, nondescript house. In fact, it's downright tight and cramped and uncomfortable-looking. The owner has gone to a great deal of trouble to erect a stone wall completely around his backyard. It's more than person-high,, so even if he weren't on a rise, you couldn't see over it. This is not a pretty stone wall, like the Olde New England Stone Walls that Robert Frost wrote about. The kind that Make Good Neighbors. This is one designed to keep folks out. It's an unartistic one that you can tel that someone without great skill in stonesetting put together out of local fieldstone and a few bags of cement without any help. The tops and edges are scraggly (but it ends on the sides of the house, so it locks in the backyard and won't let you see. And finally, the crowning touch, the owner has gone so far as to put up no fewer than five -- five -- cameras on solid mounts overlooking this wall. He obviously hasn't spent much money on the house or on the wall, even, but he put out big bucks for high tech surveillance. The metal supportsd for these cameras look as if they'll stand up to a New England winter.

Ya gotta ask -- why? What's he trying to protect? Or what is he trying to keep in?


2.) The MiniVilla -- There are a lot of folks with Italian backgrounds out here, and for some reason they seem particularly susceptible to the kind of homeownership that ends up with them erecting little mini-kingdoms, with wrought iron fences surrounding meticulous stone or brick-walled domains. (These folks have professional-looking walls. And I've never seen surveillance cameras on them.) They may have a couple of casrved stone lions guarding the entranceway, or a fountain, or some other indulgence.

But this one has definitely gone overboard. As I've driven by, he has added, in succession:

a.) A min-Greek or -Roman Temple. With nothing in it.

b.) A huge fountain, with a big rock in it...

c.) ....and a large Greek column not clearly associated with anything else. There's a teeny roof on top of it, as if he needs the keep the rain and snow off the capital.

d.) ... and a bronze statue of (presumably) a goddess, with one breast exposed.

e.) Further back, there's a white (marble? gypsum? Cement?) statue iof a goddess, also with one breast exposed.

f.) A "For Sale" sign.

What? He spends all this time building this overlarded museum and then puts it up for sale? Does he want to start over again somewhere else? Or has the cost of statuary forced him to sell?



3.) The Mystery Building -- There's a very ordinary-looking house , but if you look through the driveway, you can see that, attached to the back is a huge brick building. It's the size of a barn -- at leastr three stories tall. And it has no windows. The doors are always closed. It's creepy. It reminds me of the Deke Temple at Colgate University (where they hold initiations, apparently, and rumors abound about what's actually inside.) I'm afraid to go and ask. I'm afraid I'd find a sign that says "Welcome! We're the Whatelys!" and a ramp for cattle.




How about you folks?
__________________
"My name is Michael Jackson, King of Pop
Look on my works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!"
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-18-2006, 07:37 AM
twickster twickster is offline
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,175
Wow, your commute is a hell of a lot more interesting than mine.

I mostly notice the gardens, or what passes for them.

One day I was stuck at a particular point in the backup for a light I wish they'd change the timing on, and could see in through the corner of a yard that is screened from the road by tall arborvitae. There were a bunch of white critters grazing in this overgrown, weedy yard -- and I couldn't tell what they were. They were grazing, so I'd guess sheep -- but they looked more like dogs. There were four or five of them. Do dogs ever "graze"?

Damn, I really do need to get my eyes checked.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:29 AM
fisha fisha is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Pictures would help, Cal.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:47 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somewhere in time
Posts: 5,766
Damn Cal you live in an interesting place. The strangest place I've ever seen was the family that lived across the street from my second house. They lived in a bus, they had painted it silver and added a smoke stack. The HOA had them removed late last year.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:54 AM
Savannah Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
We had a mystery house. No one came in, no one went out. The curtains, always closed, never moved. The grass was overgrown, and the yard unkempt. There were piles of what seemed to be newspapers and other junk at the front door, piles that never diminished or changed. A truck was parked in the driveway with a couple of years' worth of dropped needles from the trees dusting it. The yard and house were always in the shadows from overgrown trees and shrubbery, and it seemed menacing. I always stopped and peered into the yard while walking the dog past it, but I never saw signs of life. If I was a kid, there's no way I'd have trick-or-treated at that door.

Then it was for sale! And the real estate agent's website (yes, I'm a curious gal) said "a real mess inside", which REALLY made me wonder, as real estate agents seem to always put the shiniest spin on things. And it was listed at over $300,000 which also boggled me.

I figure someone old and alone lived there.

Now it's an empty lot. I imagine a new house will be going up in its stead eventually.

That's the only local mystery house in my very local neighbourhood.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:54 AM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
There used to be a creepy-looking (abandoned? Certainly no one lived there) house off the Harrison pike, with cemetaries on both sides of the street. It reminded me of the house Stephen King wrote about in book 2 or 3 of his 'Gunslinger' series. It got bulldozed a year or two back, but while it stood I wouldn't have gone up to it on a dare.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:13 AM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
The Passing Show on my ay in always fascinates me. I've mentioned in the past the house with the sign that says "Warning -- Do Not Enter While Alive", which sounds like it should be a resty home for zombies. Now I have:


1.) The Fortress -- on a little rise is a tiny, nondescript house. In fact, it's downright tight and cramped and uncomfortable-looking. The owner has gone to a great deal of trouble to erect a stone wall completely around his backyard. It's more than person-high,, so even if he weren't on a rise, you couldn't see over it. This is not a pretty stone wall, like the Olde New England Stone Walls that Robert Frost wrote about. The kind that Make Good Neighbors. This is one designed to keep folks out. It's an unartistic one that you can tel that someone without great skill in stonesetting put together out of local fieldstone and a few bags of cement without any help. The tops and edges are scraggly (but it ends on the sides of the house, so it locks in the backyard and won't let you see. And finally, the crowning touch, the owner has gone so far as to put up no fewer than five -- five -- cameras on solid mounts overlooking this wall. He obviously hasn't spent much money on the house or on the wall, even, but he put out big bucks for high tech surveillance. The metal supportsd for these cameras look as if they'll stand up to a New England winter.

Ya gotta ask -- why? What's he trying to protect? Or what is he trying to keep in?


2.) The MiniVilla -- There are a lot of folks with Italian backgrounds out here, and for some reason they seem particularly susceptible to the kind of homeownership that ends up with them erecting little mini-kingdoms, with wrought iron fences surrounding meticulous stone or brick-walled domains. (These folks have professional-looking walls. And I've never seen surveillance cameras on them.) They may have a couple of casrved stone lions guarding the entranceway, or a fountain, or some other indulgence.

But this one has definitely gone overboard. As I've driven by, he has added, in succession:

a.) A min-Greek or -Roman Temple. With nothing in it.

b.) A huge fountain, with a big rock in it...

c.) ....and a large Greek column not clearly associated with anything else. There's a teeny roof on top of it, as if he needs the keep the rain and snow off the capital.

d.) ... and a bronze statue of (presumably) a goddess, with one breast exposed.

e.) Further back, there's a white (marble? gypsum? Cement?) statue iof a goddess, also with one breast exposed.

f.) A "For Sale" sign.

What? He spends all this time building this overlarded museum and then puts it up for sale? Does he want to start over again somewhere else? Or has the cost of statuary forced him to sell?



3.) The Mystery Building -- There's a very ordinary-looking house , but if you look through the driveway, you can see that, attached to the back is a huge brick building. It's the size of a barn -- at leastr three stories tall. And it has no windows. The doors are always closed. It's creepy. It reminds me of the Deke Temple at Colgate University (where they hold initiations, apparently, and rumors abound about what's actually inside.) I'm afraid to go and ask. I'm afraid I'd find a sign that says "Welcome! We're the Whatelys!" and a ramp for cattle.




How about you folks?

Mainstream suburban ranch house with a slightly larger than life Grim Reaper - complete with scythe & hooded robe - outside. The house also boasts a "Go Mets" banner & for a time had a dessicated Christmas wreath that hung on the door for over a year. Morris Plains, NJ.

VCNJ~
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:15 AM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veuve_ClicquotNJ
Mainstream suburban ranch house with a slightly larger than life Grim Reaper - complete with scythe & hooded robe - outside. The house also boasts a "Go Mets" banner & for a time had a dessicated Christmas wreath that hung on the door for over a year. Morris Plains, NJ.

VCNJ~

"slightly larger than life"? Like I know how tall the Grim Reaper *is*.

VCNJ~
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:18 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 32,183
There is a very very very tiny ranch style house that sits on a huge lot with a virtual jungle on it. The first time I walked by, I thought it was a deserted vacant lot. Huge trees and grass. I don't think the house could have more than four rooms.

There's also a plant that looks like Morticia's pet on The Adams Family. The one she was always feeding by hand. They are very popular in my parts. Huge green tube like stalks with many tiny, pretty white, pink and magenta flowers.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:18 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Back in the GT eeehhhh...
Posts: 26,588
I would like to know what went through the heads of the three households on Eaton Avenue in Toronto who not only completely bricked in their front yards (a definite no-no in my book), but varnished the brick as well. And two of them have a low steplike retaining wall at the front of the yard, so they don't even have the bad excuse of parking on it.
__________________
Rigardu, kaj vi ekvidos.
Look, and you will begin to see.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:20 AM
JustAnotherGeek JustAnotherGeek is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veuve_ClicquotNJ
Morris Plains, NJ.
Dude! You're in New Jersey! That's like not fair in this fight. 'Jersey's got so much weirdness to pick from.



-Geek, who lived in Kinnelon for 4 years.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:30 AM
Lissa Lissa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
Ya gotta ask -- why? What's he trying to protect? Or what is he trying to keep in?
In my rural area, I have noted a phenomenon along these lines. It seems the poorer and more trashy the property, the more "NO TRESPASSING!" signs you will see.

I remember once spying a tumble-down shack on a rural road which had legions of busted-up and broken down cars in their yard along with heaps of broken toys, wheel-less bicycles and scattered beer cans. The owners had put up at least a dozen signs in front of this place, tacked to every vertical surface: NO TRESPASSING! TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT!* and BEWARE OF DOG!

My only thought was, "Who would want to trespass there? Not without a tetnus shot!"

There are some very interesting houses along the way around here. There is an electric purple Victorian with pink and yellow trim. (Yeah, them Victorians loved bright colors, but I don't think they had electric purple paint back in those days.)

There is also the "Fuck You House." A big McHousing development went in a field behind this guy's property, to which he apparently took gross offense. So, he painted his own house bright orange with big, sloppy blue splotches, and cut down all of the lovely big trees which used to surround it. (Juuust to make sure the McHouses had a really clear view of his orange monstrosity.)

Then, there's the "House Which Was Never Finished." When I was a kid, it was on my bus route. It was a one-story ranch which was being faced with stone. The back and sides had been finished, but not the front. The stones were piled up in the yard, ready to go, but for some reason, the job was never finished. All that seperated these folks from the elements was the silvery insulation board. The last time I saw it was when I was in eighth grade. Last year, we went to visit some friends who had moved to that road and, by gum, those stones were still in a pile and you could still see the insulation board. Not a lick of progress had been made in more than a decade.



*This was actually a novelty sign at one time: TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT. SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN, but the second line had been jaggedly broken off, presumably to remove any humor which might lead to doubts that they were serious.
__________________
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:51 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
A few more:

1.) On my old way to work, there was a house painted ugly green-blue with all the windows perpetually shaded or even boarded up. And a HUGE TV dish on the roof. I guess the guy didn't like his view, but liked the TV.


2.) Back where I;m from in NJ there is a used car lot that I have NEVER seen anyone at. I've never seen customers, or salesmen, or anyone taking or delivering cars. The cars change, so if I were to stake the place out, presumably I'd see something. But I've never seen anyone there.

3.) Also in NJ, along US 1. There's a hot and root beer stand near Menlo Park that I;ve never seen anyone at, and I don't think I've ever seen open. But it's not closed or abandoned. Similarly, on the same road, but closer to Princeton, there's a tiny Mexican restaurant that seems to be in the same boat -- not "closed" or abandoned, but never seems to be open or have customers. Pepper Mill and I always point these out when we pass them.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-18-2006, 10:53 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
I see these things all the time:
1) a "Do-it-yourself" home improvement project (which is started but never finished). Equipment and materials scattered all over the place-and the guy either gives up or forgets about the whole thing.
2) the "delusions of grandeur". I saw a house (a small, humble ranch). The owner decided to face it with stone, put in greek columns, statues in the yard, etc. looks stupid!
3) The slowly decaying look: house hasn't been painted in 40 years-rotting clapboards, broken window frames. Very often, you can see tilting venetian blinds inside. Yard overgrown with weeds, assorted junk in backyard!
4) Horribly mangled 'restoration": owner decides to renovate "on the cheap"-winds up with mismatched doors, windows, and usually doesn't bother fixing expensive stuff-like the "renovated' house we looked at-which had a 70 year old furnace and leaky pipes!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:07 AM
Lissa Lissa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c
4) Horribly mangled 'restoration": owner decides to renovate "on the cheap"-winds up with mismatched doors, windows, and usually doesn't bother fixing expensive stuff-like the "renovated' house we looked at-which had a 70 year old furnace and leaky pipes!
Hubby and I looked at a house like this when we were house-shopping. It was a grand old sprawling twenty-room Victorian-- really a gorgeous old home but it had seen some hard times.

It seems the previous owner had been somewhat of a handyman and had nutrured illusions of buying the place on the cheap, fixing it up and making a fortune. Maybe he could have, but he apparently didn't want to put the money into it that it needed.

You could actually see the progression of his work. The living room (one of them, anyway) was gorgeously restored. I mean, it was lovely. he had put a lot of time and effort into his craftsmanship. Then, slowly, the work started getting a little cheaper and more shoddy as you walked through. By the time you got to the kitchen, you could almost hear him saying, "Fuck this!" He had started on the bathroom beside the kitchen, but had apparently hurried along to get it somewhat finished so he could put it on the market. He had forgotten to install a sink!

Some people's idea of "restoration" amounts to a coat of paint and re-staining the woodwork. A lot of old "restored" homes around here still have their original knob-and-tube wiring. (Our insurance company flatly refuses to cover any home which has it.) It's hideously expensive to replace, because you often have to replace the old wires in the walls which can't handle a higher load. Nine times out of ten, it hasn't been done
__________________
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:16 AM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAnotherGeek
Dude! You're in New Jersey! That's like not fair in this fight. 'Jersey's got so much weirdness to pick from.



-Geek, who lived in Kinnelon for 4 years.

I think the Grim Reaper house even got a blurb in the mag.

I also didn't mention the house that has a nice statue of Paddington Bear in the front yard. They dress it up appropriately at holidays - wings & an arrow for Valentine's day; fatigues & a helmet for Memorial Day, etc. My *favorite* is Halloween - just a sheet over it with two eyeholes cut out. Cracks me up every year.

Other honorable mentions:

The house on Littleton Road that features a nice life-sized nativity scene at Christmas - complete with Santa landing his reindeer on top.

As far as yard ornamentation - I think Long Island (at least the Valley Stream area) takes the cake for cement yard decorations.

VCNJ~
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:42 AM
Ms Macphisto Ms Macphisto is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savannah
We had a mystery house. No one came in, no one went out. The curtains, always closed, never moved. The grass was overgrown, and the yard unkempt. There were piles of what seemed to be newspapers and other junk at the front door, piles that never diminished or changed. A truck was parked in the driveway with a couple of years' worth of dropped needles from the trees dusting it. The yard and house were always in the shadows from overgrown trees and shrubbery, and it seemed menacing. I always stopped and peered into the yard while walking the dog past it, but I never saw signs of life. If I was a kid, there's no way I'd have trick-or-treated at that door.

Then it was for sale! And the real estate agent's website (yes, I'm a curious gal) said "a real mess inside", which REALLY made me wonder, as real estate agents seem to always put the shiniest spin on things. And it was listed at over $300,000 which also boggled me.

I figure someone old and alone lived there.

Now it's an empty lot. I imagine a new house will be going up in its stead eventually.

That's the only local mystery house in my very local neighbourhood.
You sure it wasn't housing BC's biggest cash crop?

To be fair, my parents lived across the street from a house like that, except that we knew what the situation was. Old lady, lived alone, when she wound up in extended care at the hospital her family just let the house slowly moulder until she passed away. Now the house is gone and a massive new one is going up in its place.

The most interesting house in my current neighbourhood is a big Victorian painted in the primary colours - bright blue with red and yellow trim. It's got a life-sized doll leaning on the balcony railing, apparently taking in the view or something.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:42 AM
delphica delphica is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Two in our neighborhood that get me:

1. The Fisher-Price A Frame: it's actually not an A-frame house, it's a two story farmhouse type house, and apparently at some point in what I can only assume was 1965, someone decided the easiest way to expand the house was to build an A-frame over the top of it. In places, you can still see the lines of the original house sticking through. It's ugly, but almost endearing. In a weird way.

2. The Really, Really, Really Enthusiastic House
Painted on one side of the house is a long message about Jesus. It's an upbeat Jesus message, about how awesome it's going to be when Jesus comes again (as opposed to the hellfire/sinners/repent kind of Jesus message) On the other side is an equally fervent message about how awesome the local football team is going to be this season. It seems like Ned Flanders must live in that house, the all-around level of enthusiasm for things is so gosh darn high.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-18-2006, 11:44 AM
gigi gigi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 18,137
Your first one in the OP reminds me of a house I have only heard about, near here in Vermont. Castle, turrets, the whole nine except no moat. But the fence across the back is built out of empty(?) fifty-gallon drums. Purty.

I see only the usually farms, farm houses and newer developments on the way to work so visually it's just pretty, not weird. Various fertilizers are used though, so olfactorily it is a new adventure every day.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-18-2006, 12:16 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Your first one in the OP reminds me of a house I have only heard about, near here in Vermont. Castle, turrets, the whole nine except no moat. But the fence across the back is built out of empty(?) fifty-gallon drums. Purty.
That sounds pretty. Like that home out in LA that John McPhee qwrote about in "Control of Nature".

This house I see every day ain't pretty, by anyone's standards. It's a gritty little crowded house that seems to have that stone wall stuck on by someone with more enthusiasm than talent. It's not a pretty wall. It's ugly as hell. No turrets, or even a proper, leveled top. Stalag 17 in suburbia.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-18-2006, 01:07 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 9,648
I used to see one every day while driving to law school: a house right on the corner of a busy street, painted a garish shade of purple. As time went on, the house went from purple to purple with green trim, to black with purple polka dots, to purple with yellow "smiley face" polka dots.

That one actually had a reason behind it, though: it was the "purple house protest". The college students living therein were protesting a city ordinance that prohibited more than three unrelated people from living in the same house. The color of the house drew attention to their cause, and when people drove by, they sometimes stopped to sign the petition that hung handily from the tree in the front yard.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-18-2006, 01:12 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
I used to see one every day while driving to law school: a house right on the corner of a busy street, painted a garish shade of purple.
Actually, there's a home near me now that's painted two different shades of purple, and they're not protesting anything. I'm not talking muted-shades-of-purple-"Painted Lady"-type tones, but bright and garish purple. Pepper Mill loves it (She wanted her father to paint their house purple when she was a kid.)


When I lived in Rochester, N.Y. there was a Purple House like that not far from Monroe Ave.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-18-2006, 02:34 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque
... the "purple house protest". ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
...Actually, there's a home near me now that's painted two different shades of purple, and they're not protesting anything....
Am I the only one that refers to such as "Herb Tarlek Houses?"
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-18-2006, 03:20 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
In the town where my mom lives there are a couple of strange things to see:

-A house that has an authentic totem pole on the porch and a life size bronze statue of a wharthog standing on a cement block in the front yard.

-A home made entirely of fieldstone, complete with a fieldstone well and gazebo in the back yard

-The best is a house that’s in the town next to my mom’s that used to have all these large statues of black men killing and torturing white men (seriously). Most of them are gone now, and the home is in a pretty bad area, but when we were in high school everyone had to drive past it to see the “Craziest shit ever”.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-18-2006, 03:21 PM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is offline
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 28,511
I guess my area is fairly tame, but there is one place that leaves me scratching my head. It's an ordinary ranch house on an acre or two, nondescript landscaping, and three painted plywood cutouts on the front lawn - Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and Betty Boop.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-18-2006, 06:05 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Eastern Connecticut
Posts: 15,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham


When I lived in Rochester, N.Y. there was a Purple House like that not far from Monroe Ave.
I remember that one, and there was one near Harris RF that was a 3 storey vic painted pepto bismal pink.

There were a few really funky places along the shore in Webster also - one I almost rented was 'upside down' - the ground floor was 3 bedrooms and a bathroom, the top floor was a single large room with a microscopic kitchen and a fairly normal living room area, and you used a spiral stair to get to teh second floor, and there was a large deck, with a walkway out to a small gazebo built over the beach. It was right near the bridge they tore out and right next to a bar. It had nudie lady wallpaper in the bathroom.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-18-2006, 09:12 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
Smart, Hip, Dipstick
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: A nice chunk o' NJ
Posts: 14,037
I telecommute now, so I have no present tense contribution to make here.

However, when I did go into the office, I passed by these places. We've got:

The Place That Ain't There No More (For Obvious Reasons)
The Wierd Rust-Dripping Silo Thing
The Building That I've Never Been Able To Figure Out Just What The Hell It's There For
and
Another Herb Tarlek House
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-19-2006, 01:43 PM
Talon Karrde Talon Karrde is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
I remember there was a house on a larger property that had signs protesting the local power company, which was called something like NSP at the time. One of the signs said:
RAPE
IT'S LEGAL IF YOU'RE NSP
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-19-2006, 02:27 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon Karrde
I remember there was a house on a larger property that had signs protesting the local power company, which was called something like NSP at the time. One of the signs said:
RAPE
IT'S LEGAL IF YOU'RE NSP
There was a house along the highway which had a large sign in front of it claiming that a local man who had been arrested was innocent and that the sherriff had framed him. I finally figured out that's what it said after driving by it a dozen or more times and reading bits of it each time I passed. The text was very long and had been done in block print. (There were at least 150 words on it.)

The man was convicted, by the way.
__________________
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-19-2006, 02:30 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Dang, Hal, you used to commute in West Windsor, N.J.!

We used to see that bizarre building weith the orange circle on top all the time. It got several names:

1.) The Church of the Holy Lifesaver

2.) Yoyodyne*

3.) The Thing that came in the box that was the Ford Asembly Plant**




* -- "Yoyodyne" appears, among other places, in the movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, where the company was founded by the Evil Red Lectroids who came through the dimensional barrier on Oct. 31, 1938, during the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast. The name is appropriate, because Grover's Mill, where the Martians landed (and the Lectroids came in) is now part of West Windsor.

** -- The Former Ford Assembly Plant near the present Assembly Square Shopping Center in Medford MA looks as if it's perfectly fitted to hold that building.
__________________
"My name is Michael Jackson, King of Pop
Look on my works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!"
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 08-19-2006, 07:09 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
Smart, Hip, Dipstick
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: A nice chunk o' NJ
Posts: 14,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
Dang, Hal, you used to commute in West Windsor, N.J.!
On the nose...

I always assumed those Life Savers were the conductors for some sort of death ray.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 08-19-2006, 07:44 PM
ryobserver ryobserver is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,011
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
One day I was stuck at a particular point in the backup for a light I wish they'd change the timing on, and could see in through the corner of a yard that is screened from the road by tall arborvitae. There were a bunch of white critters grazing in this overgrown, weedy yard -- and I couldn't tell what they were. They were grazing, so I'd guess sheep -- but they looked more like dogs. There were four or five of them. Do dogs ever "graze"?
WAG: They were goats.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 08-19-2006, 08:06 PM
China Guy China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,385
There's a really big park in my Shanghai neighborhood that used to be a hideous tire factory straight out of the worst communist style imagineable. Actually, it pre-dated the 1949 revolution. Now it's really a nice big park with a pond, flowing water, trees and an elevated walkway that goes diagnolly across it that is perfect for my walk to work. All that's left of the factory is the main brick chimmney that has been turned into a monument.

There is also a beautiful 3 story Western brick villa built by the original owner. Now it is a exquisite Japanese managed French restaurant. It's pricey but the food is superb in the way that only the Japanese can do great French. The villa is beautiful inside.

I see it every day as I walk through the park.

Not sure if it's "wierd" as in the other houses that are "wierd" in this thread. But it is surreal.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 08-19-2006, 08:18 PM
Miller Miller is offline
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 36,358
There are so many houses in San Francisco painted bright purple, it no longer even registers as "wierd" with me.

When I used to go down to Palo Alto with my dad to visit my great-aunt, we'd pass a building that was made up of rounded, white oblong shapes, a couple of them for the ground floor and second story, and one that stuck up like a tower. Whoever built it was trying so hard to be different that I really wanted to like it, but the over-all effect just made it look like a giant, dessicated dog turd.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 08-20-2006, 09:51 AM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
1. I, too, had an Mystery Car Lot like Cal's. Also in New Jersey. It was this really tiny little place wedged between some houses and a ritzy restaurant. The cars would change, but I don't know if there was even a proper office there. New Jersey being what it is, everyone pretty much assumes it's a front for some *ahem* less than legal activities, which may or may not have some international ties to certain European nations known for their pasta and Catholicism.

2. The Flag House. Typical suburban neighborhood, typical corner house. With a 30-foot tall flagpole and equally-ridiculous flag. And...an outdoor projector set up, projecting a house-sized American flag onto the outside wall.

3. A tiny, tiny yard in front of a Philadelphia townhouse. Containing no less than one miniature light house, one extremely large Easter Bunny, one extremely large...Tigger, one picnic table, and several children's playthings. Photo (taken while driving, sorry it sucks). THe picture doesn't really show it well, but their yard was so full of...things, you couldn't walk in it.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 08-20-2006, 12:21 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 11,467
I no longer commute, but, on the way to the grocery, is a "store." There is clothing in the display window, but no sign of any sort telling what they sell. "Open" is painted in 18 inch letters vertically on the door. The lights seem to be on 24/7. For a while, there was graffiti style spray paint on the window saying "HipHop", but that got washed off.

There's a wooden kitchen chair balanced on top of a 30 foot stump. in a yard down the street.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 08-20-2006, 09:29 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 6,481
Not on my commute, but down a side street I used to have to go down to visit a friend, in suburban North Olmsted, Ohio, is a plain old brick ranch style house....with every window covered in steel security shutters. My friend said no one in the neighborhood seemed to know what these people were afraid of, but they were ready for an armed assault, apparently.

I've posted pictures before about the house around the corner from me that is a rental property. It is painted bright pink, with carnival-like decorations in purple, yellow and blue diamonds and triangles. They made the paper because of their paint scheme...they are visible from I-90 in Westlake....which was apparently designed by a major artist in Romania. The landlord let them paint the house in these extreme colors, and the family has since moved on, and the colors are starting to fade. Who knows what will be next.

Another house on the way to my brother's house fills their entire yard with those inflatable yard decorations at every holiday....and I mean fills. At Christmas there are at least twenty-five to thirty of those things lit up and running....reindeer, toy soldiers, every version of Santa ever made, snow globes, snowmen, the Grinch, Homer-santa, bluebirds, sleighs, polar bears, elves...you name it, they own one or two. And they do this for every holiday...at Thanksgiving there are a flock of inflatable turkeys. Halloween is as full as Christmas. I have no idea how they can store the hundreds of inflatables they have in their tiny home.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 08-21-2006, 08:53 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 9,648
Hey, I found a picture of the Lubbock "purple house"!
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 08-21-2006, 09:12 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Back in the GT eeehhhh...
Posts: 26,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque
Aaggh! My eyes!
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 08-21-2006, 11:20 AM
JustAnotherGeek JustAnotherGeek is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Welll... I wasn't going to post this, because I thought it was unfair for two reasons. 1.) They're not houses, and 2.) It's in New Jersey. Man, that whole state is bizzare!

But, it is worth posting because it's in the town where I used to live, I actually saw some of them (more got put up after I left, I think), and it includes blurbs from an interview with Captain Bott - who was my assistant scoutmaster and is a really terrific guy.

http://www.weirdnj.com/stories/_roadside06.asp
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.