clothesline

Posted by Ellen

New year or no new year, new Mondays are always in our face.

From 1995 to 2002, Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen chronicled life in an Inughuit village in the highlands of extreme northern Greenland. The Inughuit are our planet's northernmost residents.

Another photo from Itkonen's Inughuit Portraits series shows a smaller pair of those polar bear trousers on the legs of a young boy named Masaitsiaq. Low on the wall behind Masaitsiaq are six sharp knives mounted on a magnet. Inughuit babies and toddlers must develop caution and common sense at a much earlier age than the children we know.

Posted by Ellen

Abe Cweren, an immigrant from Poland who arrived in Texas in 1922, is unloading bananas from his wagon in 1943, at the Valley Fruit stand on Franklin Street in Houston.

The house behind the fruit stand was built before 1900 by a family named Fredericks; in the 1940 census, three years before this photo was taken, the home's inhabitants were listed as a 30-year-old night-club chef named Rudolph Martinez, his wife Candalanca, son Rudolph Jr., sister Isabell Samora, and her two children, Raymond and Joe Louis.

The banana man wrote on the side of his wagon, "Jockey Cweren, Kentucky Derby."

Posted by Ellen

An unidentified coastal village in Alaska, in the fall of 1972.

Scanned image from a heat-damaged negative in the collection of the late Nick DeWolf. 

Posted by Ellen

Maybe Monday, maybe not, in the countryside outside Bucharest, Romania.

Posted by Ellen

Suspendu, says the caption. In Napoli.

Posted by Ellen

In 1960, British photographer John Gay (who was actually born Hans Göhler, in Karlsruhe, Germany) shot these clotheslines in front of the chimneyline of Islington, London.

A confession: I miss clotheslines. Don't miss lugging baskets of soggy clothes up the basement steps and out across the yard. Don't miss slapping at mosquitoes with a mouthful of clothespins. Don't miss convincing myself it won't rain when of course it will, and it does. Don't miss how stiff the clothes are when they're finally back inside.

I just miss seeing clotheslines when I walk the streets and alleys of my neighborhood, or any neighborhood. Nowadays, backyards look lifeless and uninteresting. Doubtless, this is a small price to pay for progress, and this nostalgia of mine is a small and silly thing, but still.

So now and for a while to come, Monday will be laundry day on Hole in the Clouds.

Posted by Ellen

At a hotel, every day is wash day.

Posted by Ellen

Just a few years ago, Monday in the neighborhood was obviously washday, as in this scene looking out over the alley behind South Taney Street. But that was then; nowadays, rowhouse backyards like these, minus the clotheslines, are described in realtor-speak as perfect for entertaining.