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Writer of Bad Poetry

A collection of musings and pretty things.
Apr 16 '14


Feb. 17, 1952:Baby Face” Palmer and the Hill District

Arthur “Baby Face” Palmer had a tough gig. In the course of doing his job, he was shot, stabbed, stoned and beaten. Once he was “kicked black and blue up to the hips by three dope addicts.”

Palmer was a Pittsburgh police officer who patrolled a portion of the Hill District described in a 1952 Pittsburgh Press article as “the city’s toughest, bloodiest beat.”

Accompanying the article were some extraordinary pictures, which we stumbled upon a few weeks ago. It was an accidental discovery, made possible by the fact that our archives are organized alphabetically. While searching for pictures of golfer Arnold Palmer, we saw a folder labeled “Arthur (Baby Face) Palmer,” and it is our rule at the Digs to always examine folders that include the nickname “Baby Face.”

Pictures inside the folder depict Palmer on the job, patrolling a 78-acre portion of the Hill District that centered on the intersection of Fullerton Street and Wylie Avenue.

Palmer’s beat included 30 “murky streets and trash-filled alleys” and approximately 6,500 residents. It was presented to readers of The Pittsburgh Press as a place of drug dealers, prostitutes and thieves who “preyed on the good people of the Hill.”

The pictures reflect the newspaper’s view — Palmer is shown making arrests and questioning people he finds suspicious. In one photograph, he stands over a stabbing victim.

History and those who lived in his portion of the Hill District before it was demolished to make way for the Civic Arena tell us another, more complex story of the neighborhood. Residents lived in crumbling tenements, but the area pulsed with activity. It was a place of churches, grocery stores, barber shops, bakeries, book stores, restaurants and schools.

Children played ball or tag in the streets and at night watched a parade of well-dressed and sometimes famous people stroll by on their way to nightclubs. Some of the world’s best jazz musicians cut their chops in Hill District spots like the Musician’s Club, The Savoy Ballroom, the Crawford Grill and The Ritz Club.

According to the Press article, though, the neighborhood exhibited a violent streak. Twelve killings were reported on Palmer’s beat in 1951. “The dead he’s discovered would fill a morgue, the shot and stabbed a hospital,” the Press noted. Each year Palmer jailed at least 1,000 men and women.  

For his efforts, he was paid $345 each month. And his nickname? It was the result of genetics — “his chubby face with its ruddy cheeks and smiling, gray eyes.”

— Steve Mellon 

I would be extremely curious to see what kind of perspective a black person who lived in the neighborhood in the 1950s would have on this fellow. I have a feeling it wouldn’t have the same tone.

Apr 13 '14



"Girl crush" is literally the female version of no homo

My girl crushes are 100% homo

Apr 13 '14
"Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day."

Kait Rokowski (A Good Day)

My poor Lisa. 2.1.90-4.6.14 <3

(Source: justsingyourlifeaway)

Apr 10 '14

letsnotmakesensetogether asked:

Oh, can I ask why you dislike the autism ad?



I… can’t quite put it in words. A lot of it probably has to do with the weird stretching and the implication that autistic people are “unreachable”.

If anyone who follows me also dislikes the “the longer without detection, the harder to reach” ads that put kids at the end of long tables or beds and such, please feel free to express your opinions, because I’m sucking at expressing mine.

I hate it because it implies that autistic people can be “Fixed” with early intervention services, which is what the ad is urging people to do - to get their kid evaluated early. While early evaluation is great because then you know the issue and how to adapt, it also puts a lot of pressure on making a very young autistic person conform to neurotypical standards that they might not have been forced into had the information that they are autistic been unknown.

Kids as young as 2 are being diagnosed with autism, and I don’t think that most of them are misdiagnosed, but that’s an awful lot of pressure to put on a kid who is just past the walking stage. Also, in case it’s unclear, no, I don’t think that trying to force an autistic kid to behave like a neurotypical one is an ideal we should be aiming for and that’s because you’re going to be massively unsuccessful if you try (or are going to cause massive anxiety for the kid in question - probably both, actually).

I despise these ads. Yes, typical communication methods do not always work with autistic people, but that means you need to get your head out of your ass and try something else. It’s like yelling in English at someone who speaks French. We hear you yelling but we don’t understand. Stop trying to “fix” us. We’re not broken, you’re just lazy.

Apr 9 '14

An Editorial Cartoon on Native American Mascots Comes to Life in Cleveland
Last week, a die-hard fan of the Cleveland Indians named Pedro Rodriguez expressed his love for the baseball club as he has each year for the past decade, by attending the first game of the new season dressed in homage to Chief Wahoo, the club’s Native American mascot, in a feathered headdress with his skin painted bright red.



An Editorial Cartoon on Native American Mascots Comes to Life in Cleveland

Last week, a die-hard fan of the Cleveland Indians named Pedro Rodriguez expressed his love for the baseball club as he has each year for the past decade, by attending the first game of the new season dressed in homage to Chief Wahoo, the club’s Native American mascot, in a feathered headdress with his skin painted bright red.


Apr 5 '14
"Society has put up so many boundaries, so many limitations on what’s right and wrong that it’s almost impossible to get a pure thought out. It’s like a little kid, a little boy, looking at colors, and no one told him what colors are good, before somebody tells you you shouldn’t like pink because that’s for girls, or you’d instantly become a gay two-year-old. Why would anyone pick blue over pink? Pink is obviously a better color. Everyone’s born confident, and everything’s taken away from you."

Kanye West (via emilyteix)

(via femburton)

reblogging for pink is obviously a better color

(via jcbpaisley)

He’s so right, too. 

(via galesofnovember)

did i already reblog th—wait i dont care

(via gqgqqt)

Apr 2 '14
"Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think that a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity."

Aaron Swartz

A simple recipe for making life delicious. A fine thought, Aaron.

 (via kevinthebigapple)

Apr 1 '14

Just watched an elderly woman and a young girl with Down Syndrome fight over a seat on the bus because no one in the section reserved for people with disabilities would stand up. C’mon, Portland, you can do better.

Mar 26 '14
Mar 25 '14

If owning a gun and knowing how to use it worked, the military would be the safest place for a woman. It’s not.

If women covering up their bodies worked, Afghanistan would have a lower rate of sexual assault than Polynesia. It doesn’t.

If not drinking alcohol worked, children would not be raped. They are.

If your advice to a woman to avoid rape is to be the most modestly dressed, soberest and first to go home, you may as well add “so the rapist will choose someone else”.

If your response to hearing a woman has been raped is “she didn’t have to go to that bar/nightclub/party” you are saying that you want bars, nightclubs and parties to have no women in them. Unless you want the women to show up, but wear kaftans and drink orange juice. Good luck selling either of those options to your friends.

Mar 20 '14



"Mild Autism"?

We also have Spicy Autism, Hot Autism, Garlic Autism and Honey Mustard Autism

if you can handle our nuclear autism you get a gift certificate for a free autism next time you come in

Mar 17 '14
I wish we would quit quoting a racist and a child rapist.

I wish we would quit quoting a racist and a child rapist.

Mar 14 '14

not-that-kind-of-chronic asked:

Hey I saw that you wrote you hate handling raw chicken so I have a tip that might help? BJ's sells chicken in individually sealed bags. 4 pieces a bag. You can just snip the top of the bag and dump the meat without ever touching it.


thanks! :))

I use food service gloves! Most places will give you a few pairs for free but yoi can also get a big box of the cheap plastic ones for a few bucka.

Mar 14 '14
Mar 14 '14

Reblog if you are a total sucker for the Beauty and the Beast type stories


(and they like to ruin your life)

Stories where a guy is completely abusive and does things like locks a woman in a room and starves her but in the end it’s all ok because she loves him and if she is good enough he’ll turn into a magical prince?


(Source: bllefrench)