Page 351. " end up talking about Richard Diebenkorn for half an hour "

Another Abstract Expressionist, Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) was also part of the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s - a group of artists from the San Francisco Bay Area who preferred the figurative painting style to the Abstract Expressionist Movement as it was. 

Diebenkorn's later pieces were known as the Ocean Park paintings and brought him worldwide fame.

Page 352. " I went down to Santa Monica and walked by the ocean "

A popular place to holiday and catch the rays, the city of Santa Monica sees its fair share of sunshine throughout the year and is bordered on three sides by Los Angeles.

Santa Monica, looking from the pier
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSanta Monica, looking from the pier - Credit: Dehk at en.wikipedia
The Santa Monica Pier still boasts a carousel from 1922, complete with 44 hand-carved horses and since rebuilt (in 1990) in the Looff Hippodrome.

The pier now also has a Ferris wheel, aquarium and arcade,as well as shops of course and restaurants.

Page 354. " The Dead Souls. What, I said, after the Gogol novel? "

The political satire that is 'Dead Souls' was published in 1842 and penned by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol.

Manilov. Illustration for Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls
Public DomainManilov. Illustration for Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls - Credit: Pyotr Boklevsky (1816-1897)

The narrative takes the form of continuous poetic prose and was intended to be a tale of three parts. Gogol however, allegedly destroyed the second section of the story, leaving it seemingly unfinished, although, as it stands, it is still regarded as being suitably complete.

The ‘Dead Souls’ of the title refers to the ‘serfs’ (peasants under bondage or slavery) of the Russian empire, who worked the land of their employers.

Gogol (burning the manuscript of the second part of
Public DomainGogol (burning the manuscript of the second part of "Dead Souls"). Wood enrgaving. 1934 - Credit: Nikolay Dmitrevsky

When counting the number of serfs one had, they were referred to as ‘souls’.

The ‘dead souls’ then are those serfs who, although dead, were still retained on the property registers. On the other hand, they are also said to refer to the seemingly ‘dead souls’ of the characters within the book.


Page 359. " At least Warhol can draw "

Andy Warhol, full name Andrew Warhola, Jr, made his mark on the art world with his impressive pop art paintings.

The American was initially an illustrator, but later branched out into film-making, writing and record producing.

Andy Warhol Museum of the Modern Art Medzilaborce, Slovakia
Public DomainAndy Warhol Museum of the Modern Art Medzilaborce, Slovakia - Credit: P.matel
He was a familiar face in many circles, enjoyed the benefits of many wealthy benefactors and has remained in the public eye over the years.

Interesting to note that Warhol coined the term ‘15 minutes of fame'. He himself saw fame unlimited in his own life... 

Page 362. " the Cuban Missile Crisis sent "
CIA reference photograph of Soviet medium-range ballistic missile (SS-4 in U.S. documents, R-12 in Soviet documents) in Red Square, Moscow. (1959-62)
Public DomainCIA reference photograph of Soviet medium-range ballistic missile (SS-4 in U.S. documents, R-12 in Soviet documents) in Red Square, Moscow. (1959-62) - Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (US Federal Government)

 The Cuban Missile Crisis almost saw nuclear disaster when the powerful forces of the Soviet Union and America faced each other off Cuba in 1962.






Page 369. " saw the hypodermic syringe of the Chrysler Building "


The Chrysler Building at night
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Chrysler Building at night - Credit: David Shankbone


The beautiful Art Deco façade of the Chrysler Building is immediately recognisable with its aforementioned ‘needle’ top, which at night, is illuminated to great glittering effect.

Although it was once the world’s highest building, the Empire State Building stole the Chrysler’s crown in 1931…

Empire State Building, New York City, 1932
Public DomainEmpire State Building, New York City, 1932 - Credit: Samuel Herman Gottscho (1875-1971)

Home to the Chrysler Corporation between 1930 to the mid 1950s, the Chrysler Building was never actually owned by the car company and has had several owners over the years.

Looking to the actual architecture of the Chrysler Building, it goes without saying that it was based on the cars after which it was named.

Eagles edge the corners of the 61st floor, which themselves, ornamented the 1929 Chrysler car hoods, whilst the 31st floor is cornered with caps – 1929 radiator caps to be precise…

Any onlooker will note the myriad gleaming windows which wink in the sunlight – there are a total 3,862 to clean.

A favourite of New Yorkers and indeed visitors to the great city, Manhattan’s Chrysler Building is a designated National Historic Landmark.

The public once enjoyed the pleasure of a viewing gallery on the Chrysler’s 71st floor, but this unfortunately closed in 1945.


Page 369. " a man in a seersucker suit "

A seersucker jacket
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA seersucker jacket - Credit: Wpktsfs
A seersucker is a classic cotton suit traditionally worn by men during the hot summer months.

Its unique weave pattern means the material is not prone to being pressed and keeps the wearer cool by lifting slightly off the skin.