Archive for October, 2012

Housing Is A Human Right

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Activism, Rochester

Almost a year after Occupy Rochester fell apart, we’re at it again! Marching to City Hall to address the problems with housing in this city, and let them know how defective of an institution it is. Did you know that Rochester has more abandoned, foreclosed or simply unoccupied houses, than it has ever had homeless people? What about that Rochester has slum lords, and the city does nothing about it, even though they hold onto abandoned and underutilized properties as investment, evict rent-paying tenants, and try to sell the houses for a profit? Or that it is illegal in parts of the city, and most of the county suburbs, to grow anything other than grass as a front lawn? Taking back our city will take far more than a protest, or an election, but we can at least begin to move in the right direction!

An Evening Of Culture

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Finger Lakes, Institutional

Bernar’r Macfadden, eccentric fitness guru of the last century, was arguably the inventor of the culture of diet, exercise and weight loss for health that is so prevalent today. Before the actual health benefits were known, or even suspected by the mainstream medical community, Bernar’r promoted alternately vegetarianism and a predecessor of the Paleo diet (raw food, including red meats) as the natural diet of the human animal. This, combined with strenuous outdoor exercise, became the foundation of Physical Culture, and the beginning of a lucrative career for Macfadden as America’s first fad-diet shiller. Promoting his Physical Culture, Macfadden created a publishing house and a variety of magazines, some of which still survive today. An extremely prolific writer, he also released over 100 books, including “Virile Powers of Superb Manhood”, “Physical Culture for Babies”, “Strenuous Lovers”, “Calisthenics: Strengthening the Eyes”, and “Constipation: Its Effect and Treatment”. Presumably, people bought and read these, as by 1902 Bernar’r was a millionaire, and opened a chain of Physical Culture Hotels, resorts where paying guests were subjected to his every whim, in the name of health. The first, and longest lasting, of these hotels was in Dansville, in a building previously used as an institution for Civil War veterans, and a sanatorium, prior to being a health resort. Its guests included multiple presidents, Lucille Ball and Katherine Hepburn, among other celebrities of the day, as well as touring jazz artists and big bands who would play rooftop dances for the guests, but much like the Catskills resorts, the next generation lost interest and by about 1974 Physical Culture fell into disuse. While the property is still privately owned, there are no legitimate plans as of 2012 for the collapsing castle.