#845: Julie’s Angles

November 3rd, 2017

The bed is problematic. 

If you put the head flush against the wall, there’s a trianglish void between the side of the bed and the other wall, a hole perfect for socks, sheets, limbs and boyfriends to tumble into mid-slumber.

But if you put the side of the bed against its wall, the triangle moves to the headspace, and that’s just weird.

Although the bed situation isn’t as weird as the dresser.

“Look at this. I mean, look at this!” she said, turning our attention to the opposite wall with a wild wave of her hands.

On the far side of the room, there was another wall 90 degrees to nothing, but this one had a decorative cement curve about an inch from the real wall. Wonderfully futuristic in a ’60s way, this large floor-to-ceiling swoosh hid jarring angles whilst compelling images of a Star Trek brig, but created an inch-wide gap between the curvy fake “Look at me, I’m architect Bertrand Goldberg” pseudowall and the actual wall that holds up the ceiling and such.

Plus, what with pi and all, Jules and Tim’s very rectangular dresser can’t go in the corner. The only thing the functionless curve does is push the dresser into the middle of what would otherwise be an open space of wall, with one awkward corner tapping the cement curve that hides an undustable inch gap.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” Julie asked us.

“Us,” in this case, was a group of her friends there for a party. Drinks, chitchat, smokes on a balcony giving a tearjerkingly beautiful vista of river, lake and lights, then — although I skipped this part — bowling at the alley downstairs. It was everything Bertrand Goldberg dreamed of when he designed Marina City.

Jules and Tim love living in the twin corncob towers along the river. They love the view, they love the conveniences, they love the ability to drop by home between rides as captains on the tour boats to have lunch in their own kitchens.

They don’t love the fact the apartments were designed without 90 degree angles. Goldberg believed that since there are no right angles in nature, there should be none in architecture, proving conclusively that the man had never heard of pyrite, halite, feldspar, the centrioles in our cells or certain types of table salt.

Or had ever heard of the proper placement of dressers.

Marina City is a sweeping, gorgeous affair I truly love. Its background is one of compromise, the most high-minded of architects plotting with the most clout-laden and corrupt of developers, unified forever by a shared run from Nazis. But I’ve written that story before.

Instead today’s tale is one of breathtaking views, modern conveniences, accessible twin rooftops that will make urban planners feel religion and a young, happy couple occasionally falling between the bed and the wall when they try to sleep.

For more on Marina City, watch its construction

For more on architecture, read about a trend I distrust

For something different, read about a lonely, horrible Australian

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You are currently reading #845: Julie’s Angles by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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