Pynchon's getting really mathematical on me, to the point where I'm having to read some paragraphs three times to get even the most basic understanding of what's going on, so despite 30-degree temperatures I put the book down and headed out this morning, to take some shots of a desolate little remnant of Atlanta's history.
The one-block stretch of Mitchell between Spring Street and Forsyth is known as "Hotel Row" -- though you wouldn't be able to (or most likely, want to) find any lodging there now. It's actually got the "Historic District" designation -- the buildings are all pretty much as they were originally.
The Scoville -- shown above -- is the highlight now, at least for people like me, with that great old sign, and apparently, a kind of cool interior (it's padlocked, and I can't imagine that even if I could get a hold of whoever runs it now, they'd let me in to snap a few photos). It's got a real seedy flophouse look (again, more aesthetically than practically pleasing), and a bit of odd fame -- it's the setting for this Rolling Stones video. The sign's visible in the opening scene. Turn the volume down, the song sucks.
The building on the corner is pretty cool (both those shots are taken from Forsyth Avenue) -- I guess, judging by the sign, it was the Star Hotel ... though neither Google nor Lexis/Nexis turns up anything about the place. I love the detail, and the blocked-off doors and windows.
Now, Mitchell Street isn't much of a tourist destination. There's a bunch of hotels a bit to the north for the conventioneers, and there's no real nightlife in the area (though I was offered something of uncertain provenance while wandering around today). There's a few businesses getting by now, most with cheerful signs up telling people "SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! You're being filmed."
All the hotels are on the north side of the street. The entire south side is taken up by this monolith -- no clue what it is or what it was or how long it's been there. Those blocked-off arches down at the bottom might indicate one-time storefronts, but really, the whole thing's just too ugly for me to worry about.