Showing posts from October, 2015

From The Atlantic: 'The Tragic, Forgotten History of Zombies'

Article on "The Tragic, Forgotten History of Zombies"
"The horror-movie trope owes its heritage to Haitian slaves, who imagined being imprisoned in their bodies forever."
"'The Zombies'​​ by Hector Hyppolite,  which hangs in the Museum of Haitian Art of St. Peter College in Port-au-Prince"

Indoor Ghost Signs on Kniazia Romana Street

I found a few Polish-language ghost signs in the corridor of a residential building in Lviv's center. I haven't been able to decipher them, but during the interwar period this building housed a oil industry union, an union of petroleum products, an advertising agency, an antiquarian shop, and a sheet music shop - so possibly the signs are leftover from one or more of these establishments.

French-Language Ghost Sign in Lviv Theater

Inside of Les Kurbas Theater in Lviv is a ghost sign in French. The building was built in 1909 and originally functioned as a variety theater. The sign dates from the first era (1909-1918), or possibly from the interwar period since I see "Polonia" written there (though seems that during the interwar period only a cinema functioned).

Interior Conscription Number in Lviv

It seems these days there is quite a lot of renovation work being done in Lviv's building. On the one hand, this can pose a risk to remnants of the past, which in the process may be lost, painted over, or removed — but on the other hand, this can mean remnants are better preserved or even uncovered.

During recent renovation work in the entrance way of a building in Lviv's center old murals from the end of the nineteenth century were found under a layer paint. In the photos that were published there is also an old conscription number (however, not sure of it was uncovered during the work or whether it had always been visible). But in any case, this is the first example of an interior conscription number that I've seen in Lviv. I saw many such examples in Vienna, and one example in Przemysl.

Conscription number 1031, from District I (Halytska)

Ghost Sign on Former Bookstore

A ghost sign on a former bookstore called Nowości, which existed in the interwar period. Today the space houses a small store selling art and office supplies, among other things.

"Prenumerata czasopism ... zagranicznych" (Magazine subscription ... foreign)
Here's a listing of the bookstore in a directory from 1939:

Boykos: Ukrainian Carpathian Highlanders

A Ukrainian ethnic subgroup, which makes up the third group of Carpathian highlanders in addition to the Hutsuls and Lemkos, is the Boykos. My grandfather was born in the Boyko region of the Carpathians, though his parents were from the Sambir and Lviv regions. Like the Hutsuls and Lemkos, the Boykos have a distinct culture, largely stemmed from their isolation in the mountains and highlander ways. But like all the different Ukrainian cultures, dialects, and traditions, the Boyko culture is slowly disappearing.

Here's a good article about the Boykos in English.

'The Last Hutsul Musical Magician'

I bought my tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) from the Tafiychuks – a family of musicians and instrument makers that lives in the Carpathian Mountains. Mykhailo Tafiychuk, or "the Last Hutsul Musical Magician" as Cobblestone Freeway dubbed him in this article, makes many different ancient instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, tsymbaly, and duda (Ukrainian bagpipe).

Very few master craftsmen of traditional Ukrainian instruments remain. Fortunately, Mykhailo's son has also learned to make instrument, and in fact he made my tsymbaly.

Meat Processing Plant in Lviv

At the beginning of the 20th century this building (along with an almost identical one nearby) used to house a meat processing plant.

Italian Fire Mark in Mukachevo

Riunione Adratica was an Italian insurance company specializing in fire insurance and cargo-transport insurance. The company was founded in 1838 in Trieste, which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

"Almost immediately branch agencies or representative offices were opened in Athens; Budapest; Graz, Austria; Leghorn, Lugano, and Milan, Italy; Berlin; Kotor, Yugoslavia; Lvov, Russia; and Prague. In 1840, operations were expanded to include reinsurance, and in 1846, livestock coverage. By 1844, further agencies had been opened in Cologne; Gdansk, Poland; Florence; Hamburg; Nuremberg; Szczecin, Poland; and Warsaw." More about the company can be found here.
Since Mukachevo came under Austrian control as part of the Kingdom of Hungary in the mid-eighteenth century, it explains why an Italian insurance company used to insure this building. The fire mark itself must date from sometime between 1838 and 1918.

Ghost Sign in Gothenburg

An old hand-painted sign

Gothenburg's Sandwich Shop Fresh butter Fresh eggs