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Luxe life / Animal drawings at the Fairmont

Last Fri­day night was just anoth­er night in the pent­house of the Fair­mont Hotel for Mara and I. We relaxed in seal-skin robes, shuf­fled around in baby polar bear ear fur slip­pers, snort­ed the finest pow­dered snow leop­ard pan­creas, fed Kobe beef to the pigeons who deliv­ered the New York Times piece­meal in tiny scrolls tied to their feet, and gen­er­al­ly killed time. (While enjoy­ing the Coop­er hol­i­day par­ty). When we emerged from a bliss­ful rever­ie, we noticed that the walls were cov­ered with an unusu­al world map.

Flickr photoIt was paint­ed in 1927, by a guy named Robert Board­man Howard. A lit­tle pok­ing around on the Inter­net reveals that his work is scat­tered across North­ern Cal­i­for­nia — sketch­es at the Merced post office, a design for the phoenix on Coit Tow­er, a relief in front of the Liv­er­more post office.

Flickr photoThe Smith­son­ian did an inter­view with him in 1964, where he talks about anoth­er good Nor­Cal project. "Then there was a small the­atre up at Guerneville that I dec­o­rat­ed. They gave me a free hand. I paint­ed all the natives of Guerneville, their por­traits, includ­ing the vil­lage dog. That was quite inter­est­ing. Good expe­ri­ence." Amen, brother.