Saturday, August 29, 2015

Midtown Renaissance: It depends on what you mean by "painted lady."

I suspect the use of "painted ladies" is intended to imbue these rare instances of New Albanian urban infill with architectural respectability.

"Painted ladies" is a term in American architecture used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. The term was first used for San Francisco Victorian houses by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies - San Francisco's Resplendent Victorians.

But while it's probably no longer politically correct, I prefer Elton John's word association.

"Painted lady" is a euphemism for a prostitute, but Elton's voice is in fine form in this 1976 recording.

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