Vanity Fair's Jim Wolcott directs our attention today to a dispatch from Los Angeles-based photographer Donald Barnat: "Disappointment at Dealey Plaza," posted yesterday. Long story short: Barnat was in town during the Super Bowl and, like most visitors to our city, found himself at the corner of Houston and Elm to see where President Kennedy was shot to death in November 1963 -- a spot, Barnat writes, that has become "a vortex of negative energy" for a number of reasons, chief among them ...
It comes from the fact that the place is in such a miserable state of disrepair that it amounts to a disgrace for the city of Dallas, the state of Texas, and the United States of America. ... Paint is chipping badly. Rust stains are everywhere. The grass is trodden over, smashed down to dirt and mud under the feet of visitors. Graffiti covers key components of this historical site including the picket fence behind the Grassy Knoll where some say a second shooter may have fired shots at the president's motorcade.
But there's one thing even worse than the disrepair at Dealey Plaza and it is an insult to history and everyone who visits the place as well as to the memory of the slain president and of the events that happened there.
That's but the warm-up. No mention of the gift shop and cafe, surprisingly.