News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Flashback Monday: Pipes and Pearls


Courtesy of a promotional brochure about Reston from the early 1960s, please to be enjoying this idyllic series of artist renderings of what life in the New Town would look like. Here, a group of mothers watch as their kids frolic in a playground that appears to be made completely of discarded components from the statuary found on the paths near Lake Anne. Fun, and no pesky sharp edges to worry about!

00000136_15ver2-detail.jpgWe love the fashion choices selected for the mothers in this drawring. While the mother on the right appears to be wearing a sensible housedress (that thing tied around her waist may well be an apron), as though she was going to nonchalantly apply frosting to cupcakes while her daughter plays, her BFF in the snazzy blue cocktail dress waving to her appears to be ready to attend a post-playground soiree where Esquivel will be played on someone's "hi fi." If you squint, you can probably make out the pearls.

But where's dad, you might ask?


There he is, returning from a day of toil strapping bombs to dolphins at the office, as his daughter runs across the bridge to greet him. Meanwhile, a group of retirees wile away the afternoon playing tennis in the background, though you suspect three of them are muttering snide comments under their breath about the one who opted to wear red to the courts. Is there a secret Trotskyite in their midst?

00000136_13ver2-detail.jpgMeanwhile, Dad almost seems to be beckoning for his pipe and pre-dinner martini with one hand as he clutches his schematics of bomb-strapped dolphins briefcase with the other. As much as you might argue about all of the negative repercussions of the straightjacketed gender roles of the early 1960s, you gotta love that hat.


  1. Laugh if you must, but I think there's something quite beautiful about these sketches, especially in the details of how people relate to each other (the friend waving, the daughter running to meet her father). They're dated, but somehow timeless.

  2. Bob Simon's Metallic Alter EgoMay 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Man oh man, I forgot how much I loves me some Esquivel. Here's another one of his awesome compositions.

  3. This is the vision my in-laws bought into when they chose to live in this "new concept" town so many years ago. This was the vision most people wanted to live in, and in many ways, still do. The family structures have changed a bit, and Lawyers Road has gone from gravel to a road diet, but the gist of what is wholesome about this illustration is very appealing.

  4. These works were originally titled Life in the Gulag (watercolor).

  5. This looks like something right out of Mad Men. The dude on the left is Don Draper and the lady in the cocktail dress is Betty Draper.

  6. ...or it's a scene from Cutwater Court in a parallel universe where everyone likes the the appearance of their DRB-approved tear-down in-fills.


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