The Gardening Itch

At this point during the winter, I start to get the itch for digging in the dirt. Alas, it’s a rather pointless itch as I must confine my green thumb activities to a few boxes hanging from the windows of … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Grand By Design Exhibition at Grand Central

After a boozy brunch with Dr. V’s cousins, we wandered up the sunny side of the street to Grand Central Terminal, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The former waiting room space is used for exhibitions and events, and currently … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Grand Central Terminal!

For as much as I grumble about Penn Station, today’s message is one of celebration – for Grand Central Terminal, which turns 100 today. A survivor of urban renewal and a witness to the withering of rail and the birth … Continue reading

On the Subject of Duck…

Duck is tasty. It was popular fare in New York’s turn-of-the-century restaurants. Havre de Grace, located just a few hours from New York on the Pennsylvania Railroad, was a ready source of the fowl for New York City. Boats known … Continue reading

Vernacular: Puddle Ducks

I love the word vernacular. You can stuff all that’s particular to a specific region into the term. Can’t explain it any other way? It must be vernacular. Puddle duck is the term my grandfather used to describe mallard ducks. … Continue reading

Turnips Anyone? How about Turnip Wine?

My first thought when intercepting this recipe from The British Housewife by Martha Bradley (1756) was “who would think to ferment turnips?” Followed by, if turnips, then why not some other vegetable? Fermentation in turnip wine is aided through the added sugar. … Continue reading

Should We Feel Sorry for Twinkies?

Twinkies. I’ve had a few. I’ve had more pink Snowballs and Suzy-Q’s than Twinkies. I was mildly horrified and fascinated to watch Anthony Bourdain eat embalmed fructose syrup used to make Twinkie filling out of the pipes of Zubal Books, … Continue reading

Caraway.

Caraway. It’s lyrical. It’s herbal, savory, and astringent.My French friends confuse it for a cumin seed.  It evokes strong feelings of admiration or disgust, depending on whose palate is assessing it. And it’s one of my favorite flavorings. When I … Continue reading

Cleveland’s West Side Market

My brother Mr. F is Cleveland’s Man about Town. During my May visit, he toured me around a number of sites and neighborhoods, including Shaker Square, downtown, Detroit Seaway, and Cleveland’s West Side Market. I knew zip about Cleveland, beyond … Continue reading

Java Up: The Coffee House: A Cultural History

Grab your mug, get some joe, and crack open The Coffee House: A Cultural History by Markman Ellis (Wenfield and Nicolson, 2004). I was aware of the role the coffee house played in discourse and the exchange of news. In … Continue reading