Sauerkraut: It’s Thanksgiving in Maryland

Don’t knock it: sauerkraut is great on the Thanksgiving table. And it’s a tradition that falls almost exclusively within Maryland’s borders. When I moved away for my first job in Boston, I was surprised that Thanksgiving sauerkraut horrified my colleagues … Continue reading

Crossing Wright’s Ferry on the Susquehanna, 1787

If this post already sounds familiar, see my post on the 1811-13 watercolor by Secretary to the Russian Consul-General Pavel Petrovich Svinin (MMA 42.95.37) of crossing Wright’s Ferry, near Columbia, Pennsylvania. While at Winterthur this summer for a research fellowship, I … Continue reading

Photo: Hunting Dog Redux, c. 1923.

My Harford County, Maryland family could never be described as prominent. They are not historical figures. Certainly, the family names are ones the people know, interwoven through local people’s memories (read about how interwoven my family is here). They, like so … Continue reading

George Frideric Handel and The London Foundling Hospital

The Messiah, written by George Frideric Handel in 1741 and first performed in Dublin before its launch in London, was originally meant for Easter. Many of us have attended the oratorio’s performance at Yuletide, a practice that gained popularity in … Continue reading

A Philadelphia Servant, 1787

  A pie lays broken in the street, a distraught servant teased by the chimney sweeps who caused her to drop it. She’s likely on her way back from the bakery to which her mistress sent the pie to be … Continue reading

Photo: Huntin’ Dog, c. 1920

I don’t hunt, and what little I do know of hunting is bound into my Susquehanna River DNA. I figure the man reposing by the tree with his trusty companion has been hunting ducks or geese or other small game, like … Continue reading

Bye Bye Schrafft’s: Losing More Unique Buildings on the UES

A “Rat Poison” sign appeared on the front door of 155 East 79th street. Generally, that’s the sign that indicates death is close at hand. Obviously the rats are going to kick it. But it’s the building that is coming … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Taking The Back Way – Old Roads from Point A to Point B

There were two ways to get to Mom Mom and Pop Pop’s house in Havre de Grace. You could either take the interstates skirting Baltimore, which, until the late 1980s, had not all been built and required cutting through Reisterstown’s … Continue reading

Set Your Shift Sleeves in the Wrong Way? A Runaway Advertisement

Ever get that lovely hand-stitched shift near completion, and then realize: “Crap. I put the shift sleeves in the wrong way.” Out comes the seam ripper and it feels like your best-looking stitches ever are screaming as the blade slices … Continue reading