Communities Past: Former Commerce in Rock Run, Harford County, MD

Driving through the countryside anywhere in America, you may pass any number of signs proclaiming towns that no longer exist. My grandfather was in the car  sometime in the 1990s, when we were driving on Rock Run Road toward the … Continue reading

Book: The Look of Architecture by Witold Rybczynski

It’s a little bit untrue to title this small volume solely a book. It caught my eye while I was perusing the stacks last week at the New York Society Library. I love small books – they are a small … Continue reading

(Music Plays) Lydia, The Tattoed Lady – An eighteenth century woman’s tattoo

The New Yorker Photo Booth blog highlighted tattoed women and a book about them Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo by Margot Mifflin (1997). The photograph of Maud Wagner caught my eye, my first perception of a Gibson … Continue reading

A Late Tribute to The Silver Spoon

It’s been 7 years since The Silver Spoon, the Italian bible of cooking, was translated into English. I remember hearing a segment on the cookbook on NPR when it arrived on American shores. Somehow I missed opportunities to check it … Continue reading

Spaces that Feed the Writing Brain

I just finished Dwight Garner’s “A Critic’s Tour of Literary Manhattan” in The New York Times (December 14, 2012). I’m smitten. I like heady romps through the bars and bookshops where original things take place. I swoon for the places … Continue reading

A Lesson in Water Conservation – from Martians

The Leaky Faucet features two of the weirder Muppets, The Martians. Their octopus-like lower halves are topped with wide flexible mouths that express their astonishment with the trappings of Earth, and are big enough to hide behind when required. Enjoy … 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

New York at Night

It’s something about the light of shops shining out onto the sidewalks, people wrapped in coats, the tall buildings above transformed into shadows, dotted with light. When I conjure the city in which I live, it’s at night. Try listening … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Time to Get Geeky – The Amtrak History Website

Perhaps Amtrak is a little late for many rail fans, but the Amtrak history website led to me losing a few hours last night while I poked around the various features. Amtrak will never have the glamour of the Baltimore … 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 … Continue reading