The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Places'

The Salt Packets of Buenos Aires

March 25th, 2014 · 2 Comments

When I travel, my favorite souvenirs are the small, overlooked items, particularly those sporting liminal, anonymous graphics.  Here, for example, are some of the salt packets I collected on a trip to Buenos Aires last year.  I particularly like the first.  It’s Attic salt! (Posted by Doug Skinner)  

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Tags: Liminal Graphics · Places

New York City in Little Blue Books

October 26th, 2011 · 4 Comments

The “Little Blue Books” were published by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, of Girard, Kansas, from about 1919 to 1947.  They were small, cheaply made, and sold for a nickel or dime.  The covers were originally blue, but other colors were pressed into service if the card stock was cheaper.  By the time the company crumbled, they had […]

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Tags: Books · Places

Bohemian Archaeology

September 4th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Step inside. Some friends who, like me, frequent that bane of productivity, Facebook, alerted me to a piece recently published in the New York Times, about the short-lived Greenwich Village Bookshop and its very special door. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas has created a wonderful website for this relic, so that […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Books · Ephemera · Literature · Memories · Places

An Ullage Excursion to Bannerman Castle

September 3rd, 2010 · 4 Comments

On July 28th, members of the Ullage Group took a field trip to Bannerman Castle, organized by Dr. Mamie Caton.           For train passengers, a partial and too-brief view of Bannerman Castle can be had just south of Beacon, NY.  The castle is situated on a small island once called Pollepel […]

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Tags: Dead Media · Eccentrics · Mysteries · Places

Cacio e Pepe and Homo Sapiens

April 22nd, 2010 · 6 Comments

Cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) is the simplest of dishes: boil and drain pasta; mix in grated cheese, ground pepper, and a bit of the cooking water; and serve.  It’s a standard dish in Rome; traditionally, it’s made with pasta secca (usually spaghetti) and pecorino romano. It’s not the most nutritious supper (I suggest […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Dietary Mores · Places

Bobby Edwards on the “Epic”

March 30th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Bobby Edwards (seen here in a self-portrait from 1917) gave his own history of the “Greenwich Village Epic” in that quintessential Village journal, The Quill, in the November 1917 issue: “Down in dear old Greenwich Village,” or, as the Bard sings, “Way Down South in Greenwich Village,” originated in Polly’s about four years ago.  Lucy […]

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Literature · Music · Places · Ukulele

The Greenwich Village Epic

March 30th, 2010 · No Comments

“The Greenwich Village Epic,” aka “Way Down South in Greenwich Village,” or “Down in Dear Old Greenwich Village” is often quoted in books on the Village. It’s usually credited to a famous Village character of the ’20s, Bobby Edwards, “the Troubadour of Greenwich Village.”  (I’ve been assembling material on him, by the way; I hope to post it here […]

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Literature · Music · Places · Ukulele

Adventure on Barren Island

March 23rd, 2010 · 2 Comments

Ancient coral or ancient ladies’ swimming cap? On the first day of spring, which in New York City was particularly welcome and unseasonably warm, I took a long walk on the sands of Dead Horse Bay, a quiet inlet tucked away not far from Floyd Bennett Field (the City’s very first airport), now abandoned to […]

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Tags: Ancient History · Clubs and Associations · Diversions · Ephemera · Memories · Places · The Ineffable · Ukulele

The Panther at the Airport

November 17th, 2009 · 2 Comments

There are many reports of Alien Big Cats (ABC’s, as their devotees like to call them) in the fortean database.  This one, which I found in the French daily Libération (July 25, 1994), and passed along to the INFO Journal at the time, seems to have been overlooked.  I was unable to find a follow-up, […]

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Tags: Animals · Forteana · Mysteries · Places

Speaking Statues

September 29th, 2009 · No Comments

The speaking statue may be a uniquely Italian custom.  At any rate, I don’t know of any elsewhere. By a speaking statue, I don’t mean one that actually talks, but one that serves as a bulletin board for diatribes, slogans, and satirical verse.  An essential part of the tradition is that the statue becomes a […]

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Tags: Literature · Places · Politics