Lendy’s Electric, on Grand Street in Manhattan, is one of those holdouts from an earlier time when small scale manufacturers and their accompanying tradesmen (tradeswomen?) dominated the downtown landscape. I always enjoy my visits there: so many unfamiliar things to look at, and I always learn something new. Even if that means appropriating some strange slang for a particular electric receptacle or seeing these schematics for plugs and whatnot. These Select-A-Spring photos are from a visit a couple of years ago.
Years ago, 1997 to be precise, my husband and I rented a tiny cottage for 2 weeks in Canada, on Campobello Island. The island is best known for playing host to the Roosevelts. Specifically Franklin and Eleanor. On the eastern shore of the island, there is a picturesque little beach called Herring Cove. It was here that, in 1921, after swimming in the icy sea, FDR was (erroneously) thought to have contracted the polio virus. Cold water and presidents aside, what Herring Cove should really be known for, is its rocks. The fine specimens pictured above were all collected at the beach. Something about the tides and the geographic location of the inlet tumbles the rocks to a softness that seems nearly impossible.
Working with some updated plugins and code, and want to see if the images come through on the newsletter. Lovely photo of the Roosevelt Island tram courtesy of Bobby Ghosh of @ghoshworld.
Some folks save postcards. Many keep a diary. And yet others save hotel soap. Found at Tin Can Trading Post, one of my favorite thrift/antique shops in Callicoon. The proprietor, Sal Siggia, kindly let me borrow these. I find it so charming that whoever saved these, decided to write on the back of several of the soaps so that they would remember where they were from.
For a lot of people across the country, Walmart is pretty much the only gig in town. And, if you’re in a rural area and happen to need kraft paper and packing tape at 7:30 in the morning, it’s almost certainly the case. I try to avoid shopping there, but sometimes it seems unavoidable. This is how I ended up at the local Superstore last week. Since it was so early, I was almost entirely alone. After I found what I was looking for (if you’ve been to a Walmart, you know this is an aberration) I decided to wander around and look at what’s on offer. I don’t like what these stores have done to the retail and manufacturing world, not to mention the consumer habits they have perpetuated. But instead of just bitching about them and their practices, I thought I should see for myself. I wandered into the sporting goods area. After getting over my recurring surprise at the guns and ammunition on display (at least they no longer sell handguns in the lower 48), I found my way into the fishing aisle. Since I know virtually nothing about fishing lures or bait, it all looked good to me. With all the hundreds of different shapes, patterns and colors, I had a fleeting moment of appreciation. They’re nice, aren’t they?
When I was young (3-6 yrs. old) and living in the suburbs of Philadelphia, there was an abandoned house next door to ours. Actually, I think it was a garage with an apartment upstairs. But because I was little, it seemed huge. And scary. In part because Mrs. O’Brien, an ogre of a woman who lived in the main house, was meaner than mean. I believe she once hit my father with a rolled up newspaper, or an umbrella, because she was angry about our barking dog. She may have had a point. Anyway, my parents, heeding the laws and perhaps some hidden dangers, forbid us to go inside. But try squelching the curiosity of two small children eager to defy the rules. When we did finally sneak our way in, we found boxes and letters and lots of broken glass (the danger part!) scattered among three-legged chairs and the mustiest air imaginable. Sorry, I digress. I just found a few photos from a little jaunt my husband and I made over to Governors Island a year or so ago. The city decided to open up some of the buildings — the fancy officers houses and the red brick dormitories — to the public. It was truly amazing. Peeling paint, everything fallen into decrepitude, and many many closed doors. It brought back that crazy childhood impulse to trespass in a big way. The photographs don’t even begin to do it justice. So, this summer, if you have a chance, hop on one of the ferries, take the seven minute ride, and go! Read about the history of the island here.
I was tagging along on this particular trip to Home Depot. Something about my spouse wanting peat moss for the potato trench. All words I never thought I would string together in a single sentence. The gardening and landscaping section is at the far end of the store so there is little incentive to wander if one wants to get in and out in a clean sweep. And we both get a little cranky on these outings. Something about the big box retailer thing. All was not lost though. I found momentary happiness in and among the stacks of wheelbarrows, paving stones and watering cans!