Saturday, February 23, 2013
But an inquiry does lead me to what I was looking for a few blocks away on Pine Street, a place called the Retro Eatery established just a year ago by two sisters. With good funding they created a pleasant space in retro style black and white and red with a menu offering the expected mac 'n cheese local fare but stretching into salmon florentine salad. I order eggs benedict, drink coffee, and observe a table of ten men enjoying each others company over a late breakfast. I hear one say, "I won't be here next Friday, I'll be driving" , and wonder if this gathering is a regular thing.
Notes: I met a "newfie" walking her man to the post office and a 350 year old "heritage oak" standing in a graveyard where 13 civil war veterans are buried.
A few more images. Click to enlarge.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Westtown School, founded in 1799, is a Quaker coeducational boarding school located 25 miles west of Philadelphia. Westtown plates, made by the Josiah Wedgewood and Sons Pottery Co. of England, were sold by Westtown School's Alumni Association beginning in 1935. The plates were designed by George G. Whitney, Westtown's Director of Fine Arts from 1920 - 1956. The first editions were available in four colors(rose, green, mulberry, and blue) in twelve scenes of the school campus. The 7th edition in 1956 was only offered in blue and the 1976 8th edition reduced the number of scenes to six. The 10th and last edition was made in 1990.
This set of twelve plates is from the 7th edition. I have never seen the green or mulberry colored plates but am told they are on display in the Westtown School dining room.
A side note: the Wedgewood company story is coming to a sad ending. Founded in 1759 and family owned for much of its lifespan, it struggled, merged with Waterford Crystal in 1987, and then was bought by an American firm, KPS Capital in 2009. It has now filed for bankruptcy. In a worst case scenario it is possible that the Wedgewood Museum artifacts, considered by many to be a very significant historical collection, will be sold to cover the firm's £134m pension debt.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
The closet is full. In this country the closet as we know it, a small room with a door, was very uncommon prior to WWII. People stored their clothing in trunks, or chests, or hung on wall pegs. But now the closet is full of outfits for each season, each day of the week, each activity we do. It's filled with the covers and cloths and towels and blankets and pillows. Some of it will have to go to the basement.
|Old Fort, Pa|
The garage is full and the cars are outside. It's filled with the lawnmower tractor, and the walk behind kind, the weedwacker, snowblower, edger, and tiller. The clippers and cutters and spreaders and movers. The ladders and two dozen cans of old paint for the house. The tent, the coolers, the kayak and croquet and badminton sets. The tricycles bicycles from kids through the years. There was every intention to clean it all up, but it just didn't happen, there just wasn't time. So I guess what is needed is a little more space…..
Some time ago I became aware of the proliferation of these storage businesses and realized they were a phenomenon of my lifetime. Sure enough the first enterprise in the US began in 1958. These businesses grew steadily through the 90's but took off in the millennium. From 2000 to 2005, over 3,000 new facilities were built every year. At year-end 2009, there were a total of some 58,000 self storage facilities, owned by 30,235 companies. Not surprisingly, when it comes to stuff, the US rules the planet. One report states in 2006 there were 1.6 billion rentable square feet in the US compared to #2 Australia with a paltry 22 million.*
|Port Matilda, Pa|
One in ten households in the US uses a self storage unit. There is 7.3 sq.ft. of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation; thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand – all at the same time – under the total canopy of self storage roofing.(That's so beautiful.)
|Potters Mills, Pa|
I try not to be judgmental about this but it's hard. What is it with our culture that we need this? Why do we have so much stuff? Something seems askew. One reason given for the industry's meteoric growth was its filling the needed niche for a mobile society. Temporary storage for those in transition. The average American will change residences 11 times in his life. The average rental period is 15 months. Here is a good article on the subject:
Self Storage Nation by Tom Vanderbilt
|Warriors Mark, Pa|
The photographs here are of storage units in rural settings. It further complicates the story for me that these are in places where people are just getting by. And in some instances they are in the "middle of nowhere". Space for rent in a spacious place.
Click images for enlarged view.
*Self Storage - Wikipedia