What I’m Reading: Cherry Blossom Edition

  • Have you ever dreamed of making edible mini-furniture?  Well, your dreams are about to come true.  Featured at the Milan Furniture Fair is this amazing waffle-iron by Ryosuke Fukusada and Rui Pereira that makes dollhouse sized furniture in waffle form.  

Photos by 2DM

  • You can now view wonderful and amazing photos of NYC as early as the mid-1800’s for free through New York City Municipal Archives’ newly digitized collection. Although the link to view the nearly 1 million photos, maps, motion pictures, and audio recordings still isn’t working, the public will have open access to the records as soon as it comes online.  Here are a couple that Gothamist managed to download:
In this circa 1890 photo, a pair of girls walk east along 42nd Street in New York. Acker, Merrall and Condit wine shop delivery wagons are on the right and the C.C. Shayne Furrier sign can be seen on the roof overhead. (AP Photo/New York City Municipal Archives, DeGregario Collection (New York Camera Club) via Gothamist)
This circa 1983-1988 photo shows 172 Norfolk Street, which is now the Angel Orensanz Foundation, in New York. Over 800,000 color photographs were taken with 35-mm cameras for tax purposes. Every New York City building in the mid-1980s can be viewed in this collection. (AP Photo/New York City Municipal Archives via Gothamist)
  • The DCist has a nice article about the alleys of SW that existed before the ridiculous 1950’s destruction of the neighborhood.  It focuses on photographs taken by social worker/photographer Godfrey Frankel who memorialized the “alley life” of 1943, was discovered by a Post reporter in the 1990’s, and published a book of his photos before he died.  For a more in depth article on this fascinating subject, check out Alley Connoisseur.
Photo by Godfrey Frankel courtesy of Alley Connoisseur via DCist
  • Preservation nerd?  Want to live in NYC for free?  Don’t care about getting a salary? Become a caretaker for a city-owned historic home.  As described by the NYT:  “The little-known program under the auspices of the Historic House Trust, administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with private organizations that care for the properties, was established to ensure that someone was around to protect these buildings from vandalism, fire and frost. Even though the applications are available online and anyone can apply, many of the positions go to those with connections to the world of historical preservation. Still, there is remarkably little competition for the slots and no requirement to reapply, so those who are handed the keys to these mansions often keep them for decades. The city even pays the utilities.”
Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx. Photo by the New York Times.
  • Benjamin Franklin was a lot of things: statesman, scientist, inventor, diplomat, Francophile…and apparently a pretty good bartender.  While doing research for the fascinating restaurant America’s Eats (history + food = wonderful), head bartender Ben Wiley discovered a 1763 letter from Ben to James Bowdoin II enclosing a recipe for Milk Punch.  Washingtonian Magazine published the recipe in its April 2012 issue, naming it a great Spring drink.

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