OTHER COOL THINGS is the blog page where I go off topic. In other words, this is a page where I ramble about a wide variety of subjects which have nothing to do with the Cross House restoration or Emporia.
OTHER COOL THINGS is where I might suggest a great new restaurant. Or a movie I enjoyed, or book. Or a favored blog.
OTHER COOL THINGS may — fasten your seat belt — open discussions about dangerous subjects such politics or religion.
OTHER COOL THINGS will, in short, be a page where I ramble about anything which captures my special attention. Like, perhaps, a nice moment I had with my favorite cat Gilda.
I love comments, so please do not hesitate to toss your two cents in, even if you disagree with me.
My blog posts are below. Enjoy!
A blog which I tremendously enjoy is Big Old Houses, which is owned by John. John is a world-class nut. And I mean that in a good way. John has had a life-long passion for really big old houses. So big that they make the Cross House look like a child’s toy house. BIG is what…Continue Reading
There are a lot of insane people out there restoring great old houses. God love each and every one. But perhaps the restoration which stuns me the most is one undertaken by Dr. David Johnston. You see, Johnston decided to restore a castle. Yes, a castle. A castle which was abandoned fifty years ago and…Continue Reading
I am writing a book titled Many Meows, about my life with a lot of felines over the decades. What follows is an excerpt. CAVEAT: It is a bittersweet story. The intruder came to my attention while I was washing the dishes. One early morning while scrubbing some blackened pot I heard a faint…Continue Reading
Waaaaaay back when I was a young pup, in my early twenties, I first discovered the Armour-Stiner House, in Irvington, New York. The house is a famous octagon-shaped structure, and was built in 1860. By the 1970s the house was a wreck, and the huge domed roof was literally crushing the house, and would have…Continue Reading
For most of us, having a room JUST for laundry would be a luxury. And, if we had such a room, it would be efficient, simple, and utilitarian. Right? I mean, isn’t this what laundry rooms are supposed to look like? But some people think outside the box. Gotta love such people.Continue Reading
I was not around during the tumultuous national debate about ending slavery. I was not around during the tumultuous national debate about giving women the right to vote. I was not around during the tumultuous national debate when Harry Truman (give ’em hell, Harry!) ended segregation in the military. I was around during the tumultuous national…Continue Reading
Waaaaaaay back in the 1980s (it is really scary that the 1980s now seem like a historical time period. Sigh) I used to travel a lot. I thought nothing about leaving New York City (where I lived at the time) and jumping on a plane to…somewhere. Vienna? Check! Paris? Check! San Francisco? Check! London? Check!…Continue Reading
For many years I lived in New York City and, as a lover of architecture, walking around the city was a constant thrill. So much to see and admire! I moved to New York in the fall of 1978, when I was just a twenty-one-year-old pup. The city was a wreck, a dump, and looked…Continue Reading
Wow. In Brooklyn, New York, is the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank, built in 1875. For decades this majestic pile was grimy and overlooked. In 2014 it reopened, as an events space, after a extraordinary restoration. The building now sparkles inside and out and it has been burnished to perfection. There is a gallery of…Continue Reading
In the late 1980s and 1990s I lived in Newport, Rhode Island. Providence is the state capital, and a wonderful city. Of course, its urban fabric was damaged after WWII, like when two highways were rammed through the city. Sigh. Providence is an old city, and during the Colonial-era one of its elite neighborhoods was…Continue Reading
In the late 1980s I became aware of Barlaston Hall, Staffordshire, England, and attributed to Sir Robert Taylor. A group called SAVE was fighting desperately to stop the house from being demolished. This was not an easy fight as most people thought the house was more ruin than habitable structure. Considering the condition of the…Continue Reading
Nice house, right? Fabulous house, right? Amazing house, right? Yet this historic structure may soon be “updated” by a young couple who want to flip houses for a profit. The couple has no restoration experience and no restoration sensibility. Nor do they apparently even have experience rehabbing old houses. My heart just feels sick….Continue Reading
This just takes my breath away. Click the image to enlarge. Just make sure you have a tissue handy, as you will drool. The room is in a townhouse in Brooklyn, NY. And the whole house is TO DIE FOR. The house is currently for sale. And it can be yours for… …$14 million….Continue Reading
Harlem, New York, was build up during the 19th-century, and its population was almost exclusively white. In the early 20th-century, Harlem became mixed races, then almost exclusively black. Harlem drastically declined in the late 20th-century, and became synonymous with decay and violence. As the resurrection in New York continues to reach extraordinary new heights, Harlem,…Continue Reading
I buy vintage magazines about architecture and decoration. It is fascinating having a window into the past. While today we look at, say, a 1924 issue of House & Garden and think: I love all these antique appliances/curtains/furnishings, in 1924 all this stuff was new! I try and imagine: It it 1924 I am sitting…Continue Reading
Kelly, who is the originator (and Goddess) of my favorite blog, Old House Dreams, alerted me to another blog. “I think you will enjoy it,” she wrote. The simple name of the blog, The Danville Experience, in no way prepares one for the astounding, extraordinary, awe-inspiring, breathtaking work undertaken by a young couple. The blog,…Continue Reading
History fascinates me. It always has. In studying the history of America, one dynamic is obvious: America has been struggling since its creation to manifest the intentions of its founding fathers. In the Constitution, it is famously written: “…all men are created equal.” These are fine, noble words. Yet, in reality these words…Continue Reading
Matt is a young man (thirty-two) who has spent years meticulously restoring a wonderful house which had been brutalized for decades. I found his blog about a year ago (not surprisingly, I love reading old house blogs!), and had to read every post from the beginning. With each post, my admiration for Matt grew. It…Continue Reading