Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Memorial for Beth

Elizabeth Koch Eisenhauer

Beth's friends in Fort Collins announce a memorial for her in March:

A memorial service will be held in Fort Collins, Colorado on Saturday March 24, 2012. It is timed to coincide with her birthday as well as the first day of spring. There will be kite flying at City Park, Fort Collins, Colorado from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. weather permitting. A memorial gathering will be from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Avogadro's Number, middle room. All are welcome.

Read more about Beth at this post:
See Facebook under FOR BETH

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blog Posts on Hold

This is the 111th post over the past 2 years.

 I've posted all the great pictures,

 told all the family stories I can remember

 And figured out where those grownups came from.

The blog will remain up there, so flip through the old posts.

 And if you have any photos or stories send them to me and I'll post them on an irregular basis.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Stoop

271 Clermont where the Valentines lived in the early 1920s.

Stoop was a word with a negative connotation when I was a child. It was s-oo-o-o New York, so inner city.

I liked to sit on the front steps of our brand new ranch house in Kansas. I was often told it didn't look good to sit on the stoop. I should sit on the patio at the back of the house. There was, however, nothing happening at the back of the house (actually, there was very little happening at the front of the house either.)

Lower Manhattan when it was a Dutch colony.

I recently read a great book about the Dutch colonies in New York (The Island at the Center of the World by Russel Shorto) and gained an appreciation for Dutch words and concepts, among them cookie, boss and stoop, which comes from stoep, Dutch for steps.

Pictures of Brooklyn then and now reveal the importance of the stoop.

Adelphi St. in the early 20th century.

Late 19th-century stoop

Breuckelen today

Stoop Sale

I found this on the internet (so it HAS to be true)

"Stoops in New York were a fundamental social marker. Because the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 left no room for back alleys, houses typically had no rear entrances. This meant that both the people who lived in the house and the servants would have to enter from the front. To solve the dilemma of how to get both groups into the house without having them use the same door, New Yorkers settled on the steep front staircase, called a stoop (after the Dutch "stoep," or porch, that graced the front of most New Amsterdam houses). The door at the top of the stoop became the formal entrance to the house; a small door under the stoop was used by tradesmen and servants. -Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City by Michelle Nevius, James Nevius"

206 Adelphi where Wm. & Cecelia Valentine lived in 1912.
Two entrances.

My literary friend Carol mentioned that the social realism of playwrights like Clifford Odets created a lower-class link.

The set from the 1931 film Street Scene

Elmer Rice's Street Scene in 1929 won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in a play set on a New York stoop.

Just as the family was getting out of Brooklyn, the stoop became a symbol of the place one was from and the place one did not want to talk about.

The set for Carrie Bradshaw's stoop in Sex and the City
Gentrification has restored the stoop.
As has newer thinking about urban neighborhoods. From the Wikipedia

In her pivotal book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs includes the stoop as part of her model of the self-regulating urban street. By providing a constant human presence watching the street, institutions such as stoops prevent street crime, without intervention from authority figures. In addition, they motivate better street maintenance and beautification, by giving it social as well as utilitarian value.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Finnegan's Rephotography

Finnegan's in Huntington, September, 1942

August, 2011
My sister humoring me.
Sixty-nine years later: 
Apparently you can occasionally go home again.

Finnegan's Taproom, esablished in 1912, has not changed much.

I spent my formative years staring at the bottle display while eating hard-boiled eggs and peanut butter sandwiches. It's a homey view.

They have many old photos around.

I thought I should mail them the one at the top.

Maybe they'll frame it and add it to the collection.

They have a mural on the side with paintings of the regulars in the 1970s.

See more about Finnegan's Tap Room and the photo at the top by clicking here on these older posts:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

China Hand Off

You may remember Grandma Valentine's dishes.
They've been in Kansas since 1959.

I thought maybe my niece (Jane's stepdaughter) might like them but she really doesn't care for antiques.
So it was time to hand them off to someone with more nieces.


How to get them 1800 miles to New York City?
I didn't want to ship them.

I'd always hoped I would drive across the country but that is unlikely to happen.

I thought about taking them as luggage on an airplane but that could be disastrous

Then our friend Stanley (who leads a bi-coastal life) was driving from Los Angeles to Manhattan a few months ago---our hero.

Jane and Stanley delivering
He drove the box to New York, stored the china in his bedroom for a few months and then drove us to Moe's.

Mission Accomplished
Dishes back in New York City
Where they belong

Moe says she'll make room and use them happily.

See more about the china at a post a few months ago:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jones Beach

Ben and Barbara
Jones Beach July, 1946

Same day--my first birthday
Barbara, ? , Peggy and Cele
The umbrellas are different now

No stripes

Old Postcard

But big family groups still sit under them.
Here Jane is determined to put her foot in the Atlantic Ocean
(She's the woman with backpack on right).

Old Postcard
One bathhouse has been restored

This is the view I remember.

Still the same stuff in the sand.

And I remember the fences

The Bentleys 1978
Same fence today 2011

Same sand in the shoes

See more beach pictures by clicking here: