Archive for July, 2014

25
Jul
14

7.25.14 Feast of Saint James the Apostle in Spain

El Camino de Santiago, Feast of Saint James the Apostle: In anticipation of our walk!!

 

Many people in Spain celebrate the life and deeds of James, son of Zebedee, on Saint James’ Day (Santiago Apostol), which is on July 25. Saint James was one of Jesus’ first disciples. Some Christians believe that his remains are buried in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is situated in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

©iStockphoto.com/Javier García Blanco

What do people do?

Many events are organized on and before Saint James’ Day in the Basque Country and Galicia. These include:

Special church services to honor the life and work of Saint James.

Exhibitions of art work by artists born or living in or near Santiago de Compostela.

Theatre productions and street shows.

Concerts of modern and traditional music, including bagpipe performances.

Traditional dance events held outside.

Special services are held in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela on July 25. Church officials swing a large incense burner at full speed during this service. They fill the whole church with incense smoke.

Public life

Saint James’ Day is a public holiday in the autonomous communities of the Basque Country and Galicia on July 25. Public life is generally quiet. Many businesses and other organizations are closed. Many stores are closed but some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services generally run to a reduced schedule, although there may be no services in rural areas. Large events may cause some local disruption to traffic, particularly in Santiago de Compostela.

Regional or local authorities may move the public holiday to a different date, particularly if July 25 falls on a Sunday. If July 25 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses and organizations are also closed on Monday, July 24, or Friday, July 26. In the rest of Spain, July 25 is not a public holiday.

Background

St James, son of Zebedee, was an apostles and a brother of John the Apostle, according to Christian belief. He lived at the same time as Jesus. He may have traveled to the area that is now Santiago de Compostela.

St James was beheaded in Judea in the year 44 CE. Some Christians believe that his disciples carried his body by sea to Padrón on the Galician coast. They then buried his body under what is now the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

St James’ relics were discovered sometime between 791 CE and 842 CE. Santiago de Compostela then became a place of pilgrimage. Pope Leo XIII asserted that the relics of St James at Compostela were authentic in a papal bull. This papal bull was published on November 1, 1884.

Symbols

Common symbols of St James include a traveler’s hat and a scallop shell. The scallop shell is used to mark a network of pilgrimage routes. These routes lead to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela from many European countries, including:

Austria.

Belgium.

England.

France.

Germany.

Italy.

Luxembourg.

the Netherlands.

Portugal.

Switzerland.

Thousands of people walk, cycle or ride a horse along the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela each year. Many people hope to arrive just before Saint James’ Day.

via Feast of Saint James the Apostle in Spain.

20
Jul
14

7.20.14 … I always remember this day because a good friend shares it as her day. Has anything special happened on your day? …

45 Years Ago Landed Men on the Moon, In Focus – The Atlantic, kith/kin: 

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the Moon near the leg of the Lunar Module (LM) “Eagle” during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on July 20, 1969. Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility region of the Moon and astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) “Columbia” in lunar orbit. (NASA)

via 45 Years Ago We Landed Men on the Moon – In Focus – The Atlantic.

19
Jul
14

7.19.14 … “you are not a drop in the ocean … you are the entire ocean on a drop.” – Rumi

Rumi, quotes: I really like the quote.  So who is Rumi?

 

viaTwitter / NatureSacred: ‘You are not a drop in the ….

Molana.jpg

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى‎), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), Mevlana or Mawlānā (مولانا, meaning Our Master), Mevlevi or Mawlawī (مولوی, meaning My Master), and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian[1][8] poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.[9] Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. Iranians, Turks, Afghans, Tajiks, and other Central Asian Muslims as well as the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy in the past seven centuries.[10] His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. He has been described as the “most popular poet in America”[11] and the “best selling poet in the US”.[12][13]

Rumi’s works are written in Persian and his Mathnawi remains one of the purest literary glories of Persia,[14] and one of the crowning glories of the Persian language.[15] His original works are widely read today in their original language across the Persian-speaking world (Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and parts of Persian speaking Central Asia and the Caucasus)[16] Translations of his works are very popular, most notably in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the United States and South Asia.[17] His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Turkish, Punjabi, Urdu and some other Iranian, Turkic and Indic languages that have been influenced by Persian, e.g. Pashto, Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai and Sindhi.

via Rumi – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wikipedia edit twitterbot,  Russian State TV, MH17 crash page: interesting …

Over at GlobalVoices, Kevin Rothrock reports that an IP address at VGTRK, the state-run TV and radio network, edited the Russian-language Wikipedia page about aviation accidents to say that Malaysia Air Flight MH17 “was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers.”

The edit seems to have been in response to an earlier edit from an IP address in Kiev that described the plane as being shot down “by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation.”

via A Wikipedia edit twitterbot caught the Russian State TV editing the MH17 crash page..

 Elizabeth Warren, age:  The answer may surprise you..

Other voters guesstimated that Warren was around a decade younger than Clinton. She’s actually only 18 months younger, born in 1949, 12 years before the current president of the United States, and four years before the current dynastic hope of the GOP, Jeb Bush.

via This voter guessed how old Elizabeth Warren is. The answer may surprise you..

Bahamas: The view from the ISS:  Magnificient!!

The bright lights to the upper left outline Florida (the long glow is from Miami), and you can trace cities up the east coast of the US. Cuba dominates the lower left (cut off a bit by an ISS solar panel), but the teal and turquoise waters are what draw the eye. The islands right in the middle are the Bahamas, and the bright glow smack dab in the middle of the picture, is (I believe) Nassau — remind me not to go stargazing there! The lights must wash out the sky. But that’s probably not why people go to Nassau in the first place.

Speaking of the sky, note the green arc of light over the Earth’s limb. This is called airglow, and it due to the slow release of energy from sunlight the upper atmosphere stores during the day. It’s actually a fascinating physical process which I’ve described before. In that link I also talk about the brownish-yellow glow beneath it: That’s from glowing sodium in the air, and the source of that sodium may be meteors that have previously burned up in our atmosphere!

Amazing. There’s no such thing as just a pretty picture taken from space — there is always a lot more going on than you might think. And just like any artwork, knowing the story behind the beauty makes it that much more wonderful.

via Bahamas: The view from the ISS..

Social Media Tips for Travel, Travel + Leisure:

Increasing your digital know-how is the key to upgrading your next vacation. To help you reap the benefits, here are seven social media tips for trave

via Social Media Tips for Travel – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

America’s Most Hipster Cities – Epicenter of the American Hipster in 2013, Thrillist, Asheville NC, Boulder CO,  Louisville KY:  Some of my favorite places!!

9) Louisville, KY

Louisville’s all about bourbon, BBQ, and bands that play indie rock. Oh, and beer. It’s home to rockers My Morning Jacket and VHS or Beta (who, ironically, now live in Brooklyn), is the birthplace of Hunter S. Thompson, and actually has restaurants that don’t require staff uniforms (!!!) — so don’t even think about complimenting the waitress on her flair. The city’s best hotel, 21C, is a “boutique-cum-contemporary art museum”.

6) Boulder, CO

More Phish fanatic than Passion Pit aficionado, the local hipster in Boulder’s of the Birk-wearing, green-friendly, outdoor-enthusing variety. Who wants to go slacklining??? No? Wanna toss the disc, then? Come on, man.Every year on April 20th (4/20) at 4:20p, thousands gather on the CU Boulder campus to smoke a bunch of pot. Boulder is home to the famed Naropa Institute, where Allen Ginsberg himself was professor emeritus, spreading beatnik joy/ ennui. If there’s a fine line between hipster and hippie, it merges in Boulder.

4) Asheville, NC

If you’re not one of the Mumford & Sons-inspired buskers jamming on the street, you’re likely taking a long hike in the mountains to “find yourself” or sitting on your front porch in a handmade rocking chair you whittled while watching Girls on your iPad. You could also be drinking a delicious pint of local craft suds, as Asheville’s got a solid beer scene. Farm-to-table eateries are standard, outdoor riverfront bars are the rage, and everyone is apparently an artist.

via America’s Most Hipster Cities – Epicenter of the American Hipster in 2013 – Thrillist.

15 Product Trademarks, Victims Of Genericization, Consumerist: This has always interested me … Jello, Kleenex and in Atlanta, Coke.

Sometimes, we hurt the ones we love. Which is why even if we didn’t mean to be so harsh, many products we use every day have become the victims of trademark genericization, meaning they’ve morphed from a single product identified under a name to an entire product category. And when courts get involved it becomes “genericide,” which sounds even more murderous. Can’t you just imagine Law & Order: Genericized Trademarks? [dun dun]

While some of the 15 products below are truly victims of genericide, having had their trademarks canceled in a court, others simply failed to register as trademarks at all, or in some cases, weren’t renewed or were abandoned for other reasons. Which means now you can have your own escalator company or sell flooring and call it linoleum. Wouldn’t suggest setting up your own heroin company, however.

via 15 Product Trademarks That Have Become Victims Of Genericization – Consumerist.

Rooftop Film Club – Fargo, Handpicked Events, London:  What fun … maybe next year in Charlotte! 🙂

About your visit: As you enter the Queen of Hoxton rooftop you will see the box office is situated to your left where you can collect your tickets, headphones and blankets (if necessary). Please note that blankets are available on a first come, first served basis.

via Rooftop Film Club – Fargo – Handpicked Events.

17
Jul
14

7.17.14 … if only these walls could talk …

TBT 1927, family history, kith/kin, 1429 Ponce de Leon, Harman, The Paideia School, if only these walls could talk … : This house at 1429  Ponce de Leon in Atlanta houses the College Counseling Offices for Paideia School. I wonder if anyone at the school knows that someone was born in the house in 1927, that person being my dad. He was born in the Harman Home, the home of his grandparents (my great grandparents). — at The Paideia School.

 

via Paideia School: About Us » Our Campus.

Eleanor “Ellie” Frith, kith/kin, dance, ballet:  One of my favorite families.  A great story!

 

For the love of dance – Frith accepts offer from Houston Ballet II

A follow-up to a Charlotte Observer story

Ballet dancer, Eleanor “Ellie” Frith, is a graduating from the Performance Learning Center’s eLearning Academy. When her fellow classmates walk across the stage on June 11, Ellie will be preparing for her performance in the Houston Ballet Academy’s Swan Lake. Ellie was recently offered a position with Houston Ballet II on a year contract. Ellie was accepted into the Houston Ballet Academy’s year-round program when she was 15 years old. She studied as a virtual student during her junior and senior years of high school packing her schedule with studies, rehearsals, performances and learning the essentials of being independent. Ellie was also accepted to the University of Virginia but has deferred enrollment. See the link to the original story from the Charlotte Observer: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/06/4591971/dancers-life-takes-pivotal-turn.html#.U39bSFEUP9c (Contact: Stacy Sneed)

via Grad Stories.

 “On the road”: the ambitious exhibition commemorating the 800th anniversary of St Francis of Assisi’s pilgrimage to Santiago:

“On the road”, the ambitious exhibition commemorating the 800th anniversary of St Francis of Assisi’s pilgrimage to Santiago, will be on display in Santiago de Compostela, Spain until 30 November.

Comprising works by 35 contemporary artists, including Yves Klein, Tacita Dean, Christian Boltanski and Anthony McCall, the exhibition is taking place across three locations in the Galician capital: the church and cemetery of San Domingos de Bonaval, and the Pazo de Xelmírez, adjoining Santiago’s cathedral.

A variety of media — painting, sculpture, installation, video, and art intervention — feature in the exhibition which pays homage to the intercultural character and dynamism of the city, repositioning it as a meeting place for history, spirituality and the future.

Director of Tourism in Galicia, Nava Castro, has described the show as offering the “possibility to rethink” the pilgrimage’s anniversary and to create a cultural event of international relevance and importance.

via American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC).

It is unlikely, though, that anyone would come away from this huge display, ranging across a palace, a church and a park, without being affected by the enduring ideas St Francis has stamped on our collective consciousness. A new pope who has pointedly called himself Francis; inequality; material versus spiritual value; our troubled place in the natural world: all this is fresh and familiar, even if the actual figure of the friar is blurred in the vast temporal distance that separates us from 1214.

“It is no use walking to preach unless our walking is our preaching” is one of the saint’s aphorisms. Looking at Alÿs’s film loop, pondering why, in an otherwise bare room, a car hubcap is leaning against the wall, I was struck by how pilgrimage has always had a whiff of the postmodern about it. Chaucer knew that to travel talkatively was better than to arrive. Pilgrimage was a medieval road movie, whose goal, and centre, was always shifting.

Every afternoon pilgrims from all countries stream in to Santiago with their blisters and backpacks, continuing the decades-long camino boom triggered partly by Paulo Coelho’s 1987 new-age novel The Pilgrimage. David Lodge’s novel Therapy (1995), or the 2010 film The Way, starring Martin Sheen, also centre on the Santiago route as a balm for modern-day exhaustion and alienation.

On The Road, then, will not lack a global audience. The show is a chance to reposition the city as a fusion of history, spirituality and something more hip, and yet its sheer scale and grandiloquence are sometimes at odds with the thirst for simplicity and scaling back at the heart of this new pilgrimage. For all that Barbi’s final work signs off on a meditative note, it does not quite dispel an overall feeling that less might well be more.

via ‘On the Road’, Santiago de Compostela – FT.com.

Portillo’s, chicagotribune.com:  Best chopped salad ever …

Portillo’s Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef have whet the appetite of Boston-based buyers who are eager to introduce the local favorites to more diners nationwide.

The company confirmed Tuesday that Berkshire Partners is investing in Dick Portillo’s eponymous chain, two months after its 74-year-old founder announced he was considering financial alternatives for the restaurant.

“Portillo’s is my life’s work and I remain committed to ensuring the continued growth and success of the business,” Portillo said in a statement. “I was seeking an experienced partner that shared our vision for the company and an appreciation for our culture.”

via Portillo’s future in the hands of Boston buyout firm – chicagotribune.com.

 

13
Jul
14

7.13.14 … “Not a vacation, but a time out of time.”

In one month we will begin … at first just by car then for one week au pied … I’ve been collecting suggestions.  here goes …

Road to Santiago (Directions) by Kathryn Harrison: 

In the spring of 1999, Kathryn Harrison set out to walk the centuries-old pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. ”Not a vacation,” she calls it, ”but a time out of time.” With a heavy pack, no hotel reservations, and little Spanish, she wanted an experience that would be both physically and psychically demanding.

via The Road to Santiago – National Geographic Store.

Road to Santiago (Directions): Kathryn Harrison: 9780792237457: Amazon.com: Books.

Camino to Santiago de Compostela Information 2014:  So far this year …

Numbers are starting to increase and we have been a little concerned about waiting times but more staff have been engaged and a new office where organised groups are being received has been opened.

Here are the numbers for the year so far:

June 2014

33008 pilgrims registered at the Pilgrims’ Office during the month of June 2014.

This compares to 29364 pilgrims who arrived in June 2013.

This is an increase of 12.5%

The Year to Date

82734 pilgrims registered at the Pilgrims’ Office in the period 1 January to 30 June 2014

75530 pilgrims registered in the same period last year.

This is an overall increase of 9.5%

via Camino to Santiago de Compostela Information and stories about the pilgrimage routes to Santiago.: All the pilgrim numbers from Santiago for the first 6 months of 2014.

 Saint Francis of Assisi and the Camino:  

The information that I found suggested that St Francis made his Pilgrimage on the Northern Way although the precise route that he took seems to be unclear (as far as I can work out he was on his way to Morocco in 1213 sometime after May but illness made him stop in Spain which does fit in).

According to legend the Convento de San Francisco de Valdedios was founded by Saint Francis when he reached Santiago at Val de Dios – ‘Valley of God’ (and the land for it bought from the monks of San Marino for a symbolic annual rent of a basket of trout a tradition that continued until the late 18th century). Cotolay, a coal man who greeted Saint Frances with his family when he entered Santiago, was charged with building the Convento. Cotolay could do this because of the finding of some treasure (possibly he found this near a source of coal after a message from God – the translation of the Spanish document I’m reading is a little unclear or it could have been found near the hermitage of San Paio do Monte).

Another version of the story tells that whilst praying on a mountain Saint Francis was notified by God that his order should build convents starting in Santiago after which Saint Francis suffered a fever and was rendered blind. Cotolay then promised to build the convent on his behalf and convinced the abbot of Saint Martin’s Monastery to give them a piece of land the same size as the skin of a bull for a basket of fish which was agreed on but Cotolay cut the skin into narrow strips to mark out a large plot of land. Then he asked Master Mateo to give them a stack of stones and loggers, in a competition of might, took these to the land. After the Convent was built Saint Franis went to the building and his sight returned.

via On the Camino: Saint Francis of Assisi and the Camino.

Traveled Earth » Camino de Santiago by the Numbers – Our Budget and Stats.

Iron Cross: 

After visiting Burgos, Léon and Astorga by bus, we will hike to the highest point of the Camino in the spectacular Irago Mountains and leave a pebble at the foot of the Iron Cross – the enigmatic Cruz de Ferro.

via amaWalkers Camino – Home.

miracles: 

The incredulous Mayor, who was preparing to have dinner with friends, responded: “That boy is as alive as these two roast chickens we are about to eat,” and suddenly, the chickens came to life, sprouted feathers and beaks and began to crow, and so, to this day there is a saying about the town which goes: “Santo Domingo of the Way, where the roosters crow after being roasted”.

via Miracles and biography of St. Domingo García..

Paris, Buvette:

Love love love this restaurant. I can’t show you all the good stuff because I already ate it. Tarte tatin to die for! — at Buvette..

via Donna Morris.

11
Jul
14

7.11.14 … An Urban Stonehenge For The New World …

May 28 is the first date of this year. It’s already past. And July 11, which is upcoming, is the second occasion for it.

 

SIMON: What is Manhattanhenge?

FAHERTY: Manhattanhenge is a term that we’ve coined, in tribute to Stonehenge, to describe the days of the year where the sun lines up perfectly with the grid of Manhattan. So if you’re standing outside, looking west, on any of the cross streets, you would see the sun kiss the grid just as it goes below the horizon.

SIMON: Now is this an accident, or did somebody plan it that way?

FAHERTY: It’s sheerly an accident. The shape of Manhattan, which was formed by various geologic processes and various other things – that erosion that has happened in the city made this shape, so that the long part of the island is roughly north. So it’s not exactly north. And we’ve got 90-degree angles to the cross streets. And that was all set in place in 1811 when the Commissioners Plan decided this was the best way to structure the city.

SIMON: That’s amazing. (Laughing).

FAHERTY: Yeah. Pretty awesome.

SIMON: I mean, I’m trying to figure the odds of a coincidence like that. ‘Cause if you set out to do that nowadays, it would take a lot of work.

FAHERTY: The other special thing about Manhattan is that it is an island city. It’s a gridded city that’s also an island. So it is flanked on the eastern and western sides by the river. On the western side, it’s flanked by the Hudson River, and you’ve got a long view to sunset. And you’ve got New Jersey. I’m from New Jersey, so I can say, as a complement, it’s really nice that New Jersey does not have a large skyline. So it’s a pretty flat skyline. So because of that, you get a really beautiful view – a long view towards sunset. So you can actually see the sun when it’s setting.

SIMON: Now I’ve been told that Manhattanhenge – because the island’s 28.9 degrees east of true north, this event does not take place on the solstice, right?

FAHERTY: That’s right. So it happens roughly twice. May 28 is the first date of this year. It’s already past. And July 11, which is upcoming, is the second occasion for it.

via An Urban Stonehenge For The New World : NPR.

08
Jul
14

7.8.14 … canned soup …

Progresso “Artisan” Creamy Potato Soup with Sausage and Kale, canned soup, artisan: Progresso “Artisan” Creamy Potato Soup with Sausage and Kale was very good … But doesn’t soup hermetically sealed in box go against the definition of “artisan?” Obviously if you follow my conversations, you know of my discussion of the use/misuse of this word.

 Crumbs cupcake empire:

When news broke last night that the Crumbs cupcake empire crumbled, outlets were quick to declare (yet again) the end of the cupcake trend as we know it. While the shuttering of a major chain is certainly noteworthy, this isn’t actually the end of a era—we still have Magnolia, Sprinkles, and countless other sugar-laden chain bakeries. There are still Sex and City tour buses and bachelorette parties, not to mention people who just generally enjoy the taste of cupcakes (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Even Robicelli’s, a Brooklyn bakery that happens to bake quite excellent cupcakes, admits that cupcakes are still a hot-ticket item:

Here’s my theory: Crumbs closed because it made awful cupcakes (and some questionable financial decisions). Despite its attempts at vaguely innovative flavors like Oreo, Crumbs did not produce a good product. Maybe the rest of the population finally wised up to that fact—down with mediocrity! If you want to eat a cupcake, great. But it should at least be a palatable one.

What’s more, this may be evidence of an overall trend: Americans are developing a sense of taste (at last). Other bland, mass-market food categories are down as well. Domestic light beer sales will hit a 10-year low in 2015, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. Why the plummet? Because people are veering toward craft beer, imports, and cider. Translation: People want to drink things that taste good.

The frozen food industry is hurting as well, according to both National Journal and the Wall Street Journal. ”Within this foodie culture the last few years, I think there has been a change in how some people define healthy foods,” Rob McCutcheon, president of ConAgra’s consumer frozen-food division, told the WSJ. “There is definitely a push toward products that are more real, higher quality, more homemade and closer to the source.”

Even the salad dressing industry is feeling the pain of consumer discernment; sales for premium salad dressing are growing at two to three times the rate of regular dressing, the WSJ reported last year. (Bonus: It’s really easy to make your own.)

No one even wants cereal anymore either! Why? Because cereal—whether ultra-sugary or ultra-healthy—can’t quite live up to the morning hero du jour: yogurt!

Does this mean the artisanal food revolution has succeeded? Have we home cooks won the war? Will parents be rolling out kouign amann for their kids’ birthday parties? Will shoyu ramen replace the Quarter Pounder?

Maybe not quite yet. Though casual chains such as Olive Garden and Applebee’s are struggling to stay relevant, TGI Friday’s actually just launched a new “endless appetizer” special: a neverending deluge of mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and more—for only $10. So you know what? Forget what I just said about people caring more about quality than quantity (and price). This is America. Cupcakes may crumble, craft beer may bubble up, but we will always have our fried cheese. Only, perhaps a little more now than before, it may be burrata.

via Crumbs Is Closing—Are Americans Developing a Palate?.

Bonaparte, Joseph Bonaparte, US, history:

Mental Floss ‏@mental_floss 1m

Napoleons older brother Joseph Bonaparte lived for many years in New Jersey.

via 3 Twitter.

 AS a former king, he entertained on a lavish scale. In exile, he surrounded himself with European artwork. He was oldest brother to the conqueror of Europe, but he far preferred gardening to warfare.

Beginning in 1816, Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, was a New Jersey resident. Once king of Spain and Naples, Bonaparte made his home in exile at Point Breeze, a promontory overlooking the junction of the Crosswicks and Thornton Creeks with the Delaware River.

In the last two years, students from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, led by Richard F. Veit, an associate professor of anthropology, have worked to unearth the foundations of Joseph Bonaparte’s first house, which was destroyed by fire in 1820. In two six-week summer digs this year and last, some 125 students recovered more than 14,000 artifacts, mostly remnants of china, marble and glass.

“Uncovering the foundation cornerstone was hands down the most exciting find we made,” Sean McHugh, a graduate student from Brick, said about finding a portion of the mansion. “It helps orient the whole site.”

Monmouth University’s find was showcased at a recent open house at Point Breeze, hosted by the Divine Word Missionaries, whose seminary now sits on the property. “The university’s undertaking of archaeology here has helped bring the hidden pages of history back to life,” said Pierre Villmont, France’s ambassador to the United States, who attended the event.

Little remains on the property original to Bonaparte’s time. The former estate is honeycombed with underground tunnels, which were used to bring in supplies and also offered a quick escape route if enemies came to call. A brick archway now teetering in the woods may have once supported a carriageway to Bonaparte’s house, according to Keri Sansevere, a Monmouth student from Middletown.

While Joseph Bonaparte’s time in New Jersey may be obscure to some, residents of Bordentown City are well acquainted with his story. Mayor John W. Collom III talked of exploring the underground tunnels as a teenager. Kathleen Pierce, who would have been a close neighbor of M. Bonaparte, said a local repairman once asked her, “And what Bonaparte artifact do you own?”

Bonaparte, who escaped to America from France after his brother’s defeat in 1815, purchased Point Breeze in 1816. He quickly set about enlarging the existing house and acquiring more land, eventually owning more than 1,800 acres in the Bordentown area.

His first mansion burned on Jan. 4, 1820. Bonaparte was away but arrived in time to see the roof collapse, Dr. Veit said.

But his Bordentown neighbors rushed to the property when they saw the flames, and rescued most of his artwork, furniture, silver and other valuables. Bonaparte later publicly praised their efforts in a letter written to local newspapers.

He then built a second, grander mansion, set farther back from the river. This residence was judged by many visitors to be the “second-finest house in America,” after the White House, according to Patricia Tyson Stroud, author of “The Man Who Had Been King,” which was used in Dr. Veit’s course work for the dig.

When he was king of Spain, Bonaparte loved wine and dinner parties — his nickname was “Joey Bottles” — and Monmouth students unearthed generous evidence of this in the hundreds of broken wine bottles recovered at the site. Bonaparte also loved to garden, and Dr. Veit said his estate was a forerunner to Central Park — with an artificial lake and marble statues — that Bonaparte often opened to the public.

In 1839, Bonaparte left New Jersey for Europe, where he died in 1844. His second home was bought by Henry Beckett, the son of a former British consul, who promptly razed it to build another mansion. He was dubbed “Beckett the Destroyer” by local residents.

via History – Unearthing the Home of That Other Bonaparte, the One Who Lived in New Jersey – NYTimes.com.

Why Every City Needs a Labyrinth – CityLab, maze v. labyrinth: Not really a labyrinth, but very cool!

 

I’m the kind of person who probably couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag, so it was with some hesitation that I stepped into the BIG Maze. This is a project at D.C.’s National Building Museum, a summer folly designed by the always-entertaining Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, a plywood playground where kids will snap selfies all season long. For a person with a sense of direction like mine, though, it couldn’t be worse if a Minotaur were lurking in the middle.

The labyrinth swallowed me. Though the structure is dwarfed by the cavernous museum itself, this maze is no slouch, spanning more than 3,000 square feet. In a word, it’s big: The maple-wood walls rise 18 feet high, and each side is is 57 feet long. Welp, I thought, as I assessed my inventory: If I was going to have to live in a maze for the holiday weekend, at least I had a Perrier.

via Why Every City Needs a Labyrinth – CityLab.

quotes:

As Edward de Bono would say, “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

via CATHERINE WILMER | CACHE Worldwide.

MegaBus: I’m on the MegaBus with Steph Curry’s mother-in-law. She is one of the most down to earth women I have met in a long time … And one very proud grandmother. She paid a dollar for her trip.

 




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