Category Archives: history

industry.

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This week marks the anniversary of the debut of Diego Rivera’s “Detroit Industry Murals” in 1933.
Rivera’s work is a monumental 27-panel mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts
that portrays the geological, technological, and human history of Detroit. 
I have visited these murals since I was a young child and I never fail to be amazed.

Explore what makes “Detroit Industry Murals” a masterpiece in this episode of Bank of America‘s “Masterpiece Moment.”

credits: detroit institute of arts, bank of america

the history of how you felt.

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 loving my new journals and so looking forward to filling them

 

“language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, victories.

to reach out to people we’ll never meet.

it’s the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones:

the history of how you felt.”

-simon van booy

 

oh, liectenstein reader, who art thou?

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 i have exactly one blog follower

in the micro country of liectenstein

with so many interesting things about this amazing tiny place

here are just a couple of examples:

 

in 1886 liectenstein had an army of 80 men who fought during the austro-prussian war

they suffered no injuries or deaths

and returned with 81 men because they made a new italian friend from the opposition army.

the army was disbanded soon after and they haven’t had an army since. 

 

and then there was the accidental invasion which didn’t cause much of a stir:

i really love their approach to life

and i’m guessing my one reader is a pretty laid-back person

and with such a tiny country

perhaps a descendent of that new italian friend they brought back from the war?

here’s to liectenstien!

 

“be so good they can’t ignore you.”

-steve martin

 

image credit: expat.com

voice of america.

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on president’s day

remembering those placemats that taught us about our country 

“justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity,

those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.”

-aleksandr solzhenitsyn

and now, nachos. while we still wait.

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The NYT has traced the first nachos back to Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1940, with just three ingredients. As the story goes, a group of women walked into the Victory Club in Piedras outside business hours. Aiming to please, Ignacio Anaya, the maître d’hôtel known as Nacho, ran to the kitchen and made a quick appetizer with ingredients he found. Today’s nachos know no end to their variations: They can have a number of seasoned layers or simply be topped with cheese sauce, like those sold at concession stands. But the simplicity of its original, with its barely salted chips, nutty melted cheese and briny pickled jalapenos, is sure to charm true nacho fans.

 

“we’ve all invested emotionally in nachos.”

-conan o’brien

 

 

credits: Christoper Simpson(NYT) and Simon Andrews- food stylist (NYT)

aloha.

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herbert smith lived in hawaii in the 1890s

120+ years ago he took pictures of this bay surrounded by palm trees and small shipping huts

here is the bay many years later

on this date in 1959, hawaii became a state

i have yet to visit

but plan to spend time

in a hut

under a palm tree

in hawaii

on a bay

one day.

“coming to Hawaii is like going from black and white to color.”
-john richard stephens

 

 

 

 

Image credits: Bonhams/BNPS, IPTCDaily Mail, Matt Hunter, Herbert Smith

veep.

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kamala harris, in the beginning

 

“A patriot is not someone who condones the conduct of our country whatever it does.

It is someone who fights every day for the ideals of the country, whatever it takes.”

– Kamala Harris – The Truths We Hold: An American Journey/2019

 

 

 

photo credit: la times, courtesy of kamala harris

11.

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50th anniversary of the week of the Apollo 11 moon landing

I was 11

on the cusp of everything 

we went over

to my parents’ friends’ house

everyone was transfixed

air was electric

all gathered around the tv

watching

silent and awestruck

gobsmacked

as the first man walked on the moon

spoke his first words on the moon

 lots of emotion in the house

I ran to the window to look at the moon 

hoping I would see him up there

right in the middle of all of this

the hostess

left to go to the hospital

to have her baby

she named him neil

after that man on the moon.

“we ran as if to meet the moon.” 

― robert frost

 

 

image credit: Ann Arbor district library archives

speakeasy.

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whenever I’ve visited my friends’ lake house in the irish hills of michigan, there has never been a shortage of lakes and trees to be enjoyed. on one recent visit they took me on a walk through a very special place that I’d been wanting to see since hearing about it. at first impression it appears to be a beautiful, rolling, wide open natural space, but there is much more to it than first meets the eye.

once known as aiden lair, and now known as mccourtie park, it was formerly the 42-acre estate of herb mccourtie, a cement magnate. its trademark is its concrete bridges artistically handcrafted to resemble wooden structures. a visionary who loved architecture for art’s sake, mccourtie showed the versatility and beauty of the product he manufactured in 17 bridges that he commissioned to be created on his property using the 19th-century lost art of “el trabajo rustico” (the rustic work) in faux bois (imitation wood).

for more than 10 years, two mexican artists, george cardoso and ralph corona, created the bridges that span the creek on the property, as well as two concrete trees that cleverly hide the chimneys to his rathskeller. the bridges were individually created from wet mortar to resemble ropes and logs simulating native trees, such as oak, walnut, cherry, birch and beech. the intricate details include knots, insect holes, saw cuts, wood grain and even moss, lichen and beetle holes. an elaborate system of underground wires provided lights on and under some of the bridges. in addition, he created two huge pools, one for use as a swimming pool and the other as a fishing pond for his guests’ enjoyment.

(stills hidden in the cement ‘trees’ mixed among the natural trees)

known for giving lavish parties, he hosted a homecoming celebration every year that drew thousands of people to aiden lair to witness stunt flyers and enjoy baseball, local musicians, dancing and free refreshments. in the underground garage and rathskeller he created, he threw all-night poker parties that were attended by the likes of detroit auto baron henry ford.

throughout its history, the park has been the subject of rumors and legends. mccourtie’s rathskeller, which features a large bar, fieldstone fireplace, and vault, is rumored to have been a speakeasy during prohibition and a stopping point for al capone and other gangsters who bootlegged whiskey from chicago to detroit on U.S. 12.

it’s also been rumored that there are tunnels under the park property that served as stations for runaway southern slaves on the underground railroad. some people have reported sightings of a ghostly “lady in blue” strolling the grounds in old-fashioned clothing.

(a peek into the window of what used to be the ‘rathskeller’ – a bit creepy now)

in 1991, mccourtie park was named to the state register of historic sites by the michigan historical commission. the next year, it was added to the national register of historic places by the national park service.

 

 

“prohibition has made nothing but trouble.”

-al capone 

 

 

 

 

 

source: mlive