Monday, November 20, 2023
With Thanksgiving drawing near I am reminded how very blessed I am. I enjoy family, friends and the many warm relationships I have formed through this business.
I hope you'll take a moment and reflect on the blessings in your own life. You and I are very rich and I'm not talking about money!
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is FOOD. In fact, I can just smell pumpkin pie baking any time of year and it brings back memories of family and friends at the Thanksgiving table together.
Well, speaking of good smells, I wanted to share a favorite recipe with you. Put this dish out on the Thanksgiving table and watch it disappear!
Hoping you have a truly blessed Thanksgiving holiday!
My Special Sweet Potato/Pecan Bake
2 quarts cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (not canned)
3 tablespoons bourbon (follow your conscience with the remainder of the bottle)
1 stick butter (use the real thing)
2 cups pecan halves
salt and pepper
½ cup packed brown sugar
Before you prepare the dish, first roast the pecans:
In a shallow baking pan spread pecans in one layer and bake at 325° about ten minutes. Toss hot pecans with two tablespoons butter and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
Mix hot mashed sweet potatoes with six tablespoons of butter, the bourbon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in a three-quart baking dish and cover with toasted pecans. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake at 325° for approximately 30-45 minutes or until top is brown.
Our mailing address is:
10820 Kingston Pike Suite 16
Knoxville, TN 37934
If you don't want to receive any more emails from me, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Friday, April 21, 2023
Me, Space Time and Architecture
May Post delayed
Please enjoy posts 1,2,3, and 4 if you haven't read them.
Sewing factories of the 50s
Schools in the 50s
Stickball and Scooters
First mixed-use architecture
Tenements in Hoboken
Horse-drawn vegetable wagons
The Iceman deliveries 50's
Friday, March 31, 2023
Me, Space Time and Architecture
No. 4 April 2023
The changes from Willow Ave. (Posts 1 and 2) were subtle relative to living in an apartment. However, the density and the mixed-use component on 1st street were impactful. Now at 8 or 9 years old apartment living was all I knew. But that was also about to change. The next cerebral environmental impact on the awareness of space would be an overnight stay with my grandparents. They had a single-family house with three bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and their own bathroom with a tub all under one roof.
But for now, let's focus on 1st street. The employment situation had not changed. My mother was working in the garment industry as a sewing machine operator. My father was still looking for any type of employment a person with a sixth-grade education could find. With the Tootsie Roll factory and garment industry focusing on Puerto Rican and Black labor he found work as a clerk in a hardware store. As the economy in the 50s flourished except in Hoboken a move from the Willow Ave tenements did not prove to be a "moving on up" moment for us as it was for the Jeffersons.
|Typical sewing factory in the 50s|
I continued to attend public school. I was not a very good student. That became clear to me on 1st street when I was left back in the fourth grade. I had been identified as a slow learner. Many years later, my assistant told me I was dyslexic. It wasn't until then that I began to put the educational system in perspective.
The seats in the back of the classroom were filled with slow learners. Basically, they were all from low-income families with parents that had very little education themselves. That has changed dramatically today. There are many programs to identify early learning challenges and programs to assist students on all levels. I think perhaps the pendulum has swung too far. Certainly, these programs are important but not to the detriment of those who have been blessed with the ability to learn quickly. We need gifted individuals to be challenged not to have the learning experience be brought down to a mediocre level. The educational system in the 50s created many challenges but the streets the architecture society and economics were as impactful as the school system.
|Public Schools in Hoboken|
|The 50s stickball game|
|Celebrating a home run|
|Typical scooter squid in the 50s|
|Butting the last touches on a scooter|
|Sidewalk street vendors|
|Vendor on the lookout for scooters|
|The slaughterhouse ride|
One social event in the 50s was spending time with friends and going to the movies. Usually, someone would have enough for a ticket or if we pooled our funds there would be enough for one ticket. Whoever bought the ticket was charged with getting a seat and when the lights were turned down they would go to the exit and open the door for those of us waiting outside to snick in for a Saturday matinee. The screen brought magical places and amazing adventures, with very few special effects, to life. We watched the Rocket Man fly through the air with rocket packs on his back. Flash Gordon always beat the Emperor of Mongo, Ming, by the end of the show.
|It all started here at the Fabian theater|
|Flash Gordon and Ming|
|Commando Cody Rocket Man|
|Costumes were primitive|
|Costumes and sets were basic|
This was life on 1st street in Hoboken, NJ. The 50s was the beginning of the drug abuse generation that fueled the 60s. It was also a time when the suburbs became the place to live. Cars became available to almost all socio-economic groups. Parents wanted to flee the cities to give their children a better life. I learned about the suburbs when visiting my grandparents. They had moved out of Hoboken to Bergenfield a suburb in New Jersey. In Bergenfield, the concept of home changed from an apartment to a single-family house.
My next post will deal with the space and architectural change from apartment living to a single-family home and leaving the city.
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
No. 3 March 2023
"Moving on up," was the sitcom theme for the Jeffersons during the 70s and 80s. Well moving to 1st street in Hoboken in the 50s was supposed to be our moving-on-up moment. The Architecture on 1st street changed from mid-rise tenements to two and three-story structures. I see these buildings as the earliest forms of mixed-use architecture. The buildings had commercial on the first floors and apartments on the second and third floors.
One could buy fruit and vegetables on the street below your apartment, there were also clothing stores, and candy shops on the street below the apartments. There was no need for "Vegetable Man" and his horse-drawn wagon on 1st street. The photos below show the typical streetscape that one would find on 1st street.
|Typical 3-story retail/apartment building on 1st street|
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Me, Space, Time, and Architecture
No. 2 Feb. 2023
Continuing with the impacts an apartment in a tenement on Willow Ave. in Hoboken New Jersey had on a child.
|Willow Avenue façade of fire escapes|
Looking closely at the photo of the boy above one can see the opposite side of the street in the early 50s. The buildings were reflections of the tenements. A service station and some retail stores were staring back at me from the ground floor. In the back of the service station was a stable with access to an ally. Yes even in the early 50s there were horses in Hoboken.
|A view of Fox Hill Garden from the tenements across the street|
|Typical horse-drawn vegetable wagon and vegetable man of the 50s|
The ice box being filled
|Street showers in the 50s|
|Typical stoop life in the 50s|
|My imagination of a mother's contemplation|
A move from the tenements of Willow Ave. will introduce a new architectural style for apartment living. My next home would be 103 First St. Hoboken NJ.
Monday, January 30, 2023
New Idea for Posts
(Me, Space, Time, and Architecture)
Given my age, I suppose it is natural to look back more than forward. Forward seems to have a shorter shelf life. I should tell you I am nearing the octogenarian stage of life.
With my career choice and education in architecture, I moved quickly into construction and development. Construction projects required an early morning alarm. Usually 5am. Now in retirement early to bed and early to rise means bed around 8pm and getting up around 4 or 5am. This allows me to tell people I get up at the same time now as when I worked. There is a lot less stress in those early hours. I no longer worry if cocreate trucks are going to show up. Finding that first cup of coffee at 4am while waiting for the sun to rise leaves plenty of time to think and reflect on life.
Therein lies the impetus to reenergize this blog. Over a 4am coffee, I began to think of books I had read as an architectural student. Out of nowhere which is how the brain works at my age came Space, Time, and Architecture by Sigfried Giedion. Ah! I said I can write a book defining life in terms of architecture. I thought I could define the socio-economic and political impacts on architecture and the effects the built environment has on its occupants.
I have always been interested in technology. Given my age, it may be hard to believe but I began my research on google, not at the public library. I wanted to start in the 1940s, I was born in 1944. I also wanted to start with the architecture of my childhood. So my first search was a history of Hoboken, NJ, and the development of the tenement apartment. I found Hoboken's history has been very well documented and presented in a book published by the Hoboken Historical Museum. The following information is paraphrased from that book. "Since 1932 the city has made notable strides in the manufacturing field. In the 1940 census, there were twenty schools with an enrollment of 12,322. One college (Stevens Institute of Technology). Twenty-six churches. One free public library. One hospital. The population was 49,833."
|page 20 Hoboken Historical Museum "Industrial progress makes forward strides"|
|This was the plan we lived in on Willow Ave. in the late 40s and early 50s|
The above floor plan is an example of the home where I formed my first memories.
|Willow Ave also preserved became my home of first memories|