Thursday, March 29, 2012

Admiring Architecture

I have always had an affinity for old buildings.  I think it was because I grew up in South Florida and the buildings at that time, in my opinion, didn’t have a lot of character.   Thankfully my family visited Savannah a lot when I was a kid and I was enthralled with the grand old homes.  I learned new words like Federal and Gothic-Revival.
My first taste of contemporary design was visiting Boston and meeting my uncle at his job in the John Hancock Tower.  Henry Cobb designed the sleek and shiny Hancock Tower located just blocks from the gritty stonework of the Boston Public Library.  I liked the Victorian design of Charles McKin better.  Perhaps it was because I could see where others walked before me in the scuffs and worn spots of the floors and banisters in the library.  I liked imagining people from many generations reading, writing, and browsing through the many selections of books and art.

Large Sliding Doors NYC
After joining the commercial door and hardware industry I began to notice doors and hardware everywhere, very much to the annoyance of my friends and family I might add.  Old and new I always stopped, explored and often took pictures.  I liked the doors and hardware best that fit with the entrance way and unique to the business or building.  Still I had never given much thought to the amount of time and talent the architect put into designing buildings.  I only knew if I liked a building or not.
With social media I am now able to follow many architects and their projects.  I have a new and deeper appreciation of their talents.  I learned that a chamfered retaining wall edge is a pretty sweet detail.  

I even experienced a 10’ x 10’ beautiful steel door hung on center pivots up close at the Chihuly designed by Alfonso Architects.  

Now when I walk the streets of a city I pay attention to the design of a building.  How does it flow and function?  What does my eye catch immediately and what subtleties are hiding just waiting for me to notice? Most importantly how does the design make me feel?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Baker and a Candlestick Maker

Every two weeks Bloggers unite for a day to write about a communal topic. This week LetsBlogOff is all about Cookies! 


My mom was not a great cook or even a good cook though she tried.   I didn’t know vegetables could taste good until I moved into my own apartment & started learning how to cook.  What my mom could do well was bake!  She didn’t bake often mostly for church & school bake sales and Christmas.  She also made candlesticks and you can see them here.

I grew up in a house with a wonderful kitchen.  It was long with two large corner windows at the end with table & chairs tucked in.  The stove was a drop in and the oven was a separate wall unit located near the garage door.  There was also a long counter on the sink side of the space.  Keep in mind these are my memories, my mom may have hated the fact that there was no counters directly next to the stove or the ovenJ  I knew good smells were on the horizon when I saw the mixer pulled out and set up on the counter.
The three very distinct cookies I remember my mom baking were: Mexican Wedding Cookies, Drop Cookies & Gingerbread Men.  I am sure she made others I just can’t recall.  I probably remember these three because I was allowed to “help”.  I rolled the Mexican Wedding Cookies in the powdered sugar (I can’t imagine the mess I made) and set them out on the cookies sheets.  For the Drop Cookies I unrolled the Hersey Kisses and “dropped” them onto the cookie.  I think I ate as many as I dropped.  The gingerbread men were fun because I always was handed the leftover dough to make whatever I wanted!
My sister-in-law has carried on the tradition and has my mom’s recipe cards.  Anytime I visit, cookies from my mom’s recipes are always on the counter!