To celebrate the Smithsonian Institution’s formal announcement of its Open Access program, which makes almost 3 million digital images and 3-D models freely available, here’s one of Martha (a.k.a. USNM 223979), the last passenger pigeon. Viewed from this angle, she has a bit of an attitude.
Month: February 2020
Around Port Mercer by E-Bike
Port Mercer was a small town along the Delaware and Raritan Canal in central New Jersey. Since the canal closed down in 1932, commerce has shifted east to U.S. Route 1, where shopping malls, car dealers, and restaurants are now located. On the west side of the canal, there are still extensive swampy wetlands between Lawrence Township and Princeton.
One of the buildings that remains from the canal’s heyday is the Bridge Tender’s House – the worker who lived there was responsible for swinging open the bridge when a canal boat came through. Several similar buildings still exist along the canal.
What’s the Funniest Number?
It’s hard to argue with that number.
Carl Reiner included an entire, albeit short, chapter (16 – not a very funny number) on the story, including some of the runner-up numbers, in his book I Remember Me. And here’s a fascinating portrait of Sid Caesar originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1953.
Glencairn’s Cozy Living Room
Glencairn was built by Raymond Pitcairn, “self-taught cathedral architect” (as his New York Times obituary described him) and heir to the massive empire created by his father, John, the founder of PPG industries.
After completing construction of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral of the The New Church, Pitcairn turned to building himself a new house. Located north of Philadelphia (the Philly skyline can be seen from the top of the mansion’s seven-story tower), it was designed by Pitcairn and constructed between 1928 and 1939, while Pitcairn was simultaneously fighting against Roosevelt’s New Deal. Glencairn is built in the Romanesque style out of hand-cut stone and concrete. It contains 90 rooms, including 17 bedrooms, a chapel, and the expansive living room, decorated with both actual Medieval-era items and modern recreations built by artisans in the same style.
Egyptian Artifacts at Glencairn
Some of the Egyptian artifacts on display at Glencairn, a mansion turned museum outside of Philadelphia.
Cadwalader Park’s Abandoned Animal Paddocks
Frederick Law Olmstead did not want a zoo in the park he designed for the city of Trenton, but Trenton gave the people what they wanted anyway. These barns were added later and housed exotic deer and other animals into the 21st century. Recent work has restored the natural areas, but the abandoned and decaying animal barns remain in place for now.
To see what this area looks like in the summer, see Cadwalader Park Natural Area.