April 25, 2016 |
Before middle-class Americans started dropping wads of money on cars, they used their disposable income to buy pianos. A sign of status and culture, a piano was often a family's most expensive and prized possession. By 1890, the United States was the world's largest manufacturer of the instruments, exporting them far and wide. In Philadelphia, Chestnut Street was the place to go if you wanted a fine keyboard. Before the piano craze peaked in the 1930s, there were 13 stores selling uprights and grands between Sixth and 23rd Streets.
December 7, 2013
Spare a marble? As a project for our Temple University course, my fellow students and I were asked to develop solutions for those living on the streets. Our contribution isn't to offer the homeless shelter or a change of clothes, but rather a simple cup of coffee. At local coffee shops, we're promoting a concept in use in Europe known as "suspended coffee. " With the agreement of shop owners, customers who buy an item at full price can opt for purchasing a "suspended" good at half price, for which the customer receives a marble to drop into a jar. Then, homeless individuals can walk into the coffee shop, take a marble from the jar, and receive one free item per day as long as there is a marble available.
June 22, 2013 |
WILDWOOD - There was a hush as Emily Cavacini lined up the shot. The 11-year-old steadily eyed the final target, a navy blue marble glinting in the afternoon sun, then knocked it out of the ring with her shooter marble. An instant later, the freshly minted girls' division champion in the 90th annual National Marbles Tournament, a sixth grader from the Pittsburgh area, was swarmed by supporters, who soaked her with water in celebration. Emily's win also marked the conclusion of a four-day event that epitomized the wholesome image that Wildwood officials have said in recent weeks they want this resort city to project.
November 9, 2012 |
Phil and Victoria Kluss will be getting the last word on tomato stains on marble this week, only because their solution is so interesting, and they sent me before and after photos to boot. "We got out the color by making a poultice with food grade diatomaceous earth and hydrogen perioxide," the Klusses wrote. "Mix them together so you have a thick paste, cover the stain and then cover with plastic wrap until the mixture dries out. " Question: I have blue stone/slate floors in my kitchen.
October 19, 2012 |
Tomatoes on windowsills and radiator covers dominate this week's discussion. A reader put tomatoes on the marble windowsill in her kitchen, and went away for a few days. When she returned, the tomatoes were overripe and mushy, and the acid from them etched marks in the marble. She requested a reasonably priced fix. Before I offer solutions from other readers, I should mention, as Deborah Kates, the vice president of the Coatesville Area Art Alliance, reminded me, that a "sunny sill is the worst place to let tomatoes ripen.
October 5, 2012 |
All right, gardeners and marble experts. Here's a reader in need of advice (I'd try but I haven't gotten many tomatoes this year and my sills are wood). Question: I have a tomato garden. I put the tomatoes on my marble windowsills in my kitchen. I went away for a few days and forgot about the tomatoes. When I returned, the tomatoes were overripe and mushy. The acid from them etched marks in the marble. I have tried different things, but nothing is working. I stopped in a tile store and they told me I would have to get someone out who restores marble.
September 30, 2012 |
There's so much to see in and around our nation's capital, but often so little time to take it all in. To be sure, the White House, the Capitol, and the Smithsonian museums, along with the monuments, tend to top most itineraries. But, with a bit of research and some planning, you can also get in plenty of other fascinating stops. Here are a few. The Newseum Located on Pennsylvania Avenue at Sixth Street NW on the National Mall, this striking $450 million glass-and-stone structure that opened in 2008 chronicles nearly five centuries of news history.
July 2, 2012 |
"[T]hey've reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on earth — no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin. " — President Obama, on the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act, his signature health-care reform. • "This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom — the freedom to choose what to buy with their own money. " — Karen Harned, director of the Small Busines Legal Center at the National Federation of Independent Business, one of the groups that challenged the health-care law's constitutionality.
March 30, 2012 |
Question: I am a victim of my own creativity. Several years ago I put a faux marble finish on my basement floor and covered it with a polyurethane. I would like to repaint it. I tried just floor paint. The paint never dried. I mopped it off several days later. The paint adviser at Lowe's recommended paint remover or sanding. Do you think epoxy paint would cover it? All other options seem like a lot of work. Answer: On the one hand, I like to hear that a product - in this case, the polyurethane - is doing its job by protecting your faux floor.
December 5, 2011 |
Play it again, LSU and Alabama. The No. 2 Crimson Tide (.9419) edged out No. 3 Oklahoma State (.9333) in the final round of voting and will play the top-ranked Tigers in an all-SEC BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. It's not exactly a rematch the public was clamoring for - at least outside of Southeastern Conference territory. And it certainly will do nothing to quiet the critics of the Bowl Championship Series or the calls for a college football playoff.