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Fun with Math: The Automat September 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink.
13 comments

When we went into New York City as kids, we loved eating at  Horn and Hardardt’s Automat.  If you’ve never been to an Automat, it’s a bit like stepping inside an enormous Vending Machine:

All around the walls, glass doors acted as tiny garages for individual portions of macaroni and cheese, baked beans, chicken pot pie, Salisbury steak, sliced turkey, fish cakes, vegetable soup, spaghetti, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, rolls, fruit cups, and desserts!  

Eating at the Automat as a child meant freedom and autonomy from the monotony of having adults choose what landed on our plates.  We each received a certain amount of money, probably less than a dollar, all in nickels, and could spend it as we wished.  Aah, freedom.     

As a child, I walked around mesmerized, searching for inexpensive entrées  to ensure I had enough money left for a bowl of rice pudding, a slice of moist applesauce cake, or piece of coconut custard pie. 

Once I eyed a desired dish, I’d stick a few coins in the slot, turn the knob, and voilà ~ I became the proud owner of a soon-to-be consumed treat!  Behind the scenes, workers replaced empty slots as soon as they opened up.

From Iconic Establishments ~ Horn & Hardart, a few facts:

* The first Horn and Hardart Automat opened June 12, 1902 at 818 Chestnut St., in Philadelphia, PA.

* The first Automat in NYC opened 10 years later at 1557 Broadway, Times Square, between 46th & 47th St.

* The last automat closed in 1991.

“To have your own stack of nickels placed in your tiny hands; to be able to choose your own food, richly on display like museum pieces; to make quick and final decisions at the age of eight; this was a lesson in financial dealings that not even two years at the Wharton School could buy today.” ~ Neil Simon, playwright  (from The Automat – Visitor’s Stories & Memories)

More Information:  Heirs to the Horn & Hardart * The Automat ~ Memoir * The Automat ~ History * Put Your Nickel In, Take Your Food Out

Related post:  Describe your Favorite Restaurant (WP Prompt)

Fresh Pepper (Spray) for your Machete? September 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
2 comments

As I mentioned in Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?, the local crime scene on AMI is covered in Cops Corner and Beach Beat. For the most part, the articles cover vandalism, lost property, disturbances, and the occasional suspicious person.

On July 27th, at 6:14 pm, police responded to a Suspicious Person report:

Someone reported a man holding what appeared to be a knife and a machete walking near Whitney Beach Plaza.  Police secured the man’s weapons.  He told them he was living on Beer Can Island.

When police told him it was illegal for him to live there, he became upset and told them he was living on “God’s Island” and he only listens to the “law of God.”

The man refused a ride to a homeless shelter and told police he would, however, accept a ride to a Holiday Inn and police could foot the tab.

The conversation became heated, and he was sprayed with pepper spray after attempting to charge an officer to [recover] his machete.  He was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Beer Can Castaway, The Longboat Observer, August 12, 2010, p. 10  (emphasis added).

This guy sounds like a regular Billy Bob Thornton:  “Some people call it a kaiser blade, I call it a  . . . machete!”

Our cheeky Beer Can Castaway didn’t get a free stay at the Holiday Inn, but the police did put him up for the night at the county jail.  Dinner included.

“Fresh cracked pepper (spray) for your machete?”

Related article:  Sling Blade

Fun with Words: Acklimate September 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Word Play.
8 comments

Acklimate \ack-li-mate\  vb.   To become accustomed to a new situation, climate, or environment that doesn’t appeal to you in the least.

Related post:  Fun with Words: Sarchasm * Absolute Balderdash * Fun with Words: Misfits

* * * * *

Graphic: Guy Berkeley “Berke” Breathed and Bill the Cat

Related blog:  Bill-the-Cat: Ack

Dum Spiro Ti Amo September 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Magick & Mystery, People.
11 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Amy and I have been chatting it up in Latin lately:

The Bishop Wears Italian Leather.

As is often the case when we focus our attention on a topic of interest, the Universe pipes up with additional information for us to absorb.

* * *

While at the market on Saturday, Amy came across frame bearing a delightful expression to share with our loved ones:

Dum Spiro Ti Amo . . .

If you want to order the frame in charcoal, cream, or green, visit Cedar Mountain Handmade Gifts:

The story of Cedar Mountain starts 28 years ago on the west coast of
British Columbia, Canada. Founded by Don and Suzanne Zacharias,
Cedar Mountain is a company committed to quality, innovation and
humor.  Cedar Mountain is situated on Saltspring Island, a place renowned for its natural beauty and artisan community.

Here, Don and Suzanne found creative inspiration and a home to raise their family, while enjoying all that the island lifestyle has to offer: the great outdoors, local markets, and a place where jeans and gumboots  are appropriate attire for any occasion.

Away from the bustle of the city, the folks at Cedar Mountain continue to invent clever and fun products which are all hand crafted in our backyard studio.

In the meantime, wherever inspiration takes you, remember to keep breathing!

Aah . . . that’s better!