Last November, a team from Butler Rogers Baskett Architects pulled an all-nighter at the New York Design Center. Their mission: to build a 10-foot-long hot dog balanced inside a bun and two nearly 8-foot tall condiment bottles out of canned food. A mind-boggling 6,394 cans, to be precise. It was far from an ordinary workday for these five employees of a firm whose clients include the Chelsea Piers sports complex and the jeweler Cartier. Games, September 2005
Greetings from Coney Island!
I set off for Coney Island on the first Saturday of summer, when King Neptune and Queen Mermaid turn a giant key in the Atlantic to “open the ocean” for the season, to the delight of a half million mortals who come for the annual Mermaid Parade. Islands, December 2000
Bet on the Thin Guy
This battle of widths is one of 15 regional qualifiers for the "big dance"---Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest (quite a mouthful). Though Jarvis, Lerman and Lipsitz may sound like a law firm, these guys are the Three Musketeers of the competitive-eating circuit, and I'm here to watch them in action. Holiday Inn Express Navigator, October/November 2001
Growing Up an Itinerant Vendor
Having a father who earned his living selling popcorn at carnivals made life a lot more
interesting than school. Yankee, August 1989
If a summer on the road teaches one lesson, it's that carnival work isn't all fun and games.
Holiday Inn Express Navigator, July/August/September 2002
Like Don Quixote de La Mancha, woodcarver Gerry Holzman has dared to dream an impossible dream: the creation of one of the first all-hand-carved carousels since the 1930s, when the aluminum horse galloped onto the scene.
Art & Antiques, Summer 1998
Step Right Up!
In 1988, Jim Secreto bought his first sideshow banner: a visually arresting image of The Human Blockhead, a turbaned fakir with spikes hammered up his nostrils and pins piercing his tongue. Nine years and 35 banners later, Secreto's collection of carnival curiosities has entered the rarefied realm of 20th-century folk art.
Art & Antiques, April 1997
In Appleton, Wisconsin, Houdini Elementary School is named after the local boy who grew up to become the world's greatest escape artist. The school's colors are the same as those on the famous magician's cape: red and black. If anything disappears, they blame Harry. Games, November 2001
Connecticut's puzzle palace was built in 1919 at a cost of about $1 million, a kingly sum in those days. Its sole architect was the actor-director-playwright William Gillette, who made his fortune originating the stage role of Sherlock Holmes.
Stagebill, June 2002
Restoring Roosevelt Island's Ruins
As she surveys the ruins of the so-called Pauper Lunatic Asylum on this sliver of an island in the East River overlooking Manhattan, Judith Berdy, president of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, says, "It takes a lot to knock down a 19th-century building." Preservation Online, April 25, 2003
Are Quonsets, steel hangar-like huts left over from WW II, worth preserving?
Preservation Online, November 14, 2003
Milled logs of northern white pine selectively harvested from Quebec's Outaouais forest and a holistic design system that originated in India come together in a Vedic-style chalet in the cornfields of Iowa. “Log homes are green, natural and nourishing—it’s an unbelievable product if you consider it,” says Doug Greenfield, president of Fairfield, Iowa-based Maharishi Global Construction. Luxury Log Homes & Timber Frame, Summer 2005
Blossoming in the Blue Ridge
For Gisele Weisman, whose log home is perched on the side of Grandfather Mountain, the highest peak in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Range, the adventure began with an inheritance of 17 acres of land. “When I came up here to try to figure out what to do with it,” says Weisman, “I was mesmerized by the magnificent view of the St. John’s River Gorge. There was no question I had to live here.”
Country's Best Log Homes, March 2006
The Ten-Woman Bicycle
"An amusing look at 'emancipation,' in which one sees what wonders resourcefulness, tenacity and independence can lead to."---Utrecht Daily News (Holland)
One Thousand and One-Second Stories
"This collection brings the eccentric, influential work of Taruho into English for the first time...
Vita provides an informative biographical and literary introduction."---Publishers Weekly