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Publications

Cover Stories

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

The Game Within

Steve, Mike,and John Dobson have a way with games. As teenagers they operated the slot car racing game at the Canadian National Exhibition--which sucked them into the industry. Since then they've had a knack for creating fun, winnable, and visually enthralling midway games. Funworld, July 2007

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

Canned Wonders

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

Amusement Business

They're Ditching It All For a Life That's Fair

An informal poll of amusement industry manufacturers and suppliers reveals an influx of career-changers who yearn to travel and own their own business, working as much or as little as they like. They do their homework on the Internet and at the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention. Amusement Business, August 2004

Memoir

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

Fair Minded

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

Art

Art Awhirl!

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

Travel

Conjuring Houdini

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

Sherlock's Home

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

Historic Preservation

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

Tin-Can Treasures

Are Quonsets, steel hangar-like huts left over from WW II, worth preserving?
Preservation Online, November 14, 2003

Architecture

Perfect Harmony

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. 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. Country's Best Log Homes, March 2006

Children's Book

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)

Translations

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