Showing posts from September, 2012

Some History of the Basilica

(photos by Michael Oppenheim) Some history of the Basilica: Paul Roebling Jr,  grandson of the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, (Yes!)  first started development of Haywood Street exactly one century ago with The Haywood Building. At that time, Haywood Street was little more than a ravine running along the base of the resplendent Battery Park Hotel property. This is not the same Battery Park Hotel as the one standing at the north end of the city today. It was a Queen Anne-style green-painted wood and was owned by the Coxe family. Thomas Wolfe spent hours in the lobby watching the guests as they arrived, and he lamented its loss heavily when E.W. Grove purchased the land, razed the hotel and destroyed the mountain it stood on. Both Vanderbilt and Grove first espied their respective mountain real estate legacies from windows of that original hotel. Guastavino came to Asheville on a commission from Richard Morris Hunt, the first Fine Art architect in the U.S. and designer of

Emailing Mother Theresa: On Losing the Art of Gazing

I sent my first email in 1996. My boyfriend at the time had a computer, and the computer had internet. He sent emails all the time. When I was working on a project with PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) to develop a salivary ferning microscope that was cost-efficient enough to be distributed to impoverished women in India and Africa, I was asked for my email address. My boyfriend said I could use his.  One afternoon, my colleague at PATH forwarded an email from Mother Theresa. She was giving PATH her approval of the device. Once you get an email from Mother Theresa, there isn't much else to anticipate (Note to the 20000 senders of emails I've received since: you understand). The project got tanked along the way, despite my patchwork re-design that involved a cardboard kaleidescope from a child's birthday party and a 50x magnifying glass. I waited another two years to get my own email address, and another two passed before I started to actually &qu