Yosemite Valley Chapel

Yosemite Valley Chapel

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls above the Chapel in Color

Yosemite National Park is intriguing. Lots to discover there. In 1863, Albert Bierstadt painted  Domes of Yosemite. That’s the very same painting that inspired my recent book, Indigo Sky. In my next book, my heroine is born in Yosemite. So, I am researching again. This time my research  unveiled the chapel. The chapel is located just below Yosemite Falls, that’s depicted in the painting.

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls above the Chapel in black & white, different angle than above

The Yosemite Valley Chapel was built in the Yosemite Valley of California in 1879. It is the oldest standing structure in Yosemite National Park.

Chapel snuggled between mountains and trees

Chapel snuggled between mountains and trees

The wooden chapel was designed by San Francisco architect Charles Geddes in the Carpenter Gothic style. It was built by Geddes’ son-in-law, Samuel Thompson of San Francisco, for the California State Sunday School Association, at a cost of three or four thousand dollars.

The chapel was originally built in the “Lower Village” as called then, its site at the present day trailhead of the Four Mile Trail . The chapel was moved to its present location in 1901, as the old Lower Village dwindled.

As stipulated in the organization’s application for permission, the chapel is an interdenominational facility. The L-shaped frame chapel covers an area of about 1,470 square feet (137 m2). It is clad in board and batten siding with a prominent steeple. It seats about 250 people.

Preservation
Snow in the park, there is snow in California

Snow in the park, there is snow in California

The chapel was restored in 1965, when its foundations were raised in response to a 1964 flood, but was damaged in the 1997 Yosemite Valley floods and required repair. The chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1973.

 

Fascinating, this Yosemite National Park.

Fall colors

Fall colors

Do you think you might like to hike one of the trails?

CHEESECAKE STRUCTURE

CHEESECAKE STRUCTURE

Cheesecake Factory creamy-rich frosty glass box

Cheesecake Factory changing skylines: creamy-rich frosty glass box

The perfect cheesecake is an art form built upon a structure of physics, architecture and technology. Granted, your grace with a spatula and deft sense of flavorings can mean the difference between a run-of-the-mill cheesecake and an ethereally light monument to decadence. But first you need to master the basic skills — proper ratios of ingredients, the role of a fine crust, the importance of the right pan, correct timing in the oven, proper cooling and all the rest.

You have last week’s recipe . . . now here’s ‘how to’ techniques from a variety of sources:

* Use the best ingredients: Cheesecake is, by nature, a rich and lavish dessert. It also is fairly time-consuming and on the expensive side. Resist the urge to cut corners: Use only ingredients you know and trust, experiment with other brands only when time permits and you can risk less-than-stellar desserts.

* Choose the right equipment. Here are some of the more important items:

Springform pans provide the best mold for cheesecake. The tender, sticky cake is less apt to remain adhered to the edges of this pan.

Paddle-type beaters are better for making cheesecakes because they tend to incorporate less air into the batter than the “balloon whisk” variety. (If you have conventional beaters, don’t overbeat; see tip below.)

A jellyroll pan with a lip placed underneath the springform in the oven will help minimize the cleanup from an occasional leak, says Susan G. Purdy, in her book, A Piece of Cake (Atheneum,1989).

A long, thin spatula (from a cake-baking store or kitchenware shop) is useful both for loosening the cake from the edges and removing the chilled cake from the base.

* Work with proper temperatures: Cream cheese should be at room temperature for more complete blending and silken results. Remove eggs from the refrigerator just long enough in advance to remove the chill. Let mixtures cool as directed (usually to room temperature if no other specific temperature is noted.)

Invest in an oven thermometer to double-check your range.

You can soften cream cheese in your microwave, according to Kraft/General Foods. Place a single unwrapped (8-ounce) package in a microwave-safe container. Then microwave on high about 15 seconds. You may need to give the container a quarter-turn, then microwave for another few seconds. Add 15 seconds for each additional package. (Timing will vary, depending upon the power of your machine.)

* Prepare the pan: You’ll get nicer slices of finished (baked and chilled) cheesecake from the pan — and leave less of the crust on the springform base — if you follow this advice from Kraft/General Foods:

Turn the bottom section of the pan (the base) rim-side-down before inserting it into the springform pan (the side mold). Secure the latch, making certain the base is securely inserted. Grease and flour the pan (check the recipe to see if this is required).

Did this advice mean anything to you, or did you already know the delicacy of cheesecake preparation?

Next week we talk about cheesecake and changing skylines!

 

 

 

CHAIRS: HISTORY AND THE BAUHAUS

CHAIRS: HISTORY AND THE BAUHAUS

 


Brno Flat Bar Chair

The Brno Flat Bar Chair (1930) from KnollStudio® is a masterpiece of structure, paying tribute to early modernism’s gravity-defying skyscrapers. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to have a cantilevered base, the Brno offers the comfort of an arm chair without the old-line stuffiness or bulk of upholstery. Leather covers the cushions for long-enduring appearance retention and ease of maintenance-two especially important features for dining rooms, offices, conference rooms and waiting areas.

What is this all about? How famous is this Brno Chair, and who likes it? Well, it is historically as important as King Tut’s Throne and Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair, but only a select few know about this flat bar chair. You do not have to like modern furniture, nor do you have to own one of these beauties, but let me tell you…this chair is handsome, strong, and has amazing tactile sensations with its gorgeous supple leather and smooth steel frame. And as an owner it sets you apart from the rest of the world. It is impressive to own even just one.

Barcelona Chair

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair and Stool (1929), originally created to furnish his German Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona, have come to epitomize modern design.

Barcelona Pavillion, Spain

Mies van der Rohe designed the chair to serve as seating for the king and queen of Spain, while the stool

Barcelona Stool

was intended to accommodate their attendants. The Barcelona chair and stool is one of the most stylish and elegant pieces of modern furniture of the 20th Century and probably the most recognized piece of modern furniture around. Still produced to his original specifications, this chair and stool are of quality fit for royalty.

Bench classical seating

Funny feet seating are still popular. These designs are considered classical classics. The funny feet seating is in complete contrast to the modern classics.

Classic Dining Chair features animal feet

If you think about it, you’ll realize why a new philosophy was needed. We finally made it out of Victoriana with its clutter. By the time Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius established the Bauhaus in 1929, we had been exploring new ways of design.

Bauhaus

Other styles evolved like Arts and Crafts Movement (today called Mission), Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The art, architecture and designs of the Bauhaus were the exact opposite of anything that had come before. More common today are the country and classical reproduction designs of the 18th century.

Do you have room for both modernist and classical designs?

Have you ever thought you could add one of the modernist beauties into your classical interior for the pièce de résistance, or a fabulous authentic antique in your modern interior?

Please comment and feel free to ask questions. Come back next week for more surprises.

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