Those Bumpy, Tumbly, Cobbly Cobblestones

Those Bumpy, Tumbly, Cobbly Cobblestones

If the shoe fits (into the cobblestones) wear it.

Women do it in Italy, in France, in Canada and in the USA. In fact, I saw them do it in Portugal last summer. They do it all over the world. Yep. Women walk in high heels on cobblestones.

My good friend, Gigi, grew up in Portugal, and her Mama and family are still there. So I asked what it was in her feet that kept her from twisting her ankles when I, even wearing sneakers, couldn’t keep my ankles from turning and bending to the bumps and lumps of the cobblestone streets.

Gigi’s said, “All the streets are paved this way, I don’t even think about can I or can’t I.” I even watched her run on those historic cobbled hills. The whole situation seemed odd to me, but she took it in stride, her heels never once caused her a tumble on the cobbles or in the spaces between.

London Cab 1823

You probably know that cobblestones replaced the dirt and muddy streets here in the U.S. in the 19th century. The idea was for the horses to get a good hoof hold.

Later, at the beginning of the 20th century, asphalt became the norm. In the East where the fluctuating temperatures cause freezing and thawing, the roads develop unbearable pot holes, upkeep is messy and expensive.

Boston has the top spot in cobblestones on Acorn Street, measured in terms of cattle—in this case, two cows wide—this is paved with true, ankle-breaker cobblestones and lined with vintage red brick row houses. The beacon Hill neighborhood in general is known for its well-preserved architecture and romantic gaslit streets, the most expensive and desirable area in Beantown.

But cobblestone streets were not meant for cars and trucks. Yet some of our big cities still sport those cobbles, they add a charm.

Should we repave with those stones and bring back the horse?

For more history about these stones: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobblestone
For 10 most adorable cobblestone streets in the U.S. take a look:
https://www.oyster.com/articles/55243-the-10-most-adorable-cobblestone-streets-in-the-u-s/

If you are curious about the name Beantown—Boston’s Beantown earned its name from molasses, rum and baked beans.
Here’s a link: www.celebrateboston.com/culture/bean-town-origin.htm

Gail Ingis is an author, artist, and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in summer 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

A work of art

 

New York: The Ephemeral City

New York: The Ephemeral City

Windsor Letterhead

New York is one of the few cities in the world that’s rich enough and diverse enough to be anything it wants to be, The Dutch first settled along the Hudson in 1624 and two years later they established the colony of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. In 1664, the English took control of the area and renamed it New York.

This same New York is my hometown, a place for immigrants, barons, and in short, middle America. I’ve combed the city as a kid, as a student, and as a designer.

Automat at 818-820 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1904 postcard, Wikipedia

Long ago, I loved the Automat (Horn and Hardart). A whole lunch for a nickel. Nickel in, lunch out, on a vertical turnstile, Hot soup and apple pie, yum. Whatever happened to those days? Naturally any place in New York is home to me, even the Catskills, where I spent many a summer and where my first historic romance couple, Rork and Leila, met in Indigo Sky.

My new and latest story The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, (Book 1, The Baldwin Family Series) takes place in none other than my hometown, In fact, the Baldwins’ live across the street from Central Park. What was it like to take a walk in the park in 1886? You’ll find out in my book.

An early stereoscope view of the Main Dining Room shows the frescoed ceiling and sumptuous chandelier.

Baggage entered the 46th Street side (right) and guests entered on Fifth Avenue. The arrangement avoided “cluttering.” — photo Library of Congress

Sadly, New York has been an ephemeral city. Many buildings were demolished or burned, one of which was the Windsor Hotel on 46th Street and 5th Avenue, conveniently located close to the Grand Central Depot, a short walk to the Windsor for those who traveled by train. The Hotel welcomed the wealthy, from Barons to Dukes, and according to the New York Times, the Windsor was “most luxurious and aristocratic hostelry in New York.”

Inside the hotel were the barber’s shop, grocery and general storerooms, vegetable kitchen, dining rooms, a separate one for children, and more. The hotel was considered a marvel in modern convenience. Every suite had a private bath and every room had a fireplace, according to The Times.

You’ll get an exclusive invitation to visit the Windsor Hotel in my book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, out on Valentine’s Day 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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