Ben Sandler and friends, Key West, early twentieth century.

The way I understand it, Key West, way back when – way back before the spring breakers and Girls Gone Wild, back before the pride parades, back before Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville, back before the leather shops on Duval Street, back before the Conch Republic, back before Tennessee Williams, back even before Papa Hemingway and his […]

Toronto-Dominion Centre (1969), Mies van der Rohe.
Photo: J.S. Graboyes.

Last winter, I wandered into the United Colors of Benetton in Dupont Circle in its final days. I managed to snap a few photographs of the  Terracotta Army of nude mannequins that stood guard in the back of the store.

Mutter Museum (John Donges/Flickr).

As humans, we like to amass stuff. Personally, I’ve collected Pez dispensers, keychains, Troll dolls, and, as true child of the 90s, had a unfortunate collection of Beanie Babies. Since childhood, I’ve moved onto collections that take up no space: states, countries, even counties and state capitals for a brief period. But, thankfully, others have […]

Stuffed crown roast of pork.

In a fascinating series of articles over at The Foodie Bugle, food photographer Helen Grace Ventura Thompson describes how food photography has changed over the decades. In the 1950s, she writes, “the pictures looked as though they were taken from the top of a ladder, six or eight feet away.” Beginning in the 1960s, higher-end […]

A Maryland crabcake. Source: Flickr/m01229.

On January 21, 1963, the subject of debate in the United States Senate suddenly turned to crabcakes. The Honorable James Glenn Beall, Senator from Maryland, rose to speak: Mr. HILL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator from Maryland may be recognized at this time, with the understanding that I do not lose […]


When I was maybe twelve or thirteen, weaned on Simon & Garfunkel’s hymnal “Bleecker Street” and a healthy mid-90s diet of Friends, with some nebulous notion of someday running back to the Big Apple, the city of my birth, my parents sat me down and made me watch After Hours, Martin Scorsese’ brilliant nightmare of […]


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