A rather balmy fall day, and the evening has brought a multitide of garrulous crickets. I had missed them earlier this summer, but that was because I had misunderstood the typical time of year crickets start to make their racket. This means all my summertime childhood memories of hearing crickets are late summer / early fall. I have adjusted my recollection schematics accordingly.

The trees are starting to turn, without any drama. The wet summer means the color should be brilliant, but I’ve never noticed a fall where I said “man, this palette is just nuthin’ but dun.” It’s always brilliant.

Monday was good; I like Mondays. Part of is slightly bittersweet, because I still make pasta on Mondays as if Daughter was still here. The other day in a meeting we were talking about the meal kits, how they were all the rage, and now less so, and one of the women was saying that they were pricy and took up a lot of fridge space and you had all that damned ice, but at least you knew what to make, and didn’t just throw up your hands and buy something ready at the grocery store or order a pizza.

“No, pizza is Friday,” I said. I realized that didn’t make sense without context, so I explained:

“You have a system. Monday is Pasta, Tuesday is Spicy, Wednesday’s a wild card, Thursday is Fish if you’re not Catholic, Friday is pizza, Saturday is grilling, Sunday is take-out, although the last two can be flipped.

Everyone was staring at me, so I continued:

“Pasta can be anything from red to white sauce to vodka to pesto, red or green. There’s a month right there. Rotate the meats from pre-cooked sausage, chicken, whatever. Spicy usually means Mexican, so you have tacos, or enchiladas baked in a dish, or a Frontera bag you just stir. Wednesday Wild Card usually works out as pre-made bbq on buns with a store-bought side - potato salad, cole slaw, or a stir-fry, or a Indian or Thai entree; make sure you have chicken in the freezer, some sauces, rice, naan, you’re good. Fish is fish. If any of these meals don’t happen because of people’s schedules, you have what you need for next week and just slide those ingredients over, and you’re ahead of the game.”

They were all mildly impressed, and I said that I had been doing this for years.

Doesn’t mean it was good, but it did the job, and I noted that no one in my family had scurvy.

Anyway. Every Monday, it’s every Monday from a range of years - could be 2004, 2010, 2015, 2019. Music is essential! The classical station was playing this - I've queued it up to the dramatic part. I just love this mad piece. Stirring, checking the sauce, chopping the sausage, getting the salad ready, checking the phone to see how close Wife is to home . . .


Which it isn’t now. It’s Tuesday, the worst day of the week.





It’s 1910.

Launched, no doubt with high hopes.

The recipes, as you might imagine, are obscure to modern eyes, and heavy. Lots of cream and duck. It’s the ads we’re here for, and the first is interesting: babies like to get a little smashed!

What is it, you might ask? Wikipedia:

Dubonnetis a sweet, aromatised wine-based aperitif. It is a blend of fortified wine, herbs, and spices (including a small amount of quinine), with fermentation being stopped by the addition of alcohol.

From their site:

In 1846, Sir Joseph Dubonnet, a Parisian wine merchant and chemist, created Dubonnet Rouge aperitif. His proprietary blend became a popular medicinal aperitif throughout the world.

Ah, yes. “Medicinal.”

A. Silz:

The block is almost unchanged, except for the merchant composition - but no building lines up with the illustration.

(Ignore the address if it’s an odd number; Google maps is odd that way sometimes.)

Perhaps there was a fire, but it would have to have been just a few years after 1910. Hmm. Google, can you help?

In 1908 (Alt. 1940-1908), the interior upper portion of No. 414 was altered for meat and poultry cold storage, apparently for Silz. No. 416-418 was connected in 191 1 to 419 West 13'Street [see], also used by Silz's firm. In 1917 (Alt. 1758-1917, George Dress), afifth-story "false front" wall was constructed on No. 416-418 (to raise it to match No. 414), with the c. 1906-07 cornice re-used (the cornice has since been removed and the fifth-story openings covered).

Well, there you have it.

Ah, the Brevoort! But not the one in Chicago.

Therein hangs a tale. A few thousand, I’m sure, but one is this:

By far the oldest and most fashionable hotel on lower Fifth Avenue, the Brevoort stood here at the northeast corner of 8th Street for a century—from 1854 to 1954.  In the 1920s its French-born owner Raymond Orteig offered a prize of $25,000 to the first pilot to fly non-stop from New York to Paris.  On June 27, 1927 the prize was awarded at the Brevoort to Charles A. Lindbergh. The present apartment building at 11 Fifth Avenue takes its name from the hotel.  The rock star Buddy Holly lived here in 1958.

As for the well-named Lafayette:

The Lafayette became a favourite gathering spot for airmen during and after World War I, where Orteig became acquainted with many airmen including French officers on temporary duty in the United States of America to help the USA build the US Air Force.

A world familiar to many, until it wasn't.



This turned out to be fascinating.

Story is here - the Grosjean operation was enormous.


Here’s what’s left.

The clock tower.

One of those old brands, you’d think . . .

Except it’s still around. In Switzerland, anyway.




I do believe the brand’s gone. It might have been the first brand, but I doubt it.


Is it this guy?

Henri Mouquin (October 11, 1837 – December 24, 1933) was a New York restaurauteur. He was born in Aubonne, near Lausanne, in Switzerland. His father and grandfather were both hoteliers, and as a boy he became acquainted with Napoleon III, who visited his father's hotel. At age 17 he went to Paris, and then left Europe for the United States. His first job was as a waiter at Delmonico's in New York, and over the next twenty years he worked in various jobs as far west as St. Louis. In 1857 he started his first restaurant, and in 1859 he married Marie Grandjean, who also came from Vaud, the canton in Switzerland where Mouquin was born

His first restaurant was at the corner of Fulton St and Nassau St in Manhattan; his wife did the cooking. He also opened a wine importing business and was at one time the largest wine importer in the U.S. The restaurant became popular and because of its relatively low prices brought many staples of French cuisine to New Yorkers previously unfamiliar with them

No, I don’t think so.

Sorry to get your hopes up.

Let's drop in on the far-away yet oh-so-relatable world of 1916, as seen through the work of Clare Briggs. See you around.



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