As typical of me, the outside of Bird of Paradise’s tub was looking kind of sad, so I was going to put a fresh coat of white Rustoleum on it. As i was sitting on my butt painting I noticed how sad the radiator right next to it was looking.  So my job doubled.  Then I noted how sad the tile floor was looking.  Three of the original bathrooms have ceramic tile that’s over 100 years old and the glaze has pretty much worn away, a secret treatment is to take Lestoil and apply a heavy coat undiluted to the floor and let it set over night.  The next day take a bucket of warm water, rag and nylon scrubber.  Use the scrubber on an area and then mop it up with the clean damp rag.  You will need to do this several times (until the water in your bucket stays clear) to get all the residue up.  Here’s the stained tile:

100 year old ceramic tile

And here’s the clean tile floor, freshly painted tub and radiator:

Bird of Paradise bathroom

And since doing this, Bird of Paradise’s closet opens into Allamanda’s bathroom and going back and for the radiator in Allamanda’s bathroom was bothering me, so I did that one as well:

Victorian ceramic tile

DJT was legal in his declaring a national emergency last month.  Although i strongly disagree with him doing this to “get his way”, it was legal and because our dis-functioning legislative branch of the government did not put restrictions on it when they enacted it in 1976.  I assume they did that on purpose assuming a commander in chief  would be reasonable.  Congress does have the power and authority to stop this power grab, if they have the nerve to do this.

Speaking of our government brings me to mind of my conviction that the founding fathers were aliens and speaking of which, there’s another past historical figure that I want to add to my list of aliens, Leonardo Da Vinci, actually his name was Leonardo from Da Vinci (that’s how they referred to people back then), like I would be Ed from Pittsburgh.  I’m not just stumbling on Leonardo, I’ve been a fan of his as far back as I can remember.  The reason this comes up now, is it’s the 500th anniversary of his death this year.  In keeping with this, the Carnegie Science Center has a special exhibit.  They have big digital reproductions of 20 of his famous paintings and a 60 life sized exhibits of his inventions, or at least things he was tinkering with.  Did you know he wrote backwards?  Dyslexia?  He was left handed (and so am  I)  🙂 , and writing on the paper from right to left kept him from smudging the ink.  He took copious notes and luckily for us used high grade paper that withstood time.  I have his thousands of pages of notes to his apprentice and after passing through several other people were finally published in the early 1900th century.  That was when his genius was finally discovered, for one thing he was the first to identify that the human spine was curved.  As he worked his study of anatomy he kept touching up his paintings to reflect how he now knew how various muscles worked.

I was invited to an open house City of Asylum was hosting last night, it was the first time I was in their new space at 40 W North Avenue.  They rehabbed the old Masonic Temple to a restaurant, book store and some event spaces that occupy the first floor, which is what they were showing off.  Actually, this new space is Alphabet City, a subsidiary of City of Asylum.  I’ve spoken of CoA in several past posts.  Such great people, founded by Henry Reese & Diane Samuels in 2003.  Read the link, they have such a cool back story.  The upper stories they turned into loft apartments, some market rate, some subsidized.  They still have the shot gun houses up the hill behind that have become fairly famous, one has a poem in Chinese written by one of their first residents on the front of the house.  If your touring the Northside, be sure to check it out. In Alphabet City, they have a series of events like book readings, jazz and other events.  They are always free, they do ask for a donation to help them out and you should RSVP ahead of time, because they fill up.  AC has partnered with Brugge on North, Brugge’s third location.  Something else I like about CoA, is they do things, not like those loosers that have had the rest of the Garden block tied up for years.  The developers insisted that they had to tear down the old historic buildings down to “make the numbers work”.  I didn’t like that as I didn’t like their insistence that they be exempt from the code requiring parking for their rental units.  What i have a major problem with is the zoning in that area calls for buildings to be no larger than 3 stories.  They couldn’t “make their numbers work with anything less than 8 stories tall.  I am good with getting reasonable variances from the basic zoning, but over twice the allocated height is ridiculous!  Here’s a picture of what they did next to the garden theater:


garden block demolition

It looks like something out of Aleppo, Syria instead of America.  Alphabet City is the three story building on the left of the white Garden Theater.

OK kids, I’m off to bed, the weather seems to be finally breaking and I am certainly ready for spring,