Shiny As A Penny At Woodstone

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Without much of a pitch on the east and west porches and the front south porch,we decided to go with copper.Pictured above he is soldering the pieces of copper together on the east porch. We also decided to do copper on the cupola as an accent. The rest of the roof is red cedar.

Cooper roofing is an increasingly popular metal roofing option. The high sheen of brand new copper settles into a blue-green patina over time. Both hues can complement your home and give it a classic, unique flavor. There’s no doubt that copper roofing is beautiful, but its appeal doesn’t stop there. These are some of it’s attributes:

  • Durability – Copper roofs are strong, lasting up to 50 years or even more with regular repairs and maintenance. The metal is highly resistant to fire, hail, and mildew.
  • Weight – Copper is a lightweight material, which is a clear benefit when installed as your main roofing structure. Lightweight roofs do not put as much stress on your home’s internal structures as heavier materials such as steel, clay tiles, or wood shakes. This is especially important during heavy snowfalls.
  • Efficiency – Most metal roofs are energy efficient, as they reflect light instead of allowing heat into the home. Copper is no exception. Installing a copper roof can help you control heating and cooling costs.

The drawbacks of copper roofing are few, but are worth noting. The noise factor can be a negative. A rainstorm sounds loud under a copper roof, no matter where you are in the home. The metal does not buffer noise as well as softer materials, like asphalt or wood.

The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway in Boston

In 1991, after almost a decade of planning, construction began on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, more widely known as the “Big Dig”. The project, recognized as one of the largest, most complex, and technologically challenging in the history of the United States, would remove the elevated highway and create a tunnel system below the city.

With the elevated highway to be relocated underground, community and political leaders seized the opportunity to enhance the city by creating the Greenway, a linear series of parks and gardens that would re-connect some of Boston’s oldest, most diverse, and vibrant neighborhoods. The creation of the Greenway was a joint effort of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and various civic groups.

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The Greenway Carousel officially opened to the public on August 31, 2013 .The Carousel features 14 different characters native to the land, sea and sky of Massachusetts including a sea turtle, a cod, a peregrine falcon, a grasshopper, a harbor seal, a fox, a skunk, a whale, three types of butterflies, a barn owl, and a sea serpent. The characters were inspired by the drawings of Boston school children and fabricated by Newburyport, Massachusetts artist Jeff Briggs.

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There is also a set of lights in the section called “the Wharf District Parks” that can change color according to who just won games-Red for the Sox,blue for the Patriots etc. In addition Winter Lights on the Greenway is a series of lighting displays intended to bring warmth and cheer to the Greenway during the darkest part of the year.

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Right now and until October there is an incredible sculpture, As If It Were Already Here,from internationally renowned local artist, Janet Echelman.  Knitting together the urban fabric, it soars 600 feet through the air above street traffic and pedestrian park.

The form of “As If It Were Already Here” echoes the history of its location. The three voids recall the “Tri-Mountain” which was razed in the 18th-century to create land from the harbor. The colored banding is a nod to the six traffic lanes that once overwhelmed the neighborhood, before the Big Dig buried them and enabled the space to be reclaimed for urban pedestrian life.

The sculpture is made by hand-splicing rope and knotting twine into an interconnected mesh of more than a half-million nodes. When any one of its elements moves, every other element is affected. Monumental in scale and strength yet delicate as lace, it fluidly responds to ever-changing wind and weather. Its fibers are 15 times stronger than steel yet incredibly lightweight, making the sculpture able to lace directly into three skyscrapers as a soft counterpoint to hard-edged architecture.

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Mostly it was nice to see people out enjoying the beautiful day and hanging out-walking,strolling,chatting in this new, beautiful 1 1/2 mile Greenway.

 

Architect Francis Fleetwood

 

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This style of house is certainly very popular-I thought the perception of why this seems to be true is interesting.

 

NEW YORK — Francis Fleetwood, who drew on the work of Stanford White to transform the architectural aesthetic of the Hamptons on Long Island from the relatively modest, minimalist beach houses that reflected postwar modernism to the shingled Victorian behemoths that evoke the Gilded Age, died May 8 at his home in Wellington, Fla. He was 68.

The cause was a blood clot, his brother, Blake, said.

After opening his own firm, Fleetwood & McMullan, in 1980, Mr. Fleetwood designed more than 200 homes in the Hamptons, many of them encompassing tens of thousands of square feet, costing tens of millions of dollars and commissioned by clients who did not blink at the price.

Among them were celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Lauren Bacall, Calvin Klein, and Paul McCartney, as well as private-equity investors and commodities traders who would let Architectural Digest photograph their trophy habitats on the condition that the magazine not reveal their names.

Architects of the angular, flat-roofed houses that proliferated on the East End of Long Island in the 1950s and beyond also catered to the wealthy. But those buildings — made of wood, stone, poured concrete and glass — were unassuming by comparison. Mr. Fleetwood’s shingled, sprawling creations, produced for a more extravagant moneyed class, suggest a kind of homey grandeur.

“The shingle style is the only truly indigenous architecture of the United States,” Mr. Fleetwood told The New York Times in 1991. “Every other style, including modern architecture, had its roots elsewhere.”

“People are looking for roots,” he said in another interview. “They’d all love to be born into a grand old house that had been handed down through the generations. So would I.”

Francis Freile Fleetwood was born in Santiago, Chile. His father, Harvey, was a banker. His mother, the former Maria Freile, is a psychoanalyst.

Besides his brother and mother, he leaves his wife, Stephanie; a daughter, Catherine Newsome; a stepson, Michael Orhan; three grandchildren; and two sisters, Carmen Paul and Charlotte Fleetwood.

After moving to New York with his mother and older brother before turning 2, he attended the Dalton, Fessenden, and Riverdale Schools, graduated from Bard College and earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973.

At Bard, before deciding to pursue a career as an architect, Fleetwood had different designs on the kind of capitalists who would become his clients.

“I was a Marxist back then,” he told the college’s alumni bulletin, “and we would hold secret meetings every week, planning the overthrow of the school, the government, the world.”

Before establishing his own firm, in East Hampton, he worked for an architect in Aspen, Colo., and for Philip Johnson in New York on the AT&T and Neiman Marcus buildings and other projects.

In 2001, Forbes magazine put Mr. Fleetwood on its list of leading architects, calling him “the architect for the A-list in the Hamptons.”

His asymmetrical style featured gables, turrets and expansive porches that connected the interior of his houses to their typically spacious grounds and vistas. Another hallmark was a low, sweeping roofline with an Oriental curvature and red-brick chimneys that rose well above it.

By Sam Roberts NEW YORK TIMES  MAY 27, 2015

Boston and the Olympics

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I thought this was really funny and so true! It was in the Boston Globe today-

“Dear United States Olympic Committee:

You may think Bostonians don’t want to host the Olympics, but then you don’t know Boston.

We love to complain.

We love to hate that we complain.

We are difficult people. Just ask the British.

Out where you are in Colorado, everyone is so damn happy. You and your 300 days of sunshine. And now all that legalized marijuana makes everything oh so groovy.

Rocky Mountain High we are not. We get a kick out of knocking people down, putting everyone in their place when they get too big, too successful, too soon. If the Games were ever held here, revenge would be an Olympic sport.

At this point, you’re probably saying to yourselves: What on God’s green earth is this place they call Boston? It looks like something out of a gladiator movie. How fast can we move our five-ring circus to LA?

Seriously, your first instincts were right — an old city reborn, the world capital of life sciences, a walkable and affordable Games.

But before that, we will throw tantrums like 2-year-olds. Maybe it looks like a freak show to you. To us, it’s all normal.

Don’t be scared. We just need this moment. This is how we operate around here. When we calm down, we get down to business, but always on our terms, never yours.

If we act up again — oh, and we will — remember what sets Boston apart. Ultimately, we are a city of champions. The 21st century has only just begun, but Boston teams have already brought home four Super Bowls, three World Series, an NBA banner, and a Stanley Cup.

En garde, Paris.

It takes time for Bostonians to come around on anything. The Big Dig spanned four decades from proposal to completion. Rebuilding the Boston Garden took nearly three decades. All the while we moaned and groaned.

Today we can’t imagine our city without a depressed Central Artery that gave way to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Zakim bridge, and the bustling Seaport District. The Garden put us in the big leagues to host all-star games, NCAA tournaments, mega concert acts like the Rolling Stones, and the Democratic National Convention.

Our Olympic naysaying can be heard ’round the world, but it can only make the Boston bid better. We like to put people and their ideas through the wringer. And we save the sharpest knives for outsiders swooping in and trying to tell us what to do with our city.

Welcome to Boston.

Our poll numbers on hosting the Olympics are frighteningly low — they dropped to 36 per cent in March. Blame it on PTSD after suffering through more than 100 inches of snow this winter. We couldn’t even get ourselves to work, let alone think about hosting the world. Of course, it was really wonderful. It gave us a whole new vein of complaints.

Now much of the squawking about the Summer Games comes from the lack of a solid plan from Boston 2024, the privately held group organizing the region’s bid. Stingy Bostonians also worry that taxpayers will be on the hook if costs go over budget.

The newly installed chairman of Boston 2024, Bain Capital executive and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, wants to get it right this go-around. He promises to deliver by the end of June a plan that is fiscally responsible and leaves long-term benefits for the city.

Stick with us, USOC. I know we’re trying your patience. But it’ll all come together. It always does.

Or it won’t. And we’ll complain about that, too.”

by Shirley Leung

Quacking Up in Pittsburgh!

A great thing to do if in Pittsburgh. Operational after the Duck Boat Tours in Boston were so popular,Pittsburgh has had much success with this tour as well.

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On the tour, they first talk about the skyline of Pittsburgh. It is  the second-largest city in  Pennsylvania, and is home to 135 completed high rises, 29 of which stand at least 300 feet tall. The tallest building in Pittsburgh is the 64 story US Steel Building, which rises 841 feet and was completed in 1970. The second-tallest skyscraper in the city is BNY Mellon Center.

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One of the things they also talk about is about the flood of March 17 and 18, 1936. The city witnessed the worst flood in its history when flood levels peaked at 46 feet. This flood became known as the Great St.Patricks Day Flood.

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Pittsburgh is also a city of many different styles of architecture. There are many beautiful old churches and office buildings and then many new “shiny” buildings. The cluster known as PPG Place is a complex   consisting of six buildings(and are the shiniest!) within three city blocks and five and a half acres. Named for its anchor tenant, PPG Industries, who initiated the project for its headquarters, the buildings are all of matching glass design consisting of 19,750 pieces of glass. The complex centers on One PPG Place, a 40-story office building. Groundbreaking ceremonies occurred on January 28, 1981. The complex buildings opened between 1983 and 1984. Total cost of construction was $200 million ($488.8 million today). The buildings were sold by The Hillman Company to Highwoods Properties in 2011.

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Once you have driven through the city quaking all the way, you dip into the  Monongahela River for a tour from the water. You first see the second of two “inclines”.The Monongahela Incline, built by John Endres in 1870, is located near the Smithfield Street Bridge. It is the oldest continuously operating funicular in the US. It is also one of two surviving inclines from the original 17 passenger-carrying inclines built in Pittsburgh starting in the late 19th century. 

Pittsburgh’s expanding industrial base in 1860 created a huge demand for labor, attracting mainly German immigrants to the region. This created a serious housing shortage as industry occupied most of the flat lands adjacent to the river, leaving only the steep, surrounding hillsides of Mt. Washington or “Coal Hill” for housing. However, travel between the “hill” and other areas was hindered by a lack of good roads or public transport.The predominantly German immigrants who settled on Mt. Washington, remembering the cable cars  of their former country, proposed the construction of inclines along the face of Coal Hill. The result was the Monongahela Incline, which opened May 28, 1870.Earlier inclines were used to transport coal in the Pittsburgh area.

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You next paddle by the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers which is called Heinz Field ,and then by the beautiful Point State Park which was filled with strolling couples with small children.

 

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There are also many other ways to see Pittsburgh. Another popular one is to take an evening dinner cruise  on the Gateway River Fleet.

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Near the end of the tour the guides play a little game with you. They ask “how many bridges are there in Pitttsburgh?” Of course the answer is one that no one could even imagine….without bridges, the Pittsburgh region would be a series of fragmented valleys, hillsides, river plains, and isolated communities. A 2006 study determined that Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, and with its proximity to three major rivers and countless hills and ravines, Pittsburgh is known as “The City of Bridges”.

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Emot with your Emoji!

 

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I love how words come and go. A few years back I said the word “fink” and my kids just stared at me. “What is that?” they said. I was shocked-that was such a big word in my youth-“rat fink” or just being a plain “fink”. Another phrase they laugh at me about is “hunka munka”-I mean, didn’t everyone use that phrase for a good looking guy???

Now all of a sudden we are “ubering” and “googling”-these names have become verbs in our everyday language. I got a new iPhone this week and all of a sudden I have the ability to use emojis. I was excited but my kids were not as I sent many the first two days! I was very curious where the word “emoji” came from and no one seemed to actually know so I googled it and this is what I found:

Emoji (絵文字えもじ? are the ideograms or smileys used in Japanese electronic messages and Web pages, the use of which is spreading outside Japan. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji literally means “picture” (e) + “character” (moji). The characters are used much like ASCII emoticons or kaomoji, but a wider range is provided, and the icons are standardized and built into the handsets. Some emoji are very specific to Japanese culture, such as a bowing businessman, a face wearing a face mask, a white flower used to denote “brilliant homework,” or a group of emoji representing popular foods: ramen noodles, dingo, onigiri,  Japanese curry, and sushi. The three main Japanese mobile operators,NTT DoCoMo,au and Soft Bank Mobile have each defined their own variants of emoji.

Although originally only available in Japan, some emoji character sets have been incorporated into Unicode, allowing them to be used elsewhere as well. As a result, emoji have become increasingly popular after their international inclusion in Apple’s iOS in 2011 as the Apple Color Emoji typeface, which was followed by similar adoption by Android and other mobile operating systems.Apple’s OS X operating system supports emoji as of version 10.7  Microsoft added monochrome Unicode emoji coverage to the Segoe UI Symbol system font in Windows 8 and added color emoji in Windows 8.1 via the Segoe UI Emoji font.

The exact appearance of Emoji is not prescribed but varies between fonts, in the same way that normal typefaces can display a letter differently. For example, Apple Color Emoji font is proprietary to Apple, and can only be used on Apple devices. Different computing companies have developed their own fonts to display emoji, some of which have been open-sourced to permit their reuse Both colour and monochrome emoji typefaces exist, as well as at least one animated design.

These are just some of the most popular emojis:

 

The Raising of the Woodstone Cupola

 

 

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Weighing in at 4500 pounds it was fascinating to see the cupola fly through the air and into place on top of the barn-next step is to add the windows next week!

A cupola (pronounced “kyou’puh luh”) is a structure that sits atop a larger rooftop or dome and can range in size from very basic and small, to extremely large and ornate. The small can be a simple vented box you would see on a barn while the cupola on St.Peters Basilica in Rome is an example of the other extreme.

Large Cupolas may be accessible from a stairway on the inside giving a commanding vantage point from which to look out over the world.  This kind of cupola is often called a belvedere or a “widow’s walk”.  Often smaller cupolas are constructed without access from inside and windows are added which provide a natural light source for illuminating the spaces below. These types of cupolas are also known as “lanterns”.

The origins and history of the Cupola can be traced back to 8th century Islamic architecture. These first cupolas placed atop minarets, were large and sometimes ornate structures with one or more balconies from which the daily call to prayer would be announced. These early cupolas are very significant because they are believed to be the inspiration for the dome which led to massive achievements in architectural design. These bold new designs that emerged were used as symbols for proof of cultural superiority. During the renaissance, most major european cities and Islamic states were building a plethora of these magnificent buildings. The cupola had evolved to allow architecture to become a very artistic and creative status symbol and today, the cupola stands as a statement of a major achievement in architecture.

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