Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" ~Benjamin Franklin

I'm not a beer drinker, and in lacking such first-hand knowledge, I can't attest to the benefits of beer. But I reckon that the folks at McSorley's Old Ale House concur with Ben Franklin's "spiritual" observation. McSorley's of East 7th Street began serving ale 150 years ago. It's New York City's oldest continuously-pouring saloon. Woody Guthrie, John Lennon, Teddy Roosevelt . . . and Abraham Lincoln drank there. (Not at the same time, of course!) McSorley's is a short walk from Cooper Union, where, on February 27, 1860 -- Abraham gave his famed speech. Historians believe that the impact of the Cooper Union speech set the stage for Lincoln's winning the Presidential election in November of the same year.

And so, if you drop by McSorley's for a half pint, you'll follow in President Lincoln's footsteps. McSorley's also made history in 1970 when, with a little nudging from the U.S. Supreme Court, it allowed women in for first time. After that, their old slogan, "Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies" would be only two-thirds accurate.

Some sampler business: I've created a Stitching Tips 'n Sampler Stats page for the "272 Words" chart, based on FAQs, to be updated as needed (see right-hand column).

To answer Laura's question (see previous post) about stitching the piece on other counts, over one, or with one thread -- I can't say whether it would work or not. (Not a great answer, I'm sorry!) It's a very dense sampler; I therefore like the "largeness" of the piece. House guests walk over to the piece immediately upon entering the room . . . the sheer size makes a statement. The large size also makes the Address readable from a distance. I'm nearsighted, and the letters are visible from afar.

The model is stitched on 32-count linen, two strands over two threads. I'm putting out a request to the experienced and talented stitchers on this list: If anyone plans to experiment with different counts, or over-one stitching -- please keep us apprised. I'd love to see the results. Laura, stay tuned!

And to get into the holiday spirit . . . . we snapped this photo last night in Rockefeller Center, on the coldest day of this season. Keep warm!


  1. One of my very favorite Franklin quotes! And McSorley's was also the establishment to which we repaired after dinner at the Baltic, 30 some years ago, to commemorate the referenced Supreme Court victory. And it's a good thing too because that's how I discovered that Guinness had the power to settle an imminent case of nausea. Ah, memories . . .

  2. Ah, yes, I remember our McSorley's visit -- the sawdust on the floor, the super-spicy mustard. It's the first and last time I ever ordered ale (that's all they serve!) But what fun!!

    My slavic ancestors deem me a disgrace for choosing an Apple Martini over a half pint of ale. (They're probably right.) ~Liz

  3. I'm pretty sure they had Guinness too, but then it might have been a dark ale. I had forgotten the mustard. My slavic ancestors all drank vodka, and indeed their homemade hootch was all based on that noble distillate, but more recent forebears have developed a pronounced taste for hoppier brews, so I feel right at home in Ale Houses. Which is a good thing as they seem to be popping up everywhere these days.