Photo from @onthebrinkphotog - Timberline Lodge was constructed between 1936 and 1938 as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression. Eighty percent of the WPA’s $695,730 total expenditure on building costs paid for labor. Skilled building trade workers received 90 cents an hour; unskilled laborers received 55 cents an hour. Some of the skilled stonemasons on the project were Italian immigrants who had worked on the Historic Columbia River Highway and other roads in Oregon (text from - Image selected by @ericmuhr Join us in exploring Oregon, wherever you are, and tag your finds to #Oregonexplored #TimberlineLodge #MtHood #Oregon via Instagram

Giuseppe Verdi ‎– Nabucco
Saga  ‎– XID 5173

I have become enamored with Italian opera.  When I first moved out on my own I had the habit of putting on any one of a half dozen budget opera cds on the stereo, every time I’d make a sauce on weekends.  It cured my frequent homesickness by reminding me of my nonna, from whom I learned how to cook some of my favorite italian dishes.  Puccini, Verdi and Rossini became my composers of choice because, well, italian. The love affair deepens with this recent thrift store find. It was part of a bigger lot of mostly italian records that I’ve imagined once belonged to a first generation italian immigrant who must have recently passed on.  His kids didn’t need the records any more so they dumped them off at the local Value Village so that they could clear away his house for final sale. I’ll never know whether my story is true enough but it sounds plausible enough and it links up well with my earliest memories of cooking my first italian meals while playing my small batch of opera cds.


“Both my parents were Italian immigrants. We grew up in the Marlboro projects. My dad was a butcher. He was very ‘old country.’ I don’t think he once told me that he was proud of me. But it didn’t bother me. He taught me that you have to earn every single thing you get in life. On my twenty-fifth birthday, my Dad ran into one of my coworkers. I’d just been promoted to deputy foreman. They told him how great of a job I was doing. My dad came home, grabbed me by the neck, pulled me toward him, and kissed me on the forehead. There were tears in his eyes. He told me how proud he was of me. And that meant more to me than anything I’d done until then. It’ll probably be another twenty-five years before I hear it again.”

I came to America because I heard the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, I found three things: first, the streets weren’t paved with gold; second, they weren’t paved at all; and third, I was expected to pave them.
—  Italian immigrant, circa 1900

Even a carefully executed business plan won’t bypass the biggest stumbling block in Starbucks’ attempt for Down Under domination: Australia’s cafe culture is just too damn good.

Thanks to waves of Italian and Greek immigrants in the early 1950s, Australia adopted the art of espresso-drinking-as-a-social-lubricant much earlier than the United States. While Starbucks introduced Americans to a European Lite version of coffee shop culture, in Australia it was a latecomer to a party no one invited it to.

“Starbucks was revolutionary in the US because the market is more accustomed to drip coffee,” explains Tuli Keidar, head roaster at Sydney’s Mecca Espresso. “Australia already had a well established cafe culture based on espresso when Starbucks arrived. It had to compete with cafes that provided a similar product of equal or better quality.”

There are over 10,000 cafes in Australia. No square of urban real estate lasts for long without being decked out with an espresso machine and ironic seating area fashioned from milk crates and hessian cushions. I once had a soy latte in a former crack den.

—  This is Why Australians Hate Starbucks by Phoebe Hurst (alternatively titled, look at the ethnic makeup and historical context of a country before shoving frappucinos at us)

The origins of immigrants. The most common source of immigrants in Romania is, of course, the Republic of Moldova. Our Moldovian brothers are always welcome. And we Romanians are, again very obviously, the immigrant group in Italy and Spain. But also, more surprisingly, in neighboring Hungary.

Interesting map!


More Art Monday: America

The good ‘ol US of A, The States, 'Merica. Whatever you call it; this country has been an inspiration for artists since it began. Here are a few of our favorite America-inspired images from the collection.

Brooklyn Bridge,” 1910, by Alvin Langdon Coburn

Italian Immigrants Seeking Lost Luggage,” 1905, by Lewis W. Hine

Woman’s Sweater“,” 1989, designed by Ralph Lauren

Giant Redwood Tree,” c. 1890–1900, possibly by Frances(?) Judd Catterlin or William H. Catterlin

Shoe Rosettes,” c. 1824, artist/maker unknown

On this Day

Italian immigrant and co-founder of the Planters Peanut Company, Amedeo Obici was born on July 15th, 1877 in Veneto, Italy. Amedeo settled in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania region and co-founded the company with another Italian emigre, Mario Peruzzi. The company’s iconic logo of an anthropomorphic gentleman peanut was created by fourteen year old schoolboy Antonio Gentile in 1916.

Bookmark from the Collection on the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair, Queens Museum, 2011.1.117WF39.

Vendredi 26 juillet | Eugenia Corriés | Rotonda

Once, when I was little, I spent the night at my grandparents’ house in Mar del Plata. The noise their clock made scared me, and seeing that I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep, I asked my grandmother to read me a story in bed. There were no children’s books at their house, except for an old Pinocchio in its original Italian version that I found, by being persistent, in the bookshelves. Since she was born in Italy, I thought that she would be able to translate it for me. I handed her the book, I brought her a chair, and I slipped into the bed and waited. She sat in the chair, nervously opened the book, looked at it, then looked at me with sad eyes. I understood in that moment that she wouldn’t be able to read it: she had forgotten her mother tongue.

‘Yes, Dante, they can crucify our bodies today as they are doing, but they cannot destroy our ideas, that will remain for the youth of the future to come.’

Last words of the italian anarchist immigrant Nicola Sacco to his son Dante, before being unjustly executed by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, togheter with the friend Bartolomeo Vanzetti, on the 23rd August 1927.

Both were later proved to be completely innocent.

Notice to Aliens of Enemy Nationalities, 02/09/1942

From the series: Public Relations Records, 1940 - 1954; Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

This is a Department of Justice notice directed towards aliens of German, Italian, and Japanese nationalities to apply for a Certificate of Identification by the deadline of February 28, 1942.

An Italian immigrant family on New York’s Lower East Side, ca. 1910, photographed by Jessie Tarbox Beals (American, 1870-1942). Beals was an American photographer, the first published female photojournalist in the United States and the first female night photographer.

The family shown here is living in an “old-law” tenement. The apartments in these buildings were not required to have ventilation in each room. The window facing the kitchen appears to look into a smaller room or closet. More than 100,000 immigrants lived in rear apartments (behind other buildings) that were wholly unfit for human habitation. In a room not thirteen feet either way slept twelve men and women, two or three in bunks set in a sort of alcove, the rest on the floor. In the summer months 3-4 babies would suffocate in the airless tenements every night.