clement moore

On W23rd Street, between 8th and 9th, you might see this cornerstone now built into a massive old pre-war apartment complex. But Clement Moore used to own all of Chelsea, the whole neighborhood, and it’s even named after his family estate. When the city decided to run 9th Avenue through what was then basically farmland in the early 1800s, Moore objected (he was a rich guy so he even objected to paying taxes to build roads, calling those taxes and roads an attempt to placate the poor and middle class). But eventually he carved up the estate into lots and sold it off. And he wrote ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’, aka 'The Night Before Christmas’.

So, Moore is gone, and his house is gone, too. But his poem is still recited and this one stone remains.

Clement Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Starbucks Not a creature was stirring or causing a ruckus; The CDs were placed on the counter with care, In hopes that Clement Moore soon would be there; The baristas were busy arranging the breads; While visions of steaming milk danced in their heads; And the barista in her apron, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s chat, When out on the street there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter. Away to the counter I flew like a flash, Tore open the pastry case, knocked over the trash. The moon on the crest of the sidewalks and lights, Put espresso and lattes and scones in my sights, When what did my eyes see out the front door, But a miniature sleigh where there sat Clement Moore! Clement C. Moore went up to the counter, And he spoke in a voice that grew so much louder. More rapid than eagles his orders they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:  “Now, Lattes! now, Espresso! now, Teavana Iced Teas! On, Frappes! on, Cocoa! on, Eggnog lattes! To the end of the counter! to the seats by the wall! Now ventis! now grandes! now coffee for all!” As leaves that before the espresso machine fly, When they meet with soy milk, and mount to the sky; So up to the blenders the baristas they flew With cups full of coffee, and Clement Moore, too- And then, in a twinkling, I saw in a flash The drinks were all done with naught but a crash. As I drew in my head, and was just sitting down, Clement Moore walked up with a leap and a bound. He was dressed all in wool, from his feet to his vest, And he had Starbucks’ logo displayed on his chest, A bundle of drinks he held on a tray, And he looked like a barista just starting his day. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!  His drinks filled our noses, his scone had a cherry!  His box full of muffins was drawn up with a bow,  And the whipped cream on his drink was as white as the snow;  The stump of a straw he held tight in his teeth,  And the juice had now covered the whole floor beneath;  He had a latte and a mug of cappuccino  That shook when he laughed, like the coast with El Niño.  He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old poet,  And I laughed when I saw him, though I was eating a donut;  A wink of his eye and a twist of his head  Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;  He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,  And bought all the CDs; then turned with a jerk,  And slurping the last of his huge cup of joe,  And giving a nod, out the door he did go;  He sprang to the sidewalk, to the barista he waved,  And about the great service he continued to rave. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of view—  “Happy Christmas to all, I bought coffee for you!”
This Day in History: July 15
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In 1981, Mayor William Donald Schaefer jumped into the seal pool at the National Aquarium. The swim was a result of a promise he made to Baltimoreans in January that he would “jump in a tank” himself if the aquarium wasn’t open by July 1. After he swam with the seals, the mayor climbed onto the rocks to sit with Debbie Walker (above), who posed as a mermaid. The aquarium eventually opened on Aug. 8.  (Lloyd Pearson, Baltimore Sun photo)

1779: Clement Moore, the scholar who wrote “The Night Before Christmas,” was born in New York.

1916: Pacific Aero Products, which would evolve into the Boeing Co., was founded in Seattle.

1918: The Second Battle of the Marne began during World War I.

1965: American scientists displayed close-up photographs of Mars taken by the spacecraft Mariner 4.

Compiled by Jessica D. Evans and Paul McCardell.

The Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore

Clement C. Moore first read The Night Before Christmas to his children on Christmas Eve, 1822. A family friend, without Moore’s knowledge, sent the story to the Troy Sentinel where it was published anonymously on December 23, 1823.

Almost 200 years later, the story has become an classic Christmas tale.

Moore, Clement Clarke, Ilse Bischoff, and Helen Gentry. 1937. The night before Christmas. New York: Holiday House.  Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

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Cabô Natal. Cabô especial. 

American Folk Lore: There's No Such Thing

American Folk Lore: There’s No Such Thing

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Joseph Noel Paton [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I just finished reading Terry Pratchett’s “Folklore of Discworld,” co-written with folklorist Jacqueline Simpson. (Do people actually get paid for knowing about folklore? What a great job!) Pratchett and Simpson discuss the relationship between the Discworld’s traditions and those of Earth (with the conceit that folklore,…

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[HISTÓRIA] Papai Noel através dos tempos

[HISTÓRIA] Papai Noel através dos tempos

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25 de dezembro é a data mundialmente famosa por ser a comemoração cristã do nascimento de Jesus. Apesar de Jesus não ter nascido nesta data, o 25 de dezembro foi assimilado pela Igreja Católica no intuito de ressignificar a tradicional festa da Saturnália (clique aqui para saber mais).

Porém aqui não vamos falar de Jesus ou da data em si, mas sim de um personagem que se tornou símbolo do Natal…

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