Saturday, June 26, 2010

Year #2!

Fernando found and sent me this photo last month:

The photograph, entitled "Invisible House in Staten Island," is by filmmaker Lynn Sachs and can be found on her website here.
Yes, that is our house.
Happy 2nd Re-Birthday House! I'm glad you no longer look like a giant bush with roof.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

shutters for the day!

We luckily inherited most of our original storm windows for the house when we bought it. They were stacked in the basement:
And some of the original shutters too!

There are signs that they were once mounted outside:

If you look closely, you can see the dirty outline where they once were:

We had our local handyman take the best shutters to prime for us - we had 4 still in good condition. He brought them over today and gave them a preliminary hanging before Fernando paints them.

We purchased some of the hardware we were missing many months ago - it's a perfect fit. We'll be painting the hardware black and we will need to order more. We bought everything that was available in stock at the time from Reiman's Hardware.

I'll have to hunt around for the outer hardware too.

Temporarily in place! Now I'm thinking I might need wider window boxes...

I really can't wait to start working on the exterior trim paint. It will be nice to not have to look at that peeling yellow paint when I come home from work... too bad, we're still quite a ways off from that reality.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Do these things happen to you too?

Sometimes things just don't go our way. We'll start a project and realize we've forgotten something and then spend two hours running back and forth to Home Depot. Or the weather doesn't cooperate. Or we have to work most of weekend and we end up too exhausted for anything else.
We planned to re-build our front steps over Memorial Day weekend. We ripped out the hideous metal pipe railing:

We were excited to find stepping in the extra long length (12 feet!) we needed over at Garber's. We bought it ahead of time and ordered the wood for the risers. Did you know that wood doesn't standardly come in whole inches? They call them 2X4's but they're more like 1.5X 3.5's!
We had to have the riser wood ripped down and slightly trimmed to length. The guy that was supposed to be working in the mill decided to take off for the long weekend early (right after we placed our order) and they called us the next day and said our wood wouldn't be ready until the following Tuesday. Bye bye re-building front steps over Memorial Day weekend plan.
I really want this project to be over - our front steps really suck.
Lots of wear and tear:

General Scuzziness reporting to duty:

Chunks missing:

The new steps were longer than our car:

Can you take a photo with one hand while carrying steps with the other?

Fresh primer:

Long risers:
Now we're all primed and ready to go but we're waiting on my Dad to have a free weekend to help out.
On a positive note, the decaying front porch isn't stopping our new jackmanii clematis:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

a quick trip down south

Last Sunday we had a baby shower for my sister-in-law. Julie is a certified master dog trainer and sometimes works with the Staten Island Animal Care Center to rescue dogs that are about to be put to sleep, fosters and trains them and then finds new homes for them. She is awesome.
After her shower, Julie went to pick up a Lab from the shelter and we tagged along for fun. I successfully resisted the urge to adopt another cat. After the shelter, we headed over to the nearby Conference House Museum in Tottenville to let the pup run around and get some fresh air.
Fernando used to live a few streets away from the Conference House (c. 17th Century) and somehow never really ever walked around the grounds! Tottenville is the Southernmost tip of New York State and is still a part of New York City even though it feels like you could be a hundred miles away. The historic houses on the Conference House grounds are literally the last houses in New York City.
The Conference House or Billopp House was the site of a 1776 conference resulting in a failed attempt to halt the American Revolution starring Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge.
The Conference House/Billopp House:

photo from Wikipedia (we forgot to take one!)

The back of the Conference House/Billopp House:

There's an amazing herb garden at the side of the Conference House. I love the brick paths. I think a similar style garden would look great in our backyard. Maybe next year.

The Ward House - closed for renovations:

The Rutan-Beckett House:

Jealous of this greenhouse:

Next we happened upon the Biddle House:

There was a woman doing some garden work in the yard. Her mother works for the Parks Department and their family gets to live in the house as it's caretakers! Where can I apply for that job?

There is a staircase at the back of the house that leads down to the shoreline:

This contemporary beauty (complete with indoor pool) lives next door:

The sliver of beach was littered with things washed in from the sea:

My sister Gab and I picked things up along the way:
Julie's boyfriend found some kind of hatched nest:

My sister's booty back at the Russell Pavilion:
Tottenville is accessible by NY public transportation and makes a nice day trip away from the rest of the city. Read more on Tottenville over at Forgotten NY.