Tag Archives: beer tour

Beer Tour and Life After the Kitchen

Well, the beer tour was fun! Ticket sales were down a bit this year, which meant that the crowd fit into my house better than last year. I forgot to take photos but picture about 3/4 of this. Also look at the unfinished banister and the pig tail!

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Now, some people said that no one would notice any changes from last year. Based on this comment, you were half right: “It looks so much more finished than last year! Did you get new counter-tops?” Ironically, my sister told me the very next day that her boyfriend was looking at the kitchen’s current state and he said that now I need to replace the counter-tops because they look cheap next to the doors. This is fitting because I paid $50 for them. See where the edging is missing to the right? Gluing that back on should make them look a little less cheap.

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I’m grateful for LOTS of help getting the place clean since less than a week before I was still painting. My mom’s help came of course with free advice: from here on out, I should keep the house clean all the time and also finish all the painting. I’m still leaning closer to none, or maybe some odds and ends and touch-ups, until January.

But anyways, here’s what the place looked like the day after the tour.

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Aside from the clean house I had half a catering tray of mac and cheese left behind. My mom said I should give it to the Irishman’s family, but she doesn’t know what it’s like to be a bachelor. I ate it for breakfast every day last week. Only one coworker said anything about this.

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So, Chad’s retiring from house projects until January? Not quite. I really need to clean out the basement. It became a dumping ground and a half this time.

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On top of the light reorganizing that my basement ends up desperately needing about once a year, there are some things in this lumber-hoard that I may be ready to work with soon, so it’s time to go through it. Does anyone want 125 year old rough sawn lumber? I have an awful lot of it. My next door neighbor growing up made made this table out of my lumber.

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Aside from that, I could stand to make 2 Homasote bulletin boards, (I already own the Homasote) install the mahogany boards currently in the lumber-hoard at the top of my bookcase (even though I’ll take them down again later once I figure out staining them),

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Re-glue the counters of course, and replace the missing insulation and beadboard up here:

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The last piece up there has saw cuts in it and has to go. I’m thinking the way to fix this mess is to cut the nails holding that piece up with a Sawzall, then pull it out as cleanly as I can. I’ll check how many of the removed boards are salvageable, and then buy replacements. My dad suggested boarding over all of it. Replacement boards are $8 each, so I’d rather patch it so this job keeps a 2-digit price tag. I have some cellulose insulation in the basement, so I think I’d want to put up some kind of mesh and then stuff it in. It’s only missing from about 2 cubic feet. I can, sigh, even paint the boards before they go up, though they’ll need touch-up painting again next year when it’s warm enough.

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Cabinets are Done! Dirt Remains.

With help from my dad, I’ve gotten a LOT done. Between how slowly I work and how many flaws I find in these cabinet doors, I never thought I’d see the day. Now, I did have to stop painting a bunch of times because I kept spotting more flaws to grind out with the sander. But somehow, we reached the end of it! This means I did touch-up painting on all 7 of the base cabinet doors and then (my dad) rolled a final coat onto them. The upper cabinet doors were in worse shape so they got 2 coats. And now?

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They look clean and in good condition! What a relief! And what a long time coming. And the dish cabinet is painted blue and has its plate rails and doors!

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The project was annoying to the end. I repeatedly had to stop painting because I discovered that doors were cut too big and rubbed against each other, so I had to grind them down with the sander immediately before painting them. The most annoying of these was the trim at the top of the big interior arch. I knew it wouldn’t clear the cabinet door and asked the Irishman to run it through the table saw before he reinstalled it. He proudly told me that it was just fine. Now the corner is ground back a little. I guess it’s all the same in the end?

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Speaking of which, I got 1 coat of paint onto that arch. That may not count as done but it looks a whole lot better. I also got one coat onto the little scrolly brackets under the stairs and the paneling. Except the panel with the light switch and everything to the right of it including the basement stairway door got 2 coats, including the basement stairway door. Meaning the things that matter.

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Why do they matter? Because this wall has a switch plate, an outlet plate, and a thermostat mounted to it.

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And there’s Art Deco hardware on the basement stairway door. Old door hardware is the most important thing in the world. Literally.

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Then I was cooking and got sick of how hard it was to open the cabinet doors, so I put all the knobs on instead of cleaning up after myself.

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Speaking of touchups, they might be the only kind of painting I can stomach for a while. I had wanted to stain the patio door and paint its jamb and trim this fall, but I’ve now wrapped up a tedious project that took over the whole house for the third time this year and I’m sick of it. But I guess you’ve heard that line before. The patio door and window sashes might actually be hard to do though because I’ll need warm weather to take them down and paint them.

And… the last step is done now! I got the 2 glass doors back from Malvern Glass, and they really went over and beyond. The woman I spoke to quoted me $13 a pane to cut the glass in rectangles, plus $10 per corner (a total of $80!!!) to clip the corners off because the irishman left the notches for the glass rounded with a router. But she said that slightly undersized square panes would fit and save me money. Then installation would be another $35 a pane, which I was unwilling to pay. Well, I got the glass back and the glass cutter rounded off all the corners to make it fit and taped it in place because on these crudely made doors every corner is a little different. I caulked the glass in place with clear silicone and used every bit of willpower I had to resist the urge to put them up last night. Then tonight I went at it rinsing dust off of crystal again instead of more practical jobs.

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Last week the idea of being on a house tour was scary. Now, I’m thrilled with how much more finished things are. All that’s left is enough dust to write your name in my furniture, a bag of (non-perishable) groceries I bought a week ago, and a large wad of un-folded laundry on the couch. And there are still tickets available for this beer tour, so if you’re anywhere near here you should come! For $45 you get basically all the beer you could want, a lot of good food, a souvenir mug, and a chance to win prizes at my house and 4 others nearby. It’s a nice mix of food, drink, nice people, and voyeurism.

So How’d That Beer Tour Go?

I bet you want to know how the tour/party went, but first one of the last things I did to clean for it. In contrast to what I talked about hearing from my steps last week, the steps themselves wasn’t white enough. It used to be a thing that everyone would scrub their marble steps every week. (This photo is Baltimore, whose rowhouses are an awful lot like Philly’s.)

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The plan was always to start this tradition back up after I was done lugging building materials in but… that never happened. Anyways, my mom had bought me Comet cleanser ages ago, but I wanted Bon Ami. Not because it’s any better or anything but remember that big photo of my great-great grandmother?

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Well, she lived about 500 feet away and she used Bon Ami. But I went to 2 stores and neither had it, so Comet it is. So here’s what I started with:

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And here it was after the Comet. Much better but some persistent black stains still ground in.

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Then out comes the Irishman and he says, “I’ll get that off for you in 10 seconds.” And he sprayed them with muriatic acid. This is NOT one of the recommended techniques for restoring historic masonry. So it was scary, especially when the marble started fizzing. But here’s the result!

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Then the Irishman did his own marble – not the original slabs like I have. This time I got a photo of the fizzing.

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And, never a dull moment, he hosed off his car just in case. THANK GOD it was his parked right here in case anything had happened! Also note his signature lack of personal protective equipment when working with dangerous chemicals.

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Then the inside prep. We took away most of the furniture. I said early on that I didn’t want my grandmother’s table because it has a leg in every spot you’d want a chair. I guess I forgot how great a gate leg table is for something like this. And the menu. My mom said that the things other people planned didn’t include enough vegetables so I made massive amounts of hummus, baba ganoush, red lentil balls, and crudités. And remember, it makes all the difference in the world to blanch your crudités. Quench them in an ice water bath so they stay crunchy. The colors are way brighter this way and I’d say the flavor is too.

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The Indonesian place around the corner (One of the places that were indispensable when I was kitchenless) provided a platter of vegetable fritters. And of course the fried food is what went. Now I’m planning every way possible to use up half a shopping cart’s worth of vegetables. And then there was how the guests fit. Definitely pushing the limits of what the Crooked House can hold. Just don’t tell the fire marshal I did this.

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Obligatory bottleneck in the kitchen. The keg was out back. Some people said my kitchen design was too closed in, but I don’t think it’ll ever matter this much again (Unless I’m a beer tour host next year).

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But all this make ahead, room temperature food (and the help of my parents and aunt) let me go to every house. Even though our visits to the houses before (seen below) and after mine were cut short.

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I should keep this entertaining thing now.

 

 

 

Opening the Crooked House to the Public!

I’m gonna be on a house tour! Or actually better than that, a beer tour. This one will be especially interesting because the whole group moves from house to house on a schedule. That means I can expect about 70 people. And remember, this room is basically the whole house.

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So this should be interesting. But I’m excited. Also I’m relieved to be early enough that if it spills onto the sidewalk people won’t hate me.

And because I’m sure you’re either dying to come (or devastated to be too far away), here’s the event information!

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The East Point Breeze Neighbors Association (Formerly Newbold Neighbors) will be hosting their 10th annual ‘Beer Tour’ fundraiser on October 15th. The wildly successful and fun event attracts about 100 attendees each year.  The Beer Tour is a wonderful opportunity to meet new neighbors, eat great food, drink delicious beer, and tour some of the wonderful homes in the Newbold area.

Starting at 5:00 on Saturday, October 15th, we will journey through 5 different houses in the neighborhood.  Each house will feature food paired with 2 different beers. At the first house, each ticket holder will receive a pint glass designed by a local neighborhood artist, a map outlining the remaining homes and the beginnings of a good time. This event is 21+, so please bring your ID and make sure to buy your tickets in advance as the Beer Tour always sells out early.

East Point Breeze Neighbors is a non-profit civic organization established in 2007 serving residents, owners, and businesses in the Point Breeze area of South Philadelphia west of Broad St. to 18th St. and south of Washington Ave. to Passyunk Ave. EPBN strives to engage residents, support sustainable development, promote local businesses, and strengthen our community through clean streets, greening efforts, public safety, planning, zoning, and outreach. The money raised on the beer tour goes toward community efforts like Big-Belly trash cans, block clean up days, and supplies for the community garden.

Event Details

Who: East Point Breeze Neighbors Association

What: 2016 East Point Breeze Beer Tour

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016 5-10pm

Where:  Newbold section of Point Breeze

Why: Meet your neighbors and help raise funds for community improvement projects.

How: Buy your tickets through this link: https://www.universe.com/events/10th-annual-east-point-breeze-neighbors-beer-tour-tickets-YGN1L4

There will be a 50/50 so please bring some cash.