Hole in the Clouds

Tag: food

Area of Refuge

Aug 24, 2011

Area of Refuge is a technical term associated with the Americans for Disabilities Act, identifying places where people in wheelchairs can wait for extra assistance during an emergency.

For example, say there's a fire in a multi-story elevator building. In response to the fire alarm, the  elevators stop operating normally, and able-bodied people have to exit via stairwells or outside fire escapes. People in wheelchairs are supposed to follow illuminated signs to an Area of Refuge on each floor, usually near the elevator or stairwell, where extra fire resistance has been built into the walls and extra communication equipment is available. Once comunication is established, first responders can locate people in the refuge and rescue them, by overriding the elevator stoppage if possible or by carrying people down the stairs if necessary.

It makes sense, but for reasons unknown to me, Area of Refuge signs are seen very rarely; they're either not there at all in most buildings, or they're so inconspicuous I never notice them.

In fact, this sign in the Double T Diner in Annapolis, Maryland, is the first I've ever seen, which is why I took the picture. I had no idea what it meant and speculated that the worried look on the face of the guy in this picture might suggest he is desperately seeking his own personal place of refuge.

Now that I've studied up on this stuff, I'm still a little confused. The Double T Diner is a one-story, ground-level-only restaurant. What's the need for a Disability-Act area of refuge in a one-story building?

food   Annapolis   Maryland   signs   Double T Diner  

Bread of Affliction

Mar 27, 2013

They say the original matzoh-makers were in a mad rush that first night out of slavery and couldn't bake their bread with customary care and patience. Somehow, that biblical hurry led to perfect squares of matzoh with neat rows of perforations, packaged in cardboard and sold at Passover time for next to nothing by supermarkets hoping to lure in customers for other holiday purchases.

At Metropolitan Bakery in Philadelphia, however, matzoh is the focus of a new business model. It's baked with black olives or sun-dried tomatoes, and it's primitive in appearance, artisanal by reputation. Crowds of people stand in line for it, and they pay a pretty penny.

It seems that there's more than one way to make money off "comfort foods" that invoke the bad old days. Happy Passover, y'all.

food   Philadelphia   holiday   matzoh   Passover  

Tomatoes for the Troops

Mar 1, 2016

In January 1943, Australian truck gardener and food packager Edgell & Sons Ltd opened a new cannery in Cowra, New South Wales, for the war effort; by January 1944, these women and other employees working in shifts around the clock had shipped off one million cans of tomatoes and other vegetables.

The cannery at Cowra stayed in operation till 2013, by which time Edgell had shifted over mostly to frozen foods, and every other cannery in Australia had already closed down. Birdseye now owns the company, though Edgell survives as a brand for the Australian market.

food   work   World War II   Australia   industry   factory   women   New South Wales   Cowra   1943   (Image credit: Office of War Information via Shorpy)