Monday, January 26, 2009

The Days of the Puchavus

Over Christmas in Richmond the Puchavus ran like a dream. Solid speed, power and scream. A little sparking at the points, but with those rpm's points just aren't going to last too long.

There is nothing like blasting in a city.

Out in Motion Left country 55mph just isn't that fast, but in the city you can rip by people and are easily the fastest thing around. Riding is especially good in Richmond, where mopeds are a common site, and scooters and self-conscious track bikers are everywhere. Cars know how to respond to two wheels. In Indiana all they think of with two wheels are HD's and Hyabusas.

Here is the Puchavus posed by the James River.

Another reason Richmond is infinitely preferable to Northern Indiana is its temperate climate. On this January afternoon I could ride without gloves. Compare this wiping out on a sheet of ice and then being hit by a sliding car (true story). I choose Richmond, plus it's my favorite city in the world, which says a lot seeing as I am writing this in Rome.

I'm thinking of Bilbo Baggins's teapot on the fire right now, and I'm sure it's not going to be for the last time...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Arcitectural Treatises

Today we visited the Rare Books room of the architecture library and spent about three hours pouring over the newly acquired first editions of Palladio's Quattro Libri De Architectura and Stuart and Revett's Antiquities of Athens.

First edition Palladio rebound in vellum:

First edition Stuart and Revett:

Professor Thomas Gordon Smith with the Quattro Libri:
Frontispiece to the second book:

Professor Thomas Gordon Smith with The Antiquities of Athens:

It was interesting to note Benjamin Franklin's name as a subscriber in the front of Antiquities of Athens. Did a copy of the book make it to America before the revolution?