Map Giveaway: LI Before the LIE

IMG_3417UPDATE: Lisa of South Slope, Brooklyn (comment #7) is the winner of the map!

THIS PAST SUNDAY, I followed a yard sale sign to a classic 1850s Greek Revival. It was late on Day 2 of the sale, and there wasn’t much left (and I was on my way to yoga — a girl’s gotta have priorities). But I did manage to snatch up a couple of 1930s road maps with mellow retro colors and evocative pen-and-ink illustrations.

As a little incentive to you, dear readers, to get you in the habit of commenting on this blog — and in the interest of market research — I’m giving away a 1930s Esso map of Metropolitan New York and Long Island, gratis. It’s full of anachronistic touches, like the words “The Ghetto” plastered over the Lower East Side; a ferry schedule; a long, long list of golf and yacht clubs; and no Long Island Expressway or Kennedy Airport. Suitable for framing!


All you have to do is comment on this post. Click on ‘Leave a Comment’ or ‘[Number of] Comments,’ above, under the headline of this post, and a form will open up for your comment. You can use your real name or not, but you do need to give an e-mail address, which won’t appear on the blog, so I can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. On Sunday, June 20, I’ll select the winner at random using’s random-number selector.
Tell me how you discovered this blog, what you like about it (or dislike – I can take it), what you’d like to see covered here, why you like old maps, what kind of old house you live in — I don’t care what you say, just comment! You might enjoy it.



24 thoughts on “Map Giveaway: LI Before the LIE

  1. What a find! I went to school with one of the Essos. Augustine Esso. We called him Augie.

  2. I’m one of those shamed lurkers who check in pretty much daily and have never commented. *hangs head*
    I love how you tear into things. You’ve got me motivated to work on my yard but how I wish you were my neighbor so you could cheer me on. I have a 1939 Georgian wannabe that sits on five acres of woods and at the moment it feels and looks like the Brazilian rain forest. Don’t feel bad cause my deer eat my astilbe too.
    Thanks for keeping on.

  3. Having been raised on the Lower East Side I find it interesting that it was labeled as ” ghetto”. Makes me want this even more.

  4. My map giveaway is working! Five comments in two hours must be a casaCARA record. Welcome, Kimberly of Five Acre Wood and Wendy, formerly of Loisaida. Priscilla, Quinn, Astor, welcome back.

  5. I honestly don’t remember how I found your blog but I now have it on my google reader page so every time you have a new entry it pops up on my home page. I especially enjoy your posts about decorating and simplifying. I live in an 1890s attached wood-frame house on a family-friendly wood-frame block in the South Slope — one of those houses that got caught up in the aluminum siding craze of the 1950s. Much of the original detail inside is long gone, although there is some left on the parlor floor. I do wish we had enough money to restore the lintels, moldings and cornice o the outside. It’s delightful to see how much you’ve done with your Springs house in such a short time. Please continue to share your decorating insights! thank you. p.s. My husband and I are also NY history buffs, so the map would be fun to have.

  6. Welcome, Lisa – great to “meet” you and hear about your house. Best of luck to you as you restore it to its former vintage charm,
    and thanks for reminding me to do more decorating posts!

  7. I would love to have this map for my house! I discovered your blog shortly after I purchased a house out east, when I goggled “E Hampton real estate”. You’ve since been on my list of morning clicks. You’re consistently entertaining & inspiring!

  8. OK — I took lurk a lot, but enjoy seeing your progress and hearing about your incredible downanddirty attacks on the weeds that dare to enter your garden. My father had a gas station back in the fifties and that ESSO map reminds me of him — even though he had a Mobil station, those free maps were always around — and handy! As someone who likes to fold paper, I enjoy trying to re-fold those maps after opening – – a sometime daunting task! Great blog CARA!!! Always great to e-visit!
    Also – Want to see more of your containers and hear how they are faring.

  9. I found your blog while trying to unearth info on the cottage that I eventually bought in Greenport…… now affectionately known as Casa Grande. I love old maps because of the simpler time they represent. So glad that I found your blog since we share a passion for all things Brooklyn, the restoration of old homes on a budget and the thrill of finding treasures “sulla strada”!

  10. I would love to be in the lottery for the map! You and I corresponded last year regarding Eric the Treeman who has worked out wonderfully for me and my E. Hampton property. Thanks so much for the recommendation! I read your blog frequently – but often my gardening cannot compare to your perseverance! Good luck with the lottery!

  11. Thanks Amanda, Eileen, Ellen, Adrienne, and Susannah for coming out of the (vintage) woodwork! Great to hear from y’all!

  12. I have been following your blog for a few years now- can’t remember but probably an OTBKB post put me on your trail. Born on the North Fork, now a resident of Park Slope- I spent 10 years in Boerum Hill and now have a second home in Sag Harbor. Needless to say, your blog “speaks to me”. I love your new home and all your posts about foliage and real estate in other areas. I am just a window-sill gardener myself but your blog helps me dream! I enjoy maps, and this one is brings back a feeling of nostalgia for the days when my grandparents summered in Sayville, sailing on the Great South Bay. Keep up the good blogging!

  13. Welcome, Sue, fellow map-lover. What a treat to hear from a regular reader I never knew existed! I see we’re on the same circuit (Brooklyn-East End) Thanks for commenting!

  14. I visit your site weekly and thoroughly enjoy the content. I don’t remember exactly how I got here, probably from some gardening blog. I love your passion for improving your new home and developing that garden. Thank you. :)

  15. I’m probably not eligible for the map as I’m sort of family but hope it brings more lurkers to the surface!

  16. And the winner is….Lisa of South Slope, Brooklyn! Hers was the 7th comment on this post, and the number generated by this morning was 7. This pleases me, because Lisa is a first-time commenter and she wrote such a long comment. Enjoy your map, Lisa, and please let’s hear from you again!

  17. I too am inspired by this blog – and since I have only a small, mostly shade, garden now – it is a vicarious thrill to see so many special gardens – through your eyes. I tend to agree with your point of view about the many thing you comment on.

    Congrats to your son and girlfriend! Nice first purchase – and much younger than I was for

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