• Coin-Op Cuisine: When the Future Tasted Like a Five-Cent Slice of Pie Life in 2015 isn’t quite what we were promised in the last century's science-fiction fantasies: We don’t live on the moon, commute to work in autonomous flying cars, or get homework help from friendly robot maids. And yet, our predictions for food service—fully cooked meals delivered instantly at the push of a button—became a reality more than 50 years before "The Jetsons" ever aired. Starting in …
  • L.A.'s Wildest Cafeteria Served Utopian Fantasy With a Side of Enchiladas On a decrepit block of Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, hidden behind a dilapidated, aging façade, lies the ghost of a palatial dining hall filled with towering redwoods and a gurgling stream. Known as Clifton’s Brookdale Cafeteria, this terraced wonderland recalls a different time, when cafeterias were classy and downtown living was tops. Against all odds, the Brookdale outlasted attacks from no…
  • Bowes Curator Howard Coutts on Meissen, Staffordshire, and Sèvres I’m the curator of the ceramics bit of the Bowes Museum. It’s a big museum with 30 galleries of which three or four are devoted to ceramics alone. Within Britain, it’s got one of the biggest and most expensive groups for people to see. We have about 5,000 or so pieces in the collection. We’re not sure exactly. It’s all registered, but of course we get tea sets registered under one number, so I thi…