Washington Irving

Washington Irving was an American short-story writer, biographer and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", both of which appear in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, his historical works include biographies of Oliver Goldsmith and George Washington, as well as several histories of 15th-century Spain that deal with subjects such as Alhambra, Christopher Columbus and the Moors. Irving served as ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846, he made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. He moved to England for the family business in 1815 where he achieved fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. serialized from 1819–20. He continued to publish throughout his life, he completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death at age 76 in Tarrytown, New York.

Irving was one of the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, he encouraged other American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe. He was admired by some British writers, including Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Charles Dickens, Francis Jeffrey and Walter Scott, he advocated for writing as a legitimate profession and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement. Washington Irving's parents were William Irving Sr. of Quholm, Orkney and Sarah of Falmouth, England. They married in 1761, they had eleven children. Their first two sons died in infancy, both named William, as did their fourth child John, their surviving children were William Jr. Ann, Catherine, John Treat and Washington; the Irving family settled in Manhattan, were part of the city's merchant class. Washington was born on April 3, 1783, the same week that New York City residents learned of the British ceasefire which ended the American Revolution.

Irving's mother named him after George Washington. Irving met his namesake at age 6, when George Washington was living in New York after his inauguration as President in 1789; the President blessed young Irving, an encounter that Irving had commemorated in a small watercolor painting which continues to hang in his home. The Irvings lived at 131 William Street at the time of Washington's birth, but they moved across the street to 128 William St. Several of Irving's brothers became active New York merchants. Irving was an uninterested student who preferred adventure stories and drama, he sneaked out of class in the evenings to attend the theater by the time he was 14. An outbreak of yellow fever in Manhattan in 1798 prompted his family to send him upriver, where he stayed with his friend James Kirke Paulding in Tarrytown, New York, it was in Tarrytown he became familiar with the nearby town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, with its Dutch customs and local ghost stories. He made several other trips up the Hudson as a teenager, including an extended visit to Johnstown, New York where he passed through the Catskill Mountains region, the setting for "Rip Van Winkle".

"Of all the scenery of the Hudson", Irving wrote, "the Kaatskill Mountains had the most witching effect on my boyish imagination". Irving began writing letters to the New York Morning Chronicle in 1802 when he was 19, submitting commentaries on the city's social and theater scene under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle; the name evoked his Federalist leanings and was the first of many pseudonyms he employed throughout his career. The letters bought Irving moderate notoriety. Aaron Burr was a co-publisher of the Chronicle, was impressed enough to send clippings of the Oldstyle pieces to his daughter Theodosia. Charles Brockden Brown made a trip to New York to recruit Oldstyle for a literary magazine he was editing in Philadelphia. Concerned for his health, Irving's brothers financed an extended tour of Europe from 1804 to 1806, he bypassed most of the sites and locations considered essential for the social development of a young man, to the dismay of his brother William who wrote that he was pleased that his brother's health was improving, but he did not like the choice to "gallop through Italy… leaving Florence on your left and Venice on your right".

Instead, Irving honed the social and conversational skills that made him one of the world's most in-demand guests. "I endeavor to take things as they come with cheerfulness", Irving wrote, "and when I cannot get a dinner to suit my taste, I endeavor to get a taste to suit my dinner". While visiting Rome in 1805, Irving struck up a friendship with painter Washington Allston and was persuaded into a career as a painter. "My lot in life, was differently cast". Irving returned from Europe to study law with his legal mentor Judge Josiah Ogden Hoffman in New York City. By his own admission, he was not a good student and passed the bar examination in 1806, he began socializing with a group of literate young men whom he dubbed "The Lads of Kilkenny", he created the literary magazine Salmagundi in January 1807 with his brother William and his friend James Kirke Paulding, writing under various pseudonyms, such as William Wizard and Launcelot Langstaff. Irving lampooned politics in a manner similar to today's Mad magazine.


Setback (land use)

In land use, a setback is the minimum distance which a building or other structure must be set back from a street or road, a river or other stream, a shore or flood plain, or any other place, deemed to need protection. Depending on the jurisdiction, other things like fences, septic tanks, various potential hazards or nuisances might be regulated and prohibited by setback lines. Setbacks along state, provincial, or federal highways may be set in the laws of the state or province, or the federal government. Local governments create setbacks through ordinances, zoning restrictions, Building Codes for reasons of public policy such as safety and environmental protection. Neighborhood developers may create setback lines to ensure uniform appearance in the neighborhood and prevent houses from crowding adjacent structures or streets. In some cases, building ahead of a setback line may be permitted through special approval. Homes have a setback from the property boundary, so that they cannot be placed close together.

Setbacks may allow for public utilities to access the buildings, for access to utility meters. In some municipalities, setbacks are based on street right-of-ways, not the front property line. Nonetheless, many of the world's cities, such as those built in the US before 1916 and the beginnings of zoning in the United States, do not employ setbacks. Zoning –and laws pertaining to site development, such as setbacks for front lawns– has been criticized by urban planners for the role that these laws have played in producing urban sprawl and automobile-dependent, low-density cities. Older houses have smaller setbacks between properties, as walking was a primary mode of transportation and the distance people walked to actual destinations and streetcar stops had to be kept short out of necessity. Distances of one to five feet at most are common in neighborhoods built in the United States before 1890, when the electric streetcar first became popular. Most suburbs laid out before 1920 have narrow lots and setbacks of five to fifteen feet between houses.

As automobile ownership became common, setbacks increased further because zoning laws required developers to leave large spaces between the house and street. In some areas of the United States, setback requirements have been lowered so as to permit new homes and other structures to be closer to the street, one facet of the low impact development urban design movement; this permits a more usable rear yard and limits new impervious surface areas for the purposes of stormwater infiltration. Mailboxes, on the other hand have a maximum setback instead of a minimum one. A postal administration or postmaster may mandate that if a mailbox on a street is too far from the curb for the letter carrier to insert mail, without having to get out of the vehicle, the mail may not be delivered to that address at all until the situation is corrected. British Columbia uses a minimum setback of 4.5 metres of any building, mobile home, retaining wall, or other structure from all highway rights-of-way under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure unless the building has access from another street, in which case the allowed setback is 3 metres

Able Label

The Able Label was an independent record label from Brisbane, Australia. The label was established by Damien Nelson, together with Grant McLennan and Robert Forster in 1978 and was the first independent record label in Brisbane. Whilst several Brisbane based bands had released their own independent singles, Able Label was the first to cater for a number of acts; the Go-Betweens released their first two singles, "Lee Remick" and "People Say", on the label in 1978 and 1979. It allowed a number of other Brisbane groups, The Numbers, The Apartments and the Four Gods to press their own records using the Able Label logo. Not all bands were permitted to use the Able Label logo, one such band was Razar who were refused permission to use the logo on their seminal 1978 single "Task Force"; the band were accused of appropriating the label's name, with the single using the catalogue number AB002. The most explanation is that it was a manufacturing error by the pressing plant in Sydney. Able Records are now considered collectors' items.

List of record labels Able Logo image