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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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Nativity Scene, Early 1960s, Made in Italy

Complete set here. My mother purchased this nativity scene for our family in the early 1960s in Pittsburgh, PA.

This year I decided to clean it up a bit. I scraped the figurines off of the manger (they were glued on) by using a hair dryer to loosen it up and then use a 5-in-1 painter's tool to pop them off.

Decades of cat piss really smell good when heated. (Get away from there, Ziggy!)

I didn't want to have a Antiques Road Show moment ("it would be worth a trillion dollars if you handn't washed these figurines"), so I just used some common dish detergent and scraped it down with a mini-screwdriver/ scraper thing.

First I soaked them in dish detergent for a while, then used a paper towel to scrub them down. Then I used a little eyeglass-style screwdriver to scrape the grooves and get rid of some of the dirt. I covered the blade of the screwdriver with a paper towel to deaden the scrape. To finish it off, after a figured out that the plastic was pretty sturdy, I used hand soap and toothbrush to scrub the pieces.

Some came cleaner than others. I decided not to worry about it too much, since the colors were pretty vivid and it wasn't that big of a deal to have dirt in the grooves.

The plastic figurines are really well-made-- I didn't make any divots or scrapes in them while cleaning them-- they held up really well. Pretty good for a plain-old off-the-shelf item.

I scraped all of the hay off the floor and sanded the roof down. Next year I might repair the roof as well-- not sure if I want to go that far or if I should just leave it.

Here's the complete set.

New York City Times Square Street Closings and Other Police Information

From NYPD:

HE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES STREET CLOSURES FOR THE NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION IN TIMES SQUARE

Traffic Advisory

The New York City Police Department today announced street closures related to the New Year's Eve Celebration in Times Square. Street closures and parking restrictions are expected to cause traffic delays. The use of public transportation is highly recommended.

Beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, Times Square will be closed to vehicle traffic. Attendees will be directed by Police Officers to gather in separate viewing sections. When one section fills up, people will be directed to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers will continue to fill Times Square along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43rd Street to Central Park.

-- Backpacks and large bags prohibited
-- Alcohol beverages prohibited
-- Property may not be abandoned at checkpoints
-- Attendees who leave before the ball drops will not be able to gain entry to their original viewing area

There will be No Parking in the following areas from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st:

All cross-town streets from 33rd to 59th Street between 6th and 8th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

West side of 5th Avenue, from 37th to 52nd Streets; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

West side of 6th Avenue, from 34th to 59th Streets; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

East side of 6th Avenue, from 37th to 52nd Streets; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

East side of 8th Avenue from 34th to 57th Streets; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

48th Street between 5th and Ninth Avenues; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

43rd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

42nd Street between 5th and 9th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

37th Street between 5th and 8th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

34th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

48th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

52nd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

58th Street between 6th and 8th Avenue; (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

59th Street between 5th Avenue and Columbus Circle. (No Parking from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st)

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, the following
streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic:

Seventh Avenue, from 41st to 59th Streets; (will be closed to all vehicular traffic at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st)

Broadway, from 47th to 59th Streets; (will be closed to all vehicular traffic at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st)

43rd to 47th Streets, from Sixth to Eighth Avenue. (will be closed to all vehicular traffic at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st)

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, 42nd Street from 6th to
Eight Avenue will closed to traffic.

After 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, the remainder of the traffic closures will be instituted as crowd conditions warrant:

-- All cross-town streets from 37th to 41st Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues;
-- All cross-town streets from 49th to 59th Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues;
-- 48th Street, from Fifth to Ninth Avenues;
-- Cross-town access for emergency vehicles will be available on 42nd, 48th, and 59th Streets.

People are strongly advised to use public transportation. On-street parking will be extremely limited in the Midtown area. People should avoid all cross-town streets from 34th to 59th Streets, as well as Sixth and Eighth Avenues. The Department will continue its drunken driving enforcement on New Year's Eve through DWI patrols and checkpoints throughout the City. The NYPD made 11,056 drunken driving arrests this year, and as part of the DWI Forfeiture Initiative, seized 1,548 vehicles from drunk drivers so far in 2009.

TRANSIT INFORMATION

Beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, some subway access around Times Square will be closed. The following subway system changes should be noted:

Southbound and northbound N/R/W lines will skip the 49th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Friday, January 1st.

The northbound IRT "#1" train will skip the 50th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Friday, January 1st.

Early Voting Locations in Chicago

Early voting for the February 2 primary starts on January 11, 2010. I support David Hoffman for US Senate-- he's the most qualified candidate on the ballot and stands the best chance of keeping President Obama's former Senate seat in Democratic hands.

Get out there and get your vote counted early!


1. Goldblatts Building 1615 W. Chicago Ave.
2. Mabel Manning Library 6 S. Hoyne Ave.
3. Chicago Bee Library 3647 S. State St.
4. M L King Community Ctr 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
5. Jackson Park 6401 S. Stony Island Ave.
6. Whitney Young Library 7901 S. M. L. King Jr. Dr.
7. Jeffery Manor Library 2401 E. 100th St.
8. Olive Harvey College 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave.
9. Palmer Park 201 E. 111th St.
*10. Vodak/East Side Library 3710 E. 106th St.*
11. McKinley Park 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
12. Back of the Yards Library 4650 S. Damen Ave.
13. West Lawn Park 4233 W. 65th St.
14. Archer Heights Library 5055 S. Archer Ave.
15. Lindbloom Park 6054 S. Damen Ave.
16. Sherman Park 1301 W. 52nd St.
17. Thurgood Marshall Library 7506 S. Racine Ave.
18. Wrightwood-Ashburn Library 8530 S. Kedzie Ave.
19. 22nd Police District 1900 W. Monterey Ave.
20. Coleman Library 731 E. 63rd St.
21. Woodson Regional Library 9525 S. Halsted St.
22. Piotrowski Park 4247 W. 31st St.
23. Clearing Library 6423 W. 63rd Pl.
24. Douglass Library 3353 W. 13th St.
25. Chinatown Library 2353 S. Wentworth Ave.
26. Humboldt Park Library 1605 N. Troy St.
27. Union Park 1501 W. Randolph St.
28. West Side Learning Ctr 4624 W. Madison St.
29. Amundsen Park 6200 W. Bloomingdale Ave.
30. Portage Cragin Library 5108 W. Belmont Ave.
31. Blackhawk Park 2318 N. Lavergne Ave.
32. Pulaski Park 1419 W. Blackhawk St.
33. Independence Library 3548 W. Irving Park Rd.
34. West Pullman Library 830 W. 119th St.
35. Logan Square Library 3030 W. Fullerton Ave.
36. Hiawatha Park 8029 W. Forest Preserve Dr.
37. West Chicago Library 4856 W. Chicago Ave.
38. Wright College - Science Bldg 4300 N. Narragansett Ave.
39. N. Park Village Admn Bldg 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
40. Budlong Woods Library 5630 N. Lincoln Ave.
41. Roden Library 6083 N. Northwest Hwy.
42. Access Living 115 W. Chicago Ave.
43. Lincoln Park Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave.
44. Merlo Library 644 W. Belmont Ave.
45. Edgebrook Library 5331 W. Devon Ave.
46. Truman College 1145 W. Wilson Ave.
*47. Welles Park 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.*
48. Edgewater Library 1210 W. Elmdale Ave.
49. Pottawattomie Park 7340 N. Rogers Ave.
50. Warren Park 6601 N. Western Ave.
* Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington St., Lower Level Conference Room*

ABOUT ME

Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.

PROJECTS

EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.

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    Projects

    • Wesley Willis Art
      Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
    • CTA Alerts
      Wireless notifications about service on the Chicago Transit Authority.
    • Wide Right Turn

      An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.
    • Derivative Works Art Manifesto
      Humans own their experience of copyrighted content.
    • Y!Q Link Generator
      Simple form for creating Y!Q links to add relevance, annotate text, and provide more sophisticated layers of meaning to web content.