Maryland: 50 States in 50 Days

Snagged by moi
Maryland is known as the old line state, the free state, Little America or America in miniature, not because it looks like a "mini-me" of the country but because of its varied topography, from mountains to beaches and rolling hills. Maryland officially takes its name from Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I of England however, it also contains a reference to the fact that George Calvert who applied for the charter in 1629 intended

Maine: 50 States in 50 Days

Havona and the Stony Cook's Maine
Maine, The Pine Tree State or ”Vacation Land” is also the land of Stonewall Kitchen, homemade ice cream-so-good-it-kick-Ben-and-Jerry’s-butts, cheap lobster, blue berries, moose, Stephen King, George H Bush, and L.L.Bean. Maine may take its name from the ancient Provence of Maine. It may be a nautical reference to the “mainland”. Like a lot of states, it turns out, we just don’t know. What we do know is that Maine

Louisiana: 50 States in 50 Days

Found! Louisiana by Renya Sofia
We’re taking a break from our pre-harvest festival/pre-Halloween festivities to highlight Louisiana, our next state. Louisiana is utterly unique, a mix of French, Spanish, African and Native American cultures at its apex in New Orleans.
It borders by the state of Texas on the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi on the east and the Gulf of Mexico at its south. For visitors it’s a strange topsy-turvy place

Kentucky: 50 States in 50 Days

Havona and the Stony Cooks got Kentucky

Kentucky is the Bluegrass state. This is bluegrass as in actually grass, not the music, though bluegrass music is certainly made in Kentucky. If we were to play six degrees of separation, Kentucky would be one of those key names, like people on Facebook who seem to know everyone. It borders seven states: West Virginia lies to the east, Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the

Kansas: 50 States in 50 Days

Meredith Lopez put us "over the rainbow" with this!
Kansas: we’re not there anymore, but you‘d never know it by the weather. How can we possible think about Kansas with every second leave cruelly sheared off, littering the sidewalks and choking the gutters? What’s the Matter With Kansas? It’s a documentary. Today we know Kansas for tornados (though we’re giving them a run for their money) and Conservatives but apparently Kansas has a rich history

Iowa: 50 States in 50 Days


A big "thank you" to Matt Law, a relative newcomer to our plate bandits, for this lovely specimen!

Iowa, the Hawkeye State is synonymous with corn – even before the development of the Corn soy nexus. It takes its name from the Ioway people, the largest native American tribe living in the area. Some people from Iowa actually refer to their home as I-OH-WAY.
The Iowa border is formed by the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers on the west, the

Indiana: 50 States in 50 Days

a "beemer", no less

Havona and the Stony Cooks have been busy trawling the streets of Park Slope in search of rare plates like this one from Indiana. Indiana is the Hoosier state. I am glad we’ve reached this point because it affords and opportunity to answer the question on everyone’s lips. Just what is a Hoosier, exactly?
I put the question to Dan Janzen, local dad, writer for hire and Indiana native. Dan writes:
“No one knows! It's been used to

50 States in 50 Days: Illinois

I have no idea where this came from
Did you send me this lovely picture of the Illinois plate? Please let me know so that I can thank you publically. Not only is this a nice, clear shot, Illinois is a nice state.

Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, or sometimes the Prairie State. It is the most populous state in the Midwest and home to wonderful, big-shouldered Chicago. Illinois joined the Union in 1818 and really was Abraham Lincoln’s home. Like many

50 States in 50 Days: Hawaii

The rarest of them all?

In a strange expulsion of brain wind yesterday I neglected to post Hawaii. Oh the Humanity! This exceedingly rare plate comes to us from Amanda Aaron, an early co-founder of PSP and all around good egg. This plate was top of the list of Plates-we-probably-won’t –find, and yet here it is. Amanda explains that she and her children began collecting plates quite independently of The Cause because the discovery of the Hawaii

50 States in 50 Days: Idaho

Havona's Idaho is no small potato
Potatoes, mountains and militias: there's more to Idaho. For instance, Idaho is known as "The Gem State" because nearly every gemstone can be found there. It is also one of only two sources for star garnets, the other being in the Himalayas.
The origin of the name Idaho is hotly disputed. It may be derived from a Native American Word meaning enemy, gem of the Mountain, and expression of surprise as in "OMG! "

50 States in 50 Days: Georgia

Havona and the Stony Cooks -- again!

From the Katherine Fletcher collection
Its been a productive week here at the nerve center. Mrs Malchman came through with Arkansas and we were able to mention both escaped pythons and ravenous Gambian pouch rats in a single post. We now need only Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wyoming. I would be lying if I tried to pretend I'm not feeling somewhat wistful, only four to go... but then my inner,

50 States in 50 Days: Florida

Basic Florida Plate
Children's Plate from Havona and the Stony Cooks

Katherine Fletcher's Florida

Florida Police plate
Florida is the Sunshine State and the home of many exotic license plate designs; we’re showing only a few today. Florida is known for many things: retirees, the Everglades, hurricanes, Dave Barry and Carl Hiassen, The Golden Girls, The South Beach Diet, alligators pastels (which sorta work there), escaped voracious pythons

50 States in 50 Days: Arkansas

What comes of taking photos on National Coffee day
Now I know what you’re thinking… this picture of the Arkansas plate is blurry. Why would you run a blurry picture? Why indeed? The answer is that Arkansas is such a rare find that the photographer dispatched to capture the image by the South Slope’s delightful Mrs. Malchman, was so overcome with excitement that his hands would not stop trembling. Who among us would have the nerves of steel

50 States in 50 Days: Connecticut

Havona and the Stony Cooks strike gold again
Today’s Connecticut plate comes to us from Havona Madama and the stony cooks (who should form a band if they are not already). We have made great progress from last week with only 4 - count ‘em! - 4 states to go! Connecticut, a veritable Sybil of a state, is “the nutmeg state”, “the constitution state”,” the provision state”, the state where Lucy and Rickie moved when they left Murray Hill. Whatever you call

50 States in 50 Days: Alaska

What a find! Meredith Lopez stikes again! You go girl!

*** Correction: the Meredith who found this gem is, in fact Meredith Lopez, not Meredith Littleas credited on Friday. Both Merediths have a knack for finding the seemingly impossible. My most sincere apologies for the mix up. I blame high fructose corn syrup.***
Only 7 states to go! Meredith came through with this awesome find yesterday. We also received Missouri, Michigan, Iowa plus some

50 States in 50 Days: Colorado

One of Colorado's many Volkswagens
I snapped this beauty last week. Colorado, prounounced "ColoRADo" by residents joined the Union in 1875. The name means "red". It is the one of only states whose borders are defined by lines of longitude and lattitude. That's why it is a big quadrangle. It is bordered by Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Utah and New Mexico. One of its corners touches Arizona.
Colorado is known for it's beautiful scenery,

50 States in 50 Days: California

Havona strikes again!
California, Oakland no less. Is California New York's laid-back twin? Is Oakland Park Slope's twin? Yes and no. Let's just put this out there: Park Slope is Berkeley's twin, and every body knows it. Oakland seems a bit more like Jackson Heights, Queens - not quite hip, but getting there.
My view of the New York/California relationship is straight out of Annie Hall. Visiting "The Golden State" makes me feel uncomfortably

50 States in 50 Days: Arizona

"Vintage" Arizona courtesy of Katherine Fletcher
"Exotic" Arizona courtesy of Havona Madama and the Stoney Cooks

Our plates runneth over. We are now down to a mere handful of states left to find (see below). These two fab Arizona plates, the gritty, two-headed-snake-behind-the-last-chance-filling-station style version and the irrigated-golf-course-peopled-by-retirees rendition come to us from two of our most prolific licence sleuths, Havona and

50 States in 50 Days: Alabama

Courtesy of Marcia Adams
Could we find 50 state licence plates on the streets of Brooklyn in 50 Days? How about 50 hours? We've had a tremendous response and we are now only 12 states short of our goal! A big "thank you" to everyone who sent in photos. You can see the states we still need below. I will personally buy the person who finds South Dakota (my ancestral home) a beverage of his or her choice . In the meantime, on with the show!

50 States in 50 Days!

The District of Columbia: the Joker in our deck