Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spitz Clock Renovation and Sandwich (part 1)

The Spitz Clock in the Santa Fe Plaza (not really in the Plaza but close enough) is in need of restoration. The City of Santa Fe says it doesn't have enough money to maintain the clock.  The landmark pocket-watch looking outdoor clock is covered in a wood frame with gold leaf finish. The seals and wood frames are in a bad state of disrepair.

"The Spitz clock is an unusual fixture in the shape of a time piece that has a long and tortuous history. The Spitz Jewelry Company was established on Santa Fe's Plaza in 1881, and a clock without works was placed in front to advertise the store. In about 1900, a working clock replaced the original, only to be knocked down by one of the first motor cars to drive through Santa Fe. The present clock was brought from Kansas City at that time, and stood in the original location until the Plaza's south portal was expanded in 1967. At that time, the clock was donated to the City of Santa Fe, and was later erected in its current location in 1974. It stands opposite the the northwest corner of the Plaza, just west of the Palace of 
the Governors and a few blocks from the state capitol. "

There is a committee that is trying to "renovate" the clock and prevent it from being removed and put somewhere inside the New Mexico Fine Arts Museum adjacent to where the clock now stands.

Let me step back a bit and explain that my interest in the Spitz Clock started a while back when Roque Garcia and I started one of the first food carts in the Santa Fe Plaza Park area. He sold his world renowned "Roque's Carnitas" and I sold the original and soon to be world famous "Hand Pies" ... 'Tasty little sandwiches you can hold in your hand as you walk through the Faire' or at least that's what we used to say at the ye old Renaisance Pleasure Faire.

My more recent connection came a few weeks ago when I went to my bank to ask about a line of credit to open a little sandwich shop next to my wife's business. I explained to the young loan officer that I wanted to make these sealed toasted sandwiches made in molds that shape the sandwich and grill (toast) images, words or logos on that shape.  Being in Santa Fe I named a few
iconic images that I would use ... Zozobra,  the Cathedral, the Obelisk, and the Spitz Clock.

 Cove (left), the late City Councilor Carlos Gallegos and Mayor Louis Montano (middle), and Roque Garcia (right) cutting the ribbon for the first food cart in downtown Santa Fe Plaza, 1983. Those are "Hand Pie machines" (toasters) on the "Hand Pie" stove in front of everyone.

As I continued my proposal to the banker I noticed he showed a tell when I mentioned the Spitz Clock as a toasted sealed sandwich in the shape and toasted image of a pocket watch. Not only that, the mold or press or grill that is used looks like the attraction or the site specific image.

 The photo on the left shows an "appareil a croque monsieur L'ETOILE" on the right and a mock up of a fabricated sandwich press that would look like the Spitz Clock.

The most famous American vintage sandwich "grill" utensile is a "Toas-Tite." The toasted sandwich made by a ToasTite machine is called by many names around the Country and around the world.  Here is the U.S. the names pudgy pie, hobo pie or mountain pie are used often and since the early 1970's our own trademark name of 'Hand Pie" is my favorite name for the food. In England they're called "toasties." In Australia, Indonesia and South Africa they're call "Jaffles." The Toas-Tite grill and similar others are mostly a camping or gas stove top implement. It is closely related to pie iron, waffle iron, pizzelle maker, pannini grill, oreshki mold, krumkake baker, and taiyaki pan or bung-a-pang maker. Aside from flame versus electric, the main difference between each of above mentioned two-sided cooking tools is whether one uses batter, dough or bread in the cooker.

I last time I met with the bank was in a meeting of the "Spitz Clock Renovation" committee. I offered my idea of making and selling both the food product and the molds to make the save-the-clock sandwich called "Clock Pie" and pay a royalty to a renovation fund. And just like with non-profit Kiwanis, who own the image and rights to Zozobra the royalties are forever! I also told the committee that I own the domain for and don't think anyone can claim any copyrights to the public clock owned by City of Santa Fe.

End part one.


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