Tag Archives: Central Park

Why I like this City.

ok. I LOVE Central Park. I like the City.

Photography by Oleg Gapanyuk and Andrei Zubets. Presentation by John Colebrook

Photography by Oleg Gapanyuk and Andrei Zubets. Presentation by John Colebrook

and there’s more, as in the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc.

On being a mom: I love you, You make me crazy.

Hot, cold, rain or snow, the freckle-faced schoolboy and I managed to uphold our promise to wander from west side to east at least once a week; every week school was in session. Today concludes those 5th grade meanderings because by end of day Tuesday, he will move up to sixth grade and summer will officially begin.A boy and his binoculars can see forever

Sweet as he so often is, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of push-me pull-yous since the reality of the season and his imminent stay chez sleep-away camp is on the horizon Yes, it’s his job to separate from his mother. Yes, it’s his job to be short tempered with his mother.

And yes, mothers do have feelings.  And desires. To let our children grow and seize the world.

I don't care said Pierre/the 11-year old

I don't care said Pierre/the 11-year old

Of course, my “mother” job is to raise the children so that they can move along in life, learn to walk, talk and eventually cross the streets with confidence and humility by themselves. With pride and joy I watch as my own have come to navigate their NYC way of life. They not only cross the streets by themselves with self assurance, they’ve come to embrace the excitement and stimulation that this city life has to offer. These were the California kids that just three years ago wouldn’t get out of our car by themselves if only to run 10 feet to the neighborhood bakery and pick up their LA made pain au chocolat or raspberry croissant.

bakery breakfast

bakery breakfast

But now, there’s no turning back. It is true that by spring of 5th grade, many NYC children do not yet have a mastery of public transport. This boy does as do many of his friends. Just the same, as he became comfortable with the concept, the not-so-little 11-year old nearly always requested that I meet him after school and travel by his side. He says he likes the company, as do I.

And that tender time of after-school togetherness is manifested in our winsome walks across the Park. Many times as of late, the schoolboy reached out his arm, hung his hand on my shoulder or held my hand without letting go.

OldTownCanoe It’s easy to understand why. Not only is the boy moving up a grade but there’s the camp thing. His first extended trip away from home. I know he’ll be fine (I hope I’ll be fine) but I will miss him because I know that when he comes back he’ll have made the break. He’ll have spent more than a night or two away learning to canoe, make his bed (maybe) and live with others.

No doubt, the 11-year old’s recent resistant behavior coupled with his hand on my shoulder, he can see the open road. Fortunately, it’s a two way street. xoxo sweet bear.TwoWay

Nuts For Nuts

I’ve often wondered how food carts around the City get to their destination. This morning I passed an unassuming white truck with the letters M & M painted in black on the driver and passenger doors. Four men unloaded boxes of hotdogs, bags of ice and paper goods for the day’s work along the Southern edge of the Mall’s Literary Walk. img_50012 img_50051

Will the Groundhog see her Shadow?

Five bottles of red wine, three bottles of white, eight bottles of Pellegrino, four six packs of beer, one case of 8 oz. bottles of sprite, 12 eight ounce bottles of coke, 12 bottles of orangina and tap water sum up this evening’s super bowl consumption. The kids watched much of the game, lasted for Bruce Springsteen’s first seranade only to walk away and have their seats taken by their elders for “Glory Days.”

I’m consumed by the unemployment rate, having researched the Bureau of Labor Statistics for my business reporting class. The week ending January 30, 2009 saw a loss of 100,000 jobs and that’s after unemployment benefits reached 588,000 the previous week ending January 24, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yikes.

On that note, I’ve been following Erica Smith’s blog, http://graphicdesignr.net/papercuts/ as she reports on layoffs in the newspaper industry. Smith is a graphic designer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and she’s on to something. In researching unemployment, I found a few other job “trackers,” though I don’t know the veracity or objectivity of the tallys. There’s one for lawyers, an agrregator for all layoff related headlines. It’s daunting and I suspect this is but the tip of the unemployment tally iceberg.

And finally, the 11-year old and the physician/scientist/husband (mine, the boy’s dad) were playing catch in the Park today. The boy removed his jacket, placed it on a nearby bench. A few minutes into play, a woman sat down near the jacket and minutes later, she and the jacket were gone. Now, the guys didn’t see the woman take the coat. They searched high and low only to conclude she’d stolen it. My take: if the woman needs a lightweight jacket that badly, I hope it helps keep her warm. The husband’s take: it’s wrong and he doesn’t condone stealing. I don’t either but man, unless a person is in great despair, who removes a coat in broad daylight, practically right in front of you?

So this all brings me to Groundhog Day. I’m afraid much of our country is under a dark shadow that will take much more than a robust stimulus package to shine sunlight. Apologies for the doom and gloom but despite this evening’s jovial soiree held in conjunction with the superbowl, I’m afraid Glory Days are yet to come. This is just the beginning. The good news, according to legend, if the groundhog doesn’t see her shadow, there will be an early spring. Good news for whomever it is with the lightweight jacket.

SnOw-Bama 3 of 3

Central Park, New York, NY       January 20, 2009

Central Park, New York, NY January 20, 2009

A new day dawns as the sun sets over Central Park on the day the 44th President of the United States was sworn into office.

SnOw-Bama Part I


On a day filled with hope, frigid uptown temperatures allowed New Yorkers to shout out to President O in the snow.

Service Call

Who knew that the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, signed into law thanks to the efforts of Katie Hall (D-IN) and others in 1983, was transformed in 1994 by Congress into “a national day of community service to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others?”

Fifteen years later, the internet savvy Presidential Inaugural Committee established a website USAservice.org for Americans who seek a way/place to volunteer in service to their communities.

According to the USAservice.org, “As a tribute to that legacy and the very real needs of our nation, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have launched a national organizing effort on the eve of their Inauguration to engage Americans in service.”

The site gives users an opportunity to find and view events by zip code AND sign up. One stop shop to serve others. Start with a day and see what happens…

A cursory glance for service activities in my zip code listed volunteer opportunities with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Roosevelt Island and Central Park CleanUp, ChangeNYC food drive, Big Brother and Big Sisters, City Meals on Wheels, Women of Islam Inc., Up2Us = Service Through Sports, Asian Americans for Obama/Latinos for Obama and South Asians for Obama to deliver food to the Homebound Elderly, New York Cares and many, many more.

So…we’ve got the day off. Let’s do something.

Dog Days of December

It’s been said that the hardest shoes to repair are the ones eaten by dogs. img_3034That is according to my local repairman, Joe, grandson of Jim of Jim’s Shoe Repair, East 59th between Madison and Park Avenues. I don’t know if he’s had to repair dog shoes but I saw a set of puppy paw coverups that take the cake. Picture this, a dog much like Maria Sharapova’s Pomeranian, Dolce, who is currently featured in television ads (actually, the tv canine may be a doggie stand in but nevermind). A diminutive soft white puff of fur, short legs, jump in her step. CUUUUTE. And on paws of the prancing pup with whom I crossed paths as she strut northward and I south on the east side of the Park yesterday morning, was a set of pink striped doggie adidas.

It was one of those moments when I wish I’d asked if I could snap a picture. I didn’t and now have regrets. I’ve searched the web for similar shoes to no avail and even attempted to find the little dog this morning to no avail. It was raining yesterday, drizzling today. However, on a park bench immediately outside the Central Park Zoo, I did stumble upon an applicable quote by Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).
After three days, the rain is FINALLY subsiding with a promise of clearer skies for the weekend. Truly welcome this time of year as the days turn to night by 3pm. Depressing is an understatement but in the end, it’s so relative. Especially when there are dandy dogs around town to admire. Woof.

Up On the Roof & Down in the Temple

The roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the least touristy parts of the museum, namely because tourists don’t realize that as New Yorkers, we utilize every available inch of space — even in a museum. Right now the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden is holding an exhibition called “Jeff Koons on the Roof.” This past Friday I headed uptown and walked across park to meet a friend for drinks & to check out the giant “balloon dog.” Though we expected the roof to be packed, it was filled with a surprisingly mixed crowd of people: young and old, post-work, pre-dinner crowd. The art lovers, the downtownies, uptownies and even the borough people. It was really amusing to stand with a glass of wine in the setting sun, surrounded by a 360 degree view of Manhattan and a sea of people to watch. After an hour of taking in the views and conversations and lamenting on the future of a publishing house, my friend and I headed down to the Temple of Dendur, before heading further uptown to dinner at Sarabeth’s.

The temple, which is housed in the Sackler wing, is one of my favorite rooms in the museum. My first memory of the temple room was when my mother took my sister and I to the Met. I was ten and my sister was six years old. Every time we went to the Met, we were treated to a new “wing” or period of art. That particular dreary March day, my mother decided we were ready to tackle the Egyptian art. Two hours later, after reading almost every placard, gazing at every vase, piece of jewelry and mummy, we finally worked out way to the temple. Weighed down by two very cranky, hungry, thirsty children, my mother was determined to get us through that one last room. As tantrums set in, she told us, “if you don’t see this temple today, you won’t be able to ever see it again. It’s a temporary exhibition.” Even then, I was never one to miss an opportunity, so I reluctantly agreed. My sister agreed after being bribed with the promise of candy. That day, we spent an hour at the Temple of Dendur, my mom reading every card, fact and date out loud to us. She set the scene visually, making us imagine the Egyptians visiting the temple, and later, more mischievous visitors adding their graffiti in 1908 and again in 1921. Though I might not have enjoyed that first visit outwardly, I always remember it every time I visit the room today. And in case you didn’t pick up on that, the temple is still there, 16 years later. Which only proves that mothers can be very good in the art of lying to their children.


I love downtown, the place

but downtown, you are ok, too. Your writing makes me think. Makes me think about our roles in the world. I’m a mother, a partner/wife, a friend, an adventurer. Heading south in the city makes me feel wonderfully alive. I’ve felt that ever since we arrived in this gloomy dump almost 18 months ago. The promise I made to myself, this time last year, was that I wouldn’t spend a complete month of February in grey NYC again and no big surprise, here I am. However, the City is rich in so many ways, interesting people, non-stop activity and cupcakes galore.

We crossed the Park as a family today, between downpours, lunched at a little french place one block north of the “new” West side Magnolia Bakery. Yum. The ten year old introduced me to MB’s banana divine pudding. The rest of us indulged in cupcakes and caught a cab back to the east side. I told the family that I’d like to carry around a little address book to take note of the multitude of drivers that shuttle me around this town. I know, for certain, that I’ve been in at least one cabby’s car at least twice. i think it’d be a hoot to keep track. The family thinks I’m nuts…

And speaking of cabs, I learned this evening that the cab industry is an $11billion cash business, just like ice cream. Imagine that. ciao bella.