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I’m trying really hard…

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

…to ignore the fact that I seem to have LOST my very precious stamp-filled PASSPORT!

During five months of European roaming, she never strayed, not even once. We were excellent traveling companions. But sometime soon after we returned home TOGETHER in July, she ducked off somewhere and has yet to return. Either she slipped behind a piece of furniture to chill for awhile, or she set out on an adventure all her own, without saying goodbye.

(Maybe she ran off with one of those fine looking border patrol guards in Sturovo, Gyekenyes or Koprivnica.)

The awful truth is that I think I accidentally THREW HER OUT.

I refuse to believe it and hope that she will resurface someday, somewhere in this house. But eventually I’ll have to admit that she, and all her colorful stamps, may be gone for good. Better that she ran off now, I know, as opposed to when we were traveling abroad.

But a big bummer nonetheless.

NYC: NMAI and Battery Park

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006


Today I came good on a belated birthday gift to dad — he picked the museum, and I paid. Lucky me, he picked a free one — The National Museum of the American Indian located in the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green. NMAI is part of The Smithsonian, and has three facilities — DC, MD and this one near Battery Park.

We got a first look at the brand new Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Culture on the ground floor, which will be officially inaugurated tomorrow night. It’s a stunning room with a slick modern design, that somehow does not seem out of place in the old Custom House building. The exhibit Beauty Surrounds Us circles around this new performance and art space.

The historic Beaux Arts building itself is worth a visit (I really Reginald Marsh’s maritime murals on the rotunda dome), but the exhibits are great too. The clay/ceramic section was impressive, but I enjoyed the Indigenous Motivations exhibit best — it’s a collection of objects created after 1950, demonstrating how “Native artists continue to be influenced by tradition, innovation and art.” There are snow goggles made of caribou bone, elk antler spoons, amazing Peruvian gourds (mates) engraved with microscopic designs and amate bark paper paintings.

Dad and I both picked up on the many references to clothing as identifier — several pieces in the exhibit show how clothing design clearly signifies what tribe or region a Native belongs to, like Mayan huipils. We expected the exhibits to focus more on New York Indian tribes, but were pleased to see and learn things about indigenous groups from all over the Americas, from Inuit to Andean. There is one piece that stood out to me from all the rest, but I’m going to research it a bit more and share it in a future post.

After about 1 1/2 hours touring the museum, I treated Dad to lunch and we headed to Battery Park, where I have not been in years. We walked through the Castle Clinton National Monument and saw Fritz Koenig’s Sphere, which once stood between the World Trade Towers. The park was busy and the ferrys full as school groups and tourists departed for Liberty and Ellis Islands. On my next visit to this part of town I hope to do the same, I think it’s been more than 15 years.

The weather was nice, a bit humid actually, but still a great day to explore this part of Lower Manhattan. I love birthday gifts that I get to enjoy too 🙂

From the Rose Reading Room

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

I’ve spent the morning at the Humanities Research Branch of the NYPL on 42nd and 5th Ave., next to Bryant Park. I just finished taking a one hour tour of the place, then signed up for an Access Card so I could use the internet free for 30 minutes in the Grand Hall. I’m sticking around to see the renovated Map Division that opens at 1pm. All the travel guidebooks are in there so I thought I’d check it out before heading to Port Authority to catch my bus back to Rockland. I also toured the Treasured Maps exhibit and learned some interesting facts about a place I’ve visited several times as a child, but I probably have not been here in ten years. Did you know that the famous lions out front are named Patience and Fortitude? LaGuardia named them during the Great Depression, claiming that these were the two characteristics New Yorkers needed most to survive the hardships of the time.

I came into the city last night and had a wonderful dinner at Agave with two dear pals. Awesome conversation, a chance to introduce new friends, and the best margaritas I’ve tasted in quite some time!

Okay, I’ve got eight minutes remaining online…off to check email one more time and then roam around a bit more.

Urban Autumn Fun & Frustrations

Monday, November 7th, 2005

I’m at the Donnell Library Center on W. 53rd Street in Manhattan trying desperately to stay awake and get work done. I’m failing miserably on both counts. For some reason the publishing software for Gadling is not working well, so I haven’t been able to get more than three posts completed this afternoon. To make matters worse, I’m going on about 4 hours sleep, and it has now hit me hard.

Besides this late day sluggishness, I’ve had an incredible 48 hours in the city. Before I give up for good and go outside to grab a coffee, here is a rundown of what I’ve done since I arrived in Manhattan on Saturday evening:

– Took Rockland Coaches bus from Pearl River to Port Authority at 41st St., then took subway to 59th St.
– Had dinner at La Pizza Fresca and drinks at Vig 27 with my friend K, then stayed at her place off Columbus Circle.

– Walked across Central Park South to Lex and caught the subway uptown to East 96th Steet.
– Had a yummy NY bagel breakfast with my friend A, her husband and their new baby boy
– Walked from 94th to 85th and met up with friends at Molly Pitcher’s Ale House to prep for marathon watching. My friend E ran in the race and we spent the entire afternoon walking around town to cheer and support her. We saw her first at 85th and 1st, then again at 92nd right before entering Central Park. Afterwards, we all met back at the bar for free beers and snacks. It was so fun to watch the marathon — there is a great camaraderie and spirit that flows through this global event. I did not bring my camera to the city, but here is one shot from my phone. The costumes worn by both spectators and runners provided many laughs throughout the day:


– After the race, I met my friend C further east on 85th around 6 pm and cabbed it to midtown to have dinner with her boyfriend at The Mercury Bar on 3rd. We then headed to The Joshua Tree where the night took an unexpected turn and I wound up staying out till 3 am. We watched the Sunday night NFL game, danced to 80’s music and drank maybe one too many Red Bull and Vodkas. But it was a much-needed one night party, with no hangover headache today, so I’m not complaining.

-I left C’s place and walked down Lex like a zombie, hopped on the subway for a short bit, then walked back across CPS and down Broadway to 53rd, where I cut over to head to the library. I grabbed some pizza about noon and have been in the free wifi reference room ever since.

Next up: Meeting my friend N around 6 pm and taking a subway downtown to her East Village apartment. We’ll grab dinner with her hubbie, and I’ll crash on the couch. Tomorrow I may try and find another free wifi hotpot downtown where I can attempt to be more productive before heading back to PR in the afternoon.

Despite feeling sleepy this afternoon, I’m having a blast enjoying Manhattan during this mild weather spell. The colors in Central Park are glorious and their is an energizing buzz floating over everything that happens in this city. It feels really good to be here.

NYC All Day

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

We had some fun at Gadling and picked one city to write about for the entire day. This will be a new ongoing feature called CityScapes. We started with one of the best. I really enjoyed writing about a city that means so much to me, sharing personal experiences and thoughts is what it’s all about. Props to mom and dad for instilling a love of city life in us ‘burb kids.

I wrote about:

My tri-state identity complex
Shopping with the Aussies on Canal Street
A few of my favorite NYC memories
My adoration for the Flatiron and Madison Square Park
Pop the Question Paley Park
Some good NYC eats I’ve been to recently