songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ethnic colonial history

This is what we found right next door to our hotel:

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Congregation Mikveh Israel dates back to 1740.  Drew was especially proud, the congregation was founded by Sephardic Jews and he is of Sephardic heritage.

The congregation honors Commodore Levy:

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Also honored is Haym Salomom, a Revolutionary War patriot.

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And there is also a monument to a hero of the raid on Entebbe, Jonathan Netanyahu. Yeah, that Netanyahu, brother of the current Prime Minister.

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And then we found another interesting statue a block away, in front of the Jewish museum.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day

For many years I worked in the environmental claims department of a major insurance company.  Our insureds were alleged to have caused or contributed to pollution of the environment in various ways, and it was my job to determine the merits of each claim and bring it to settlement or trial as appropriate.

As often as we fought with the EPA, we knew they were only doing what was necessary and right -- cleaning up the environment.

The millions and millions of dollars we spent to clean up polluted sites  ...

Earth day was always a special occasion in that department.  A day to recognize how important it is to clean up our mess and preserve our natural environment to the best of our ability.

Now more than ever, we need to take all the steps we can to protect our natural resources.  We don't have a "back up planet" out there, after all.

Let's all take steps to care for our environment.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Museum of the American Revolution

So, as you may recall, Drew is a semi-retired teacher -- after many years teaching high school social studies, he retired from full-time teaching and took on a job as  a substitute teacher (less stress). His passion is American history.  And my undergraduate degree is in history.  So of course we find ourselves visiting historical sites, and joining organizations that promote knowledge of history.

We attended a "members only" event at the Museum of the American Revolution on April 15, 2017, a few day before the museum's official opening on April 19 (242 years to the day since "the shot heard round the world").  The museum had a formal opening ceremony, which included all sorts of pomp and circumstance, including a presentation by former Vice President Biden; the ceremonies were covered by local TV stations.  I would have loved to attend the ceremonies, but had to be content with the museum visit.

Since the members-only preview was a special event, we got to enjoy costumed characters, a chance to pose for souvenir photos, and indulge in light refreshments, while we waited for our timed tickets to become valid so that we could head upstairs to the exhibits.

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It's a totally immersive experience, which includes films, costumed mannequins, artwork and collections of ordinary objects.  The galleries take you from the origins of the colonists' grievances  to revolution and the building of a new nation, from the French and Indian War through the signing of the Constitution.

You see a lot of artifacts relating to tea...

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Muskets and powder horns are in abundance. Drew joked that he had "musket envy".

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George Washington breaking up a fight.

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This is Washington's tent:

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Yes, this is the tent used by George Washington for sleeping and as an office in the years he was a general.

A great museum.  My one complaint?  It took me about 2 1/2 hours to see the galleries, and there was no real place to stop and take a break.

But I am glad we joined, and I hope to be coming back to see the exhibits again.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Jones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So we were in Philadelphia, and looking for a decent place to eat. And we were lucky enough to come across this place.

If you like comfort food, give this place a try.

I started with the mac and cheese appetizer, a generous portion of macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with a sprinkling of bread crumbs.  This decadence is easily shareable.

He started with the deviled eggs, two whole eggs, each half egg white filled with fluffy,. smooth and flavorful yolks

His entree was curried beef shepherd's  pie.  The meat was flavored with curry, tasty but not spicy hot, buried under nicely browned mashed potatoes.

I chose the meat loaf.  Two decently-sized slices of meat loaf in a rich brown gravy. Loved the meat loaf, but the sides -- peas and mashed potatoes -- were merely OK, and the potatoes were served cold.

He ordered a hurricane from the very intriguing cocktail menu.

Service was friendly and efficient.

Overall a satisfying experience, and we would not hesitate to return for anothe rmeal.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Songbird Salutes the 70's: Schoolhouse Rock

Short, musical cartoons, they were on the air throughout the 70's, teaching us about math, grammar, history and civics.

This one is on my mind today:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

242 years ago

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive 
Who remembers that famous day and year.
                                                      --- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I look out my window and see Independence Hall.  Seems apprpriate to salute Paul Revere today.

Monday, April 17, 2017


We are here in Philadelphia for one purpose:  for Drew to address his medical issues at Temple University Hospital. We had a lovely weekend playing tourist, but now we are getting down to business.  It was a long day at the hospital, and we have anothe rlong day tomorrow.

He is stressed.

And I am trying to balance my role as his companion on this journey, his ride home after hes had procedures that require sedation, with my efforts to work remotely, to keep current on job responsibilities, when I have just been given an expanded role in my office.

I am stressed.


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