life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, August 31, 2009

eek! a bee!

or, more properly, a yellowjack.

I'm standing on the platform waiting for the train, and something yellow with a stinger is buzzing around me....wants my coffee...follows me onto the train!

it left me alone after that, don't know where it went after the doors closed.

(I was going to post a pciture, but looking at one of those things up close....ewww....)

Friday, August 28, 2009

sitting here crying

just broke an earring.

a stupid, $26 for the pair earring that I bought about 4 years ago.

that I bought 4 years ago, in Macy's, because I wanted big, dangling earrings.

I wanted big dangling earrings because I needed to feel feminine.

because I was about to start chemo. I was about to lose my hair.

because I was scared.

how different my life is, 4 years later.

funny how cheap costume jewelry can evoke such deep emotion.


so our Washington vacation is over, and we are already planning the next adventure.

I will be celebrating a milestone birthday in February. so I told Drew that I wanted to be someplace, anyplace that it NOT HERE.

and he suggested Cancun.

Feliz cumpleanos a mi.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Washington DC trip report

we had four very busy, very full, wonderful days.

Drew teaches high school American History and I have a BA in History, so Washington was the perfect place for us. In many places, Drew was given packets of information to use in his classroom, and he was able to find lots of additional materials in the various gift shops at each site.

rather than give a day-by-day itinerary....

transportation: If you watch old movies, you see how train travel is romanticized. reality check -- Amtrak is not much different than flying, and train stations are very similar to airports. Still, for $49 each way, the trip down was uneventful. The trip home -- well, we hit a major delay between newark and New York, very frustrating to be sitting on tracks in Kearney, NJ, looking at the Empire State building and not moving....for 30 minutes. still, Drew was happy not driving back and forth, so the fare was well worth it.

within the District, we relied on the Metro system. I'm an intrepid New Yorker, I ride the subways every day. I've always thought that the Washington Metro is much easier to navigate than the NYC subways, and generally a more pleasant ride. Love the countdown clocks -- the train will arrive in X minutes. We ran into a few delays and a few broken escalators, but for the most part, the system is reliable.

overall, we never missed the car.

accommodations: We stayed at the Americana Hotel this was a sentimental choice -- I had a friend from college who relocated to Washington after graduation, and he told me his parents always stayed at the Americana when visiting him. So in 1989, Drew and I and a group of our friends stayed here. It's relatively inexpensive, close to the Metro and clean and comfortable. My one complaint -- the wifi system. You can get wifi in the lobby and in the sitting room at the end of each hallway, but the signal was too weak for me to connect in our room. by the way, if you think you've seen the hotel before -- did you see Russell Crow and Ben Affleck in State of Play? Yup, they filmed a sequence at the Americana.

food: If you're expecting a major restaurant review...not gonna happen. Breakfast was a bagel or donut or muffin and coffee at the hotel. Most days we grabbed a hot dog for lunch -- although the lunch we had at the American History Museum Cafe was wonderful, it's a full service cafeteria. dinner? we did a lot of take out at the hotel, except for Saturday night -- that was the night we ate at the Hard Rock. the food was good, the service was excellent.

and now, the sites:

you muat remember that each of us has been to DC several times, so there were a number of sites we'd seen before. Yet in the 4 days of our trip, we saw many new things and revisted many favorites.

planning ahead is key to any trip to Washington. Almost all of the sites are free, no admission charge. But places like the the Capitol, Holocaust Museum, Ford's Theater, the Washington Monument -- you can't get in without a ticket. tickets are free, but you can order them on line for a nominal handling fee before your trip. The White House is different -- you can go to a visitor center without a ticket, but if you want an actual tour you have to call your Member of Congress and arrange for it in advnace.

this time around, I ordered tickets for the Holocaust Museum, Ford's theater and the Washington monument. decided not to order tickets for the Capitol, we've both seen it before, and didn't feel we had the time to arrange a tour of the White House (I've never been -- maybe next time).

The Holocaust Museum:

As a Jewish woman and a history student, I am somewhat well-read about the Holocaust, so I didn't expect to learn new information from my visit to the museum. however, it was a very intense, emotional experience. for three hours we were bombarded with images of the rise of the Nazi Party, the Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht, the ghettos, the concentration camps, the Final Solution and the the end of the tour, I wanted to ...I needed to...visit the Hall of Remembrance and light a Yartzheit candle for all the victims. and a second candle for my great grandmother and great aunt, the ones my grandmother always told me were "killed in the Hitler War."

Arlington National Cemetery. We took the tourmobile, it was so much better than walking. saw the tomb of the Unknown -- got there in time for the changing of the guard -- Robert E Lee's house, and the graves of JFK and RFK, two of my political heroes. How sad that just a few days later, their brother Teddy will be joining them.

Monuments and Memorials. We went down to the Tidal Basin to visit FDR and Tom Jefferson, up to the Mall to see Mr. Lincoln....saw the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. Went to the top of the Washington Monument and got a great view of the city. found a hidden treasure -- in constitution Gardens, there's a pond alongside the Reflecting Pool, with a small island which houses a memorial to the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Ford's Theater. This is a working theater, when there's a production going on you can't go into the theater itself, you're limited to the museum in the theater basement. We were able to go into the theater, where the Park rangers gave a very moving and effective presentation about the Lincoln assassination. the tour also includes the Peterson House, where Lincoln actually died.

the National Archives. Had to see the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. also got to see Shaq's shoe, Taft's bathtub, and all sorts of memorabilia stored at the Archives. Kept looking for Nicholas Cage.

the Smithsonian. we went to two museums, Air and Space and American History. Saw a special exhibit on Lincoln (drew is a Lincoln-phile) and the gowns of the First Ladies. Saw Kermit the Frog and the Ruby Slippers. Paid tribute to Drew's uncle when we saw the Lunar Module -- Drew's uncle helped design it.

the Supreme Court: believe it or not, I'd never been to that courthouse. I'm admitted to practice law in New Yirk and in federal court, and I had an opportunity, years ago, to be admitted to practice before the Court, but didn't take that opportunity. going to the Supreme Court was like going to Mecca...

the National Zoo...well, I'm a New Yorker, I'm spoiled by the Bronx zoo....but we had a good time. got to see the pandas -- one was awake and gave us quite a show by eating bamboo and walking around his cage. saw birds and reptiles and small mammals and an elephant, saw a komodo dragon and many invertebrates. skipped the apes and didn't see any orangutans on the O Line. even saw an emu and some rare horses. but I do have one complaint -- why did they put the entrance at the top of the hill, so that you walk down to visit the animals and walk back up hill when you're ready to leave?

on our last day, we had lunch at the Old Post Office Pavillion it's basically a food court and souvenir store, but there's an old clock tower with an incredible view of the city.

loved the trip, loved being with Drew -- funny how we seem to be so in sync with each other. can't wait to plan another trip with him.

too funny!

is that you, Pete Werner?

saw this snake at the National Zoo.

a lime green snake?

all I could think of was the Disboards.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Washington DC vacation

So Drew and I spent 4 days in our nation's capital...great place for two history geeks.

I'll have to write a complete trip report when I get a chance. In the meantime, here are the photos from the trip.

a few of my favorites:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Suzanne is running a contest for a Walmart your zone gift card.

there, I'm signing up for it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"My name is Victoria Winters....

There is a fog that clings to the cliffs that mark the edge of Collinwood, a fog the sun cannot disburse. There is a man more frightening than the fog, more threatening; a man who was thought to be gone but who still remains; a man who clings to Collinwood with more tenacity than the mists from the sea; a man whose presence inspires more unrest than fear, more mystery than anger...."

If you recognize the quote and the reference...

The year was 1966. three cult classics premiered on TV: Star Trek ("to boldly go..."), The Monkees ("and people say we monkey around, but we're too busy singing..."), and....

Remember this guy?

Gotta wonder what Depp and Burton are going to do with it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jones Beach on an August evening

seagulls on the beach (click to enlarge)

the water tower at sunset,

the East Bath House

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the Renaissance Faire

We had such a good time Saturday!

We drove from Long Island up to Tuxedo, NY to the New York Renaissance Faire. I used to love to go, but it's been years since I've been, and I was so happy when Drew suggested a day trip.

We ate breakfast in tuxwdo, at a diner that hasn't changed since the 1970's -- but the food was wonderful. I ordered scrambled eggs with sausage, he ordered scrambled eggs with bacon. I gave him half my sausage and he gave me half his bacon.

then it was on to the Faire!

click on the photos to enlarge.

there is so much to do at a Renaissance Faire.

First of all, there's the crowd. Many people come in costume -- mostly Renaissance, some medieval, some venturing into fantasy with (era-appropriate) elves and fairies. A lot of the younger ladies like to wear belly dancing attire. And since "Pirates of the Caribbean" has become so popular, you see a lot of pirates at the faire too.

Then there are the craft merchants -- you can buy period clothing, weaponry, jewelry, toys... Drew bought a "catapult" -- it shoots marshmallows!

I bought a pewter figuring to add to my collection:

really liked this chess set:

Of course there's food! You can get turkey legs, all sorts of sandwiches, fries, ice cream....there are peddlers, each pushing a wheelbarrow with a pickle barrel mounted on it, selling kosher dills.We never bothered with lunch, but we had smoothies and shared some popcorn and a funnel cake.

there's lots of activity -- rides and facepainting for the hcildren, games for adults. We shot archery, and drew threw knives and stars at a target.

Wandering around, we found the Kissing Bridge (and you know what that meant!) Here's the birdge, but as for the'll just have to imagine it.

We had a good laugh when we found this:

Most of the the faire are portapotties, so to find indoor plimbing...and the truth of the matter is, DaVinci really did draw plans for one.

but the best part of the faire is the entertainment. You can't possibly see all the entertaiment in one day! From the moment you enter the faire you are greeted by street performers doing improv. there are running story lines about the Queen and her court, and Robin Hood and his men, which include events such as a Living Chess Board and jousting. there are acrobats, musicians, comedians, jugglers.
This was a pirate parody:

I also has a psychic do a reading for me. she was very on target.

the day ends with a joust. It was wonderful. I haven't checked my video of the joust yet, but will post it later if it it came out ok.

unfortunately one of the jousters got hurt during the performance, but he stayed in character until the joust was over. of course, the fact that his character dies...and has to lie still for about 5 minutes...probably made it easier.

we're already talking about next year!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Billy looks like a cue ball

Paul McCartney and Billy Joel at Citi Field

Friday, August 7, 2009

teenage daughters, sibling rivalry and drama

two weekends in a row, same story.

Jen and Becca work at the day camp where they both used to be campers.

when Becca was a camper, she became very good friends with two other girls, Jamie and Paige. both friends also work at the camp.

for most of the summer, Becca's been hanging out with Jamie and Paige. Jen's best friends at camp are her co-counselor Cassie and another girl, Amanda.
so far so good.

three weeks ago Jen, Cassie and Amanda started hanging out with Jamie and Paige. at first it wasn't a problem for Becca, but last weekend she became very unhappy with Jen.

last summer, when Becca was hanging with Jen's friends, Jen didn't have a problem.

but Becca has a problem with Jen hanging out with Jamie and Paige.

so tonight Jen went to a party and she's sleeping at Jamie's house.

and Becca is home in a foul mood "because Jen ruined my night."

I told her she was being foolish and cutting off her nose to spite her face.

so now she's mad at me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

his real blonde moment

so yesterday I had to pick up Drew at the airport -- he'd been visiting his father in Florida.

so as we turn onto the street where he lives, he must have forgotten that he was in my car...he looks at his house and asks -- in a really outraged tone -- "whose car is that parked on MY driveway?"

uh, yours?

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