Monday, July 28, 2014

On Turning Ten

I came across this poem today, and it made me bittersweet all over again at the idea of my little Otto turning 10. Of Max turning 10 (but now almost ready to turn 13). Of myself turning 10, so long ago that I don't even remember considering entering double digits.

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

—Billy Collins

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wednesday in the Garden

Tram ride.


Japanese gardens.


It's about 4:30.


Waiting for the carillon bells.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mad Skills

We all took a knife skills class together with our friend Ruben (and fellow Chicago Food Boy). On the menu: lamb and vegetable kebabs. Sweet potato fries. Cinnamon cake with mascarpone/berry topping. In preparation, we got each of them their own chef's knife, which was very exciting for both of them. The boys really liked the class and have been almost constantly in the kitchen ever since, especially if there is chopping involved.








Monday, July 21, 2014

Seen on the Street


On a recent and beautiful Tuesday afternoon in Lincoln Square, the boys played their first public gig. In about an hour, they made a cool $21 (how lucky that they got a total so easily divided by 3!). They alternated their set with songs they could all play together, and solo songs or songs that the others could sort of accompany. Next plan is to meet up and rehearse a bit so they actually have a whole set for their next appearance. Look for them soon on a street near you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

3 Days in NYC

With the family. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle David, Noah and Owen.

Sunday.
Early morning departure.


Traveling in style.


We made it into the city in time to check in our luggage and have breakfast at a nearby diner.


We split up while Grandma and Grandpa went to stand in line at tkts to see if we could get tickets to a show. We walked around and ended up in Bryant Park.


Grandma and Grandpa joined us after their successful acquisition of tickets, and we all played a game of Werewolf (borrowed from the library stand in the park).


We made our way to Pippin, which we all agreed was probably too Brechtian and strange for the kids but had this lovely message for us, which we appreciated:
Oh, it's time to start livin'
Time to take a little from this world we're given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all...


The boys watched the Muppets together back at the hotel, perhaps to recover? Or just to watch something familiar and funny.


Monday.
The boys were all excited to return to the Donut Plant (and to introduce it to Martin).




We spent most of the day at the Museum of Natural History.



We stopped in the Compleat Strategist to see if we could find our own copy of Werewolf, and to see what other sort of new games we might find.


Tuesday.
The bagels from Brooklyn Bagel did not impress the boys enough to have walked 30 minutes out of our way for them, but they were still pretty good. Plus we got a real New York experience when we wanted to order a dozen and had the nerve to ask for some of them to be sliced and were labeled "The Family Order," which was repeated several times as we waited to get to the cashier, in case anyone hadn't yet noticed that we were tourists who seemed to have no idea how to order in this quickly moving shop. Next time we'll try Murray's. (But I assume it will have the same attitude toward a bumbling group of 6.)


And since we were already clearly tourists, the obvious thing to do was head to the Empire State Building. (Actually that had been the plan all morning. We went to do this while Martin and my parents went to walk the High Line and stop in at the Chelsea Market, since Martin didn't get to do that last year and was happy to opt out of a return visit to the Empire State Building.)





Meanwhile, on the High Line...



All three of our groups had delays and problems with our return flights (and we had the added bonus of lost luggage when we finally got home). We were pretty wiped out at the end...but it was a nice trip.


July 4th Celebration

We all gathered at my Aunt Linda's again for our annual celebration of the holiday and our family. This was probably the biggest one she has ever hosted (the family keeps growing!). I think there were 44 people bunking for the 4 nights, with many added guests from the area during the day.

We didn't take many photos this year, and it will probably not surprise anyone to know the ones we remembered to take were usually of food. But here, at random, are a few glimpses of the celebration.

Aunt Linda puts the final touches on steak and grilled veggies night.


Tie-dye party.


Hot dog roast.


Parade around the pool.


By the front door.


Eggs for 44.


After a day of rain, the sun was so appreciated.


Lobster boil.


Cousin chat.


Hanging out in the pool.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Brooklyn's in the House

We packed a lot into our short time in Brooklyn.

Day 1
Cab ride...


Ferry to Governor's Island.



Chuko for Ramen.


Day 2
Doughnuts at Dough. (Okay, it's universally agreed in our family that THESE are the best doughnuts we have ever had. Glad that we've finally settled that and I can stop sampling all the different doughnut places we find.)






We took a train into the city to visit 8-Bit and Up Game Store.




Stumbled across this amazing little taco shop at the perfect time for a small snack.


Sage advice found in Washington Square Park, where we were invited to play games of chess with all the guys sitting around the park.


There is a new playground in the park that we explored.


Stopped for a quick bite at Shake Shack on our way back to the hotel.


Day 3
Rockaway Beach in Queens.



It will come as no surprise that our favorite part of our beach day was the taco shop.


The Brooklyn Museum was closed on the day we visited, but luckily our friend Walter gave us a tour.




And then took us out for an amazing dinner at a little Italian place in his neighborhood.


And now on to Connecticut for some time with the extended family. Goodbye to the city for now, we'll see you again soon.


Almost Always Hungry