Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Power of Music

Picture this, a train pulls into the station. I can push in. But I've got a big fur collar in my face. Behind me, a lady is shoving her bag in the bend of my knee and she's trying to drink her coffee from Cranberries. And as I ponder the possibility that I've got a collar of dead dog fur in my face and am about to have coffee spilled down the back of my coat, the smell of BO is permeating my breathing space. Gag! Fortunately, the guy standing next to me is listening to Love Song by Taylor Swift on his Ipod. The poppy beat transports me from the squished subway to a New York movie. Can't you just picture the main character of a movie commuting on the subway, popping above ground and bopping to her job where she's hoping to make her mark. Okay, I know that's ueber cheesy but it was my small pleasure for Friday morning.

But more generally, I continue to really like music in the subway. At Fulton Street there is a new Central American flute music group. Last night, on the Brooklyn bound platform, there was a guy playing Beatles songs on his trumpet. Before you know it, your foot starts tapping, you might even crack a smile and the fact that you've been waiting ages for a train on a smelly subway platform doesn't seem so bad:-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The scary library

After my run yesterday morning, I stopped by the library to pick up a few travel books. As I bopped back down the stairs to check out, I overheard a most amusing and perceptive conversation.

4 year old boy to father: I don't want to [walk up the stairs] they are scary
Father to 4 year old boy: It's okay it's just that the building was built in the 1950's.

The kid is right, the Brooklyn Heights library is scary. I thought a similar thing the first time I walked up the stairs. I don't know what it is but it does kind of creep me out. I assume this is partially because I was raised on the library gold standard, the Rochester Public Library, but even the library I used to go to in Pennsylvania is warmer than the BH library. Okay, it's not so much that it is scary but it completely devoid of warmth. And to a 4 year old I can see how a cold building could be a scary building.

As for the father's comment, that's just funny!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am ruuunning

Seems that running at midnight on New Years really has helped in my resolution to keep running. A few weekends ago I ran to MUD to get a chai latte-- that's over the Brooklyn Bridge, around City Hall and up Broadway to 9th street for those not familiar with the wonders of MUD.

Last weekend, it was a jog down from Woodley Park in DC through Dupont and down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol (aka presidential parade route.)

Not wanting this weekend to be completely over shadowed by last weekend's fun, I decided for a run into Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge and back to Brooklyn on the Manhattan Bridge. Fun trip with the exception of the fact that morning shoppers in Chinatown slowed me down a bit as I approached the Manhattan Bridge. I liked the Manhattan bridge because it was flat a seemed more shielded from the wind than the Brooklyn. It does, however seem longer. I got really excited when I spotted a rolled up note stuck into a hole and taped to the edge of the bridge. My first hope was that it was not terrorism or suicide related. My second (much better) hope was that it was a fun urban message in a bottle. I think it was supposed to be a fun message but it didn't make much sense to me-- something about avoiding the holes on the bridge. I the paper back in the hole for someone else to find and wonder about.

Not sure where next weekend might take me...though the Donut Pub on W 14th street is a strong contender:-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inaugural Pictures

The crowd descends on the Mall as the sun rose Tuesday morning.

We made it!

The Capitol

Vice President Biden is sworn in

President Obama is sworn in

I held Katie up just long enough to take this picture. Ah to be 7 feet tall

Inaugural speech

The crowd departs

The crowd departs

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

What a day! We are exhausted and can't seem to post pictures tonight so more tomorrow.

Needless to say, it was a day we will always remember. Us and almost 2 million of our closest friends all celebrating the inauguration of our 44th president. It was freezing, our cheeks are either wind or sun burned but we'd do it all over again if we had the chance.

More tomorrow when I've had a chance to process it...and sleep:-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Almost Here...

We headed to the Mall today for more pre-inaugural fun. Here are some pictures and another video of Katie dancing.

MSNBC studio on the Mall

A flotilla of tv trucks

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting Close

I took the MegaBus to DC yesterday to begin inaugural celebrations. A ride on a ceremonial train down the Northeast corridor it was not, but for $20 it served its purpose. After 2 Obama Mamas got into a brief cat fight as the bus headed for the Lincoln tunnel, everyone settled down and it was an uneventful ride.

Today, Katie and I decided to run from her place to recce the parade route and the route we are likely to have to walk to get into the security line to hopefully get into the parade route:-) Here are some pictures:

Me and Katie in front of the presidential reviewing stand-- definitely won't be that close on Tuesday!

Continuing along the parade route (backwards) we came across this display in an office window

As we ran past the Newseum we found Washington's other George...the one who will still have a job on Wednesday. (Sorry Katie, didn't mean to cut you out of the pict)

Our nation's Capitol, all dressed up for the big day

And check out the Yankee Doodle Dandy I found at the Capitol:

And this more solemn clip:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Can't you do that yourself?

While picking up a few items at my local bodega tonight, I was amazed to see packages of peeled clementines in the refrigerator case where the pre-cut fruit normally is.

Selling individual clementines seems like a fabulous idea. The 5-lb box of them can be a lot if you live by yourself. But pre-peeled? Really?

By my estimation, Leland is the only one who should be able to buy pre-peeled clementines...and that is only because he doesn't have opposable thumbs!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Urban Snow Angel

This weekend's snow storm was a total bust! We didn't even get the 4 inches I figured I'd need to XC ski in Prospect Park.

We did get just enough snow, however, for me to try an urban snow angel. How's that different from a regular snow angel you ask? By my estimation the biggest difference is the risk you land in a pile of dog doo. Green space is at a premium in the city so there is more chance that potty and snow angel spots overlap. Luckily my snow angel was as pure as, well, an angel:-)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cookie Time

Someone posed a very important question today: when is Girl Scout Cookie time in New York. Hmmmm...

A bit of research lead me to the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York. While their website doesn't say when I might expect a knock on my door from the Brooklyn Heights girl scouts, it did reveal an interesting tidbit. If you can't wait for cookie time, you can order your boxes through the mail (boring) OR the website also seems to indicate that New Yorkers can visit the "Cookie Cupboard" on W 23rd between 5th and 6th. Have I understood this correctly? There is a Girl Scout Cookie store in NYC??? Needless to say I will be investigating this further!

Friday, January 02, 2009


Yes, there is already talk of 2010.

Captain Carnivore tipped me off to an interesting sign of the times article. Apparently the guys who have been making the New Years sunglasses that have the year on them are likely to be no more by next year. Business is going down, competition is cheap and who will want a "1" through their field of vision in 2010. The 1990's and 2000's were much more eye friendly:-)

Poor guys. But they had a good run. Guess the glasses could see a resurgence in 2040.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


What's the best way to spend one of the coldest New Years Eves in NYC history? Running of course! :-0

Katie and I had an awesome time participating in the NY Road Runners Emerald Nuts 4-mile Midnight run!

First requirement, train. Well Katie doesn't need to, but I had been running since Thanksgiving in order to assure that I didn't start 2009 with a ride in an ambulance. (Mission accomplished:-))

Second requirement, costumes. Katie had the great idea that we should be pigs in a blanket. Artist Mom hooked us up with pig ears on a pink hat, a pig nose, pipe cleaner tail and brown felt blanket. We decided that any costume involving a blanket was a practical choice for such an evening and pigs are good luck. Guess you could say we were lucky piggies to be in a blanket!

Requirements 3-5, layers and layers and layers. We both wore 2 pairs of tights, 4 tops and 2 hats. Add a foam New Years Eve 2009 crown and a glowing necklace and we were set.

Fireworks marked midnight and the beginning of the race. We were slow through the start but the walkers and runners got into a good rhythm as we snaked through the park.

Around mile 1 we came across CNN's Gary Tuckman who was running and reporting. We ran behind him for a while hoping for our 15 minutes (seconds) but he seemed to be waiting for the broadcast to go live to him. (Wait just a New York minute, I just realized he got bib #2009. Coincidence? I think not!)

Next, we headed west at the 102nd street transverse. And before we knew it we were at the water station where the water in the cups had frozen solid.

Luckily the Martinelli's cider was just slushy so we pulled off to the side and toasted 2009! As the midtown skyline began to appear between the trees, more fireworks briefly illuminated the night sky. Continuing on, we knew we were getting close to the finish when we noticed the boat basin to our left.

We finished in 43 minutes and kept right on walking to the subway. Got cold pretty darn quickly once we stopped running.

So we started 2009 on a (runners) high note. Hope the fun continues.