Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Met

Our first trip to NYC went down yesterday. It's pretty easy to get there from our house. About a 10 minute walk up the road there's a commuter train station that, with a transfer in South Norwalk, in an hour and a half takes you straight to Grand Central Station!

So yesterday morning, bright and early, we went to the station and met a moth.

Then we hopped on a train for GCS.


 From Grand Central you have to take the subway a few stops uptown to get to the museum.

I went there as a child... 5th grade field trip, charter bus, all day to NYC with the Met being one of our stops. But I had no memories of this place.

The Met is huge! I mean... huge! So we just went through a portion of it yesterday. The Greek and Roman ancient art mostly, and some modern sculpture. I neglected taking enough pictures, so I'll have to make another trip soon. Maybe when Lori comes to visit... .and then again when Leslie comes :)

 This was the rooftop exhibit...

I was hoping it was going to be more Goldsworthy-esque. No such luck. It must have been quite a feat, though, putting that bamboo structure together solidly enough for people to climb up and walk around on it (which you can do on a guided tour... we did not).

*FYI: The wiki page for Goldsworthy is pretty decent, which is why I linked it here. But I encourage you to google images of his work. Goldsworthy is an amazingly refined artist who uses nature as his medium. Truly inspirational. There's even a good movie out about his art. It's called Rivers and Tides. Drop it in your Netflix queue. Seriously.*

There's TONS I still have to see! And that's just at the Met! There is so much to do in NYC, one hardly knows where to start. And so we started somewhere touristy... and hope that our relationship with the city continues to become more intimate and detailed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Some heat and humidity and a dead horse effigy

Yesterday I drove Noah to the Eastern part of Connecticut for a visit to my old "stomping grounds"... except that I really don't remember too much about the area we visited.

24 years ago, Dad got stationed on the submarine base in Groton, Connecticut. We lived there for 3 years. I was in 3rd-5th grades while we lived there.

We didn't attempt to find anything like my old school, or to visit the base (don't think they would have let us do that really). Instead, we visited a historical site, a state park, and a landmark tourist attraction...

First stop was Fort Griswold, where Benedict Arnold committed his famous act of treason.

 The photo above shows turrets where the guns were placed, looking out onto New London Harbor.

This is a photo of one of the trenches for the men to scramble back to the fort under cover. Because of Benedict Arnold's treason, the men defending Fort Griswold were massacred.

Next we went to Bluff Point State Park. Noah has been wanting a beach experience that didn't cost $40 in parking, and I found this place in Groton with free parking :) Dogs aren't allowed on the "beach" during the summer months because of ... snowy plovers?... or something like that nesting in the dunes. But the trails there were really nice and there's a great rocky beach area that apparently they don't count as "beach" in Connecticut. We enjoyed that very much.

Last stop was Mystic, CT... home of Mystic Pizza. We didn't eat any yesterday, but it's on the list of things to do when we go back there. Instead, we went to Old Mystic Seaport and had a great time looking at all the ships and restorations they're working on.

Tag met a "dead horse" dummy...
Apparently they reenact a ceremony of throwing a dead horse effigy over the side of the ship to represent casting off the sailors' debts. You learn something new every time!

We were pretty tired and a little sunburned by the end of the day, but we'll journey out there again. It was interesting rediscovering the area. I have very few memories of that time, but I do remember enjoying Mystic. Next time, we'll visit the aquarium, too!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The unpacking is not done

I'm not finished unpacking yet. Surprised? I hope not. It's a complex puzzle game of rearranging pieces so that everything fits into the perfect place, at which point all the boxes magically disappear. I'm further along, surely, but not there yet.

In the meantime, I've been watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series on Netflix (have never seen it the whole way through. I <3 Giles!)... and am contemplating just what I would like to focus on myself for the next phase of my life. Art and writing are mostly in a holding pattern right now, what with the boxes everywhere and the guilt complex hanging over my head that says if I have too much fun I must not have done enough unpacking today. I would like to get back to these two things relatively soon.

I've been reading a couple of very intriguing feminist blogs and have come across some books I want to add to my stack. "Virgin: The untouched history" and "The Purity Myth" are both on my list to read now. I'm going to get through Frankenstein first. I haven't actually read any more of it since I last posted about it, either. Just goes to show you that my priorities are all out of whack. I need to carve out some time to do each of these things that I want to do or I'll end up doing nothing and being very depressed about it.

I built Bangs a cat condo the other day... and have one more to assemble upstairs as soon as I move the wardrobe boxes out of that room.



We finally hung curtains in the living room. I like them... spring green...



Finally, when making my breakfast the other morning I failed to adequately check the pantry before I shut the door.



Silly Gilly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A busy day indoors

Noah took the car with him to work yesterday and I buckled down to get some more unpacking done... well, I didn't unpack too many boxes. But I did build some furniture...







Oh, and I baked some bread :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday morning at the beach

This morning I wanted to take Noah down to the beach to look for shells... it's one of his favorite things to do and he was jealous the other day when I drove off for Sherwood Island while he had to go to work.

We arrived at the parking kiosk at about 8:30... a long line of cars in front and behind us. When we pulled up to the attendant, she says "Out of state? That'll be $22." ????!!!!

We drove away without going to that beach.

Instead we drove over to Compo Beach... where they were charging a whopping $40 for a day pass! We sweet talked the attendant into letting us park in the overflow for an hour or 2 since we're new to the area and just wanted to look around. How long do you think that will work?

Compo beach was really nice. There were lots of cool shells that we'll have to identify somehow. And... there were horseshoe crabs.



At first the HCs we saw were upside down and appeared dead. Noah tapped one with his toe and we discovered that they were in fact alive and stranded by the low tide. So what do we do? We flip them over and begin the great Horseshoe Crab races!

video

My crab was the unofficial winner...



After a little while of flipping HCs over with our toes and watching them scoot back down to the water, this lady comes along:







Lesson learned...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another gray day and a trip to the beach

It's still cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms today, but there was a break in the weather this morning that was long enough for me to pay a first visit to Sherwood Island State Beach today. At $9 for parking, the price seems a little steep, but I needed the outing.

What a lovely, quiet morning on the Long Island Sound it turned out to be. The clouds and cool air kept a large number of people away... seen here by the lonely state of Subaruby in the parking lot.



The waves on the sound may seem small compared to the giant breakers of the Pacific Ocean, but that didn't matter this morning. They are waves, breaking on the shore, and they sounded glorious.

video

There's a nice little nature walk that takes you past the marsh side of the island, where I saw a cotton-tailed rabbit, some swans and Canada Geese, and was harassed by a couple of red-wing blackbirds who apparently thought I was the nest raiding type. (I'm not.)









video

There were actually a lot of Canada Geese on the beach. I followed 3 adults and a gaggle of juveniles for a little while. Goose nursemaids are very careful with their offspring. I couldn't get too close.





The water's edge provided some interesting finds as well... a dead horseshoe crab, some sea lettuce, and an abandoned toy truck.









Nearing the end of my wanderings, I was confronted with an abrupt reminder of how close I am to New York City... in the form of a 9-11 memorial. A sobering moment. On a clearer day than today was, from the stone marker you should be able to see the NYC skyline.

It's 9 years since that significant day in U.S. history. As I stood there at the memorial, I pondered how much changed in those moments...