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March 30, 2006

Tourists in New York

Our first full day as tourist began early in spite of Jeremy's late (1:30 am) arrival. We awoke at 7:00 am (that's 4:00 Pacific Time) and retrieved some breakfast to eat in the room as we got ready. For those of you interested in the food, our hotel serves a wonderful European style breakfast every morning, which includes, chocolate and lemon croissants, crusty baguettes, prosciutto, a variety of cheeses, granola and yogurt. It was all delicious.


We decided to check out some museums and went first to the Guggenheim, but quickly found out that it is closed on Thursdays. As we had been walking along the edge of Central Park and the weather here is gorgeous, high of 68º, we decided to go for a stroll. We walked up to a bluff and looked around. An elderly woman approached us and asked if we would like a map of the park. "I never go the park without a few extra maps," she said, and drew out one of several maps from her bag. We were happily surprised by this act of kindness. She also gave us specific directions the Museum of Natural History. As we walked through the park, to the museum, I was astounded at the number of park volunteers pruning and weeding and tending to the grounds. All of the spring bulbs are up here, and the forsythia and cherry trees are in bloom. Feels like home.


The Natural History Museum and Planetarium were impressive and enormous. Upon buying our tickets the cashier asked, "Where are you from?" When we told her Oregon she exclaimed, "Oh you must go get a picture in front of the will-uh-met meteorite!" So here I am in front of the Willamette meteorite found in Clackamas, Oregon many, many years ago.

We spent two hours looking at lots of preserved animals, and artifacts, and dinosaur bones. The display on biodiversity was one of my favorites. A huge wall covered with a multitude of butterflies, fish, shells, etc.


After three hours, we decided to move on, and find some lunch -- the one meal every day that has been left unplanned. Across the street from the museum was a subway entrance. We have been encouraged by many to use the subway, so we bravely descended and attempted to read the map on the wall. We decided to buy a metro pass and got a portable map from the man behind the glass. Again as we stood trying to decipher the route a woman approached us and asked if we needed help. She gave us a low down on New York navigation -- uptown vs downtown, streets vs avenues, blue line vs green line. Thank you New York stranger!

When we emerged from the subway we decided to start our iPod tour of Times Square. I found these tours on line at Sounds for Sights. For $12.00 we downloaded four, hour long, tours. We synchronized our iPods and began walking. The narrator explained how to walk with purpose, and without fear among the crowds. He told of the history behind many of the theaters. He had us walk into the lobby to examine the architecture. This was a great way to see Times Square and the Theater District. We stopped half way to share an enormous cheese steak sandwich at Roxy's Deli.

In the picture above Jeremy is listening to the strange sound emanating from the grate. The audio tour explained that one of the subway engineers designed the tunnels to produce natural harmonics. You cannot hear this organ-like sound unless you stand directly over this grate on the sliver of sidewalk in the middle of the intersection.

We enjoyed this tour so much, we decided to take on the next tour of Rockefeller Center. Again an amazing hour spent touring not just the Center, but also the Diamond District, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Statue of Atlas, and Radio City Music Hall.

My legs were extremely tired. We rode the very smelly subway back to our hotel. After a long hot soak in the tub and a short nap, we were ready to head back out to dinner. We had made reservations last week at Po, Mario Batali's first restaurant. We selected the chef's tasting menu, and were not disappointed. While the tables around us received massive plates pasta, we were given small plates of a variety of dishes. We began with a marinated white bean crostini. Then we had a wonderful salad of asparagus, roasted red peppers and slivered almonds. Our first pasta course was one large butternut squash ravioli in a sage cream sauce. Our second past course was a small bowl of gnocchi in a meaty red sauce. Our entree was a filleted leg of guinea hen on some sort of round little pasta with scallions. The we had a wonderful cheese course. Finally for dessert Jeremy had an apple tart with vanilla gelato. I had a dark chocolate terrine flavored with amaretti cookies and criss-crossed with an espresso caramel sauce. One of the best desserts ever! Sorry no pictures, I forgot the camera at dinner.

We are running out the door for another full day. Please excuse all the typos. This entry was done in haste!

Posted by jennifer at 02:57 PM


March 29, 2006

New York Welcome

On Tuesday evening I flew into New York, taking in a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. The buildings looked like sparkling giants and seemed close enough to touch from the window of the airplane.

Walking through the airport, I was overwhelmed with the diversity of the people around me. So many colors and costumes, so many different cultures represented, so many different languages being spoken. We're not in Oregon anymore!

My cab rides, three so far, have all been wild and included lots of honking and near misses. I was happy to arrive at our quaint hotel on the upper east side of Manhattan. The staff at The Franklin are very experienced in customer service.


Posted by jennifer at 08:14 PM


I recognize you, is that Jeremy?
Grandpa G

Posted by: GrandpaG at March 29, 2006 09:43 PM

I think that is Jeremy. Look at the brazen scofflaws: standing where they oughtn't.

Posted by: J.D. at March 30, 2006 02:01 PM

March 28, 2006

Ode to Joy

Harrison played Ode to Joy during the offering at church a couple of weeks ago. You can watch and listen with the link below.
Ode to Joy

I love to hear kids, and adults too, sharing their musical talents at church. One of my favorite musical moments included a flute and a tuba in a Christmas carol duet.

The music should be good at the Easter service. Julian is leading a small choir. Last Sunday we practiced while the kids rode their scooters around the church sidewalks, periodically sneaking into the sanctuary to wave and listen.

At home Emma informed us that on Easter she would like to sing in the Great Balls of Fire Choir. She is referring to the traditional singing of The Angel Rolled the Stone Away. In the song the bases sing out "Great God Almighty." Away from church, Jeremy often replaces this phrase with "Great Balls of Fire." I love Emma's twist on this phrase.

Posted by jennifer at 07:17 PM


You forgot to mention that the offering swelled by 10%.
Grandpa G

Posted by: GrandpaG at March 29, 2006 08:34 PM

March 23, 2006

March Weather

In like a lamb, and out like a lion, may not accurately describe our March weather. However, it has been a mixture of lions and lambs. The mid month snowfall was so strange and thrilling, it was downright comical.
Harrison and Emma enjoy the dusting of wet snow that caused a two hour delayed start of school.
Later in the day Emma catches giant snowflakes on her tongue.

A couple of weeks later the kids run around the yard barefoot and eat an ice cream cone on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Posted by jennifer at 08:20 PM


In like a lamb, and out like a lion, may not accurately describe our March weather.

That's because the saying is "in like a lion, out like a lamb", which, I think you'll find, is generally fairly apt. :)

Posted by: J.D. at March 24, 2006 09:23 AM

Hmmm... I must be meteorologically dyslexic. Maybe the phrase is more approriate than I thought.

Posted by: Jenn at March 24, 2006 09:29 AM