Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Squid Awake

I've got back to school jitters tonight. Interesting since I returned to work on Monday but the teachers come back tomorrow so that is probably the source of my insomnia.

There is an addendum to yesterday's post -- the 2:30 a.m. mass at St. Andrew's Church (RC) was called the Printer's Mass because it was held after the newspapers finished printing for the night. The printers were then able to attend mass before heading home from work. St. Andrew's also held a noon mass (I do not know if this is common now but apparently it wasn't back then). The noon mass was to accommodate the working people on their lunch break and was apparently very popular.

One last note before I try to knit myself into a state where I can sleep -- the contest closes at the end of the day on Friday, August 31. Get your entries in while you can! Yes, this does leave you guessing as to what we will do on the upcoming long weekend. Deal with it.

Papa Squid, Squidette and one of the many Uncle Squid. Notice how grown up Squidette has become. Sniff.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Squid on Feet -- Part 2

Nothing interesting to report today except that Papa and the Squidlings enjoyed their trip to the newly renovated Liberty Science Center. Instead you get a tour of Lower Manhattan that we took last week when we had a sudden craving for dim sum for lunch.

Our tour starts as we exit the subway at City Hall and wind our way to the surface via the Municipal Building.

Many of our city's government agencies are located here, including the marriage bureau for those quick "city hall" weddings.
(the ceiling tiles in the arch pictured above)It was impossible for me to get far enough back to get all of this magnificent building into a photo so be sure to click on the link above for more detailed pictures.The sign in the foreground is for Reade Street, the one further back is for Duane Street. Yes New Yorkers, these are the Duane and Reade of the ubiquitous pharmacy. Did you know that on 57th Street and Broadway you get a Duane Reade on both the South East and South West corners? And they do not have the same stock.
Shortly before the civil war, St. Andrew's Church, suffering a downturn in participation, received permission from Rome to hold a 2:30 a.m mass. This was known as the Printer's Mass and served as the catalyst for a renewal of the congregation. Later, St. Andrew's instituted a noon time mass to serve the growing numbers of municipal workers. The building shown above is not the original St. Andrews, that one was torn down to make way for the adjacent Federal Court House. The current structure was erected in 1939.*

The Sugar House was used to hold prisoners during the Revolutionary War. All that is left is some bricks and the barred window.
The Supreme Court of New York.
The Five Points -- one of the most infamous sections of early New York gang activity. Now a public park.
The site of the Collect Pond, originally a font of fresh water, later a contaminated cesspool drained via a canal which was later filled in to become ... you guessed it, Canal Street.
Our favorite billboard. Proof that Dumbo is not on the radar of a certain Mouse.
My only picture from Chinatown. For some reason I decided to turn New Yorker and put away the camera. Lunch was an assortment of dim sum from our favorite dim sum house. Yummy!
Little Italy
The building shown both above and below is a former police station, renovated and now an apartment building.

Some street art.

The original Grace Church across from the NYU dormitory where Mike once lived.

A bank building that is now used for a variety of itinerant commercial purposes. One day last summer it showcased the Ben and Jerry's milkshake in a bottle, this week, Meow Mix cat food.

* Wolfe, Gerard, New York A guide to the Metropolis Walking Tours of Architecture and History, Second Edition, McGraw Hill 1988

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Squid On Wheels Contest Reminder

For those of you holding out until the end of the month to enter your guess I give you this: the total will most likely hold steady until after the contest deadline. I go back to work tomorrow and the likelyhood of Papa and the Squidlings riding without me is slim.

Go to this post to lodge your guesses.

Squid On Wheels -- Circumnavigating Manhattan in the Fog

Yesterday we set out in the fog and damp to circumnavigate Manhattan. While we did not get as close to the true perimeter as we might have, it was an interesting journey.

Leaving home before 8 a.m. we quickly rode up the green way along the Hudson River to Fairway to pick up some breakfast.

Provisions obtained we continued through the fog to the George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse.
Can you see them up ahead?
No? How about now?
Is this a little better?
The tiny structure on the left is the Little Red Lighthouse. Yes, it was that foggy. Usually we can see the Bridge from almost every point on the northbound green way. The Lighthouse usually pops in and out of view as the trees permit. Yesterday? We were practically on top of the bridge (or rather, right beneath it) before we saw it. The George Washington Bridge is not a small structure. It was thatfoggy.

Having successfully ridden up the hill below the bridge (parental Squid riding the whole hill, Squidlings, the bottom 3/4 of the hill), we continued uptown, passing the newly reconstructed Riverside Drive retaining wall.

This wall collapsed roughly two years ago, burying cars and closing a lane of the highway. No one was injured.
A different retaining wall further north.
Exiting the green way at Dykeman Street, we turned into Inwood Park in an attempt to stay as close to the river as possible. Following directions from a park worker we quickly found ourselves on hiking trails. Hiking trails that, from the other end, were closed. May I note that both Squidlings performed admirably as they dragged their bikes through the mud and yanked them over tree trunks.

For your viewing pleasure, I give you the greenery of Inwood Park, after we regained the paved pathways.

Our route then took us on a path similar to the one that Mike and I took when we circumnavigated a few weeks ago.
Townhouses in Inwood.
The Big Red Schoolhouse.
Swindlers Cove, where we paused for a breakfast shared with bee type creatures and endured a few bug bites.
Continuing south, we passed Highbridge Tower and pedaled southwards.

Somewhere along the way Mike stopped taking photos until he and Squidette stopped to wait for me and Little Squid. Then he snapped this lovely structure.
The ferry slip for Governor's Island -- site of the famous Squid face-plant (last slip opening to the left).

Our journey home from here was the same old, standard Squid ride with the inclusion of stops for sandwiches (for dinner) and ice cream / frozen hot chocolate (for lunch).

38 miles.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Squid on Feet -- Part 1

Thus starts a two day journey with the Squid Family as they turn tourist in their own city and walk miles and miles in search of blog fodder amusement.

Wednesday dawned gray and rainy and our Squid needed something to do. The American Museum of Natural History was suggested and all agreed that this would be a wonderful way to get out of the apartment.

Sneakers were donned and our Squid set out by subway for their favorite museum.On the way in we saw these lovely lions.And you thought only the Library had lions.

On, into the museum we went in search of lions and tigers and bears squid and turtles and whales, oh my!(The Whale is just too big to get into the frame!)This is my favorite diorama. Giant Squid battling Sperm Whale. When you go up to it in the museum, it is totally dark and you have to get right up to the rail to be able to see anything. I was amazed that this picture came out so well. You can actually see it better here then in person.

After visiting our aquatic friends, as well as frogs, mythical creatures and cavemen, we walked home. Yes, walked. From 77th Street to 27th Street. (That's roughly 2.5 miles for you non-New Yorkers.)

As you walk south on Central Park West, you see some lovely old buildings, many of which have been cleaned and or repaired. This was the first time that I noticed the cupola on the Second Church of Christ Scientist.Our theory is that it was just cleaned an was probably behind scaffolding for a while and that is why we never noticed it before. Yup, that's our story and we're sticking with it.

Continuing downtown we come to this brand new building which, amazingly, looks like it belongs! Truly, it blends with the other buildings along the avenue and is a nice, solid looking building.

These, however, show the very modern side of New York. In the foreground is one of the towers of the new Time Warner Center, a bastion of luxury shopping in the area. Behind it and to the left, slightly, is the Hearst Building. At least the modern portion which rises above a lovely, preserved lower section.
It is from the same corner that you can see this lovely statue group at the corner of Central Park,And the ever vigilant back of Christopher Columbus, ever watchful as he observes the traffic heading south on Broadway from the circle that bears his name.

And thus ends our photo journey as the Squid family then wandered into CompUsa to peruse new laptops and then continued south to procure footwear for the Squidlings.


So you do not have to read blathering about our boring activities (dentist, doctor, back to school shopping etc) I give you some more vacation photos. Be sure to click for bigger on the roller coaster photos if you want a good look at my face. It is really worth a look. If you want to read the blathering that gives this post it's title, then scroll down past the pictures.

Executioner Sheep
The Big Cheese
Cool thing in Cincinatti
Cool thing in Indiana
Close up of Cool Thing in Indiana
Mama Squid and Squidette enjoying (?) a Roller Coaster
Sheer Terror
A Nice Photo of Squidette on Her Bike

Reentry is always tough and it was made tougher this week by rotten weather. We did lots of boring back-to-school shopping where in we discovered that Squidette has added flesh/muscle to certain body parts moving her pant status from slim-with-button-elastic to regular-with-button-elastic. (Yes the regulars are still a bit roomy even with the addition.) It also revealed that young ladies are expected to jump from size 14 kids to size 0 womens. Gulp! Got to love a naive kid -- she was looking for 0-slim with button elastic!

Little Squid was easier to fit now that Old Navy has decided that there are slim size 10 kids. I think my complaints on his sister's behalf may have had an impact. Yea, right.

And lastly, my dentist must have heard that my union settled with the city. He has found a way to spend my extra income. Squidette and I both have to go back for more work -- redo of an old, worn out filling for me, sealant and maybe cavity for her. Figures.

Today we may try to do something fun and then Squidette and I will tackle my back to school shopping. Oh joy. Did I mention that I go back to work on Monday? And that I spent a good deal of time on the phone, working, yesterday? It's o.k., I'll take the time back when we do the middle school tours with Little Squid.

Tomorrow -- we plan to circumnavigate Manhattan as a family. I promise photos this time.