Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Waterfalls and Riding Around Brooklyn

This morning we went on a breakfast ride to the Brooklyn Fairway. To get there, we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and got another 4-Waterfall view.

Number 1: The Manhattan FallNumber 2: The Brooklyn Fall
Number 3: The Governor's Island Fall
Number 4: The Brooklyn Bridge Fall ... as seen from the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge
While Little Squid rated them one "awesome" yesterday, today they were old hat.

Replacing them on the awesome scale were all the cool things along the waterfront behind New York City's first Ikea.
In order to ingratiate themselves into the neighborhood, Ikea fixed up the waterfront and preserved some cool details left over from it's heyday as a working waterfront.

Oh, and this? What NYC does to protect it's plants on the day of a big parade.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Of Waterfalls and Weaving

So the buzz about town is the Waterfalls. Having heard so much about them we set out, as Squid will do, on our wheels.

Riding over to the Hudson River Park, the Now-Teen-Speed-Demon took the lead and I took off after her. Following were Little Squid and Papa Squid. For a while the NTSD was riding at a nice clip, 15 - 16 mph or so. After the first mile and a half she slowed a bit to let her mother catch up (I was actually right on her wheel) when suddenly I hear "pass mommy." Two seconds later, Little Squid sprints past me, followed by his grinning father. Then he slows down and I'm stuck in the rear with NTSD two blocks ahead of us. The path is too crowded for me to pass them easily and anyway, they'd just speed up on me if I did.

So on we pedaled, down the Hudson River path, detouring past the lines for the Statue of Liberty ferries and back uptown on the East River path. And then, a block past the Governor's Island Ferry slip we saw the first Waterfall.

Oh wait, not that!
This! Click to enlarge and look way in the background. Above is the Governer's Island Waterfall. Below, the Brooklyn Waterfall.
Below, again, the Brooklyn Waterfall
The Manhattan Waterfall up close.
The Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall from three perspectives.

And, an empty loom.
Yes, that means that it was only two weeks from warp on to warp off. Warp speed?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What I Do for Love

... schlep a dressy suit to school, on the subway.

... walk four long blocks, in the blazing sun, in high heels, in a dark suit.

... abrade my heels with the straps of the sandals (strange, they didn't hurt when I wore them a few weeks ago).

... spend an evening celebrating the accomplishments of his students and sharing in his pride.

Yeah, I'd do it again.


Back story

Mike asked me to join him for the annual Awards for Excellence ceremony held by the Campaign for Stuyvesant, a group working to build an endowment for our alma mater. When I arrived there I immediately hooked up with two Assistant Principals and a glass of wine.

I was guided around the room and introduced to various students, most of whom he described as "awesome," and one as "one of my knitters." To the knitter, I pulled out my current sock in progress and she was astonished to see that I knit real garments and that it was not another sock puppet. Gee ... make three recursive sock puppets and some funky character socks and you get a reputation ...

Eventually we were moved to another room, fed (much to Mike's relief as the food had disappeared as soon as I walked in to the first room and I was complaining about being hungry), and presented with the evening's honorees.

Each kid walked away with a substantial check, except for the kids representing the fencing team -- their check was for the support of the team.

Will I go back next year? Yup. Even with abraded heels.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thirteen years ago I held a sweet, smiling baby in my arms ...

That baby has morphed into ...

A funloving seven year old ...
A curious eight year old ...
A creative nine year old...
A best friend 10 year old ...

A moody, eleven year old ...

A joy to be with twelve year old ...
A poised, intelligent, sweet, smart, slightly obnoxious, Teenager.May I introduce to you, my newly minted teenager, Batya.

I love you, sweetie!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Graduation Day!

Don't look for photos. The auditorium was too dark and shadowed for anything good.

He made us laugh. All of the kids said thank you to their parents and Little Squid's bit went something like this (I am paraphrasing but NOT making this up).

"I'd like to thank my mom for dropping me off at school almost every day and my dad for making sure we are fed. Thanks to my sister for being here and for being the best sister there is. Thanks to my grandparents for giving birth to my parents. I want to thank my turtles for being the best pets even if they want to take over the world. And, I'd like to thank Homer for writing the Iliad."

Really. No kidding. The kid thanked a long dead Greek poet.

Laughter, tears and smiles.

Congratulations, Little Squid!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summertime means ...

Lots of biking. Think we have enough maps?

(In Mike's defense, because he is the map magpie, I tend to give them away whenever we give directions to some one. He wants each adult to have one which means that I really have to carry two with me at all times.)

Lots of weaving. About 8 inches so far. No, I am not going to torture you with endless photos of the same white on white weaving. Consider this it until I take it off the loom.
And graduations. Watch for a special post tomorrow evening. I'm going to go put some tissues in my purse ...

Good News, Bad News

Good News: I got my car back from the shop and it's all shiny, clean and (on the driver's side) dent free.

Bad News: I filled the gas tank ... $72. I'm riding my bike to work today.

Good News: Little Squid graduates from elementary school tomorrow. (We're taking the subway.)

Bad News: Squidette becomes a teenager on Saturday. (O.k., maybe it's not really bad news.)

Good News: I finished warping the loom.

Bad News: I still haven't finished the blanket. Something about not knitting on it and summer temperatures ...

So ... the verdict is that the good news is really nice and the bad news ... not so bad.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

King of the Hill

This morning we set off to ride the 15 miles to our friends in Yonkers. As the quote goes "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step," (or something like that) well, a bike trip from Manhattan to Yonkers starts (kind of) with a single hill -- and keeps climbing,

Today it was Little Squid's turn to conquer the hill leading from the base of the George Washington Bridge to street level. Notice the bike. It is his "new" Specialized Dolce Allez. Kind of, sort of. And with it, he conquered the hill. Go Squid! That said, Squidette and I wound up walking part of it. Oops!

We all, then, managed the rest of the hills, including the nasty Riverdale Avenue, and had a lovely afternoon hanging out with our friends in Yonkers.

Coming home saw a series of small mishaps including a flat on Little Squid's bike, due to glass, just after descending the G.W. Bridge hill. While Mike changed the tube the kids and I noticed these swimmers. Going nowhere. Yup. We watched for a few minutes and realized that a few of them were caught in the current and were swimming in place. Eventually they got the clue and swam sideways to the bank and climbed out a bit before the end point, a nice cove a few meters "down" stream. The Hudson River is a tidal estuary down by NYC and the tide must have been going upstream.
There were at least a hundred swimmers emerging from the river and no, we have no idea what the swim was all about. It might have been the annual swim around Manhattan. We used to see it every year when we lived on the East River.

A Little Warping

Remember that empty loom that I showed you on Friday?

It's not empty any more.

I still need to do a little bit more to actually get to the weaving stage ...

Right now, however, we're going for a bike ride to visit friends in Yonkers. 30 miles round trip with good visiting in the middle. Yea!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Projects

With two weeks (and a day) to go until summer vacation I am thinking about my summer projects. I joined the Tour de France Knit Along again and am going for a green jersey.

What am I knitting for it? Cycling socks. Not very challenging, I know, but I have an added twist. I am weaving a special garment for a special event that we are having in September. (NO! I'm not pregnant!!!)

Cotton and Silk

This requires that I reassemble my loom stand and clean it up.

See! All nice and oiled with Wood Beams. (Which is now making my hands itch!)
With loom attached ...

The first 60 warp ends are wound. Here we go!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Last Night ...


I pledge to uphold the principles of Arista -

To seek knowledge for the sake of knowing

To give service for the pleasure of helping others

And to observe at all times the highest standards

And morals for character growth

This I do swear with all honesty and integrity.

Yup, sounds like my kid!

(The certificate is all crumpled because she used it as a fan. 98 degrees in NYC yesterday.)

Monday, June 09, 2008


Following a bit of nagging from Susan, I decided to put some time in on Squidette's blanket. I knit 2 rows and then determined that the air cooling was not up to the challenge of a 95 degree day and a huge wool blanket on my lap. Then I took a long look at the blanket and realized that I was two repeats beyond where I needed to be. Oops.

The blanket went onto the bed and we decided that I did not have to rip back the bottom, I just had to do the planned surgery on the top.
Blanket top, before.
SNIP! and pick up.
More pick up. (I used three sets of circular needles for this part.)
Free at last!
Blanket top, after.
Reattached at the bottom with a three needle bind off.

Tonight, ripping the top back to the safety line and picking up the stitches. There is absolutely no way that I am then going to knit on it. Highs today are going to be around 97 degrees. And I'm riding my bike to and from work. Eep!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Taste of East Harlem

After working in East Harlem for the last 16 years I can honestly say that I am still fascinated by this neighborhood. From the remnants of the old Italians to the current influx of Dominicans and Mexicans, it is a place that really illustrates the "melting pot" metaphor so often used in New York City.

Most of these photos were taken as I rode west on 115th Street, starting at my school on Pleasant Avenue.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine
. Long a bastion of East Harlem, this institution hosts an annual feast that lasts for 10 days in July and occupies all of the two block stretch in front of my school. Started by Italian immigrants it now serves a mainly spanish speaking population.
Next door to the church is the National Museum of Catholic Art. One of the advantages of being the closest school to the museum is that you get invited over to see new exhibits. I had the pleasure of a tour before it was officially open to the public and was even shown the secret passage from the museum (formerly a catholic school) to the church next door.Row houses on 115th Street.

On the Upper East small markets are called "delis," not to confuse them with say the Second Avenue or Carnegie Deli, places which serve cured meat sandwiches and such. In East Harlem these markets are called bodegas. After all of these years I tend to call all "delis" bodegas, even if they are Korean grocers.A "Project," aka housing project. No, I'm not sure which one. There are lots of them in East Harlem and I didn't stop to read the name.
This is actually on a corner of 112th street. I noticed it as I was riding to work and had to take a shot of it. Look at the contrast on what, on closer examination, are two halves of the same building.

I've started putting my camera on my bike every time I take it out now so, since my car is out of commission* for another two weeks or so, look for more of East Harlem in the weeks to come.

*The insurance adjuster called the damage "extensive," a term which refreaked me for a bit. He also stated that there was glass damage to one of the windows near the back. I missed that one. My folks offered me a car but we keep turning it down. If we don't get the car back by the end of the month then we may borrow one just to do a serious grocery shopping but in the mean time we will patronize the local stores a bit more then usual.