Saturday, January 26, 2008

House Huntin'

So I've decided I will kinda stay here and kinda not.

We've been searching for a dirt cheap cottage/farmhouse near Brian's job up at a university in CT. That way we can go there on the weekends and vacations while Brian can also use it on days when he has to work or teach a class in the evening.

Maybe I'm nuts but it feels right.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

That was then. This is now.

This weekend we all went up to the Metropolitan Musuem of Art. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we split up and agreed to meet in forty minutes or so. I went off to the new photography gallery and Ben/Brian went off to the knights, weaponry and musical instruments.

My mom gives us a family membership to the Met every year. Ben has practically grown up in the Met and feels the same way about it that most NY kids feel toward the Museum of Natural History.

I've always thought of this museum as New York's wise, beautiful matron.

After lunch in the cafe, we took one last look at the medieval armor, Revolutionary War swords and ancient Japanese military head gear. After an obligatory purchase in the museum shop, we walked out into the warm sunshine of a NY winter afternoon.

Brian and I reminisced about our pre-Ben days of meeting at the Met after work on a Friday night and walking all the way home it the East Village (approx. 3000 miles - 4000 with heels on).

Brian said "Things changed in the City after 9/11. In more ways then we realized. It isn't the same place."

I'm still thinking that one over.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Small World

I picked Ben up from a play date on Wednesday afternoon. It was the first truly cold day in a long time. We scurried down 10th street and I stopped into Kmart for some luxury items - - rubber gloves and glass cleaner.

Ben was coveting my earmuffs for the last few days so I offered to buy him a pair before we got to the cashier. He didn't take a moment to check out the merchandise before saying "Mom, I don't want to buy my earmuffs here. I want to give my money to small, local businesses. Let's go buy them from one of the street vendors."

Now this approach to consumerism has been my husband's creed forever. Only in the past year has he walked into a Starbucks (out of desperation). In all of Ben's nine years, I've never seen him take a political stand on any consumer issue that stood in between him and the desired object.

A street vendor was selling his winter goods right outside of Kmart. It was freezing and he must have been standing out there for hours. He was covered from head to toe except for his eyes peeking between a hat and scarf. Ben got his three dollar ear muffs and explained his new philosophy.

He just finished reading The Pushcart War, a children's novel written by Jean Merrill and illustrated by Ronni Solbert. It was first published in 1964. The plot focuses on a war between pushcart peddlers and delivery trucks in NYC. As traffic becomes increasingly horrendous in the city, three huge trucking companies try to alleviate their parking problems by running the pushcarts off the curb and out of business. Needless to say, the NY pushcart vendors unite and push back... so the story begins.

What Ben didn't know was the Jean Merrill and Ronni Solbert lived in East Village and were very good friends with my dad. Ronni also wrote and photographed a super cool book I Wrote My Name on the Wall (1971) profiling city kids in their words, kids who never went beyond their neighborhoods.

What goes around comes around. Especially with art.