Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summertime in the City

I spent Friday evening at a picnic with friends in Central Park.  We enjoyed awesome weather, good food, and great company - not an unusual combination with this group.

At 9pm, the park patrolmen kicked us out.  I then leisurely walked 25 blocks home to soak in the sights and sounds and (often peculiar) smells of the city.  A perfect ending to a perfect evening.

Here are some pictures from the evening.  Notice the city skyline in the background.  So awesome.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Small World

On Tuesday night, we went to the Met with a group of friends to see the ballet “Swan Lake.”  The ballet was awesome.  But, this post is not about that.

I introduced myself to one of the girls in our group thinking that she looked vaguely familiar.  We talked, but just couldn’t figure out how we could possibly know each other.  Our only connection was our mutual friend that proposed going to the ballet.

Finally, we figured out that we both live on the Upper West Side.  But, we had never run into each on the Upper West Side.  I then asked the cross streets of her apartment building.  She said that she had recently moved to a new building, but told me her old cross streets.

I said, “Wait!  I live at around there.”

She then replied, “Well, my building wasn’t that nice.  It was pretty old.”

That was all I needed to hear. 

“Oh, so you lived at blah, blah, blah.”

“Yes!” she exclaimed.  “How did you know?”

“I live there now,” I said.

I discovered, with more probing, that the reason she looked so familiar was because I toured her apartment last August when looking for a new place, and I actually spoke to her!  I had asked her a few questions as I walked through her apartment.

We were flabbergasted!  In a city of eight million people, I share a mutual friend with a girl whose apartment I randomly toured and happened to talk to a year ago as she typed on her computer.  I don’t even know the odds for that happening.

It’s a small, small world.

* I just want to add that she was a really nice girl and felt bad about saying that her old apartment/our current apartment was old and not super nice.  I said that our apartment, while nice and a million times better than our old place, doesn't compare to her new apartment located in a brand-new-top-of-the-line apartment building.  So, no hurt feelings.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Perspectives: Part X

The kindergarten classes went to the Bronx zoo for a field trip.  One of my kids returned with a plastic toy that he found on the ground, a tiny battered chipmunk.  He proudly held it out for me to inspect.

“Wow,” I said.  “This animal is called a chipmunk.”

“I know,” he said excitedly.

“What are you going to do with it?” I asked.

“Take it home!” he said.

“Where will he live?” I asked.

“With me!” he exclaimed.

“Who is going to take care of him?” I asked.

“I am!” he said.

“What is he going to eat?” I asked.

“JUNK FOOD!” he cried.

Ah, spoken like a true five-year-old.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Perspectives: Part IX

The first grade has been learning about our national symbols.  One week they learned about the Statue of Liberty and then took a field trip there (because that’s possible in New York City).  The next week they learned about the bald eagle.  And, this week they studied Mount Rushmore (an impossible field trip).

On Wednesday, their teachers held a trivia contest. The teams- the purple table, red table, blue table, yellow table, and green table- battled against each other for points.  I sat at one table with some of my kids and didn’t help them, per se, just nudged them in the right direction.

One of the trivia questions was, “Can you name the four presidents on Mount Rushmore?”

The class did pretty well.  One table seemingly knew the presidents a little better than us.  They wrote “George, Teddy, Thomas, and Abraham” on their post-it note.

“Apparently,” their teacher said, “some people are on a first name basis only with the presidents.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


For some reason, New Yorkers LOVE to shorten my name.  At least, about 75% of them do.   It’s so interesting.

And, coincidently, they all call me the same name… Liz. 


I’ve never been a Libby or Liza.  Not a Beth or a Bess.  And, no, I’ve never been a Liz.  In fact, I’ve never had a nickname.  My dad wouldn’t let me.  He said that Elizabeth is too beautiful to be shortened.  Yeah, you read that right.  My name is too beau-ti-ful.

Still, introductory conversations in New York often go like this…



“What’s your name?”


“Hi, Liz.”

“Oh, no, no.  (Laughing politely.)  It’s E-liz-a-beth.”

“Ha, sorry about that.  No problem, Liz.”

Shoulders deflate.  I surrender and from then on respond to “Liz”.

Like everything in New York, Liz is shorter, faster.  More efficient.  I guess that time is of the essence.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Easy Shopping

There's not much room in New York, so stores often build up and not out.  The Bed Bath & Beyond about 30 blocks south of us is multiple floors with escalators for people and shopping carts.  I had never seen an escalator for just carts until moving to New York. So clever.