With four days notice, we were off, again, to Manhattan; this time, to celebrate Heath's college buddies (one who'd gotten engaged, and one bound for Colorado to begin life anew). Until we'd left for the airport, I hadn't considered that I'd actually be staying in the city--unusual for a gal who loves crashing her friends' Brooklyn apartments.
So after a fun Friday night engagement soiree at Jon's swank, Financial District flat, we woke to a rainy window in SoHo.
Unable to galavant around Central Park (Heath neglected to bring his coat), we decided to visit the Met's VanGogh exhibit on 5th Ave., and make our way afterwards to window-shop (weather somewhat permitted). Past Atlas, past the studios, we stumbled on Rockefeller Center's ice rink (surprisingly full of skaters already), Trump's Plaza (Heath wanted to sample the infamous "Apprentice" ice cream), and all of the eye-popping places we associate with haute couture.
But the highlight of the trip, for me, was our getting to see Sejal, my friend of too-many-years-to-speak-of, who'd gathered a bunch of her peeps together for a belated birthday outing. While we downed some succulent sushi, sashimi, and saki, the rain clouds gathered and prepared to douse us on our way to the whisky bar.
Too little time (about 24 hours) in my favorite city. But then: we know we'll be back again--and this time, we're bringing our rain ponchos.
"Our most ancient metaphor says life is a journey. Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred. . . .This is the traveler who goes on foot, living the journey, taking on mountains, enduring deserts, marveling at the lush green places...as a pilgrim, seeking, wondering." -Patricia Hampl
October 16, 2005
If you grow up in Western New York or Pennsylvania, somewhere along the way a teacher, girl scout leader, or local historian will have successfully drilled the refrain from an 19th-century tune that is the title of this blog. "I got an old horse and her name is Sal. . ." the song begins, and goes on to paint a picture of the intensive, manual labor associated with the creation and use of this feat of engineering.
While we girl scouts never quite got to navigate it firsthand, the canal that goes through Rochester boasts a popular path alongside it for dog-walkers, runners, and bikers. Since I can remember, I've walked the canal at sunsets with my parents, now and then, in the summers, when the path is most crowded and "on your left!" a much-heralded cry from bikers zooming past. Yet I'd never seen the canal from the water itself.
For Uncle Sid's 70th birthday celebration, we boarded the Sam Patch (the name of the man who braved Niagra Falls in a wooden barrel) and rode--you guessed it--fifteen or so miles up and down the Erie Canal.
This was the view of the very lock that had given me nightmares as a child. Every time "Bridge Over Troubled Water" came on my nighttime radio program in the late 1970's, I'd imagine myself careening into this lock, feet first, with no ladders to help me make my way up the slippery cement walls.
Upon seeing the enormous doors of the lock opening, I remembered this nightmare immediately; and it was right then that our little cousin Aidan (age three) starting screaming in terror. The pang subsided when our host sailors explained the physics of water tables, and though Aidan continued to shriek, I settled in with a nice glass of Riesling and enjoyed our "rise to the top."
It was a gorgeous, crisp, fall day on the Erie Canal; and I can safely listen to the old Simon and Garfunkel tunes with absolutely no fear of falling.
October 09, 2005
Most folks know Corning as the home of their mother's oven-safe bakeware, but the small city is also home to the world's largest Museum of Glass. For a birthday daytrip, Heath and I ventured over to the CMOG to see what that was all about--and learned and saw lots and lots of cool things. Glass artifacts of ancient civilizations abound, as do pieces from Europe's grandiose eras; then there's all sorts of funky stuff to gawk at (this is a fun place if you're a crow-person, easily amused by bright, shiny things). We watched a glass-making demonstration (at which we learned a bit of Mandarin Chinese), walked through the "innovations" interactive exhibit, saw a huge exhibit of Czech glass (not as boring as it sounds) and then walked very, very carefully through the gift shop. We came home with a gorgeous vase, two port glasses, and some funky ice-cream dishes you'll love to use when you visit us.
October 07, 2005
October 06, 2005
In an effort to hone my down-home, promised-land baking skills, I attended a challah-making workshop at a friend's home last week. Good fun, good women, good teacher (thanks Mr. Z.!)--and there's definitely something to be said for the theraputic qualities of kneading. And kneading. And kneading. Here, Leslie and I prepare to make a "bird design" out of dough. (It was delicious.)