Tuesday, October 23, 2007

things i love about da bronx

i must first say that there are some days that it would be easier to write about the things in my lovely borough that drive me crazy, but there really is so much good stuff here. the thing I actually appreciate the most about living here has nothing to do with the bronx itself; it is my husband's huge, extended family in and around New York City. i am part of it and so grateful. like they say, "home is where the heart is."

but, back to where I live and what there is to love (remember, i live in the bronx- so "great restaurants" is not on my list)

so here's my short list:
  • the public library system
  • the cultural and ethnic diversity
  • the botanical garden, bronx zoo and wave hill
  • bridges, trains and construction seen through the eyes of my three-year old son
  • orchard beach in any season except summer

This blog entry was prompted by the wonderful day I had today with Jove, Miranda and my mother-in-law, Tati. Because it is unseasonably warm (loving it), we headed out after lunch to Orchard Beach which is actually on the farthest west coast of Long Island Sound. In the summer it is a madhouse, but in the off season it is delightful. We never swim or wade in the water, just in case you were worried for our health.

Jove collected acorns (pin oak acorns are beautifully striped). Jove and I played in the sand and enjoyed the sunny, warm day. Tati pushed Miranda in the stroller, down the boardwalk until she fell asleep. The beach and the park (pelham bay park) that contain it were designed by Robert Moses, the famous architect who designed many of new york city's landmark engineering projects. The park is the biggest in New York City (yup, bigger than Central Park) and it has many different faces: the track where I run, our bike trails, a back road to work, jove's playgrounds and today's adventure, the beach. I am so grateful to have so much green space nearby.

Later in the afternoon, we went to a Chinese Silk Dance workshop at a local library where Jove twirled until he could twirl no more. There are really cool programs offered at the two branches near us and we go often. We have seen a lot of live theater, puppet shows and musical performances at libraries. We even have a library branch at the end of our block.

Jove fell fast asleep after his bath, tired from a fun day of playing in the sand, running down the beach and twirling silk ribbons to make water, dragons and rainbows. We are lucky. Right now, I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


there is a beautiful exhibit at the ny botanical garden and my parents are visiting. Serendipity my dad would say.

kiku is the japanese word for chrysanthemum and there is an art of controlling the plants to produce a single large bloom, a "thousand bloom" display or a cascade of blooms. Each arrangement is made with a single plant. it is beautiful.

the courtyard of the observatory also includes a large bamboo sculpture, many japanese maples in fall colors and a lot of bonsai.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

fall, family and friends (or pumpkins: three ways)

we have been enjoying fall, family and friends so much in the past few weeks. jove is allowing me to project my halloween and fall vegetable obsession onto him. we go for walks to the local drugstore to buy milk and check out the halloween decorations: we try on witches' hats, push the buttons on the spooky automated skeletons and in a moment of weakness we bought the halloween stickers decorating the pumpkin above. jove likes to act like a monster and talks a lot about things being scary (although he thinks all scary things want to eat someone or something). he really likes scarecrows, but ghosts puzzle him, he asks me, "what are they trying to scare away?" good question.

one of my husband's cousins is visiting from DR and it is his first time ever being in fall weather. he is the uncle of jove's cousins; so we have all been hanging out a lot lately and he stayed at our house this weekend. he made pumpkin muffins with jove and has been playing with him non-stop. jove will go through withdrawl when he wakes up tomorrow to find andy gone back to his sister's house in queens.

We hosted our mom's group for a fall craft playdate which was lots of fun. We made decoupage pumpkins and marigold bracelets and I served the pumpkin muffins and some squash soup. I pureed some of the roasted squash to make baby food for miranda. she loved it (of course). if we start to turn orange in the pictures you'll know why.

Family Science Day

Jove and his cousins had a blast (no pun intended) launching water bottle rockets. My dear husband has been making science come alive for these little guys. Jove's initial foray into experimentation came with erupting a play-doh volcano a few months ago a la Brady Bunch with baking soda, vinegar and red food coloring. We recently built a paper mache volcano which was also erupted as part of the science day festivities. My husband demo'ed the infamous Diet Coke and Mentos experiment for the kids as well.
Ever since I took Jove to the New York Hall of Science which has a Rocket Park with actual rockets in it, he has been asking for a real rocket to go to outer space. This was the next best thing.