Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waiting, and Hoping and Praying

Katie's right. If you haven't yet, please invest in a ticket to Waiting for Superman. Not only is it worth going to catch a glimpse of my admirable brother-in-law, but sometimes it's good to get your priorities rearranged. Kids will do that for ya.

"Kids look at the world and make certain predictions - they think it's a cold, heartless place because they've been given the short end of the stick and they don't know why."

In an effort to avoid the politics of who is to blame for the poor education American children receive, I'll just say I agree that we can not turn a blind eye to what's happening in our schools for the sake of harmony among adults.

With tons of public schools in this city I'm sure I can find one that will welcome a reading tutor. I think I have a new volunteer option for our time in the Bronx...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Experiences with Ancient Artwork

I spend a majority of my time here:
So naturally I relish in the weekend opportunities to venture down the D train to Manhattan Island where the big city lights, the music, the fashion and the 14th century baptismal fonts await...

Today Dominic and I spent the day visiting The Cloisters. Although we could see our neighborhood from the medieval museum it felt like we had dropped into a different era when we emerged from the subway. Someday I think I'll devote an entire post to what it's like when you step out onto the street from down below. You never know what will greet you at street level in this town. Anyway, we wanted to make sure that we could enjoy the fall colors in New York and we had heard the Cloisters was the place to do that. First, however, there were sarcophagus' to be seen...

(a prize to someone who can explain why there is a dog under his feet)

And the most terrifying podium I've ever witnessed...
Ok, so the truth is that Medieval art just doesn't really grab my attention the way colors like these do:

It was a spectacular afternoon and we were desperate to be outside. While inside, however, we did enjoy listening to a docent explain the political history of an ancient daily prayer book. We saw some breathtaking tapestries (and pondered who could have had the patience to weave them) and we enjoyed a banana in the herb garden. What we admired most was the creative way the historic art pieces are incorporated right into the walls, stairs and doorways of the museum itself. There's nothing quite like standing inside an exhibit -- something we did in the Fuentiduena Chapel for example. The museum tucks crucifixes, paintings and sculptures, along with old parts of elaborate doorways right into the makeup of the building. It's fascinating and I couldn't help but find myself wishing I owned a few of the massive wooden bedroom pieces myself.

I'm so thankful we've been able to spend some time exploring New York the way we could in Seattle. From now on, however, I'm only doing outdoor activities in good weather and indoor museums when it's cold. It's only fair after being cooped up all week long!