Thursday, May 02, 2013

a small trip to a big city!

writing now from my flu-bed, we've had the virus fill our household this week. both dan and i were down for the count yesterday, with our lively four year old needing our attention. we took turns hanging out with him and napping. today he is at his preschool, bringing a sense of calm to the surround. tashi has come down with it now, and i am on the mend, but not fully recovered. so here we are nestled indoors on beltane week, the yard verdant and blooming in the sun.

the pause allows me to reflect on our lovely weekend in new york city, and share some of it with you. tashi's high school orchestra was participating in the worldstrides heritage music festival at the riverside church, so we decided to seize the opportunity to visit my dad and family, while checking out the amazing orchestra performance. tashi was touring around manhattan with her orchestra mates the whole weekend, but we did manage to have a tasty lunch with her after the performances.

it was a whirlwind weekend, just two days with so much possibility. we spent most of the time walking with no specific agenda. it was hard for me to miss out on so many places tucked into the city, but we still had a lovely taste of life in the big apple.

when we arrived tristan declared he wanted to see the hudson. and so we sprang from my dad's chelsea neighborhood and headed to the piers.

and then we climbed the stairs to the highline, an old industrial railroad line that has been transformed into beautiful green space and walkways. we were really impressed. it was particularly relevant as we had recently checked out the book, the curious garden, from the library, a wonderful story about a young boy who starts a garden on an old urban railroad line.

the gardens were astonishing. and what better time to be there than in spring.

there was great art, too!

 from the tiled rooftop of a church, a bird serenaded us with its lovely song.

there were fantastic views of the urban landscape.


tristan was particularly intrigued by lady liberty. he really wants to walk around her crown. next time, perhaps!

at one point he proclaimed that he was not going to leave new york city!

we concluded our first evening with an awesome dinner at chelsea thai in the chelsea market.

the next day was walking, walking, walking, from 8th ave and 25th street in chelsea, to the highline again, to the west village, to 1st avenue and 1st street bordering the lower east side, and back again, with everything in between. 

we took tristan to the playground in washington square park. there were some amazing buskers in that park! one fellow asked tristan if he would join him in a game of chess, and another predicted that tristan would someday be president. 

i met my co-collaborator, liz roberts, for the first time, after a year of collaborating on our poetry manuscript, cantle, rubus, and oarlock, along with m mara ann. it was so lovely to meet face to face after a year of skyping, and a year of drawing deep inspiration from one another's words. we had a delicious lunch at a small indian restaurant near the park.

and then we visited with san francisco pals marjorie ingall and jonathan steuer while our kids romped around another city playground.

after our brief visit, we hauled our broken selves (well dan was mostly the broken one, carrying tristan on his shoulders) back to the meat packing district where we met my dad and family for dinner at the park restaurant for a celebration of my dad and dan's birthday. the food was amazing, and we returned to our little chelsea home away from home for chocolate cake and presents.

the next morning, very early, was the charlottesville high orchestra and string ensemble performances at the riverside church. the performances were spectacular. as was the church.

both the combined orchestra and the select string ensemble earned gold medals and scores ranging from 93 to 95 from the four judges.  the combined string orchestra won 1st place in their category as well as best overall orchestra! the combined musical talents of orchestra, string ensemble, and band from charlottesville high school won the instrumental grand championship! i feel so lucky to have witnessed some of these performances and so proud that my daughter is part of such an amazing team of musicians!

we got to steal tashi away briefly after the performances for lunch at the very delicious and fun symposium greek restaurant.

and then we delivered her back to her classmates who were milling about rockefeller center.

when we got back to chelsea that evening we learned there was a street festival. it was fun to walk several blocks down the middle of 8th avenue, checking out booths full of junk, and art, and crafts, and food.

afterwards we had a drink at a sushi restaurant. tristan enjoyed a tall glass of oj while dan and i took advantage of the hot saki happy hour. i don't drink saki often, and felt just a little loopy afterward!

after our interlude we returned to our fine weekend digs for a goodbye dinner of new york pizza and chinese take out with my dad, his wife, and my brother. the bok choy was outstanding. and the pizza was thin and cheesy but not too greasy, just the way i like it.

and so now we are in recovery. maybe we picked up the virus in nyc. maybe we carried it there and back. but at least we have some happy memories to sustain us through our malaise! 
p.s. many more pics from our trip here:

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