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April 25, 2009

To the City we all go.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 8:28 pm

Claire on Penn train.jpg  Kids and trains equal fun.  Here’s Claire on the short ride under the Hudson on New Jersey Transit. 

Noah Imagine Circle.jpg  Noah Strawberry Fields.jpg  Noah’s request was to see Strawberry Fields.  He seemed a little serious.  Claire was just wondering where the strawberries were.

0423091137.jpg  0423091236.jpg  At the AMNH, Randy and Claire liked the giant extinct shark jaw.  The butterfly is slurping orange juice from this guy’s finger while Claire looks on. 

0423091354.jpg  I know this is blurry; (these are all phone photos) it was taken on a moving train.  The “subby” as Claire calls it. Noah was sitting with me–and we all felt a little like Claire.  But we got our second wind, and after we came out of the “subby”, we walked to the city’s best playground:

0423091453.jpg  0423091502.jpg  In Battery Park City.  Words cannot describe how cool this playground is.  Or how large.  Ginny, who is pretty much an expert on these things, said this is the best playground she’s ever seen.  The kids obviously got their second winds, too.

Claire tshirt.jpg  After a ferry ride across the Hudson, we left for home on another train.  Here’s Claire modeling her pink t-shirt from the AMNH. 

What a happy day!  

 

 

 

April 22, 2009

Noah and Claire take Ft. Montgomery

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 2:55 pm

0422091237.jpg    IMG_0001.JPG  0422091227.jpg

We took Ft. Montgomery this afternoon.  The cannon battery was a favorite of Noah and Claire.  We walked across the suspension foot bridge that runs perpendicular to Bear Mountain Bridge, and then took a tour of the excavated fort.  The history was lost on the kids, but Ginny, Randy and I love the place.  Just beyond this bridge is the Bear Mountain recreation area, a well-known mountain (don’t laugh, you westerners) resort.  It’s sort of like the resort of Holiday Inn (the Crosby movie) fame, except this one is giant–with Olympic sized, outdoor swimming pool; zoo, lake, and very cool carousel.  The buildings remind me of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn. (The building in this photo is the visitor’s center at Fort Montgomery, built two years ago, not the Bear Mountain buildings.) 

We had a nice day. 

April 17, 2009

A little train story.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 3:01 pm

Here’s a little tale from yesterday’s commute: 

Carrying a cane wrapped with orange tape, the balding man guided the woman by her elbow.  She was dressed like she was going to a funeral, all in black, with a neat little hat covering her crinkly, curly hair.  They both weebled when they walked, like those little egg-like toys the kids used to play with back in the early 70’s.  I was in the train, sitting next to the window, and I wondered if the conductor would wait for them to wobble their ways to the nearest door. 

They got on and took the seat behind me.  By the way he touched her, I thought they were married, but later I surmised that they were more like friends, the kind of friends who have known each other for maybe a few years, not a lifetime.  “Damn,” he said.  “I dropped my hat.  Get it will ya?” 

She asked him if he had something to say first.  “Get my hat, what?”  Annoyed by his attitude, she told him to get it himself when they left the train.  “Well, you remind me then.”  “Get your hat when we leave the train.” 

They sounded so married.

“What ya doing there?  Don’t put that (the ticket) up there.  You watch, he’ll skip me.  I won’t have to pay.  Never do.”  The guy was certain the conductor would let him ride free.

“I bought a ticket.”  She wasn’t interested in his scheme.

“Well don’t put it up there.  What do ya wanna do, get me busted?  If you put it up there, he’ll notice me. You watch.  I usually just sit across from a pretty girl, and he’s all busy with her, and forgets to check my ticket.  Works every time.  You watch.  Keep the ticket unless he asks for it.”

The conductor walked past them like they were invisible. 

He told her the last time he went to Middletown, Mike met him at the station.  “He’s not gonna be there today.  He’s got AA.  He’s real serious about that, good for him. He’s at a meeting in HoHoKus I think.  Five years without a drink now.  Gotta hand it to him for that.  Kicked the cocaine, too.  I never got into that stuff myself.  Well, I smoked pot way back, in college, but that was all.  I dabbled in it.”

“Everybody did.”  She wasn’t impressed with his confession. 

“Yup, those were the times.  I was good looking back then, too.  Damn Vietnam.”  His voice trailed off, into another time.

“Where you going today?”  she asked him, though she didn’t really sound interested.  He was fishing for her to disagree with his “good looking back then” statement, maybe even say he’s good looking now.  I could tell by his voice, and its hopeful upturn at the end of the phrase.   No such luck for him. 

“Wanna see my house?  It’s coming up right…right…right…” 

 His voice trailed off.

We were nearing Tuxedo. 

“There! The tall one on the hill.  See it?”

“Oh yeah.  I know that house.” 

“OTB” 

“Oh.”

“Yeah, I like to gamble.”

“Same time next week?”

“Yeah, ok.”

He didn’t ask where she was going.  When the train stopped at Tuxedo, she left without another word to him.  He left at Harriman.  My stop was next, and as I walked past their empty seats, I saw his hat on the floor.

April 10, 2009

A little of this, a little of that.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 3:11 pm

DSCF0014.jpg  I decided to go for a walk to Memorial Park this morning–to get some sun before it gave in to the clouds and rain this afternoon.  The 28 degree chill had warmed into the 50’s by the time I left at around nine or so.  I noticed the folks on Ahern Boulevard had replaced the old wooden fence with a nice white vinyl one, and while I was admiring it, I heard my name called out.  It was Mike!  Mike is my favorite student next to Randy.  He’s been out of commission since September because he had not one–but two open heart surgeries in the past few months.  Anyway, he just got his ok to drive, and there he was, hollering out at me.  It made my day.  He stopped in the road to say hi and make appointments for lessons.  I can’t wait to work with him again.

On the walk home I thought about all of the people I’ve met during the past 44 !! years of teaching piano.  Well, not all of them, of course.  I couldn’t remember all of them.  But I’ve sure had some great students in Idaho, New York, and Texas.  And New Jersey–how can  I forget Jersey City. Even though I’ve tried.

I better go practice.

Happy Birthday to Audrey today.  She’s almost almost thirty.  I’ll bet she’s one heck of a teacher. Happy Belated Birthday to Randy, who will never be as old as I.  And Happy Anniversary to Craig and Ginny, number 12 for them. 

The best video on the web:  Gavin swimming.  Best video by a longshot.  If you haven’t seen it, email me and I’ll link you up.

Looking forward to:  Seeing Kristin Moore, now that she’s an easterner.  I hope they had a nice, uneventful trip out to Baltimore.