So there was Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year. Then in this new year 2017 two weeks have passed in about two seconds. Seriously. Life sometimes feels like Kurt Vonnegut novel. Comical and sad. Absurd and complex.
Anyway, for Taiyo the new year began with this super rich deep fried brioche french toast with fruits and bacon. For many years my new year's resolution was to blog every week, or just little bit more. Of course this was never achieved so lately I would not set any goal I cannot make. Besides, how could I dramatize and recite my life in public space when my actual life feels like just so full of it? Non-responsive o,p, and l keys on my laptop were also to be blamed. And it's all because of Donald Trump anyway. It's like Mercury retrograde- we've got someone to blame everything on for the next 4 years (maybe.)
Oh how happy and hopeful we were back on Halloween- Taiyo in his beard and me in my rice bag space suite. It's been 10 days since the dark election day and finally people are coming out to have my comfort food. Here in Manhattan 86$ voted for Clinton and there's so much anger, sadness, and anxiety all over the place. Collectively we haven't felt this much threat and sense of urgency since 9/11. And like post 9/11, I've lost a few friends who didn't share this feeling. Then there's so much more tight and long hugs going around and I'm sure we can let our goodness grow among us in this intense time. Taiyo's been making "Token of Appreciation" out of bottle caps. Please come get one. And order beer so he can make more for other people.
So of course we had way too much fun and the month of September truly flew by. Approaching mid-October and we are still blessed with extended mild fall. Winter may feel tougher this year. Another long holiday weekend, with Rosh Hashanah last week and Columbus day this week. Yesterday we took a ride to Long Island, where I spent first two years arriving in this country. There's a Children's Museum behind the campus now. We visited this place for the first time, and this turned out to be the best of its kind, I think.
It was the best equipped and interestingly beautifully presented and pretty well-staffed. It was a chilly and wet sunday afternoon and was rather chaotic at times, but still amazing over all. And it was only 40-minute away from our house (in pouring rain!) We stopped at big and beautiful shopping mall Roosevelt Field then went to check out "Rise of Jack O'Lamterms" show at Old Westbury Gardens. Fortunately the rain stopped and made it a bit less disappointing experience.
So you walk around among the gardens adorned with 5000 jack o-lanterns. But most of them are simply carved jack o-lanterns spaced out like this across the lawns. Then there's some Disney characters, Marvel characters, Sesame Street, Star Wars and such. Even presidential candidates! And dinosaurs. The whole this isn't so interesting nor impressive, artistically or otherwise. It could been better. I wished it was better. I would recommend only if it was $5 each. It was pretty expensive!
Nevertheless, it was a beautiful evening and it was not a bad idea after all.
Indeed time flies when you are having fun. Here's recap of some of our fun moments this summer.
He did lots of great project, such as this one: King Potato. I tried to get King Potato to sprout afterwards, but he sort of melted in the heat instead. Here's another fantastic thing he built.
He not only learned to swim but to float on water.
and to wrangle some birds.
His favorite Dragon ride at Renaissance Faire:
Close encounter with a bear at Central Park- fortunately there was a sheet of glass between them.
Corpse flower was a stink of town, although it wasn't stinky when we got there, fortunately. I wonder if it was as bad as ginkgo nuts.
And there were many food adventures, of course.
Some pasta place in East Village
Lombardi's. I took him there since it's one of NYC's icons. But personally I think it's so over-rated. If it's pizza, he doesn't need assistance.
No pictures please while I have my mango!
And fun will continue with my high school friend from Tokyo.
Taiyo is doing "Restaurant camp" this year at SOY and he's already making spicy tuna bowls! Oh yes, he's been quite helpful these days. As soon as we walk in the restaurant he'd ask, "Mommy, can I have a snack?" "After you help me set up." "Then you will give me a snack?" "Yes, I will give you a snack." So then he would help with taking down the chairs (at least half,) wiping the tables, and sweeping the sidewalk. This of course puts smile on faces of people passing by. I look at him sweeping in some funny motion and feel so good that it's finally beginning to pay off. Oh, motherhood.
But seriously, we've been having great summer fun. I've been running to the East River with Taiyo leading me on his bike. Boy, how he makes me run! We've already started a Friday summer tradition of bringing breakfast sandwiches from the corner deli and having a breakfast picnic by the river. We visited Brooklyn Museum, par Taiyo's request over the weekend. It was wonderfully quiet there, perhaps because it was such a sunny outdoorsy summer holiday weekend and Taiyo got to ran around a bit (quite a bit) in the beautfil Beau-Arts court. We made it out to the fireworks but couldn't get to the best view area- we couldn't access FDR drive from Houston street!
Then we even hit the beach! We spent all day on Coney Island on Wednesday. It was like a perfect mini vacation. Ocean breeze was wonderfully soothing. Ocean was calm and surprisingly clean. We went up on the ferris wheel, then I had oysters and he had a cone dog on boardwalk. Only a 45-minute subway ride. Why don't we do this more often?
And of course we've been having lots of ice cream. This one was Van Leeuwen on East 7th Street. Flavors were wonderful but I thought it was too sweet. But life is never too sweet!
I've installed a new "SOY" sign above the restaurant this morning. It's made of plastic mega blocks I've been trying to get rid of since early this year. I finally found perfect use for them! It was a fun project, and I got so many compliments while installing them.
This picture from last Halloween turned out to be the last photo I have of the previous sign. It was completely destroyed during the building exterior clean-up a few months ago, and the contractors scraped everything off and painted over.
This sign was the first one from the very beginning of SOY in 2002. I've made them with glass tile pieces. Some of the tiles had fallen off, and paint was peeling all over the place in such a beautiful way. Some people had suggested maybe it was time to re-do. But I loved it since it looked old, and scenes of urban decay and ruins were my deep attraction to this neighborhood when I arrived here in 1990.
Recently I discovered that you can see the history of the street view on google maps. When you look up 102 Suffolk Street, the current view is from 2014. Then there's pull-down menu on upper left hand corner where you can pick the view from previous photos starting 2007. In 2007, you don't see SOY at all because there was a big moving truck parked in front. In 2011, I had a "caught on camera" moment walking out of SOY with an empty stroller. I was puzzled to see an empty stroller- where was Taiyo? Well, he was way ahead of me, walking toward Delancey. A lady walking behind him if worried and turning behind her to see if anyone is running after him.
By the way, the strange art/toy installation almost made the whole month. Elmo in the middle was stolen about a week ago. I will have to fill the void.
Last weekend, Taiyo and I did "toys in trays" installation on our gate. I placed Taiyo's toys on blue plastic trays and fastened them around the gate of the restaurant. It was grey Saturday afternoon. People immediately stopped and took pictures. Little kids and babies pointed at each toy. There were Sponge Bob, Baby Jack Jack (from a Pixer movie Incredibles,) Grover, headless painted torso of a super hero (I have no idea what it was), a finger puppet monster, a bird guy who used to be on a bike, and a Mexican wrestler. By next morning, half of them were gone. Monday morning, all were missing but the wooden robot on top too high to reach for a normal person.
They were simply ripped off the tray. Some were gone with the tray. Although only the figure we were sad to lose was the Mexican wrestler, it was upsetting nevertheless. Even a duckie I put on the menu holder was ripped off the fastener.
This was definitely "smad" moment as Taiyo would put it. Sad+mad=smad. Is it an act by self-destructive neighborhood teenagers or newly arriving hipsters who are ruining our neighborhood?
Whoever the enemy it was, I had to challenge again. I continued on the experiment with strange art objects (yarn covered light bulbs) and little toys in enclosed shrines you cannot stick your hands in. So far it's working and they are untouched for a week now. Does this mean stranger art lives longer? Or is it so bad no one wants to touch?
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