Friday, May 30, 2008

It was "frick'n" good

Today I visited the Frick Museum which is housed in the mansion of Henry Clay Frick who made his fortunes in the steel industry. It is a wonderful collection of several artists and just the right size so you can enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed. A few years ago I saw a painting by Whistler and was blown away by it. Lucky for me he had several paintings in the Frick Museum and I was similarly impressed.
When your feet are weary and you need a little break, you can walk across the street to Central Park. As you can see, several people had the same idea. Paul and I have spent many hours in parks around the world and we both agree that Central Park is one of the prettiest urban parks we have found. We run in the park every morning. Okay, I lied. Paul runs in the park every morning and I walk in the park. We try and get at least four miles in each morning and on the long runs which take us around the reservoir, we clock about five miles or a little better. Every day I discover a new path to take and it leads me to a different child's playground or another statue or like last Friday, to the front door of a castle. I love it. Every day a new adventure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Building Bridges


There are lots of bridges, i. e. the London Bridge, Bridge Over the River Kwai, grandpa's bridge, bridge over troubled water, but only the Brooklyn Bridge was celebrating its 125th birthday this week. In honor of this great achievement, Paul and I walked the bridge on Memorial Day. At the time it was built, the tallest building in NYC was six stories high. You can imagine the delight, the fear, and the amazement of the people in NYC and Brooklyn when they crossed the East River on this massive bridge and stood much higher than they had ever stood before. We were similarly amazed. From the bridge you can see Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, Fulton Fish Market, a spectacular view of Manhattan, the busy East River. Certainly a great adventure and one I would recommend when you come to visit.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The other "man" in my life.....

Mr. Softee. I love these trucks. They are everywhere on the streets in NYC and the people standing in line for the treats are as varied as the delicious items on the menu. You have Wallstreet bankers, school children, homeless people, moms & babies, doormen, and policemen. When Mr. Softee calls with his alluring music, he is very hard to resist.

These are a few of my favorite things....

Patrick, Meredith, Kendall and Berkeley were our first out of town visitors and we had so much fun showing them around the neighborhood. While they were here we visited our new condo, went to the Today Show (and made it on TV), went to the Top of the Rock, walked and played in Central Park, went to the zoo, rode the carousel, visited Paul at work, and even had time to see the movie Horton Hears a Who and Pat and Mer were able to see Wicked. Whew! All that in just four days. Sitting at the dining room table and doing puzzles with Kendall and Berkeley was one of my favorite things. Hearing the word "grandma" was another favorite thing. Sharing the adventure of living in NYC with those we love is probably my favorite thing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There is beauty all around.......

If it works, I will be posting photos of our three Boston homes. The first one is on Vincent Avenue in Belmont, the second one is on Hurd Road in Belmont, and the last one is our Oak Street house in Needham. A couple of weekends ago, Paul and I took a drive down memory lane. We visited each of our old neighborhoods in Boston and couldn't believe how unchanged they were. The only thing that was different was that the houses seemed soooo much smaller than we remember them. It is hard to believe that in each house we hosted our annual New Year's Day chili-bakeoff, multi-family Thanksgiving dinners, the neighborhood Halloween Party, Christmas caroling parties for the neighborhood, family Christmas talent shows, 4th of July lobster/clam bake and baseball game. It seems as if each house was filled with wonderful friends and family most of the year. None of the houses could have been over 2200 square feet, if that, and yet we always managed to squeeze in lots and lots of our dear friends. The kitchens were small, but we produced some pretty memorable meals in them----food to feed an army. Never once did we say, "can't do it here, our house is too small." And our friends were the same way about opening up their homes to us. One neighbor hosted all the kids and made sugar cookies each Christmas, we had a blow-out New Year's Eve at another house, and many, many game nights with friends. Such fun times, and we hope to recreate those in our New York City condo which may rival all of them for being the smallest. I hope the lesson we have learned over time is that size really doesn't matter!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Toasted or plain?

It really doesn't matter.  The New York bagel has many things to recommend it.  First, all bagels are advertised as "jumbo."  Second, the seeds are on the top AND the bottom so it doesn't matter which side you choose to eat first.  Third, at our bagel place, a "baker's dozen" is 15, not 13.  How great is that!   I won't even go into how wonderful the cream cheese is because there really aren't words to describe its creaminess.   Words echoed around our apartment nearly everyday, "Let go of my bagel!"  Sorry Eggos, you are history.
(For you readers,  this post was re-created since I lost the original bagel post.  Blogging isn't as easy as some of you have led me to believe.  But I am working on it.)

Monday, May 19, 2008


How in the heck do I attach a photo to a blog!  This happened by accident after an hour of uploading, transferring, searching, eating a bag of chips, and almost swearing.  At least my feet are comfortable.  

These Shoes Are Made For Walking

And that's just what I do.  Today I walked over four miles for my work-out and then put in another two just doing the local errands.   Walking in Central Park is wonderful and since I walk at the same time everyday,  I am seeing many of the same people each morning and that makes me feel even more at home.  I have great running shoes, but until Mother's Day, I really didn't have any great walking shoes.  Paul bought me these great shoes made by Ecco that are so comfortable and while kind of dorky, they are kind of cute, too.  We also walk to church so it is handy to have a pair of shoes that will tuck into my handbag when I change into my dress shoes.   I know this is a boring post, but I have already spent an hour trying to figure out how to download the photo of my shoes.    So I am frustrated and not feeling too clever.   I'll do better next time.  Happy trails.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where everybody knows your name

I cried three times today. Once when I went into the temple and two people recognized me. Once when the guy at the post office handed me my package and said, "it's nice to see you, jan." Third, when I earned frequent shopper points at the Duane Reed (drugstore). How can you be feeling lonely when people know your name! That's great and I earned a $5.00 coupon on my next purchase at the Duane Reed.
On my way back from the temple I stopped and picked up a few things at Whole Foods, sat in Central Park and ate part of my baguette, listened to my IPOD, and thought, "look at me living in New York!" Cheers!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Running, but not catching up

I was going to try and recap the whole month that I have been here, but it is impossible, so I will start from tomorrow and maybe then I can stay ahead of the game! Actually, I need to share our weekend travels. We took the train to Boston and spent two days there visiting old friends, old homes, old towns, old memories. And it was great. It is amazing to return to a place and find that friendships have only grown stronger even after a 23 year absence. We drove through Needham and discovered that the ladies are still living in our Oak Street house. The peonies that I planted are still going strong, but they took out the huge hedge in the back. Our Belmont houses on Vincent Avenue and Hurd Road look very similar, just a change in paint color is about all we could detect. Linda's donuts was closed, but we are still carrying around the evidence of our many stops at her place. The ride home down the coast was beautiful and I was reminded once again how much I love New England.

Friday, May 9, 2008

You know you are in New York when....

You are standing on the corner waiting to cross the street and you hear the honk of a car horn, then more honking, and then yelling. The cab driver gets out, grabs a baseball bat and starts beating on the other guys car. No one really looks, no one even bats an eye. The light changes, the cabbie jumps in his car, and we all cross the street as if nothing had happened.

Start spreading the news

I arrived in the city on April 5, 2008, having bid a fond farewell to Texas. My landing was much softer than that of my ancestors who made their way here over 150 years ago. Paul had already set up a temporary apartment for us and had filled the fridge with water, soda, milk, butter,and cheese. Bread was on the counter and I had brought tortillas from Central Market in Austin. We were set for the weekend.
It was General Conference weekend which allowed us to watch church in our pajamas which is always a special event. Monday morning dawned, Paul ran in Central Park and I walked the neighborhood before the sun was up. Delivery trucks were arriving from all parts of the city and neighborhood stores were slowly awaking and beginning the process of preparing their goods for the day. Bagel shops, bakeries, diners, and retail shops surround us.
After cleaning up I ventured out to explore the upper east side. Nail shops and hair salons dot very block as do pet stores, shoes stores and delis. I walked about 30 blocks up 2nd Avenue and returned down 3rd Avenue. When you can navigate the stoplights and enter the street BEFORE the "walk" sign appears, then you could be viewed as a native.
It felt like any other large city that I had been in, but this was different, this was "home." The question tossing around in my head is, "how do I make this my town?"