Friday, August 27, 2010

New York Beaches

Every once in while I run across New Yorkers who say nicely, but bordering on haughtily, something to the effect of, "Oh, I never go to New York beaches" or "I wouldn't know about New York beaches, I have never been to one". I definitely hear a lot of about the sketchy cleanliness of Coney Island/Brighton Beach and even a questioning eyebrow about the sand and water at the Far Rockaways.
But I have to say that this summer we have explored a lot of the beaches along the South Shore of Long Island and have been pleasantly surprised. While we, neither the weak swimmer (Sage), the afraid of water completely (buddies), or the only dip in when I am about to boil (me), aren't exactly frolicking for lengthy amounts of time under the water bobbing up and down gulping in big mouthfulls of seawater---the Atlantic Ocean appears to be fairly clean at every single beach we queried. And from the super convienient 15 minute drive, Far Rockaway public beach/free parking to the 45 minute drive there (2 hour drive back)/$10-to-park Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island the sand was clean and litter free and sandcastle-able.

I just kept remarking to myself all summer, "This is so NICE." And then turning to whoever was with me, "Isn't this so NICE?" On Sundays, I could buy the big, thick $5 Sunday Times, drive out the Belt Parkway, pitch my beach umbrella over my beach chair, spread out the beach blanket and beach toys and read--peacefully, maybe even get to the Travel or Real Estate section. Because there is something methodically calming and theraputic about the ocean. Because my kids are transfixed by the event.

The buddies would literally play for 4-5 hours in the sand with their trucks and shovels, occasionally joining forces with other boys to dig VERY deep holes. Sage likes to lay stomach down right where the waves peter out and get sloshed around by the very shallow, but still very powerful water, occasionally venturing out further with a secure adult hand held tight. She marvels at the tiny crabs and multi-colored shells and the vastness.

So, after a thoroughly scientific investigation of the "New York Beaches"---I like them. And I will continue to advocate for them and visit them especially when "New York" becomes to much.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My neighbor's garden

So I have these neighbors. They do not speak English. They are Chinese, possibly from southern China. And they have the great fortune of living in the garden apartment---which means they have access to the backyard. So from the brothers' bedroom window I have been dealing with loss. Mourning the fact that I no longer have a spot of dirt to dig in. I no longer have a place to teach my children about food and biology and ecology; no longer have a place to be shocked by a lurking mammoth zucchini that is then shredded and frozen in zucchini bread ingredient proportions to be enjoyed throughout the year; no longer have a place to experiment w trellising cantaloupes or colorful, oddly shaped heirloom varieties of tomatoes. It is sad---it is VERY sad. But my valiant, industrious, immigrant neighbors are growing food right below our windows. I somehow feel better because of it...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Camping

Guthrie is a caterpillar-whisperer

Rye (lft) Guthrie (rt)

Sage and William at the lake

Rye at the beach

Thornton-Taylor Family---we love each other, we love each other

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stephen and the boys at Coney Island

Stephen took the boys out to Coney Island one day last week and snapped these gorgeous shots of the boys. Guthrie is in red and Rye is in orange. They finished the evening off at the only Uyghur restaurant in the US, also located in Coney Island. Everyone is growing so fast and furiously---we are just trying to keep up with the pace. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


So I have the most incredible daughter ever. Most of you already know that, but she demonstrated it yet again when she started soccer this winter. At the beginning of the season she had never even kicked a soccer ball, let alone knew thing one about field positioning or goal-keeping, and was the only girl on a team of five other seasoned 7-yr old boys---but she went out there, even though she was confused and scared and played. By week 5 she definitely gets the award for the most improved--diligently running with the pack after the ball, saving goals and doing the 'good-games'. I am so amazed by her confident innocence. Such a blessing...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My new job---120 Wall St

Trinity Church

Random people hailing a cab

View of Brooklyn from the office

Old time ships in the East River

Brooklyn reflected in the building across the way, this is the view from my desk