Posted by: jeannineatkins | June 23, 2009

New York, New York

I had a good weekend in New York with my cousin, Megan and her daughter, Rachel. Megan flew across the country to see Rachel and meet her boyfriend, who was happily given the seal of approval. On Saturday, we went to the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn, where we smelled roses and went through greenhouses (by the way, apparently you can murder a Venus Fly Trap by feeding it hamburger.) By the time we were passing Shakespeare’s Garden the mist turned to downpour and I was regretting taking a spare pair of shoes out of my bag in an effort to travel light.

The next morning, I went to the Brooklyn Art Museum. I loved how once in a while, besides the labels with dates and perhaps a bit of background, cards with reactions from visiting children were sometimes posted. Honoring that to look at water and feel free, for instance, is a great reaction to a painting.

We saw the Statue of Liberty from the subway, managed to survive Times Square, and laughed through most of Gods of Carnage. We ate Thai, Mexican, and Tom’s Diner. On Monday we saw where Rachel worked and took this mother-daughter picture outside at City Hall Park.

After Rachel began her work day, I wandered off a few blocks and saw the empty air where the World Trade Center once stood. I stopped in the nearby St. Paul’s church where exhibits honored rescue efforts, and the benches outside, with an old graveyard, were a quiet haven from the bustle around the business district. I went to Books of Wonder and heard the green-carpeted floor creak and giggles past the employees-only curtain. Ladybug motif chairs were around the Cupcake Café, featuring small works of art with floral icing. Looking at old and new books, I made my way around a girl wearing a pink tutu and a bicycle helmet.

It was fun to see where my editor works so hard in the Flatiron Building. She gave me a tour of the offices, where I shook a few wonderful hands, and got a great view of the Empire State Building from the helm part of the building which looks out toward Fifth Avenue.

With a little time before I had to catch my bus, I stopped at the New York Public Library. I stared at the door behind which, I was told, stood the desk of Charles Dickens. I saw the original stuffed animals that belonged to Christopher Robin, and was most impressed by Piglet, who looked cocky and stalwart. I made my way around small children sprawled about treating books rather ungently, and recognized Betsy Bird http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/1790000379.html on the floor, hand covered to elbow with a puppet of an off-white, whiskered animal. Cat? Mouse? I missed the story, so wasn’t sure. Betsy swayed her elbow and made the animal open its mouth in a way that delighted and only slightly alarmed the toddlers.

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Responses

  1. It sounds like a wonderful trip! And you are master of the telling detail. (The childrens’ labels, BB with a puppet on her hand, and hamburger as Venus Flytrap kryptonite — all in one post!)

  2. I can’t imagine how many places/states of feeling your mind must have been in this weekend. Maybe that’s what New York is about.

  3. Yes, and maybe that’s why I’m so exhausted now!
    It’s not so bad to get back to watching the weeds grow in the rain…

  4. Thanks, Amy. It was a good trip, and it’s good to be home. With rumor, cold it be true, of sun tomorrow?

  5. Wow! Love the blow-by-blow. Happy to see you went to Books of Wonder!

  6. Yes, I thought of you while surveying the dazzling cupcakes!

  7. Ooh! What a phenomenal post (and trip)! Sorry to hear about the wet feet, though. That’s not fun. Although in a pinch (pun unintended), one could buy new shoes in NYC fairly easily.
    LOVE the library lion. And now, I want to visit the Shakespeare Garden too!

  8. Yes, it was fun, and actually while squishing down the street in my good-ish shoes, we did pass a shop with sandals on sale. So I found something that let the water seep through while my black shoes dried out, which made Monday much more comfortable.
    Of course I thought of you at the Shakespeare garden! There was so much in bloom, but unfortunately that was when the downpour hit, so it was a quick gawk at the variety of colors while dashing forward — not that there was anywhere dry to find at that point. I do wish I could have gotten a picture though!


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