Monday, March 17, 2014

Biennials and Bookshops

I'm home with a sick kid today so this'll be a quick one.  Fear not Grandmas, it's just a sore throat but since Ella's friend Maeve came down with Strep the day after she spent the night at our place last weekend, I figured it would be irresponsible of me to send her to school before getting a throat culture.  It was negative, fortunately.  But the funny thing is that her pediatrician tells me that one of her ear tubes that we had put in almost four years ago is still in there!  They were supposed to fall out within six months to a year.  I told you she never gets rid of anything.

Anyway, you will not be surprised to hear that we had a fun-filled weekend.

Painting the Solar System

On Saturday we finally made it to the Whitney Museum - our first time there with the kids since we moved here (Kevin and I had both been on previous trips to NYC).  The Whitney just started their big biennial exhibition where they pull together art that they feel represents the modern art movement today.  Well, apparently this is a BIG deal here because we showed up to find a line out the door.  Luckily, a nice docent waved us in when she saw the kids and assumed (correctly) that we were there for the children's sketching tour.  That not only allowed us to bypass the long line, it also got us in for a quarter the regular price.  Unfortunately, it didn't change how incredibly crowded the place was.  We were elbow to elbow the entire time.  I plan to return midweek without the crowds and without having to go at a 6 year-old's pace (which is very fast in a museum).


Advice to parents of young children: if you enjoy going to museums but thought those days were over until the kids were old enough to stay home alone, I hope we've taught you otherwise.  Every museum we've been to offers some kind of kids tour and it really helps to engage them and keep them interested (and well behaved).  They often get little activity booklets (as seen above) or a scavenger hunt or even sometimes an entire messenger bag of goodies.  Museums like children.  Really.  And it's in their interest to keep them interested and entertained.

We explored the Upper East Side some more.

And now that it looks like we may be past the snowy season, Kevin and the kids started to clean up our backyard.

Sunday was another Science Teacher Sarah adventure.  We are all loving Sundays with Sarah.  For $30/kid we get to drop them off for two and a half hours of educational fun while Kevin and I get to explore the neighborhood: Greenwich Village.  
This Sunday Sarah was teaching them all about pulleys, levers and tools.  She makes it so fun for them in her crazy zebra painted apartment.  They really get to be hands-on with everything and make a huge mess.  And the bonus is that they learn a lot.

Meanwhile, the grown-ups wandered around the West Village, sauntering into small bookshops (of which there are still many in New York) and other stores until we found what we were looking for: a tiny French bistro with French wines, tartines and romantic lighting.

We had a much-needed couple hours to catch up with each other without tiny ears around or without being exhausted at the end of a long day.  Turns out Kevin's a pretty good date to hang out with.

Before making it to Sarah's we stopped into what is now my favorite children's book store, Books of Wonder

If you have $8,000 burning a hole in your pocket you can go home with a signed, first edition copy of Harry Potter.

Our love affair with New York City continues...

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