When our friends invited us to join them on their tour of the New Jersey Naval Museum, I confess I tried to get Brian to drop me at Nordstrom instead. (Can you believe we don’t have one here in NYC!?) I’m getting a bit claustrophobic in my old age and generally  prefer a book to a monument.

Lucky for me, I stayed the course and we all boarded the USS LING 297, a WWW II era submarine. It was fascinating! We couldn’t believe the tight quarters—it made NYC apartments seem spacious. According to our guide, sixty men lived submerged at sea for months. (With two toilets!)

I was pleasantly surprised by a) how into the tour both my kids were (a jungle gym in a long, steel, tube!) and b) the sub’s amazing typography.  Patriotic and visual inspiration!

Our guide, (Curtis!) was fantastic, and instructed us to tell our friends that the museum is just a quick zip over to Hackensack, and not only can you host a birthday party on board the Ling, you can even have a sleep over! How about it friends?  I call top-est bunk.


| Field Trip: Crystals + Crowns

My darling brother Jeffrey (aka Hunkle) came to town for a visit, and with an extra set of stroller-pushing hands on deck we took to the streets of NYC. Sidenote: if while strolling through Central Park you are inclined to take a popcicle break, may I suggest the coconut?  They are both delicious and stain-free.  Sidenote 2: Do any of our New York friends know what happened to the Afrobats? They are our favorite park performers—crack me up every time—but we haven’t been able to spot them lately.  Afrobats, we miss you.

Our wanderings included a quick trip to the Museum of Natural History where the Hall of Minerals and Gems has now trumped Volcanos as Ivy’s reigning favorite.  (“Because they are sparkly and sparkly things are princessy.”)  Visitors: its not advertised very well, but admission to this museum is pay-what-you-wish.  So, if you are only popping in for one or two exhibits (my kids love to visit museums but only for about an hour) you can just pay a few bucks instead of the full admission.  I justify the thinking that we are supporting the museum with lots of shorter visits.

Oliver’s favorite was our fried chicken picnic at The High Line which has new water-play features this year!  Intentional, beautifully designed water puddles. Genius.

While in the neighborhood, we visited the Joseph Nahmad Gallery to see the Roy Nachum show, Open Your Eyes.  I loved it so, so much. My favorite were the Parallel Realities, ”a series of paintings exploring the subtle play of illusion and reality.”  If you look closely you can see how each painting was layered with a poem written in Braille.

Ivy, of course, preferred Sea of Crowns, an installation of a thousand handmade golden crowns, “symbolizing a sea of limitless dreams and aspirations.”  Jeffrey had to pry our fingers off his ankles when he left.  Come back, brother.