| Bedazzled Brownstone

This kaleidoscopic stoop is a favorite with our magpie family. Buttons, beads, sequins, seashells, and all manner or shimmery sparklies cover this Boreum Hill home, and we always stop to check for new additions when we walk past.  I recently learned that the mosaic is more than fun and sparkles, its a beautiful memorial, “a celebration of life, [to] share with… neighbors and people who pass by to cheer them.” After 9/11, Brooklyn artist Susan Gardner began gluing bits of jewelry, mirror, and beads to her outside brownstone walls and has been adding to it ever since. Neighbors and visitors are known to leave broken dishes or jewelry to be added to the mosaic, so if you pass by 108 Wyckoff Street, leave a little something shiny.

We weren’t here on 9/11, 11 years ago. But after living here for seven years, it feels a little like being a younger sibling who cries when their big brother or sister is sad.  To our friends and neighbors for whom this is a difficult day, we love you.

| 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.