“Wait ’till next year!” The end of the season at Citi Field

It’s the post season, the end of summer.  A couple of weeks ago Suzi and I went to a Mets game during the last weekend of the regular season.  We arrived on the 7 train from Grand Central Station after spending some time in the City.  We would be going home on the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station where we would catch the Path Tube back to Jersey City.  We decided to get our train tickets on the way into the stadium so we wouldn’t have to wait on a ticket line after the game.  The ticket agent said … Continue reading “Wait ’till next year!” The end of the season at Citi Field

New York’s Deco Towers

Growing up we could see the New York Skyline from the back window of both my grandparents’ flat and from our flat, although the best view was from Grandma’s kitchen fire escape.  The Empire State and Chrysler buildings dominated the skyline.  When I moved to Ridgewood the favorite spot for “parking” was on a ridge overlooking the skyline.  Again, those two buildings were the focus of the skyline. The Empire State Building lost its title as the tallest in New York to the World Trade Center twin towers in the early 70’s.  When the towers were brought down it was … Continue reading New York’s Deco Towers

New York’s World Trade Center in transition.

It looks like a giant Klingon Bird of Prey has landed in the middle of the World Trade Center.  It’s the skeleton of a new railway station, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who says the design is that of a bird being released from a child’s hand.  Now, under construction, with welders sparks flying, it looks ominous, but I can see how, minus welders’ sparks, when finished, it could be inviting. The World Trade Center zone looks like Dubai.  Construction cranes swing between impossibly tall buildings.  One World Trade Center, The “Freedom Tower,” rises to 1776 feet.  This … Continue reading New York’s World Trade Center in transition.

On Broadway! (And Off Broadway)

On our recent trip to New York, working our way toward midtown we find half of Broadway has become a partial pedestrian mall from Herald Square to Times Square.   Broadway becomes one way southbound,  the old northbound lanes are a pedestrian zone with tables, chairs, food booths and sculpture.  Times Square itself a cleaned up, walking zone lined with theaters running stage version of Walt Disney classics.  But Times Square revival preachers still see it as sin city and urge repentance in the middle this urban Disneyland.   And Off Broadway, south and toward the East River I always enjoy … Continue reading On Broadway! (And Off Broadway)

New York, Seaport

Every night as a kid, after I was supposed to be tucked into bed, I tuned in my radio to listen to Jean Shepherd on WOR.  A few years later, when I worked at WOR, I got the chance to engineer for Shepherd.  Shep was always telling us to keep our eyes open.  For instance he told me to stand at a certain place on 5th avenue, I would be standing on Murray Hill, which up until that time was only a telephone exchange for me.  From there I could see the contours of Manhattan’s hills looking toward the Empire … Continue reading New York, Seaport

Jersey City, Seafaring Town

This trip East Suzi and I stayed in a hotel in Jersey City, my old home town.  The hotel was right on the PATH Tube to New York and the light rail that runs along the Jersey City, Hoboken waterfront and takes us to ferry boats (many made in Sitka including the Jersey City) that carry us across the Hudson.  The hotel is near where my Aunt Janice lives and solved the parking problem I usually have when I visit her.  Jersey City is completely different from when I was a kid.  Buildings soaring to 60 stories rise on the … Continue reading Jersey City, Seafaring Town

St. Paul’s Chapel, New York

St. Paul’s Chapel is one building near the site of the twin towers which was unharmed by the attack but, somehow, utterly transformed.  When, as a kid, I made my annual trip to Manhattan, we would always stop at St. Paul’s.  It is an 18th century Georgian chapel and is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City.  When my grandfather took me there it was all about George Washington, who worshiped there right after he was inaugurated President.   My immigrant grandfather held this place sacred and it was one of the tools, along with the Statue … Continue reading St. Paul’s Chapel, New York

Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Place, New York

Whenever I visit the city I find something new and striking. This trip I thought it would be the 9/11 memorial, but it wasn’t– it was Brian Tolle’s Irish Hunger Memorial near The Battery.  It transports a stone cottage from Co. Mayo and integrates it with a modern building that has illuminated strips with quotes about hunger, drawing our attention not only to the Irish famine, but hunger and famine today. From some angles it looks like an Irish hillside, with the plants that grew when fields in Ireland went fallow. Since it looks over water from some angles you … Continue reading Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Place, New York

Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014

When we first started going to the Winnipeg Folk Festival it was a way to get away from everything and spend several days in Birds’ Hill Provincial Park 40 KM north of the city.  There were no phones. Even when I started carrying laptops and mobile phones the Winnipeg Folk Festival remained a black hole for communications, for a while.  I liked it that way.  There was no internet and no cell service.  After a few years cell service came to the site and a year or so ago there was wi-fi in the media area.  This year the festival … Continue reading Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014

St. Croix River Soo Line High Bridge

I love the iron and steel constructs built between the American Civil War and the First World War. Many were built by the railroads, the wonder train sheds of Europe. But the US has its share of railway architecture. The St. Croix River Soo Line High Bridge is a magical construct of steel latticework. I never tire of taking a boat down to the bridge just to marvel at how, more than a century ago (in 1909) folks made such a wonderful and beautiful structure.  I love how delicate the lacework pattern of iron and steel can look. Make sure … Continue reading St. Croix River Soo Line High Bridge

St. Olaf College

The family recently visited St. Olaf College.  (See two earlier posts, “Remembering WCAL” and “A Professor, an Art Barn and a Lifetime of Enjoyment.”) I had not been on campus for a while.  We went, specifically, to see what St. Olaf did to Boe Memorial Chapel to improve its acoustics and to look at the new Regent’s Hall Science building and find out what happened to the Flaten Art Barn and the old science center.  We liked what we saw.  The center of the campus is automobile free and the open lawn now has lots of shade trees and a … Continue reading St. Olaf College

A Professor, An Art Barn and A Lifetime of Enjoyment

Liberal Arts educations are often derided in the popular press today.  Today the reason for a college education seems to be to find a job not to find a life or a vocation.  I’ve never regretted the broad liberal arts education I got at St. Olaf College.  Sure, it gave me skills to function in the workplace but more than that it gave me insight in how to live an enjoyable life, in finding a vocation. When I look back at my college time from the perspective of 50 years the one course that stands out, providing me more lifetime … Continue reading A Professor, An Art Barn and A Lifetime of Enjoyment

Target Field, July 4th weekend and Tanaka Pitches, what could be better?

A great way to spend part of the July 4th weekend is at a ball game.  For the second year we enjoyed watching the Twins loose to the Yankees at Target Field.  Our tickets were tagged “Skyline View” because we could see the Minneapolis Skyline probably better than the action on the field.  But it was a great day, nice crowd, a lot of fun and fireworks at the end. The one disturbing thing was the cost.  –our people, upper deck “Slyline View” Seats, 4 hot dogs, 4 drinks, 4 Cracker Jack and parking came to close to $275.   When … Continue reading Target Field, July 4th weekend and Tanaka Pitches, what could be better?

After 238 Years, Jefferson Still Lives

238 years ago in Philadelphia John Adams moved a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson.  It read, in part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The 4th of July is a civic holiday, where people of all sorts gather to celebrate a common belief. I tell the same story every Fourth of … Continue reading After 238 Years, Jefferson Still Lives

Breakfast in a Yukon Roadhouse on the Alaska Highway

Driving south on the Alaska Highway we stayed in a Yukon roadhouse on Destruction Bay that looks Northeast across the frozen Kluane Lake.  We breakfasted with a collection of travelers while we waited for it to get light.  One was a guy from Kenai who drives a big rig up the Dalton Highway to the North Slope, the type of guy featured on “Ice Road Truckers.”  At one point he said “I don’t know why I do this sh*t.” “Money.” Suzi replied. “Yeah, but why do they need two of this type of truck in Alpine?” He was driving a … Continue reading Breakfast in a Yukon Roadhouse on the Alaska Highway