I love small towns. As a kid growing up in western NY, when we wanted to take a day trip, or “go for a ride”, as we say, and we didn’t feel like going to Niagara Falls, we went to small towns. Niagara-on-the-Lake, over the border in Canada, was always a great option, especially if the Shaw Festival was on and we could go see a show. Saratoga Springs, to go see the horse races (and stop in an excellent bookstore, in recent years) is one of my mom’s favorite long drives. The Finger Lakes are a closer to home trip, and in recent years we’ve had a few lovely days in Skaneateles, including a boat trip on the lake.
When I was home for Christmas and we were thinking of something to do, I remembered my family had gone to the Corning Museum of Glass a while ago and raved about it. I asked if they’d be willing to go again, and they were! So the day after Christmas we took a ride to Corning. Read more
It’s been quiet on this blog for longer than I expected. Who knew changing jobs could keep a person so busy! My joke this year was that I could do one fun thing and write about it, or do two fun things and not write about either.
You can see which I picked.
But is a brand new year! And after the rollercoaster of 2016 it’s nice to come back to writing. Thanks for being here! (Shoutout to Victoria: Your requested blogpost about the Corning Museum of Glass is coming, but here’s something else to tide you over.)
I’ve been meaning to write for ages, but last week I got an invitation that felt fortuitous, the New Year’s writing kick-in-the-pants I needed: Gotham Writers Workshop emailed to tell me about their Open House classes. I believe they hold them periodically, so consider getting on their mailing list so you hear about the next one, or just check out their free events page!
On Wednesday and Thursday last week GWW offered interested writers the chance to sit in on two hour-long trial classes of their choice. I went on Thursday — my first time ever at a Gotham event — and was impressed by how many people were there. As far as I could tell almost every seat was filled in each class, and in the two I chose, everyone was very interested and focused.
“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not just be running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere. To a large place, a comfortable place, an indoor place, and preferably a beautiful place. And that’s why she decided upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.”
E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler has been one of my favorite books since elementary school. I reread it from time to time, and it holds up, even though Claudia and Jamie manage to run away from home with less than $30 between them and make it to NYC from Connecticut no problem. This book influenced me in two ways: it made me realize how awesome museums are, especially at night, and it helped teach me that what makes art important is the stories we tell (or don’t tell…) about it.
My recent tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Museum Hack did exactly the same thing, which of course means I had an awesome time.
I’ve had at least one friend from out of town tell me after a NYC visit that she could never live here because we walk too much here in the city. Admittedly I do tend to drag visitors on long walks — I firmly believe you get to know and orient yourself in a city best when you’ve seen it on foot — but she wasn’t wrong that there’s a fair amount of walking as part of normal NYC life. The subway is great, but you have to get there to use it. But if you focus on tourist-centered walking or utilitarian daily travel, you miss out on one of the greatest joys of NYC walking: wandering.
I’ve been meaning to see Matilda on Broadway for ages, but I only got around to it a few weeks ago. It was a no-brainer that I’d see it eventually. I loved the book as a kid – what book-loving kid didn’t love Matilda and all her books, not to mention her telekinetic powers? But while I’d heard it was a fun, I didn’t have an urgent need to see it, and I figured it’d run long enough that I’d get around to it.
Adapted and updated with info for 2015
I have a lot of love for Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. If you’ve managed to escape me talking too much about my five-year run as a child star in a local production back home—well, feel free to ask me about it. I might even sing for you. But for now I’ll just say, for those five years the time between Halloween and Christmas was Christmas Carol season for me, and in the years since I’ve had to feed my love for the story other ways. Watching A Muppets’ Christmas Carol is one of my favorites (even if it leaves out my beloved Fan, Scrooge’s little sister), but a few years back I experienced a new favorite: the marathon reading of A Christmas Carol at Housing Works’s bookstore café.