With my Key to the City in hand, I recently went on two adventures. If you haven’t been faithfully reading my blog (shame!), you can check out what this way cool project is and how my adventure started here.
Trinity Church - This gem is a 5 minute walk from my office and I had never been there. The key unlocks the gate to the cemetery where notables from the years of the revolutionary war and on are buried. The gate is open during the day for tours, but I did test out the key (it works!), so I’ll probably return for an Alexander Hamilton seance, or something. It was pretty neat reading the old gravestones (the valor! the humor! the descriptions of character!) and thinking about the dates as they correspond to the early history of our country. The inside of the church itself had incredible Gothic architecture and a real embodiment of spiritualness. Learning about the long history of the still-active church was incredible too. A few pictures are below.
Brooklyn Museum - This is one of my favorite places to go on a too-hot or rainy day, but key in hand, I went back to find the secret 5th floor door. It unlocked a somewhat underwhelming (or do I just not have the right palate for all art?) closet with a few neat works and accompanying description below. It was still neat though to open this “hidden” door and have a tourist lady stare at me like I was Hermione Granger. Also at the museum right now is a great new Andy Warhol exhibit and some awesome toilet-paper people residing in the historic houses on display. A mandatory picture of me with the secret door is below.
that’s me with alex hamilton
it’s hard to read, but I think James was a well-liked guy.
terrible picture with the hidden art. thanks steve.
Let the adventures continue!!!
1. the kind where one person talks, the others listen, then there are responses consisting of a few polite, maybe interested, questions, then the roles reverse.
2. the kind where everyone “listens”, but only actually thinks about what they’ll say about themselves and then responds according to that thought process, instead of what was said.
3. the kind where everyone builds on what one another is saying, mostly in agreement, and adding new facts.
4. the kind where everyone is in disagreement, and there are informed positions of dissent expressed through acknowledgement of recognized facts and adequate refuting of expressed views.
5. the kind where everyone is in disagreement without reason other than to frivolously debate, and no one knows how the conversation, or chaotic rambling of non-sequential ideas, goes from point A to point B.
6. the kind where there are false claims and outlandish statements all around that for whatever reason (and there may be many) are accepted as stated.
7. the kind where one party is totally there and the others have glazed expressions, but nobody notices because there are different levels of social acumen around the circle and everyone is slightly disillusioned at the end.
I needed a lunchtime adventure to get me out of my stuffy cubicle, and it had to be free. 3 unassuming coworkers and I went to Robert F. Wagner Park for what we thought would be a pretty walk around the gardens led by a park ranger. We got the anatomical history of every plant in sight, perspective on landscape architecture, and incredible people watching.
The garden walk was sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy (unwieldy name, great organization). A garden expert / ranger led a group of about 15 individuals around the flower beds and shrubbery gracing the park. I didn’t feel like I was in New York.
Please note the flower shirt worn purposely by Woman-Who-Asked-The-Family-Of-Every-Single-Plant-While-Flaunting-Her-Incorrect-“Knowledge”. This scenario was very, very entertaining. I appreciated the tour though, and I actually learned some stuff. I saw real live ginger and chamomile, both of which I only have in tea, and learned how a plant’s color, texture, and bloom plays into designing a garden. Two of my favorite things are below:
Those are Scarlet Meidiland Roses. My iphone camera doesn’t well capture the gorgeous color and suppleness of the bloom. I’m being serious.
I didn’t catch the name of those, but my coworker and I named them firework flowers! Yay!!
Anyway, I was thoroughly entertained and learned way more than I thought I would on my first official flower tour. I’m also going to check out more BPCPC events, like the Thursday night blues on the water nights. Good stuff.
#keytocity I’m SO psyched to be the new proud owner of a key to the city. Of course, under Paul Ramírez Jonas’ new project, lots of people have access to one. Now through labor day, I can open more than 20 different gates, boxes, and doors throughout all five boroughs of New York. After waiting in line to get a key at the kiosk in times square with a buddy, you get a key and a passport showing all of the neat places you can go.
Today, I went with me key-bestower to the first of hopefully many special lockboxes - the one at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Past the ticket counter near the coat check, I opened a box and learned about the new expansion plan for the museum through a detailed model and explanation from the coat check clerk. Yes, it sounds a little cheesy to open a box that really isn’t THAT secret to learn something else that probably isn’t THAT secret, but I still got a kick out of it.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to doing way more of these over the course of summer. Let me know if you want to go on any adventures with me!
I did an all-day scavenger hunt yesterday through Metro Metro (they’re awesome) that took place mostly on Governors Island. I had never been there and honestly had to look up where it was (wee bit southeast of South Street Seaport in Manhattan) and what mode of transportation you use to get there (answer). Even though I was running around like crazy looking for a Latvian flag, a hatless man on a building, the building 12 fallout shelter’s capacity, a missing pillar, and a fireman’s profile, I had an amazing time taking in all that the island has to offer.
Here’s how the island got purchased:
Among the many things to do on the island, you can have a picnic, explore old living quarters, hear a storyteller, learn about the old hospital and castle (formerly used as a jail), rent bikes, see some cool cannons and eerie rocking horses at Ft. Jay, explore new art projects, learn about military activity, and of course have a beer on water taxi beach. I urge you to go and check out this gem. More activities happening on the island, its history, and visiting information can be found here. I’ll go back.
I didn’t get it when I saw the pictures. It looks surreal…right?
I did a few minutes of reading about sinkholes and here are the key things I found out:
- limestone, gypsum, salt beds, and other rocks easily dissolvable in water are usually in the starting grounds for sinkholes
- heavy rains, extreme drought, and lots of construction can all aggravate potential sinkhole areas
- manmade caves (like sewers) can fail and cause holes like this one
- people who fall in don’t go to a parallel universe like Juliet on Lost; they die
- authorities treat sinkhole sites like crime scenes because arresting natural disasters or the government official who designed the sewer system is possible
- a sinkhole is sort of like a black hole, except different and without warning
- there are 40 days of floods predicted after a sinkhole
- if pi*r^2*h is the volume of a cylinder, and the ground falls out and kills lots of people, how much dirt is missing**?
I still don’t get why it’s so perfectly round.
(¡ʍoʍ ˙ʇǝǝɟ ɔıqnɔ ᄐᄅᄐ`ㄥᄅᄐ`⇂ ʇnoqɐ `sǝʇɐɯıʇsǝ ǝʌıʇɐʌɹǝsuoɔ ƃuısn**)
I got facebook friended today by someone else from my really large high school that I really don’t remember. We have 52 friends in common, of whom I really remember (beyond the name) about 2/3 and was for real friends (at the time) with about 3/13.
I accepted friendship.
I say that it’s because denying felt mean, but I think it’s really because I kind of like showing off my life right now because I think it’s pretty great. I also like looking at other people’s profiles and figuring out who they were and who they are and if they’re just doing the same thing I’m doing.
A sociologist I really like, Erving Goffman, wrote some stuff about this fancy thing called the dramaturgical effect, which I like applying to facebook. Basically, it’s this idea that an office worker might look busier than they really are when a supervisor walks by, or that a really shy and modest character might wear a promiscuous dress to the popular kids’ party to fit in. How you act on the “front stage” (what other people see) differs from what’s going on “back stage” (when nobody’s watching), but both construct your identity. More on dramaturgy here.
I always wonder if my front stage is what I think it is, but either way, I like people seeing it, I think.