Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Night Links Fiesta...

I've never been able to say it like this. I wish I could. It's perfect.

With some insight (and friends who have helped make these neighborhoods feel like home) this is the coolest list ever.

You can thank me for this later.

And the list is out...and I nearly pooped my pants. Seriously, I did...just a little, but still.

Oh snap...look what just came in the mail! My little friend Jack would be so proud of me. That wasn't a euphemism either. I actually have a skinny little friend named Jack. Also, I can't believe I just said, "oh snap." That's embarrassing.

I was front row and center for this...well, in my living room. There was NO WAY I was missing the prodigal son's return way.

Unbelievable...just, wow.

Quite possibly the coolest scarf ever...and by ever I mean, you know, ever.

Thank you very much.

I'm not sure if I've got one, but if I did...

Forget Tebow, this is the sports story of the year.

If you're looking for us next weekend, we'll be here...and then here.

For the rest of my life...

Those Who Stay Will Be Champions...

I woke up this morning to a somewhat less than Olympic-esque medal ceremony. Zo had dug out some old medals of mine that I'd thrown in the trash, and was busy wearing an old hockey one around her neck. I was then rather abruptly handed an ancient lacrosse medal and then told in no uncertain terms that we were both champions...obviously. There are definitely worse ways to wake up to a Friday than impromptu medal ceremonies.

Zed: Daddy, do you know what a champion is?

Daddy: Yes, I do. Do you?

Zed: Yes, I do. It's when you win all of the races.

Daddy: Yes, it's something like that. Are you going to be a champion someday?

Zed: Yes, I am.

The exchange was followed by breakfast and a rousing sing-a-long of Hail To The Victors, started by Zed, I might add. Somehow our daughter woke up re-incarnated as Natalie Coughlin, or whoever might be the female equivalent of Michael Phelps...let's go with Natalie Coughlin. Now, it seems that I'm required to go to work wearing my medal. This should be interesting.

Follow up: It was interesting...very interesting indeed. When you're a kid you're desperate for a medal. If you were awarded one you'd wear it everywhere, like a second skin...but as adults we're quite disinclined to sport them around without reason. Trust me, it changes your attitude when you do. A man that wears medals to work is, well, he's hard to stop.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Apparently This is How a Three Year Old Flies a Kite...

Tangled up in kite

Zo was a first rate freak flying kites this afternoon for no less than an hour. We eventually sat on the park's play equipment to take a short break and she stared up at me and beamed, "This is a really good day Dad. I love kites."

Me too...and yes, it is.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Mustachioed Boy


Last week, while sitting in the car, trying to muster up some calm...trying to round up the courage to step out into the bright sunshine and face another couple of hours of...whatever...and I had an idea. I reached for some paper, and I started scribbling. Before I knew it I had twenty something pages of The Mustachioed Boy, and an idea of what each page looked like. It was good. Good enough to put the few people that I shared it with in stitches. I could close my eyes and see almost every page. That's how I muster up the strength to step into other people's lives sometimes. I imagine things. I make things up. I tell myself stories, and scribble, and squint at blank pages. Sometimes the only way to find enthusiasm is to remind myself that inside of all of a bottomless well of incredible creativity and positivity...kid stuff, at least, that's probably the last time that you tapped into it. I crack the shell on that incredibleness all the time. The problem is that I never do anything with it. I'm never pushed to make something of it,a nd there's a lot of it.

The Mustachioed Boy...hmm, I don't know where he came from. I only know that he was a good guy to think about before I talked that kid into rehab...before his Mom cried and cried and cried, I tried to forget just how not good some people's lives are. The Mustachioed Boy helped. Pencils and paper...ideas...they help. It's the post-scribbling, idea hangover that I need to work on. It's strange how some of us manage things...just what our release valves look like. Apparently mine looks like a little boy with a mustache.

Daughter of Mine...


Daughter of mine...

How is it that you can be this staggeringly beautiful? How many boys are going to do their best to break your heart? How many will manage it? What happens if you cultivate a personality and soul that matches these blue eyes and blond hair? Who does that attract and who might it scare away? Those things used to scare the pants off of your Dad. How do you look in a mirror and keep one foot grounded while the other floats into the clouds as we hope it might?

My God, your a beautiful little girl. I don't even care how biased and self-congratulatory that sounds. You're perfect, and the thoughts that swirl around that make me dizzy.

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Baachan!

Happy Birthday Baachan

Today is Baachan's birthday, although yesterday was her blow out the candles day, today is the day.

She's a cool lady, that Baachan. She is. Her children adore her. Her granddaughter loves her, and listens to her...a pretty important combo, and her son-in-law finds her quiet, comforting presence the kind of thing that just eases your mind. She's fun, and fun is too often underrated. Life's too short not to have your own Baachan. We'd lend you ours but we're using her.

Happy Birthday Baachan. We've tried you on for an enormous chunk of our lives and you fit quite nicely. I guess we'll keep you.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Parlez Vous Francais? We Hope So.

Mom Zed

Zed is registered for we just have to hang on tight and hope that she gets in. It's French's down the's tough to get a's beyond exciting to her. School...she says it all dreamy, only half understanding that it's really only half school, kinda sorta anyway, but regardless...she gets pretty smiley.

Mom gets smiley too. Dad? Dad likes watching the girls get smiley.

We won't know if she's officially "accepted" into the La ribambelle French Preschool Program until May, so we're crossing our fingers, speaking more French, and planting a ridiculous amount of school seeds in Zed's rapidly filling head. Sometimes we just grab both pig-tails and cram it full of awesome, you know, as much as we can stuff that old marshmallow mouth stuffing game from camp that had kids choking all the way to Emergency Rooms...except with knowledge and, you know, hopefully no choking.

Au revoir...for now.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Saturday Morning...Just a few quick links

The COOLEST thing ever.

Uhmmm, wow...that's all I can say is wow.

It feels like this kind of morning.

Better get your eyes checked.

Every day should start with Teddy Bear Toast.

Do you have a little boy? If so, he should go hang out here.

Mummy, Daddy, Daughter...and Other Daughter

Daddy and daughter - Niagara Falls, Canada - March 2012

"It appears to be a female..." Thats what the report from the Ultrasound Technician said. That's what our midwife maintained. June texted me while I was driving home from work, about an hour away, and texting and driving laws don't apply when you're giving your husband baby news, particularly gender news.

"It appears to be a female."

And with those simple six words it appears as though I will spend the rest of my life living in a house full of estrogen. It appears as though I will be hopelessly outnumbered on all issues that might have been typically a gender related split decision. It appears as though it will be Mummy, Daddy, daughter, and....other daughter.

Mummy and Zo - Niagara Falls, Canada - March 2012

Mummy, Zo, and this awesome little player to be named later will officially comprise 75% of this family, a definite house majority, and so now Daddy must begin to better understand the politics of being a minority. Mummy and girls will almost certainly hold veto power on all vacations, weekend activities, movie selections, and dinner choices. Daddy may have to learn some new tricks. This could get interesting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

East vs. West...East Wins


How many beach days does a guy get in March living in the Midwest? The answer is very likely just a handful...until this year. We've spent the entire week soaking up sun and very often with sand between our toes. It's the benefit of stepping into your front yard and being able to see the lake just down the road.

We've grilled dinner, skipped rocks, played in the park, and scootered for what seems like a full month earlier than ever before. Eighty degree days in March is a bit like winning the lottery, it's just that you have to share your winnings with the rest of Southwestern Ontario. This winter and Spring you can keep your West Coast whatever. We might have you beat.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Boy Named Chelsea

Read this, and then after you're done throwing up in your own mouth because people can be SO ridiculous and judgmental, and let's be honest so up-f#%&ing-tight.

We're smack dab in the middle of a difficult name hunt for our second child and it's difficult enough without throwing gender stereotypes and archaic social norms into the mix. Names fit and work, or they don't...boys...girls...weird inspirations and joe regular preferences...whatever. A boy named Chelsea works if the boy is a beyond a doubt a Chelsea. Maybe his parents are enormous soccer fans? Maybe Mom and Dad met in that very neighborhood in Manhattan? Maybe his parents just like the sound of it. Who cares? If Chelsea is Chelsea then why are you worried about it?

We're hoping to raise children who are happy and helpful and curious and enthusiastic...who are kind and thoughtful and content, and although their names are important...names are oh-so important...what matters most is how they make others feel about that name...not how the name makes others feel about them. In that case, there's not a damn thing wrong with a boy named Chelsea.

The title came from a blog post I stumbled into that was discussing a much more gender blurred name trend occurring around the globe, and it stuck in my head, and to a certain extent, my heart. Get busy helping your child make their name a memorable one because of their personality and actions and leave your Grandfather's stereotypes where they old, dusty photo albums where every boy was named John.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Scrape, Worst Scrape


After Zoey's disastrous evening of rough and tumble fun, and the subsequent knee wound that had her howling, we've decided to write a story's called "First Scrape, Worst Scrape," and it's an introduction to scrapes, scabs and all-around rough and tumbleness. Zo lost her mind with this first big scrape...lost it. She's never really scraped herself up before...little nicks and bruises etc...but never a full-on knee scrape. She toughed it out, but not until after she vocalized her displeasure with this new phenomenon of missing skin.

"It hurts SOOOO bad," she exclaimed, followed by substantial wailing and an abundance of tears, "SOOOOO bad!"

We got it hurts. Now suck it up and let's go write a story. And she did.

The Most Fun Ever...or Almost Ever

baby #2 (Mar.20.2012)

Baby #2...or as we are more inclined to call you, "our player to be named later," we're having a very difficult time naming you. Of course we thought that we might know your gender earlier today, but one of those strict, follow the rules type Ultrasound Techs wanted no part of enlightening us. Now we're completely dependent on either our mid-wife or yet another ultrasound. Boo, I say.

Regardless, knowing the gender does nothing toward solving our name conundrum, and that's where the fun comes in. We're officially asking people to help us. That's right, we need some help. We'd be much more than excited to hear some suggestions. We're that stuck, and it's frustrating.

So get your baby naming groove on, and chuck us an idea or two. If we choose your name we'll also give you the honor of paying for that child's college tuition. That's how we roll...super generous, all the time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Are We Ready For a Dog? The Answer is a Resounding...

Zed and Bo

"NO," but I think Zoey is. Our intention to to take our selfishness down a notch or two in slow, much less than spontaneous stages. No dog...not yet. But our loaner, Bo is doing his best to convince otherwise.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Unreasonable Degree of Mourning - Goodbye Derek Fisher


Sometimes I wonder if I'm a bit of a different sports fan? Probably not. I'm probably no different than a million others, but sometimes it feels like it. I feel particular connections to players more than I do to teams... to individuals and personalities, and I as such I fell hard for Derek Fisher. That's why I was dumbstruck sitting on a dirty sofa in our crooked, creaking rented Brooklyn apartment a few days ago when I heard the news. My heart sank and I couldn't find the right words to explain what it was that I was feeling. I felt something similar when the Detroit Tigers traded Curtis Granderson...and when the Edmonton Oilers dealt Ryan Smyth...and perhaps most grandly, and most distantly when those same Oilers traded away Wayne Gretzky, or when the New York Knicks shuffled Patrick Ewing off into the mist and damp of Seattle. I was hurt and emotionally paralyzed, seemingly not skilled enough at managing my own affections to put such sudden and surprising events in proper perspective, but this time, this deal has left me eviscerated. I haven't been able to muster a thought about it all...and then I read Bill Plaschke's LA Times piece. It read in part:

Responding to the pleas for a blockbuster trade, the Lakers answered their critics Thursday with a whopper.

They traded their soul.

The Lakers traded Derek Fisher, and if you are having trouble swallowing those five words, say them in point-four seconds and you'll really choke on it.

The Lakers traded Derek Fisher, and it feels so wrong, it feels so cheap, and I don't care if he was aging, and slowing, and sliding toward the end of the bench.

He was still Derek Fisher. He was still the guy who could turn final seconds into lasting memories. He was still the coolest guy on the floor and the smartest guy in the room.

He wasn't just the Lakers point guard, he was their conscience, the only guy who ever stole a sideline huddle from Phil Jackson, the only player who others respected enough to treat like a coach.

He wasn't just Kobe Bryant's keeper, he was his buffer, constantly stepping between the Manic Mamba and misunderstandings with the rest of the team, protecting new guys from Bryant's wrath, protecting Bryant from himself.

He was still Derek Fisher...

Every once in awhile sports and sports writing summarizes something in our souls that too often us wordless and gameless mortals have supreme difficulty doing. It's both dramatic and romantic and in being both, perfect.

I'm no Ray Kinsella putting Zoey to bed to stories of Shoeless Joe Jackson, but we sat together on our couch and cheered wildly for Derek Fisher...and Zo fell quickly in love with the color purple, perhaps before those Laker games, but maybe also after. Now it's her favorite color.

I still don't know what to say about the trade, only that it feels like the Lakers traded away my soul as well. Oh, I'll get over it...we always do us naive and hopeful sports fans...but this one hurt and I can't explain exactly why. They say that heaven is that place where you were the most happiest...and understanding that I think Derek Fisher will always be a Laker to me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Pre-StPatricks Day
Zed at 37 Douglass St, Brooklyn, NY posing for the standard ridiculous St.Patrick's Day photo a little early.

St. Patrick's Day is a little different experience when you're enjoying it in the company of a three year old and not three hundred drunken Irish wanna-be''s, I dunno, a little more reserved, let's say. Your wallet and liver take less of a hit, and you don't have to wear to green if you don't want to...ridiculous glasses, however, are mandatory.

Bye Bye Brooklyn...Headed Home

Map home

It's a long drive, and you feel instantly removed from the enormous urban universe you were just orbiting in, but it was nice to cross the bridge at Niagara and start shuffling home. We missed Michigan's early exit from the Tourney, and had to enjoy Duke's similar fate via cell phone updates, but we did manage to make it back in time to catch the Lakers game, and after 24 hours of feeling betrayed with the Derek Fisher trade, I was humbled because I liked the new guy. June slipped right off to bed while I iced my knee and eased my emotional burden back into perspective. It's funny, when I was in NY I paid almost no attention to the sports page, and I'm back in the Midwest two hours and I'm clinging to my phone looking for scores.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fathers and Sons...and Girls

I've forever believed John Steinbeck to be the greatest gift to literature that North America has ever mustered. I can't help but read even a single passage and get goosebumps, or long for a California that you can only know so intimately if you've let her into your heart as Steinbeck had. His work is masculine and yet overwhelmingly sentimental and emotional. He's long been, for me, something of an ideal voice for every man.

In November of 1958, the esteemed author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, received an emotionally charged letter from his then teenage son Thom, in which the young man confessed that he had fallen oh-so desperately in love with a young woman at his boarding school named Susan. The legendary author wrote this beautiful and touching letter back to his son that very same day...

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



And that's the kind of father that I want to be... and man. It doesn't take much effort to tap into that side of you that you might hope your child admires and perhaps becomes... It will be hard for them to accomplish all of that without you, and oh-so easy with you.

I don't know if Thom and Susan ever married, or if John's son ever took his father's thoughtful advice, but I do know that if I ever have a son, he'll hear as much and more from his own father...much more.

New York = Bookstores & Basketball

Strand Bookstore break

If you like books and you've never been to The Strand on Broadway in New York then you should pack a bag, make a payment to your credit card, and get to this book lovers Mecca as fast as you possibly can. It's incredible. For years now The Strand may have been our most favorite bookstore, aside from the now defunct Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble store. It's amazing, floor after floor of awesome, and the staff are like book savants. I have a few friends (Beth Skinner) who would step on strangers necks to enjoy this kind of literary valhalla.

We actually walked out of the store without a single book or toy, but it was difficult...very difficult. We considered scooping up Oliver Jeffers most recent picture book, Stuck, but left it on the table in our awkward hurry to avoid the 3:30pm storytime rush of toddlers, unforgiving, overbearing parents with doouble wide strollers and mid-town attitudes. We made a quick exit from the children's section before it got ugly.

It was an easy day that began with less swelling, and was then followed by a short F Train ride up to Washington Square and the New Era store...a cool consignment store raid by Zoey and June at Clementine, and a walk up Broadway to The Strand and Union Square. I limped a lot. The swelling came back (and with it the pain), and it was nice to grab the F back home.

Commuter Zed on the F Train

It was a crowded, end-of-the-day train ride back to Bergen Street, and Zed sat all alone like a champ. She even slipped into full-on casual New Yorker attitude when she started reading her neighbors newspaper. She made quick note that the subway was full of boys and wondered when we could get off. It didn't take long before we could and we poured ourselves back into the apartment and settled in for our last sixteen or so hours in the city and a night full of some NCAA Basketball Tournament games and rest. Zoey even filled out a bracket, with Mom's help, and despite a big wide awesome city waiting outside our window, we're excited to ignore it and just watch some basketball with an excited little funster.

Taking a Break...


Maybe more cute than the first pic. Scootering is such terribly tiring work. Stamina and an appropriate level of cuteness are key, supplemented, of course, with a nice place to sit. Naturally, sitting like a little lady counts too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Woot Woot, Scoot Scoot...Carroll Park, a New Scooter, and a Makeshift Ice Pack


Zoey has her first scooter...a Mini-Kick Scooter, all the rage here in this family friendly borough, and at $80 each, we'd better have more kids to diffuse the cost. They looked SO fun and are super easy for a three year old to get used to, the words of Aunt Netta..."woot, woot, scoot, scoot!" Beside all that, she looks ridiculously cute all decked out in helmet and Chucks.


Her scooter was also a nice little friend magnet. It took about three minutes for Zoey and Lyla to become BFFs and scoot around Carroll Park like some kind of pre-school bike gang. It's a miracle either could even stand up what with the size of the helmets on their wobbly heads. They looked like extra-terrestrials, only dressed more fashionably.


They even found themselves a secret bat cave type hideout for those moments when scootering just wasn't cutting it. The head gear stayed on, of course, it's practically Zo's favorite part of scootering. There were no boys allowed, and with school being dismissed for the day and Carroll Park turning into something more akin to Woodstock than a quiet kid-friendly park, they needed a good hiding spot. Take our humble advice and don't catch yourself dead in a Brooklyn park at school dismissal time, when the sun is shining and the weather is warm.

Despite the tsumani of public elementary school teens and pre-teens, it was a quiet, slow day. We walked up Smith, ducking into the odd store, we dropped some of our lunch money into Trader Joe's greedy hands, and then limped back down Court Street for our scooter purchase, and lunch in the park. Daddy barely managed that. It's been a painful few days, and his Championship attitude is going the way of Mike Dantoni and the Knicks. He's just not up to it.

I'm Busted

We miss Luke, Heather, Jack, and Macy already. They were such gamers and easy company. However, the sad truth of the matter is that even if they'd stayed a few more days in the city one of us would have been I suppose that we could have hosted them to an afternoon in Carroll Park, and some easy shopping and eating on Smith and Court streets, but other than that...nuthin' Dad needs rest, ice and Ibuprofen. Jack sure would have liked the basketball action though.

Carroll Park basketball

It's difficult to wander around the city when one third of your family is hobbled up like they stepped on a landmine somewhere between Central Park South and Soho. I've been near crippled since the start of the week, and I haven't helped myself much, stumbling all over Manhattan. We spent most of today icing my knee and laughing at our daughter. I would have been happy with just half of that exhausting action. We've got our fingers crossed that Dad can rally and somehow swell less between now and tomorrow. Coney Island beckons.

More Randoms...

Has there ever been a place with more opportunities to snap stellar photos than New York? Maybe not. So here you go...more random shots from the week that was...

All caught up in the madness...Linsanity

Carousel Zed - Macy Zo walking at the zoo
Happiest girl alive - Macy and Zo at the Central Park Zoo

Laughing Zo - Central Park Zoo
Central Park goats are hilarious according to Zo

Times Sq - Jack NBA combo
Taking in TImes Square - Kobe, Jack, and Melo

iPhone NYC - Heather, Zo, Macy at Zoo
Zoo girls - Heather, Zed, and Macy

Empire State - Macy Miyachi'ing Bryant Park
Empire State Building - Macy playing Miyachi in Bryant Park

Zoey and Macy ripping off an affectionate smootch on the carousel at Bryant Park

iPhone NYC - Piano at FAO Schwartz
Zoey and Macy some semblance of chopsticks play on the piano at FAO Schwarz

Zoo sign - Purple Zo BRyant Park
Central Park Zoo sign - Zo, people watching in Bryant Park

Reading with Macy - Bryant Park
Storytime with Macy - Bryant Park, NYC

Heather Zo kiss - Subway entrance
Surprise kiss for Heather - 42nd Street/Bryant Park station

iPhone NYC - view above Bryant Park
The view from Bryant Park...there aren't many that are better.

...and that's it. The Cooper-Doerings leave for Guelph on Wednesday. Those were a really nice, really chill couple of days. We'll hang out with that family anytime! Photogenic and fun...envious combo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New York City Randoms

It's difficult to put your camera away when you're walking down the street here. It's even more difficult when you've got people with you who are tossing out photo ops like it's their life's calling...

F Train
F Train - Bergen Street, Brooklyn

Soho - Village combo 1
Macy and Zo, Soho street - Stroller beer, Brian, Jack and Luke @ Phebe's, Greenwich Village

Purple laced Chucks
Purple lace sisters - Soho

Empire Jack combo
Empire State Bldg. - Jack's version of Heaven

Soho 2
Soho and blue skies

NY combo
Dad and Zed swining, Central Park - Macy and Zo being Macy and Zo

Mom and Zed on a Central Park Sunday

Julia Wash Sq combo
Julia and Zo, Green Flea, Upper West Side - Washington Square

Zo and Macy - Lower Manhattan, March 2012
Macy and Zed...if they lived closer to one another, dibs on this babysitter

Zed Macy combo
Zo and Washington Square cellist - Macy and Zed, attached

Staten Island Ferry seagulls
Free ferry rides are my favorite ferry rides

...and we've still got four days and a lot of walking.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Friends That Feel Like Family

Luke Heather Jack Macy - March 2012, Staten Island Ferry NYC
Luke, Jack, Heather, and Macy - Staten Island Ferry

The Cooper Family...not my own "Cooper" family...but the Super-duper Coopers from Fergus, Ontario, have felt like my own family since meeting Andrew a decade or so ago. Now his parents and sisters are people I set on the heavy side of my respect and affection scale, and how cool is it to be spending the day with them in Manhattan...when we've rarely been able to spend any amount of time with them at home? Kind of super-duper cool. There's this weird intersection where serendipity and purpose cross paths and Zoey and Macy behaving like sisters, while Jack and Luke and myself yapped endlessly, and June and Heather walked side by side through most of lower Manhattan. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale couldn't be any more serendipitous.

Mummy Zo hugging - Staten Island Ferry March 2012

We met Luke and Heather and the funsters at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and went for a short there and back hoot past Lady Liberty and Governor's Island, and fell into things as though we had been neighbors for a half decade. They're easy people to spend time with. Zo and Macy quickly became friends, as Macy's was the hand of choice to hold, and we tore into the waning hours of the afternoon together. We wandered around Soho and up into the Village, downed some stellar grub and then ended the night watching Macy and Zo dance to the fairly mesmerizing notes of a cellist playing in Washington Square. It was perfect. Life doesn't approach that adjective quite as easily as it did tonight all that often...but when it does...

Zoey and Cello player - Washington Square, Greenwich Village - March 2012

...when it does, do your best to remember it. Luke and Heather have a pretty incredible little family. Both Jack and Macy are stellar kids, and they're all oh-so fun, each and every one. You could have a good day with any combination of their happy family, and perfect nights are easy to accomplish when the players are so aptly cast.

Tomorrow it's Central Park with the same family of beautiful sucks.

This is called "Happy"


In case you were wondering, this is what happy looks like. Daddy and Zoey swinging at the Heckscher Playground in Central Park.

Then Suddenly, it's Monday...

Three days can go by awfully fast. First there was that embarrassingly quick retreat from Friday's work and into a cramped car hurtling towards Buffalo however much of New York State it could eat up before we felt the need to sleep. Then it was tumbling into New York on Saturday via the George Washington Bridge, and losing no time finding our apartment...the one with the white door. Lastly it was jumping on the F train and shooting into Manhattan to crowd our day with sunshine and Feldmans. Throw in a a strange and awkwardly painful bout of what seems to be bursitis in my good knee (we will no longer be referring to it as that), and a little girl that's so excited to be here that she wakes up at 4am most days, and runs down busy Manhattan streets holding hands with crazy little all-or-nothing Jewish girls toward unforgiving Broadway traffic because, well, between the two of them they own this town. Julia does because she lives here, and Zoey just thinks she does. BAM...before you know's Monday.

Julia and Zo rolling through the Green Flea in Manhattan, like they've known each other their entire lives.

Zo has been on cloud nine. I honestly think we come here more for her most times. She is bursting with smiles and enthusiasm, even more than her usually nauseatingly happy disposition allows, and she's infatigable. A full day of strolling around the Upper West side after a marathon drive, playing in Central Park, and sprinting the city streets with her new bestie, Julia, and she's begging to stay awake at 10pm, even as Mummy and Daddy fade into incoherence. This most definitely is her town.