Monday, June 18, 2018

Hooverville

When people think of the Central Park reservoir, they think of this:


But there was a smaller reservoir just to the south--where the softball fields are in the picture above. It extended from 86th Street to Belvedere Castle, just north of 79th Street. 



It became obsolete and was drained in 1930. But by then the Depression had set in, and the dry lake bed became a "Hooverville"--a community for the unemployed and homeless.

Here's a Then and Now:



What a difference 90 years makes.

Is this a great city or what?




Sunday, June 17, 2018

Every day is Father's Day


When I'm on my deathbed looking back at life, these two boys sitting across from me at EJ's are what I'll be most proud of.

Most of us aren't going to cure cancer. (Which would be impossible anyway, because once somebody does it, by definition the rest of us can't.) What I mean is, if we measure the worth of our lives by worldly accomplishments, most of us are going to be disappointed. Those who are most driven to accomplish lofty goals are going to be the most disappointed, because they are perfectionists. They will be upset that they only cured a mild form of cancer. And they may be so driven by external goals that they may suck at personal relationships--being a husband, a dad, a decent human being.

I'm blessed to write books that make toddlers laugh. That's as lofty as it's going to get for me in terms of external accomplishments.

But in terms of what I've really done for the world, it's these two boys. I hope they will spend their lives loving other people and making the world better by being here.

I feel like I moved humanity forward by twenty baby steps, and I'm not a perfectionist, so that's good enough for me.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Flushing, Queens

Jo and I went on an adventure to Flushing yesterday. Flushing's Chinatown is even larger than Manhattan's Chinatown. According to Jo, Flushing is mostly first generation, and growing, whereas Manhattan's Chinatown is third generation, and shrinking.




It was fun hearing Jo speak Mandarin to shopkeepers.


We did not buy pig heads or duck heads, but I took pictures for Samuel and Ethan.



And guess what we found at the Flushing library?




Back on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, we celebrated the day (and Ethan's ACT test completion) with...you guessed it...Italian.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Times Square BBQ

Perfect Friday night for BBQ. Ethan was staying with his mom to study for the ACT the next day, so it was just me, Jo, and Samuel. We opted for Virgil's, in Times Square.



This is our "We ate too much" look.


In the Times Square subway station we saw a Beatles cover band that looked like they'd escaped from a senior citizen's center, and they were so good that we danced a few calories off.



Monday, May 28, 2018

Summer is here


And it's gonna be good.

Saturday was opening day at Brownstone Park, an old rock-quarry-turned-waterpark in Connecticut. 

Jo was invited, but she said I should spend the day with my boys. I think she was afraid of ziplining from the cliffs.


But we'll go with her story.

Sunday we all had brunch at the 79th Street Boat Basin. It was a bit cold for shorts and t-shirts, but we survived.


Last night we all went to see "Deadpool 2" in Lincoln Square. It was nice to spend an evening together. We ate too much buttered popcorn; I reminded them that it's good for you, because it prepares your body for heart disease.


Today we slept late, then got bagels from Orwasher's, brought them home and had brunch in our dining room. This afternoon I went for a 3-mile run in Central Park, then Samuel and I took Bailey to the pet store for treats.

It's 10:45 pm. I'm lying on the living room sofa congratulating myself on my great taste in Art Deco throw pillows. Samuel is two feet away from me playing a VR game. Ethan is at the dining room table doing homework. Bailey is asleep on the floor, exhausted from his pet store excitement.

The beginning of summer is like the beginning of life, with its promise of new possibilities. I have a nice life. I love my boys. I love Jo. I have been an optimist since the day I became a father, and I see no reason to change now.