Saturday, February 10, 2007

Secrets in the Financial District

When John woke up this afternoon, we headed down to the Financial District, which is where New York City all began. I love the old buildings down there. It has a very different feel to the Upper East Side. We ate lunch at Chipotle which it a chain of Mexican restaurants under the McDonalds umbrella. It is one of our favourite restaurants here. It was nice to sit and chat in the warmth of the restaurant.

Then we walked up Broadway from Bowling Green to Park Place. There they have a Canyon of Heroes - where famous people's names are in the sidewalk. It's for all the people who have had a ticky-tape parade up Broadway.

We also saw a sidewalk clock on the corner of Broadway and Maiden Lane. It has been there since 1884.

We started to freeze once the sun went down, but we still had one more place to visit. On September 16, 1920 a TNT bomb planted in an unattended horse-drawn wagon exploded on Wall Street opposite the House of Morgan, killing 35 people and injuring hundreds more. The shrapnel damage can still be seen on the side of the building. So, we went to see it.
The House of Morgan is across the street from The New York Stock Exchange. As is typical of life in New York, after a quick clean up business continued as usual!

Friday, February 09, 2007

School Updates

School is going fairly well at the moment. I have reached my maximum of 18 students, so it's nice to know what I have to work with. No more surprises!
I did a day of festivities for Australia Day. I started with a song - "G'day, G'day". We talked about Australia's basic history - convicts, Aboriginal people, etc. Then we did a couple of activities - dot painting and an Australia book. At gym we played "Possums in the trees" and "Fruitsalad". Just before lunch we had the story of Possum Magic and ate vegemite sandwiches and lamingtons. After lunch we played the chocolate game (which is aparently Australian) with Cadbury chocolate.

Here the children are making bridges after learning about the Brooklyn Bridge.

And the strongest was...
The mothers of the children in my class had a girls night out that they invited me to last night. I went along and had a really great time. They even paid for me! I was a bit embarrassed because I just wanted to be 'one of the girls', but you can't knock back a free meal!
I feel really blessed to be at this school and am continually blown away by people's generosity toward us.

Secret Science Club

We've been going along to a free science club thing that is quite interesting. The Secret Science Club is a series of talks by scientists followed by music. It is open to the public and meets the first Wednesday of every month in the basement of Union Hall bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It's a pretty cool bar and always boggles my mind. This time it was about whether the universe is finite or infinite. Last time it was about the possibilities of alien intelligent life coming to earth! Most of it goes over my head, but it's fun to ponder these things from time to time!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snow, Superbowl, and Ice Sculpting (John)

We've had about 3 snow falls that have stuck. They make the city look fantastic, especially Central Park. Colby hasn't seen snow before, and so is mildly perplexed every time it falls and gathers. He still loves to run around in it though.
Last time it snowed I took him to the park and let him off. I then made snowballs, and chased him round, throwing them at him. He didn't know what was happening, but I thought it was hilarious. He'd try to catch them, and they would explode into fine powder, and he'd be left with nothing. Very funny.

Last Sunday was Superbowl, so we had a Superbowl party. We had a few people over, served buffalo strips, jalapeno poppers, and prawns wrapped in bacon. It was great. It's still cold, so we used the 'outdoor fridge' again. The Bears sucked arse and they cost me five bucks. Pen backed the Colts, but didn't pick the closest score, so they cost her five bucks as well. Overall a good night though.

On Monday we went to a friend's ex-work... an ice sculpting studio. We started out with blocks of ice...

Used some awesome tools...

and carved and carved...

to make... Beer mugs!

or Coke mugs.

I also tried my hand at making a love heart for Pen (how romantic).

Oh, and I'm told that they do other ice sculptures there as well...

The crazy thing was, that it was warmer in the ice freezer than it was outside. We arrived in beannies and scarfs, went into the freezers and took them off!