Monday, January 14 – Sunday, January 20
This week was pretty busy but with normal stuff…mostly commuting and work. However there were a few highlights.
Monday and Tuesday, January 14 and 15
I began an online course on Personal Financial Planning. Perhaps it doesn’t sound riveting but I am excited to try to gain a basic understanding of the altogether too grown up world that my finances live in…whether I like it or not. The course is via this online portal called Coursera, that offers free courses given online by professors from wonderful universities. They aren’t paying me to say so, but I like it so far. The course is clear and useful and the discussion boards are active…though I am more of an observer. I got 7/7 on my first quiz.
Thursday, January 17
After a productive day at work I went over to Aunt Betsy’s to continue to help her sort out her upstairs studio. She’s a quilter, knitter and all-round textile artist, but her studio is not super orderly. We went through her yarn stash on Thursday after having Chinese food with her son, my cousin, Joey, who was home from school. A fun night, overall.
Friday, January 18
Oren got sick with something that was probably the flu. Spoiler: he was sick all weekend, sadly. I tried to take care of him as much as possible while also trying to stay out of the house to minimize my exposure to his germs. A strange balance, but…so far so good (knock on all the wood in the neighborhood).
Saturday, January 19
Went to Vogue Knitting Live with Mom and Aunt Betsy. For those who don’t know, this is basically KnittingCon. I had a few ComicCon flashbacks as I was weaving through the crowd, but the truth is, VKL was way less packed. That could be because it is a smaller event, but it could also be because knitters, in general, do not generally don elaborate costumes…well that’s not even true. There were a few people wearing extremely elaborate and…um…quirky…hand-knitted, items. However the key difference was that the costumes did not, in general, appreciably enlarge the diameter of their bodies in the same way, say, a transformers costume would. Or a Dr. Who costume complete with collapsable TARDIS. Also these knitters seemed to shower on a more-than-sporadic basis. Complicated way to say, for me, Vogue Knitting Live > New York Comic Con. I love you, my nerds. Look a table of knitted food and me pretending to eat knitted pie!
Sunday, January 20
Sunday was the busiest day of the whole week! My friend Kevin and his coworker, Peter, came into town. Kevin is a friend from my Australian high school days. He and I kept in touch over the years and even hung out when we were both at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He and Peter are new hires at Google in Sydney and part of their orientation included a trip to the New York Google office. I promised to show them around New York one day, and Sunday was it! So I left my sicky fiance’ at home (sad face!) and went off nice and early to meet up.
We had a gorgeous day, and so we started out at the Museum of Mathematics, which just opened in the Flatiron district last month. It was a glorious place! Geared toward kids, but plenty of fun for us kids at heart as well. Here is a picture of Kevin writing out as many digits of pi as he could…but I think jet lag took a toll because I’m sure under normal circumstances he would have gotten much farther.
The museum has lots of math-related, interactive exhibits. Totally worth a look. I rode a bicycle with square legs and the three of us made some fractals with video monitors. There is more photographic evidence of much of this, but Kevin and Peter haven’t yet shared their photos. So here is the front of the museum.
After MoMath, I took Kevin and Peter on their first NY subway ride and we walked from Canal street to a lunch courtesy of restaurant week at Blue Smoke in the Financial District. Then we went to the World Trade Center Memorial. I had never been and, I must say it was pretty breathtaking. I think that people put a lot of great thought into this memorial. In spite of the fact that they used the twin towers’ original, monster footprints for very striking fountains, the effect is actually understated and pretty peaceful.
For the rest of the day light we walked lower Manhattan. I took them through Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty and then to South Street Sea Port to see the Brooklyn Bridge from the pier. The hurricane damage at the Sea Port is arresting. A majority of the business are still very closed, and these are big, prominent businesses some of them as well. Some of the pier was almost entirely washed away. Still we could see the bridge and it was a nice cap on the sightseeing.
I took Kevin and Peter back to NJ with me and after a quick stop to see Oren and say hello, I treated them to a NJ diner experience. I fear it was a little underwhelming; I don’t think they understood what the fuss about NJ diners is about…but the frozen yogurt afterward brought the food experience back up to a satisfactory level of goodness. At that point, though I had tuckered them out and it was time to get them back to the Big Apple.
I was tuckered out too! So much so that I completely forgot to write this post. Luckily, Martin Luther King Day gave me plenty of time to catch up…but that’s a story for the next post.