Thursday, August 26, 2010

Found Squirrels: Subway Squirrel

I found this lovely piece of squirrel art the other day while we were on our way to Governors Island on the N train.

I spied it through the dirty windows of the train and, without actually telling B what I was doing or why, I just walked right off and onto the platform. Luckily, he followed me and immediately understood when he saw me standing, wide-eyed, in front of this mosaic.
Here's the closeup. I think it's just exquisite. As an added bonus, we got to wait in front of it for like 10 minutes while we waited for the next train (B probably did not see this as a bonus). I should probably add that this was at the 8 St-NYU stop on the downtown platform.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Volkswagens on Governors Island

We went to Governors Island again last weekend. Getting there was quite the trial! First, we woke up late because it was Sunday and we're lazy. I had neglected to mention to B that the Volkswagen show was over at 4 PM, and so at about 1 PM when he said, "Hey, when do we need to leave to get to the Volkswagen thing?" we had to rush out the door.

I won't get too detailed in my description of our travel difficulties, but here's what happened:
1. Took the 7, switched the N at Queensborough Plaza within seconds. Nice.
2. At some point we discover that the N does not actually go to the South Ferry station, that's the R. Oops, our fault. We get out at 8 St-NYU anyway because I'm distracted by a mosaic squirrel. Successful transfer to the R.
3. On the R train they announce that the R is not actually going to South Ferry this weekend. We get off at Canal Street and debate whether to take the 4,5 or J. Decide on the 4,5.
4. Then a 6 train shows up! But we can't take that! But wait, we can! Because this weekend the 6 is magically going to Bowling Green!

By the time we got out at Bowling Green it was POURING rain. We got out and RAN to the Staten Island Ferry terminal where we purchased awesome yellow ponchos (2 for $5!) and then continued to the Governors Island Ferry terminal.

We are very dedicated to our love of Volkswagens, apparently.

Since the weather wasn't so great, the Volkswagen festival was pretty sparsely attended, which I thought was great. We were able to check out the cars pretty easily, even if there were only probably 30 or so cars. There were a TON of beetles, and just a few vans (and only three or so of those were Westys). It's really a cool place to have an event like this; you're right on the water with the Statue of Liberty behind you, a nice big green field, quiet... I do like Governors Island.

Probably the coolest thing was the Westy that had been converted to serve beer. Note the two taps to the right of the slotted window. Those were functional taps connected to kegs of beer in the Westy! How cool is that?

Here's the whole beer garden set up with the converted Westy. This was pretty awesome; I think B wants one now. The beer was tasty, but warm since they had run out of ice for the kegs hours ago. But seriously, how popular would we be if we had one of these? We would get invited on everyone's camping trips!
It was a very nice little Sunday trip out to Governors Island, and I hope they do this Volkswagen thing again next year and maybe open it up to water-cooled VWs too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Connecticut Adventures

We traveled to the tiny state of Connecticut this weekend (that's right, I just called it tiny) to visit my friend M. We rode Metro North, and even got a train with a bar car, but as it was before noon they sure weren't serving.

We went to Connecticut to see the meerkat exhibit at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk (actually Southern Norwalk which I've been informed is referred to as SoNo). You may be asking yourself, "Since when are meerkats aquatic?" There is no good answer to this question, but it should be noted that meerkats are ridiculously cute and the stars of a show called Meerkat Manor which I believe is popular with the under-10 set (and me). Clearly bringing these little weasels to the aquarium is a good way to drive up attendance rates in the summer. (Note on scientific inaccuracies in this blog: meerkats are actually a member of the mongoose family, not the weasel family.)

Turns out meerkats move WAY too quickly for my camera, so this picture of the giant inflatable meerkat on the roof of the aquarium will have to suffice for this blog.

Okay, so I was a big fan of Meerkat Manor for at least the first season until my favorite meerkat died after bravely defending the baby meerkats from death at the paws of the neighboring tribe. I wasn't able to watch again after that (it was really upsetting, shut up), but I have maintained an appreciation for meerkats. I was really surprised at how tiny they are! In the show they keep the cameras at about ground level, so the meerkats seem pretty tall. They were only probably a foot long counting their tails! And so adorably rambunctious.

There were a lot of interesting things at the aquarium. One of our favorite exhibits was the jellyfish, which were AWESOME.

Jellyfish are just the WEIRDEST creatures ever. I do not understand them at all, but I loved watching them float around in their tanks. It probably helped that the aquarium was piping in a mix of psychedelic Enya and fantasy movie theme music in this exhibit. We watched the jellyfish for a long time.

There was also a giant sea turtle. I did not know that sea turtles could get that big, and I'm honestly a little freaked out now and unwilling to talk about it.

I would like to end this post by stating that I spent the rest of the evening in Connecticut kicking ass at James Bond on Playstation 2, but that would be a lie (the part about me kicking ass, I mean).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Better than squirrels?

Those of you who know me in real life know that I have a wide variety of interests beyond rodents. I'm really pretty obsessed with the Space Race, and with space exploration in general. So when my friend E, who lives in Washington, DC, suggested that we could see the space shuttle out at the Smithsonian, I was pretty excited.

This happened like a month ago, actually, and I've been struggling to write a post about this in my head for weeks now. Today I finally decided that I didn't really need to write a real post concerning the space shuttle. It's AN AWESOME SPACE SHUTTLE and I really don't think that me trying to explain aspects of it is going to make this post more interesting.

I do want to say that the space shuttle was WAY bigger than I had imagined, for some reason. Possibly because I had a toy space shuttle when I was a kid and the little astronauts that came with it were clearly not to scale.

Also, you know how in the news you're always reading about tiles falling off the shuttle? Well I was strangely surprised to find that the shuttle really is covered with tiles! The whole thing!

Anyway, I was way excited. I'm told that this museum we went to had other things in it as well, but I can't remember them at all. They weren't the space shuttle.