Sunday, November 28, 2010

So It Begins: The Gingerbread House

Jennifer has tried for years, she says, to make a gingerbread house. This year one got raised.

Here are the sides cooling.

The templates we used to create them

A roof section and some decorations

Trimming the sides

Assorted candies to decorate with

We've framed it using icing for glue, and tied it to keep it from falling down utterly.

After breakfast, Jennifer started decorating it with help from Finn.

That's a shortbread cookie for the chimney.

What do you think? Not too shabby for a first try?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Times Square At Night

We're spending Thanksgiving in NY. Finn and I got here about 4pm, and after he, Jennifer and I saw the parade balloons being inflated, we walked around Times Square, briefly.

I never noticed how the top of the Paramount building appears to be like a ziggurat.

On 41st, Charmin opened a public bathroom. They have this young man and another out front hawking their service.

Finn loved the outside decoration.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The night before Thanksgiving, the parade crews inflate all the balloons on the streets either side of the American Museum of Natural History. We thought this would be a quick walk through, no one else would be there. WOW did we misunderstimate this crowd.

We got out at the 81st street station, and our first indication that stuff was mad was that the line to get out of the station was at a standstill. Once we got streetside, we were penned in, led up to 73rd. Here are the balloons we saw there.

Kung Fu Panda

Picachu and a Pokemon


Jennifer and Finn pose near Horton

Horton seems to emerge from the darkness.

Buzz Lightyear

The Energizer Bunny

A Smurf

Christmas decorations

Now at the corner of 73rd and Columbus Ave, we thought it was done. But the crowd was further funneled - not unlike cattle - to 79th, where we crossed Columbus, then crossed 79th, then crossed Columbus again!

We don't know why they did this. The crowd was even thicker at this point, and nearly at a standstill. It reminded me of Woodstock, 1994, when we would venture out to get food and get stuck in a crowd of people for hours.

The crowd then went from Columbus back to Central Park via 77th, where there were still more balloons.

I don't know who this dude is.

Hello Kitty


Kool-Aid guy

Kermit's ass...and it's a BIG one, let me tell you...

Turkey and pumpkin

We reached the end at this point and had little choice but to return to the same subway station on 81st and leave.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Glen Cove Mansion And Environs

Jennifer belongs to the NYCBTA, which had a retreat last weekend in Glen Cove, NY. I was one of the spouses fortunate enough to attend and enjoy the scenery on Long Island.

The retreat was held at the Glen Cove Mansion, an estate converted into a hotel, banquet and conference center.

Here is a picture of the front of the mansion, taken the Friday night I arrived.

A closeup of the fountain in front.

The next morning I checked out Long Island Sound from Pryibil Beach.

The camera is pointed away from the municipal Pryibil Beach, toward a private neighborhood.

Mussel and razor clam shells.

Beach glass and interesting rock.

Another interesting conglomerate rock.

Trees on Lattingtown Road.

The Glen Cove Mansion, again.

Lamp above the front door.

Detail of wrought iron railing.

Jennifer takes in the view.

Jennifer in the great hall.

A bar in the main building. Those are sculls on the wall.

The house was owned and built by one Pratt Family. It is used often for scenes from movies, and is involved in Cold War history. Across the street (so to speak) is the Russian Consulate, and some government agency often camped out at Glen Cove Mansion to spy on the Russians.