Friday, April 17, 2015

365 Project: Days 100-106

100/365: I arrived at my sister's for a four-day visit with her, my brother-in-law, niece and their incredible dog Penny. I already miss smushing my face into her adorable, wrinkly puppy cheeks.

101/365: My sister and I went to our first-ever Renaissance Fair(e) and it was so much fun. We watched a joust, sipped on mead, shared a turkey leg, rode an elephant and stayed until it closed for the night.

102/365: We went hiking in Dinosaur Valley State Park and saw relics from the World's Fair as well as tracks from actual dinosaurs—we even found a bone for my bone collection (see below) and stopped at Sonic on the way home (aka a perfect day).

103/365: I got home late Monday night and couldn't help but take inventory of my souvenirs, including a bone (possibly from a coyote?), smushed penny, floaty pen, pewter skull and gummy chicken feet.

104/365: Speaking of souvenirs, I received this amazing gator-toenail keychain from an equally amazing dude after he returned from a trip of his own.

105/365: Francesca and I found a strawberry that was too cute to eat, so we stuck googly eyes on him. Then shoes. Then gave him a party hat, a balloon, a shortbread cake (with Q-tip candles on a jam jar table with a napkin tablecloth), two presents and a birthday banner—because it seemed like the thing to do.

106/365: My hair is getting longer // I love this sweater.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

World's Fair Dinosaurs

I spent last weekend in Texas visiting my sister, brother-in-law and niece and on Sunday we took a trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park. My sister had been telling me about the park for a while, mainly because they have two of the fiberglass dinosaurs from the Sinclair Oil "Dinoland" exhibit at the 1964/65 World's Fair (held in Queens). It would be an understatement to say that I'm interested in all things World's Fair-related—and I'm especially obsessed with visiting pieces and buildings that had once been a part of the fair (see previous posts about the World's Fair here).

The Dinoland exhibit included nine life-sized dinosaurs in total, all of which were barged down the Hudson River on their way to Queens—what I wouldn't give to be able to watch that happen. Dinosaur Valley State Park has the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Apatosaurus, the latter being the dino featured prominently in the Sinclair Oil logo.

It was so amazing to finally meet these two cool dudes in person after hearing about them for so long, and they were even better than I expected. They were really large and intricate, but felt surprisingly light when we touched them (if touching is allowed... if not, then they just looked really light).

I do think it's funny that I had to go all the way to Glenn Rose, Texas to see another piece of a World's Fair that took place in New York. After the fair, the dinosaurs went on tour—including an appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—and then they all went in various directions. I now have an unbearable urge to go visit all the others—except the Ornitholestes, which was apparently stolen. Although it disappoints the completionist in me, anyone who manages to successfully steal a life-size dinosaur probably deserves to keep it.

And if these photos of me and my sister and niece are any indication, we learned that I'm probably the last person you would want with you during a sudden dinosaur attack.

Friday, April 10, 2015

365 Project: Days 93-99

93/365: My new duck umbrella and I went shopping on our lunch break and then saw the incredible Egon Schiele Portraits exhibit at the Neue Galerie (free on First Fridays!). The exhibit runs until April 20th and it's one of the best I've ever seen—go!

94/365: I contributed two of my best egg designs—rainbow and plaid—to a little egg-dyeing party.

95/365: I died of happiness seeing all of the dressed-up dogs at the Easter parade on Fifth Avenue (the humans in bonnets were ok, I guess).

96/365: The weather took a chilly turn mid-week, but my walk home Monday was beautiful. I even spotted a few sure signs of spring: an ice cream truck and pretty tulips along Fifth Avenue.

97/365: Any day that I get a magazine from Green-Wood Cemetery and a New York Magazine—with Hillary!—in the mail is a good day.

98/365: I ate the last of my black jellybean stash for the year but I still have a few coveted Cadbury Creme Eggs to get through before Easter candy season is officially over.

99/365: I finally caught up on the last few Season 2 episodes of Broad City (Kirk Steele! Tree Man! Alia Shawkat!) with popcorn, of course.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter Parade, Part Two: Dogs

As much as I enjoyed the elaborate bonnets at the Easter parade, my favorite participants were by far the dogs. I've always considered myself a cat person, but I have to admit that lately New York has turned me more and more over to the dog side of things.

The main appeal of dogs is definitely the ability to dress them up—rain coats, boots, hoodies, hats, backpacks—New York dogs are way more fashionable than I'll ever be. That is especially true of the dogs that came out on Sunday decked in their Easter finest and I could have spent days photographing and trying not to smoosh all of their adorable faces into my face.

I tried to be respectful and ask the names of most of the dogs I was photographing and I had the pleasure of meeting Chloe, Charro, Fred, Pink Dog Frankie and Puccini. I like my dogs small and smooth/short-haired, so of course the pugs and chihuahuas were my favorite. I was disappointed that I didn't see at least one dachshund, which made me want one even more than I already do (to dress as an Easter ham perhaps?).

The tiny top hats, bonnets, pearls, boas, sunglasses and bunny ears just about killed me and it seemed like I was spotting a new dog every few minutes that would make me squeal with delight. Although I don't know how nice it is to dye your dog completely pink, most of them were pretty chill and didn't seem to mind all of the attention or the ridiculous outfits.

Although I still adore Mozart, I don't foresee her being cool with me strapping an Easter bonnet on her next year and pushing her down Fifth Avenue in a stroller—but if anyone has a dachshund they're not using, let me know.

Easter Parade, Part One: Bonnets