Our Sunday Magazine Section

19 Aug
Jillaine Schock gets into the act with New York City’s street art.

(Winthrop, Massachusetts, August 19, 2012) The Mirror is happy to publish photographs from our second intergenerational learning adventure in Manhattan, with hearty appreciation for the Road Scholars of all ages who made this program such a joy.

The Chrysler Building, everyone’s favorite, from outside Grand Central Station

Alec, Dylan, and Patsy Shiveley at Central Park West

The saxophonist of Tin Pan entertaining at Bethesda Fountain

John, Joanne, and Mason Street with Matthew Decker and some old friends

Bo Wheeler and Lucy Smith taking in New York’s skyline from the harbor

Road Scholars enjoying the quickest way to get around Manhattan

A schooner sails by us near Liberty Island

Grace Christie and Barbara Pelzel share a bus stop under the watchful eye of Yayoi Kusama


Mikayla and Kathy Peterson at Elllis Island

A Sri Lankan Devil Dancing Mask, to protect against evil spirits, at the Museum of Natural History

Lady Liberty enjoying the best weather of the week in New York Harbor



Being Here was All the Fun

18 Aug

Bo Wheeler, Joyce Bowen, Lucy Smith, and Jan Green with one of the stars of the Hall of Dinosaurs, New York Museum of Natural History, August 3, 2012

Jillaine Schock takes a break with grandparents Judy and Chuck Riden on the C Train

(Winthrop, Massachusetts, August 18, 2012) Exploring New York with Road Scholars of all ages is a great experience – we hope these pictures hint at how much fun it was. Our destinations were top-notch, from the Statue of Liberty to the United Nations, and even the Museum of Natural History. Each day, we navigated the subways and sidewalks of the City that Never Sleeps like native New Yorkers. We had a blast; there’s no other way to describe it.

Kayla and Kathy Peterson enjoying Times Square

Thanks to Road Scholar and the care with which they arranged our daily schedules, we also learned while we traveled. And not just in the museums. Our guides know the city like the back of their hands and even used that knowledge to design Sunday’s scavenger hunt in Central Park. Plus, they made sure to add experts at the UN to answer questions, and even the waiters at Paesano’s in Little Italy, who were more than willing to help with special orders. Now that’s the way to see New York.

John Moore and Lucy Szrama in the General Assembly at the United Nations

Most of all, we had fun with each other. The kids bonded quickly and shared laughs and stories with each other. Grandparents spent time talking about their travel adventures and plans for more in the future. We each have our own life’s journey. And there’s nothing like the way they all came together on this program.

Douglas Reeves in command of the Central Park Scavenger Hunt, August 5, 2012

A Monumental Monday in Manhattan

6 Aug

Louis Pratt under the clock at Grand Central Station.

(New York City, August 6, 2012) Today we answered the question, “how many New York landmarks can Road Scholars visit in a day?” The answer is six: The United Nations, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge. And we still fit in three meals, a little shopping, and more than a few laughs.

Matt Decker in the General Assembly of the United Nations.

At the United Nations, we started our morning with an inspiring tour, spending time in both the General Assembly and Security Council Chamber. Our guide focused her introduction on the UN’s multiple missions, and how low the costs of waging peace are than any alternative.

Grand Central Station: Come for the transportation, stay for the food.

Grand Central Station bustles no matter the time of day, including lunchtime, when we stopped by to try out the food and watch thousands of people coming and going to the city for work or pleasure. We were clearly in the latter category as we enjoyed one of the program’s more memorable meals.

Tabitha Lamberg, John Moore, and Mya Kirke at Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller Center boasts one of the most spectacular views of any city in the world. Three observation platforms with 360 degree views are one thing. Put them in the middle of Manhattan, and you really have something. And, like Saturday in the harbor, the haze and humidity cleared just in time for our ride to the top.

If you don’t like the views of New York City from the Top of the Rock, just wait for them to put up a new building.

Central Park: The Place to Be on a Sunday Afternoon

5 Aug

Dylan Shiveley discovers one of the clues along the way on our scavenger hunt.

Mason Street at Belvedere Castle, the start of our hunt.

(New York, August 5, 2012) Today’s schedule called for a scavenger hunt in Central Park. We divided into two teams, each looking for a specific landmark, equipped with a map and Road Scholar guide. Our team, led by Eagle Scout John Moore, left Belvedere Castle heading generally south along the Rambles.

Louis Pratt and Holley Tate-Wheeler trailside on the Rambles.

Getting there, like they say, is half the fun. Well, maybe more than half. We passed a number of well-known landmarks like the Boathouse and statues of Christopher Columbus and William Shakespeare. We also discovered some lesser-known natural rock formations – Manhattan Schist, we learned – that were left behind by glaciers.

The lively blues of Tin Pan jazzed up Bethesda Fountain.

We also walked past other sights along the way – a wedding, musicians, and a fashion photo shoot. It seemed like everyone was out in the Park this afternoon, looking for fun or sharing their fun with others. We were tempted to linger and listen, or people-watch, but we were on a mission.

For a short time, we Road Scholars were not the most glamorous people in Central Park.

Finally, we found the landmark at the end of our quest – another secret we cannot reveal. You’ll just have to sign up for this program, along with your grandchild or grandparent, and see for yourself. So, with another successful afternoon under our belts, along with more terrific New York City food, we headed off to an evening in Manhattan on our own.

Joyce Bowen, Lucy Smith, Jan Green, and Bo Wheeler enjoy an Italian Ice at on the Mall at the end of our Central Park scavenger hunt.

A Sparkling Saturday Afternoon on the Harbor

4 Aug

Grace Christie and Barbara Pelzel enjoy an afternoon on Ellis Island.

(New York City, August 4, 2012) Today started hot and humid, much like yesterday. Even a cruise on the Miss Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty didn’t offer the relief we expected. But suddenly, around lunchtime, the haze cleared, the temperature dropped just a bit, and we enjoyed views of the harbor in all directions that would make Mayor Bloomberg proud.

Judy Maifield, Mya Kirke, Tabitha Lamberg, and Judy Lamberg with New York’s Leading Lady.

“Liberty Enlightening the World,” which we learned last night is the proper name the French gave to the Statue of Liberty when they gave it to America in 1876, never looked better as she nears a re-opening in October. And, as a matter of fact, we looked pretty good ourselves, in case anyone is asking.

Twenty-first century visitors enter the Main Building at Ellis Island via a covered walkway.

Soon it was time for the short cruise to Ellis Island and its inspiring chronicle of America’s – and so many of our families’ – history. How differently immigrants came to the United States then – by ship, to a single building in New York – than now – by airplane to cities throughout the country, processed in advance in American embassies before their flights.

Doug Reeves and Rob Thomas on Mulberry Street, just before dinner.

Later in the afternoon, we headed back to Manhattan and Battery Park, where we took in some street theater, and a few  young Road Scholars actually got into the act. It was unexpected fun, and we were able to share it with other New Yorkers as well. After the “show,” we continued to Chinatown and eventually Little Italy, for a dinner at Paesano’s Restaurant and dessert at the legendary Ferrara’s Bakery. What a great way to start the weekend!

Lower Manhattan sparkles as we return from Liberty and Ellis Islands.

A Day at the Museum

3 Aug

John, Kayla, and Kathy Peterson in the Hall of Dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History.

(Manhattan, August 3, 2012) The day dawned hot and humid. What day in August in New York City doesn’t? But our first day would be spent inside the spectacular Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. Five hours gave us barely enough time to scratch the surface of all this place has to offer, but it was cool, in every sense of the word.

Holley Tate-Wheeler and Donna Trumbo waiting for the C Train.

We took the subway like native New Yorkers to the museum’s front door. Road Scholar had arranged for admission, plus two special exhibits – Beyond Planet Earth, a look at space travel; and Creatures of the Night, about animals that glow in the dark. We also saw movies at the Hayden Planetarium and Imax Theater. It was a full day.

Lucy Szrama and John Moore in the Hall of the Universe.

Our guide, Ray Riordan, had prepared us by showing A Night at the Museum last night. It was a great introduction and kept us busy looking for Teddy Roosevelt, Dexter, and other characters – instant nostalgia, both for those of us who have been here before as schoolchildren, and those who had never been here before.

An old friend is waiting for you at the museum, but we won’t tell you where.

It was fun roaming around the museum’s four floors – some unchanged for many years, others brand-new, teaching us new lessons in science and history that show how much we still have to  learn. Our grandchildren did what young people do in places like this – they just enjoyed it, and told us where to find the best things to see and do.

Finally, it was time to go, and head back to Times Square for a well-deserved dinner, followed by a lecture on Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty by Tom Bernardin, a man with over forty years of experience as a park ranger, author, and historian. We’ll go to both places tomorrow, with his words and enthusiasm leading the way.

Road Scholars walking along the entrance to the Museum of Natural History

The Mirror Resumes Publication!

2 Aug

Today’s question for our readers: Should the Mirror publish in different languages?

(New York City, August 2, 2012) The Manhattan Mirror resumes publication today with the launch of a new Road Scholar Program. Thirty two grandparents and grandchildren from throughout the United States will explore Manhattan with Group Leader Ray Riordan, visiting museums, historic landmarks, and international institutions through Tuesday, August 7.

We will visit many different sites than the Parker Family toured when we were here last in mid-June. But after all, the Greatest City in the World promises much to enjoy, and we’re looking forward to all of it.

See you tomorrow!

An urban garden on an old elevated railroad line is just one of New York’s wonders.