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The best sunset I have ever seen.

The islands of Hawaii have stunning coastlines, beautiful beaches, lush green mountains,  volcanoes and craters, but a place of pride belongs to the sunsets.

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Sunset on Kaanapali beach, Maui, Hawaii

Enjoying sunsets is a bit of a ritualistic community activity in Hawaii, where everyone stops what they are doing and head to the beach or the lanai (Hawaiian for balcony)  or the edge of their infinity pool to see the sun melt in the horizon.

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Where have you seen your favorite sunset or sunrise?

Reviewed: Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

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The stars of Very Hungry Caterpillar pausing for pictures and applause.

From the notoriously hungry caterpillar to the lit up firefly, from the ten itinerant rubber duckies to the large brown bear – watch these characters, immortalized by Eric Carle in his much loved toddler books, come to life in Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.

The show, which is currently running in New York, is the narration of 4 Eric Carle’s books with the help of large animal puppets which can only be described as magical.

Published between 1969 and 2005, these books with their simple stories and colorful collage style illustrations, hold timeless appeal for little inquisitive minds. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? makes a journey through the colorful animal kingdom. 10 Little Rubber Ducks recounts the different adventures of ten rubber ducks who  fall overboard a cargo ship. The Very Lonely Firefly has a firefly looking for and finally succeeding in finding its firefly friends. The star of the show is clearly the caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is the delightful tale of a caterpillar eating his way through a whole range of foods before becoming a mighty butterfly.

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The stage displaying Eric Carle’s book as we wait for the performance to begin.

The show is playing in a cozy theater near Union Square. As we entered the foyer with our 3 year old girl, we were comforted to see that the audience was largely made of 3 – 6 year olds and their parents. The foyer area also has a small table and chairs with coloring sheets (illustrated with the Hungry Caterpillar of course) and crayons, for some pre-show coloring tail-gate. You would think that with such a large toddler crowd watching a 55-minute long show, there would invariably be sounds of tantrums, but we only heard laughter, squeals of delight and children guessing out loud which puppet was going to make an appearance next.

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Siena getting ready for the show to begin

The stories were narrated by three very talented narrators cum puppeteers. All the animal puppets and other props are crafted beautifully, and maneuvered brilliantly. The uplifting sound track accompanying the stories and the light effects add to the wonder. While the stories are for kids, there are plenty of spell-binding moments for adults too. The large brown bear entering the stage in the beginning of the show, a grand whale serenading a rubber duck with its whale sounds, a group of lit up fireflies, the simulated lights and sounds of fireworks, a moon smiling in the backdrop of the night and the caterpillar covering itself in a cocoon are just a few of them.

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All smiles at Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

The only thing not great was that you need to pay for premium seats to get a picture of your child with monsieur caterpillar and other puppets. Oh well.

If you live in New York, or are visiting, CHECK out this show! This would be the perfect introduction to theater for your budding theater lover.

Some tips before you go:

  • There are plenty of promo codes on the internet where you can get $ 49.5 tickets for $ 34.5. While the seats were not in the first 4 – 5 rows from the stage, they still provided our 3 year old with a good view of the performance.
  • Carry some snacks and water for small fidgety hands. Food and drinks are not sold at the venue.
  • If you haven’t read the books, borrow them from the library and read them to your kids a couple of times before the show. They will enjoy the show more as a result!

Sharing some New York moments

As if I don’t do this enough already but this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge – Tour Guide, specially calls for it – show what you love about where you live.

Even though I yearn for more greenery, I love this melting pot called New York. Here are some of my much loved moments in New York in 2017.

Have you been to New York? What did you like most about the Big Apple?

The Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Center:

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The American Art wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

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The Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel:

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The Ramble at Central Park:

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Downtown Manhattan as seen from Governors Island:

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

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The fairytale garden at Tavern On the Green:

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Colorful in Copenhagen

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Colorful townhouses line the canal in Nyhavn in the scandinavian city of Copenhagen.

For more “variations on a theme”, click here.

Silence amidst chaos – Central Park in Fall

IMG_4131The silence of cold days in Central Park is not the lonely kind. It is the serene and peaceful kind, where you can hear your own cold breath, the distant clip-clop of horse carriages, a brave artist playing the violin or saxophone and the intermittent chatter of other people. If you can weather the winds, it is an excellent refuge from the city’s busyness.

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To be enthralled by some amazing blogging talent, look at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Silence.

P.S. – Every year, I take a solo walk in Central Park to take pictures of the fall colors in relative peace and quite. Click here for more of my labor of love.

My most memorable photo of 2017

While WordPress’s final photo challenge of 2017 calls for going through the photo archives for all of last year and selecting and showcasing the favorites to bid 2017 a fond goodbye, due to lack of time I am posting the one that comes to mind as the most meaningful:

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It is no surprise that as a mom of a pre-schooler, most of the cherished photos taken include this little girl, and it is very hard to get her to pose. Here, Siena was playing in the lawn at the Battery in Charleston in May 2017. Charleston as a short spring vacation destination was good to us. This photo captures her happy, mischievous and always curious essence.

And if you have stopped by to read this post, wish you a great 2018 full of good health, happiness and new adventures!

For more entries, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Ascend

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Dallas, Texas – a patchwork of lights, as the plane ascends.

(WP WPC – Ascend)

Cheeky art in Luxembourg

In spring this year, I chanced upon these cheeky and whimsical sculptures in Luxembourg’s old town.

These carefree revelers clearly stood out for me in the otherwise grand and stately architecture of the city.

For more “cheeky” images, click here.

A peek into winter

After tentatively skirting at the edges, winter is now finally here in New York, and making its presence felt! And the leaves, which were steadfast in their greenery  are rapidly turning into warmer hues and heaping into the ground in delightful piles of yellow and orange.

Even though winter gets tiring at the tail end of its long stretch, presently I am looking forward to the warm coffee mugs, cozy mittens, spiced cider and twinkling lights on bare trees.

 

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Bronx Zoo, New York

Would you like to give us at peek at something? Contribute here at WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Peek.

The “stop in your tracks” architecture of Madrid.

Is there something that always makes you stop on your tracks and take notice? It could be a stylish shoe, a perfectly tailored shirt or a bouquet of verdant flowers. What is it that makes you instantly say gleefully  – Ooh, Shiny!

For me, it’s grand architecture – not necessarily grand in stature but in the intricacy of work that was painstakingly put ages ago into the museums or palaces  or cathedrals or fountains. And so it’s no surprise that I was enthralled by the architecture in sunny Madrid.

Here are some of the pictures from the European capital city that are making me nostalgic about that “ooh shiny” feeling:

This post was inspired by the WordPress weekly photo challenge! See other creative entries here.

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