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Posts tagged ‘New York’

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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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.

Visiting the Harlem Meer and northern Central Park

It’s not the side of the Park that you will see in the movies or in the tour guides. It is also not the area where you would see brides being photographed for the customary New York wedding photography, much to the amusement and delight of the onlookers.

Such a slice of Central Park exists and its charming and unassuming if not glamorous and over-photographed. I’m referring to the northern side of Central Park starting at 110th Street and 5th Avenue. About a month back, in a renewed attempt to be a tourist in our own city, we took the 6 train up to 110th street and Lexington avenue, and walked 3 blocks to the north-east corner of the Park. We were greeted by a pretty lake, the Harlem Meer with a neat walking path edging it. It was great taking pictures of the lake from a distance because we could get the Swiss chalet styled cottage (which actually is the Dana Discovery Center) into the frame. img_7007

After enjoying a quick picnic of ice-cream and iced-tea at a bench near the Meer, we started walking southward only to stop for more food – this time, for hummus and falafel from a Maoz Grill kiosk close to the Meer (very average falafels by the way, from New York standards).

As we continued our journey southward, we stumbled upon a circular garden which was a total riot of colors, thanks to neatly arranged patches of tulips of different hues, all with petals unfurled in full bloom. We had inadvertently walked into the Conservatory Garden. Now, my love for gardens is only surpassed by my love for bridges and trains, and thus this was a real treat. The centerpiece of the conservancy is a sculpture/ fountain – Three Dancing Maidens, which has three ladies taking great joy in being splashed by the fountain in their midst. img_6469

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Once we left the garden, moving further southwards, we chanced upon a rectangular green lawn, flanked on both sides by cherry blossoms bending due to the weight of the cluster of flowers. The western edge of this lawn was a real legitimate will-soak-you-with-it’s-spray fountain, framed by a shaded balcony. It’s all very pretty, and after a long time, I got the exhilarating feeling of being a tourist again seeing new things.img_6484

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Further south, we came across yet another pretty sculpture, flanked by a tiny pond, which was covered with cherry blossom petals. img_6498

We ended our tryst with northern Central Park by lying under the shade of a cherry blossom tree, in full blossom.img_6521

The northern part of the park doesn’t get many visitors, but that is just well, because this oasis is tranquil and serene, very unlike the city within which it dwells!

Practically speaking:

  • http://www.centralpark.com is an amazing website, and do spend time on this website to make the most of your time in Central Park. Since there are quite a few attractions, you can always find some treasure nearby the entrance closest to you.
  • Read my earlier blog for more Central Park info (more on the western/ southern side).

Fall colors in Hudson River Valley


Currently our little toddler is front and center in our lives. I immediately thought of her for this week’s WordPress weekly photo challenge – One Love, as she represents an all encompassing and all engulfing love.

I wish that she grows to have curiosity, inquisitiveness, a sense of adventure and a respect for nature and all cultures and above all a strong wanderlust.

In this photo taken in the beautiful town of Cold Spring, New York, she is absorbing her first fall colors.

I might be Central Park obsessed!

What is big and green and right in the middle of Manhattan? It’s my happy place, also known as Central Park.

For the past few years, I have had the great fortune of living one block away from Central Park. Even though I pay it a visit every other day, each time I draw immense joy in the lawns lush as soft green blankets (at least for 7 months in a year), the hillocks of different gradients, bridges and arches that dot the Park, the lakes, the flowers in bloom in the spring, the colorful horse carriages, the musicians performing with abandon and the majestic Manhattan skyline rising above the greens.

Central Park is vast, and its near impossible to take in all that the Park has to offer in one visit. Here I have captured some of the places that I hope you would visit if you have not visited them already. These places are concentrated in the mid/ south end of the park, and hopefully there is another post coming in the future on the north end, once I have explored it properly.

The Mall

Located around 68th street and the middle of the park, this looks like sort of the main avenue in the Park, with the trees creating a beautiful canopy and would lead you to the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. This is the main hub of activity in the Park, where you can get your portrait made, get your caricature done, buy New York themed postcards, or just watch people dancing to their own beats (literally) while sitting on the wooden benches that line the entire length of the walk on both sides.

My favorite time to visit the mall is on a weekday in the late afternoon when it is quite without being deserted, and you can absorb the greenery around you and be serenaded by talented musicians that one would invariably find performing here.

The Sheep’s Meadow

This beautiful lawn with its soft grass, is not too far from the Mall and is the ideal place to have a picnic, toss a frisbee, stretch your muscles or just lay a blanket and take a nap. If you go here on a summer weekend afternoon, you might think that you have come to a crowded beach. Evenings are my favorite time to get comfortable in this dog-free zone. If sun-bathing is not your thing, the sides of this lawn are covered by trees for relief from the sun.

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The Lake, Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge and the Ramble

The Lake is the second largest water body in the park. Located between the 72nd and 79th streets on the west side of the Park, the Lake is probably the most photographed part of Central Park. When you go to Central Park, you just have to make your way to the Bethesda Terrace and the Bethesda Fountain. Behind the statue of the angel that rises above the beautiful Bethesda Fountain, you will see the green waters of the Lake. Many a hopeful men have proposed to their beloved on a rowboat in the Lake.

Although if rowing a boat is not your thing, you can easily take a walk on the pathways that run alongside the Lake, for captivating vistas of the iconic buildings of Central Park West. One side of the Lake contains the Ramble, a path meandering through a veritable forest area within Central Park that would make you forget that you are in the concrete jungle of Manhattan. The best part about the Ramble is that at various points, it opens right at the edge of the Lake and all you need to do is revel in the verdant greenery while sitting on the rustic wooden benches or canopied wooden huts.

A walk on the Ramble will also bring you to the Bow Bridge, which looks rather pretty in its off-white elegance.

The Loeb Boathouse

The Boathouse restaurant sits on the eastern edge of the Lake. If you do not want to make advance reservations and have lunch or dinner here, you can simply head to the outside porch with its own bar and enjoy the beauty of the Lake over a glass of wine. This is also the ideal spot to see the turtles bobbing up and down, and the restaurant’s gondolier rowing his colorful gondola. The most scenic route to get to the Boathouse is to pathway on the right side of the Bethesda Terrace.

The Conservatory waters and the Statue of Alice in Wonderland

Parallel to the Loeb Boathouse on the east side are the Conservatory Waters. Unlike some of the other attractions mentioned above, visiting this oval-shaped man-made lake would be much more fun on the weekends when it is surrounded by folks with their kids. The Conservatory waters are popular for sailing small model boats with remote controls that can be rented on-site. On the edge of the Conservatory waters sits a picturesque cafe. I recently enjoyed a live (absolutely free) performance in the cafe on a glorious sunny day.

When you are by the Conservatory Waters, do not miss the bronze status of Alice in Wonderland situated on the northern edge of the Conservatory Waters. This delightful statue, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book, also has the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit. I hope to take my daughter to this whimsical work of art when she grows up, as this statue with its nooks and crannies is perfect for little ones to do some exploring.

 

The Pond and the Gapstow Bridge

The Pond is located on south-east edge of the Park. The Pond and its pathways that gracefully skirt it are perfect for enjoying the impressive architecture of the buildings of mid-town Manhattan. I would recommend visiting the Pond during twilight when the lights of the sky-scrapers are twinkling. You can actually get a sense of calm and peace even though you are surrounded by glass and concrete.

When you are at the Pond, the quaint leaf covered bridge that you see is the Gapstow Bridge, a nice counter-point to the modern high rises all around.

 

Please share your moments/ memories of Central Park. Did it live up to the hype or leave you underwhelmed?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Motion

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Winged horses in motion in Tavern on the Green, Central Park, New York.

Click here for other submissions to the photo challenge.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Fresh

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I took this photo with my phone during a walk in Central Park. I had never taken this path in the Park before, and that morning I stopped in my tracks because I was struck by how pretty the Bow Bridge looked, brimming with lush greenery of summer and early morning freshness.

For more submissions to “Fresh”, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadowed

The statue of Columbus casts a shadow over Columbus Circle in NYC, as the rim of buildings casts a shadow over Central Park:

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For more shadowy pictures, check out the Weekly Photo Challenge Website.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Twinkle

Twinkling fairy light Holiday decorations in New York

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For more twinkling photos, click here.

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