While I was shopping around Brooklyn for my buddy’s gift, I found this.
I’m no expert so I’ll need someone to tell me if this figurine is anything close to historically accurate.
Google Maps told me the walk would be 0.9 miles. The humidity was rising, but a mile isn’t so far.
Once I passed the McCarren Park pool, the walk started sucking. The part of Greenpoint I found myself in would be best described as Not Cute. Homely, perhaps, as opposed to homey.
Around the 0.7 mile mark, I wanted to shout “this is for you, Maasai kids!” but they couldn’t possibly have heard me over the noise from the BQE.
I started crying almost as soon as I walked into the Greenpoint dollar store.
Not because I was in a dollar store, per se, but because as I shuffled up and down the aisles, I was reminded of the directions my trip organizer had given me about how to choose a gift for my “buddy,” the student who would be my companion during my days volunteering at the Maasai school.
Books need to be culturally sensitive. Don’t buy candy–most of the kids won’t have a toothbrush.
Avoid anything that requires batteries or electricity. These kids don’t have access to either. A well-intentioned volunteer gave his buddy an iPod, but once the battery dies, it’s useless.
Good gifts include a simple journal, a solar-powered flashlight or a puzzle that shows a picture the kids can relate to.
At the dollar store, I felt like a failure. None of the toys seemed right for my teenage buddy, a fourteen year old boy named Steven.
As I put a notebook, a pack of pencils and a pencil case in my cart, my heart sank: I had just committed to buying office supplies for someone who will almost certainly help me have an eye-opening, life-affecting experience.
I suppose he already has, in some ways.
Hopefully when the time comes, my modest gifts will somehow be the right ones.
[For context, this post was written on late on Thursday, July 10 and scheduled for Monday, July 14. I'm set to present these tokens to Steven on Friday, July 18.]
After a week of miserable rain and humidity, Saturday dawned perfectly pleasant: sunny and dry.
But it wasn’t the prospect of a good hair day that had me smiling. Instead, it was the fact that the future owner of an unwanted – and very, very large – piece of furniture would soon be removed from my bedroom in the new apartment. Continue reading
If you’re old enough to remember McDonald’s original apple pies, you’ll be so happy you read this post.
For the young’uns reading this, gather ’round and indulge me as I get nostalgic for a moment.
Back in the day, my ballet studio was located around the corner from a McDonald’s. How convenient. As kids, my dancing queen friends and I would run over there between classes, gorge on quarter pounders with cheese, fries and the coup de grâce, apple pies.
But she was so happy to play that I kept pitching and she kept hitting.
After all, I’m moving soon so I won’t have many more moments like these.
When I moved into this apartment, NeighborKid was two and a half years old. More baby-like than kid often. She had a sometimes challenging personality (her parents would agree!). But now, she’s fun and silly and I’ll miss her.
Fortunately the new apartment is giving me lots of reasons to be excited: Continue reading
The only thing I’m not excited about? Packing. Ugh.
But I’m focused now. Ready to tackle stuff and add new To Dos.
1. Check out Sleep No More - accomplished!
2. Eat at Traif - achieved, more than once.
3. See the Radical Camera exhibit - missed. That will teach me to pick things with realistic deadlines. Maybe.
You might get it back in
March April NYC is expecting another 4-6 inches of snow overnight. Continue reading