Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Out of Towners

Caption: The glorious Food Emporium of 59th Street.

Back in the early days of the 21st century, the Clarks of New Jersey were the Clarks of New York City. We lived on 63rd Street between 1st and York, and we shopped at the Food Emporium, beneath the world famous 59th Street Bridge.

On Saturday, the Clarks turned back the clock. We went for a drive down 64th Street, looking for a parking spot, just like the old days; then pulled into the garage on 63rd, just like the old days.

The neighborhood was relatively unchanged. A new bike store on one corner, a new laundrymat on the other. We walked south to the Food Emporium, then visited the wonderful home and furniture store Conrans, where Theo shouted at his dad to look at the items that amazed him, and he was amazed by every item in the store.

Then we took the MTA bus up First Avenue, a new experience for Theo and Natalie. At St. Catherine's Park, Natalie enjoyed the slide and Theo enjoyed chasing the pigeons, of which there was an endless supply.

Then, off to the Library on 67th Street, a beautifully remodeled monument to the public of the Upper East Side. Its existence was a revelation to Natalie, who asked her mother: "There's another library?" She thought her Metuchen branch was one of a kind. The kids quickly borrowed some books, and off we went back to the car, and back to the future.

The Clarks of New Jersey still love New York.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Princess Aficionado

caption: Natalie Rose by any other name would smell so sweet.

To readers of the Clarks of New Jersey web page, the administrator and web master might seem a man who thinks only of others, a selfless servant dedicated to the online community that thrives here at www.clarksnj.blogspot.com.

The truth, dear reader, is something very different. The administrator is in this for himself. He loves his children very much, you can understand, and posting their photos for the world and posterity generates no small amount of selfish pride.

For instance, look at the photo of this child of two years. Is it possible that this is the administrator’s daughter? Look at those eyes, that jet-black mop of hair. I must admit that my pride swells with the publication of this picture. Let us look again.

An update? Very well then.

Natalie is a princess aficionado who spends most of her days listening to the soundtrack from "Beauty and the Beast" and other princess-related entertainment.

Funny story: At the Metuchen library this weekend, Natalie asked Daddy to read, “Spot at Home.” Natalie’s comment: “But I want to read it here!”

Yes, she has her little mean streak. For instance, this morning I peeked into her room to say hello. "Get out of my room!" she shouted at me. Natalie, say please. Then, in the sweetest little angel voice, she asked me: "Will you get out of my room, please?" Of course I will, Darling.

She’s warming up to her dad, little by little. At night, we play a game called Max, the rules of which defy description but generally allow her to hide in a closet while pretending to be the boy who lives across the street.

Five-year-old Theodore has discovered Pokemon, and continues with a hand well advanced for his age to draw everything that excites him. He enjoyed his Moss School class trip – to Wegman’s supermarket in Woodbridge. Details of the trip remain sketchy, but it is known that the bus ride, the first in his academic career, was bumpy.

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How are things with you?