Sunday, September 22, 2013

New York New York

September marks the end of summer and beginning of a new school year. As kids were trundling back to the brick & mortar schools, we brought our "school" to New York - one of the many bonuses of homeschooling!

We covered many grounds in our 7-day field trip to the Big Apple. Serena by now is quite a seasoned traveler and had no trouble keeping up with all the walking and exploring.

The famous Times Square was one of our first stops. The bombardment of flashing billboards was overwhelming and we mused about the intensity of consumerism. "Sell-sell-sell!!! Buy-buy-buy!!!"

Serena is no stranger to live theatre but to experience an authentic Broadway performance was quite something else. She was completely enthralled by "The Phantom of the Opera" and we couldn't get the beautiful music out of our heads for days.

The American Museum of National History was on our must-do list, especially because Serena wanted to see the Easter Island head Dum-dum and the capuchin monkey from the movie "Night at the Museum". When we entered the Mammal Halls, all the fantastic dioramas immediately triggered the memory of Brian Selznick's book Wonderstruck which we read last year. And our hands touched likely the oldest thing we'd ever touch: a 140-million-year-old Stegosaurus plate! We knew the museum is huge but didn't expect that 4 hours later, we still hadn't seen everything.

To be in the very presence of Vincent Van Gogh's "De sterrennacht" was the highlight of this trip. Serena painted the Starry Night last year and it was such a privilege to see the real thing at the Museum of Modern Art. Our eyes also feasted on Cezanne's still life, Seurat's pointillism, O'keeffe's flowers, Warhol's soup cans...

As much as we love MoMA, we discovered a hidden gem in New York which just blew us away: The Frick Collection. It was the former residence of Henry Clay Frick who amassed a collection of distinguished Old Masters paintings and sculpture in his opulent home. As an example, there're less than 3 dozens Vermeer's paintings in the world and Mr. Frick got 3 of them in his house! We weren't allowed to take any pictures there but I could tell Serena was the most absorbed by this collection as she wandered around following the audio tour intently.

Central Park, Chelsea market, Brooklyn bridge, Eataly, Vivoli, Laduree, FAO Schwarz, the subway... The sights, the food, the fashion, the architecture of New York - we saw so much in a week but there's still so much more to discover. Not at all a bad way to start our school year!


  1. Oh what a wonderful way to start the school year with a bang! Wow! I am sure the whole cultural ambience of New York was very invigorating and I know this will transfer over to Serena's schooling. Thanks for sharing Tina!

  2. WOW. Overwhelming way to start the school year
    We are sure she soaked up all the cultural experience.
    It will stay with her forever.Good for you.
    Love Nanny & Papa