A Fabulous Fall Week Before the Week Before Thanksgiving

 

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This weekend was homecoming at UPenn where my youngest child Annie is studying to be a nurse (she’s on the left). My middle daughter Sophie attends FIT in NYC and studies Fashion Business Management. A lot of thought, preparation, sweat, worry, and MONEY went into helping them find their way to college. Which had me thinking about the college essay night I hosted on Thursday at Bronx Academy of Letters. Each year we gather friends and colleagues to work with the high school seniors on their common application essay. Our school is public, located in the 15th congressional district (the poorest in the United States), and almost all our students are first gen kids without a parent at home that can show them the college process ropes. Imagine that? Imagine if your children had only themselves and an overburdened college counselor to rely on to get them into college? It’s one of the most unequal playing fields in the US, and yet getting a college education can make the most significant difference in whether or not a kid can break the cycle of poverty.  It is vital that the stories these kids tell be heard by someone other than a college admissions officer.

It was a great fall week in NYC, unseasonably warm which gave me an added sense of carpe diem because I know that WINTER IS COMING. I had lunch at a great new spot in the LES called Hunan Slurp. I love the name as well as everything I slurped. The owner was a painter for twenty-five years, and his food is an extension of his art as is the space -it’s gorgeous.

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Tom and I went to The Big Apple Circus in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park after work last week. It was a gorgeous night, and it seemed like a fun last minute thing to do (thank you Play By Play Seat Filler) We weren’t sure if the circus holds up without kids, but it definitely does. We were shocked and amazed by the dazzling feats of craziness. We also enjoyed the Big Top Bar margaritas (the bar is conveniently located next to the face painting.) That’s Tom on the right, trying his hardest to scare little kids – it didn’t work, strangely only the adults noticed.

I would be remiss without mentioning the dinner I had after essay night at Jacobs Pickles on the UWS. It’s not new, I’ve been several times, but not recently. The food hasn’t changed (it is still fantastic with ridiculously large portions) however the music and the sound level is now deafening. I don’t think I can go back at night again. I don’t enjoy screaming at my friends while eating. I’m not a great iPhone photog, but I had to post a picture of the meatloaf smothered in fried onions with mashed potatoes and a biscuit. Hayden (second son) ate it all.

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I apologize that this post is entirely out of order, but I promise it all happened (no fake news here). Friday I arrived early in Philly and met up with my number one child (in birth order only of course). He lives in SF, and I couldn’t remember the last day we spent together alone. I had him all to myself, and it was incredibly fun. We started with lunch at Butcher Bar and then braved the downpour to visit the Constitution Center, which was fabulous. There is a hi-tech theater in the round with an interactive show that lasts about 30 minutes which brings back everything you learned and then sort of forgot, but maybe you didn’t, about the beginning of our country. After the show, you walk in a circle around the building starting with the first section of the constitution until you get to the last, with all the amendments and a repeal (thank God for the 21st – I’ll drink to that) laid out in order with explanations. The big reveal at the end of the visit is a replica of the signing room with the founding fathers, life-size in brass.

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From there we went WAY out of our way to visit the oldest confectioner’s shop in the United States. Ye Olde Candy shop aka Shane’s Candies. I was in search of these, which I wanted to buy for Christmas, but I was too early in the season. So instead I left with a lot of these. They make everything on site and offer once a week tours on Friday at 6:30 pm and it sells out. Next time.

It’s time to put together my Thanksgiving To Do List. Ina Gartner said it’s the secret to a stress-free Thanksgiving. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… Ina has no kids.

Have fun. Be bold.

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