in a perfect world of yancies: October 2010

25 October 2010

Yes, It's True: I ♥ NY

Among the many things we enjoyed in New York, maybe what I liked the most was simply walking around surrounded by millions of people, and surrounded by some of the best food, theater, art, and literature in the world.

Not the best coffee, though: turns out there's at least one thing we do better here :)

Originally I'd planned to split this into multiple posts, but I'm hoping that putting everything in one place will help convey some of the feeling of being in Manhattan, where it really does feel like just about everything is in one place...

Anyway, we enjoyed a interesting and impressive exhibit about Mark Twain at the Morgan Library.

They also had some cool Lichtenstein drawings, but we'd taken the overnight flight, and it was around then that I started day-dreaming about checking into the hotel for a nap...

Our main reason for visiting was the annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy (SAGP) with the Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science (SSIPS). It's a huge, inclusive, and fascinating conference. I organized and chaired a panel about Plato featuring myself, my current department chair, and my dissertation advisor. From my point of view, it went very well, but my paper was about how things might look different to different people, so I suppose you never know...

Meanwhile, Emily spent the day with her college roommate, Jessica, Jessica's husband Jer, and their daughter Susannah:
Susannah, Jessica, and Jer
I wish I could have seen them too, but at least Emily got some great photos!

Just a few days before we left for New York, we happend to see the play Alphabetical Order reviewed in the Times.

A positive review of a play about a newspaper archive? I mean, the two of us really had no choice. Was in the very tiny and very cute Clurman Theater.
Clurman Theater
And it was very good.

On our last morning in town, we took the ferry over to Ellis Island. The whole experience was fascinating and I'd even say awe-inspiring.

We were especially interested in the travelling exhibit called Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, which featured some items from Providence Archives.
Emily & Mother Joseph
Cool exhibit--impressive what these women accomplished.

On either a lighter or a grimmer note, here's an excerpt from an ad for one of the orders:
No Salary; No Recompense

Okay, I'll end where we began, with a few more photos from the High Line.
Yancy and Windows

An amphitheater overlooking what must be, what, 9th Avenue 10th Avenue?
View from the High Line

More park on the way, not quite ready:

I love how they left the rails:
Keep It Wild

Okay, when can I go back?

21 October 2010

New York Preview Post

Hello reader!

We had a wonderful time in New York last weekend. But, as you may have heard, I came back to one of the busiest weeks of the year...

So since I don't have time for a proper post, I hope you enjoy this brief preview.

One thing I really loved seeing was the High Line, a new park built on an abandoned elevated train line in the Meatpacking District.

We got some decent photos, but I'd definitely recommend taking a look at their online photo galleries.

No other way to say it: super cool.

Well, there's so much more--museums, a play, old friends, and of course our boat ride, pictured up top, which took us past the Statue of Liberty on the way to Ellis Island. Oh, and I guess I attended a conference too :)

But more on all of that soon. Meanwhile, I'd better get back to work!

13 October 2010

Meaningful Beverages

One of the joys of teaching a Freshman Seminar each fall is the co-curricular activity. This year, in conjunction with my class on beauty and knowledge, we visited the Seattle Japanese Garden and attended a tea ceremony demonstration.

I had a wonderful experience, and I love that I get to share these things with my students.

Among the many insightful responses from the students, this one seems especially quotable:

"Perfection implies permanence... imperfection was all that could be seen in the garden: the leaves changing colors with the season, elements of weather (rain, wind) changing the position of leaves, the movement of the water, and so on. From my perspective, I would hate to see anything but imperfection in such a setting; the Japanese Garden was a deeply calming, beautiful place because it was so imperfect"

One other liquid refreshment's been on my mind recently. I mentioned Seattle U's new policy on bottled water on Twitter, but I want to talk about it again here.

There's a lot that I like about Seattle U's decision to ban plastic water bottles, but my very favorite is the second reason they offer in explaining why they made the decision:

"To keep water as a human right and not a commodity to be bought and sold for profit"

That's just about perfect.

Read more here:

Cheers, reader. Happy sipping!

11 October 2010

Pick Up Sticks

Good morning, reader. You remember that art installation we saw in Lawrence, with the sticks wrapped around a tree? Well that artist just completed a piece at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and he was recently profiled in the Home section of the New York Times.

Natural History
Originally uploaded by Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The article is interesting, but the slideshow is just super cool. Enjoy!

04 October 2010

Mount Pilchuck

Sun, Trees, Clouds
Had perfect fall weather this weekend, so we went out of town to hike Mount Pilchuck.

The cool thing about the weather (aside from the fact that it was pleasantly cool most of the way), was that we started out below the clouds. And then we hiked through them:
Below the clouds

And then we were above them:
Yancy above the clouds

Emily above the clouds
That's Mt. Baker there on the left, if you're curious.

Pretty good fall colors:
Fall Colors

We were headed to the Mount Pilchuck Lookout. Can you see it up there on top of the mountain?
Mt. Pilchuck Lookout
Yeah, me neither. But it's there! I swear!

Now we picked this hike because a) it's along the Mountain Loop Highway, which was featured in a recent Seattle Times story, and b) our copy of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Seattle listed it as a great hike of "moderate" difficulty.
I mean, I guess. We did it, it was fine, but what the heck is "difficult" like?

(And just for the record, the Forest Service lists it as "most difficult". The above picture is an extreme example, but there sure were a lot of rocks for a "moderate" trail. I don't mean to sound whiney, and mostly we loved it. But still.)

Great views, though, that's for sure. Here's old Tahoma again:
Rainier above the clouds

Parking Area -->
Yeah, it's a couple of miles away, but as the sign in the tree makes clear, the parking area is to the right, okay?

The lookout itself has amazing 360-degree views. Apparently on a clear day you can see all the way to Puget Sound.
at Mt. Pilchuck Lookout
Not too bad on a cloudy day either!

Now Emily didn't join me up in the Lookout. Why? Well, for one thing the trail was mobbed with people. I had to wait for ten or so people to leave the Lookout before I could go up, and I shared it with ten more people while I was there (and of course another ten were coming up as I was leaving...).

Plus it's a bit of a climb, as this photo I'm borrowing shows:

(Photo from the New in the NW blog.)

But it sure is cool. Here's a blowup of that picture from the Washington Trails Association page:

(Photo by Norm Buckley, seen on the Washington Trail Association site.)

Great stuff. So happy to live here and have these opportunities!

Speaking of living, I should go earn mine--better grade some papers. Have a great week reader!