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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in NYC (18)

Friday
Mar092012

Barbie's 1959 Debut and a New 2012 Royal Debut

The Barbie debuted in 1959For me, barbie is synonymous with childhood. I would spend hours alone or with my sister and friends playing with my barbies, changing her clothes, driving in her hot pink convertible, and setting up a dream house for her and Ken. Always losing those little shoes though :) On March 9, 1959 Barbie made her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York City. This year marks her 53rd year of glamor and imagination.

Barbie was invented by Ruth Handler. She was inspired to create an adult female doll when she observed how much her daughter enjoyed playing with grown up female paper dolls. And what was her daughter's name, Barbara of course! The mother/daughter beginnings have helped keep the Barbie tradition alive and continuous 53 years later. As I've previously shared, I am expecting twin girls later this summer and I'm already looking forward to a big box of barbies, barbie clothes, and accessories! I'm a big believer in pretend and encouraging kids to use their imaginations and I just remember spending hours playing with these dolls.

While I did play with Barbie dolls, I didn't have the fancy dolls or collector dolls you weren't allowed to play with. But when I heard of the new Prince Charles and Kate Royal Wedding Barbie Collector set to come out in April, all I could think was- my daughters have to have these!!

This past year I've read and learned a lot about the Royal Family and their role in the English culture. And I find it all very fascinating. Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year (60 years as reigning Queen) and next month is the 1 year anniversary of Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding. I have to admit, I did stay up/get up early last year to watch the royal wedding! A story I will for sure share with my girls, as William and Kate will most likely be the King and Queen of England during my girls lifetime. Not sure if these will be play time toys or something I'd like to give them to keep and collect. But hopefully something they will someday love! I don't know how in love Steve is that I'm already buying dolls to collect for our unborn girls, might need to start clearing some room in the storage unit :). Pre-orders for the set have already sold out, but Mattel will begin selling the sets on April 7, 2012.

Thursday
Mar082012

Then and Now: 154 4th Ave Brooklyn, NY

The New York Public library has an amazing digital gallery with tons of vintage New York City images. I really enjoy looking through them to see how the city has transformed over the past 100 years. Last summer I chose a few Brooklyn pictures and set out to see what the picture would look like today (2011).

This picture from the digital gallery is of 154 4th Ave Brooklyn circa 1936.

Before I set out to see the "today" picture, I checked out google street view (picture below). I was a little disappointed to see most of the building gone! But since it wasn't too far away, I decided to take a walk over and take a look. 

What a great surprise, when I went in July 2011 there was actually a new luxury condo building fully built into the missing section! How things have changed! I love that the section with the spiral top all the way to the right was preserved. It served as a nice landmark for me to use to make these then and now pictures. A piece of new nestled in with a piece of history. I should see if I can find out when the original building was built.

More then and now pictures to come! Have a spot in Brooklyn or New York you'd like to see a then and now picture comparison of? Let me know, I'll see if I can make it happen.

This is such a great project when researching your family history and have an exact address or town name....what was there when they lived here? There is a cool website aptly named What Was There where you can put in an address or city to see pictures of what was there! Pictures can be added by individuals or organizations looking to preserve the images of the past.

Friday
Mar022012

A Night Out on Broadway: Death of a Salesman 2012

I'm not a big theater goer and have only seen a handful of shows, but when an opportunity makes me branch out I'm all for it. Living in NY we are lucky to have some of the best shows right at our finger tips. Last night we were given tickets to check out Death of a Salesman and it was such a fantastic show! This revival of Arthur Miller's 1949 play is directed by Mike Nichols and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, Linda Edmond as Linda Loman, and Andrew Garfield as Biff Loman. The cast was fantastic! So emotionally charged!

I believe I read this play back in high school but don't recall much of the storyline. This might sound weird, but I enjoy reading books and watching movies that are more on the somber side, I enjoy a good emotional rollercoaster. This show was definitely a ride with many highs and low lows. Despite it's 70+ age, this story is one that I believe many people today can identify with. We are all struggling to achieve the American dream in a time where nothing is a sure thing anymore.

 

The show is being performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (W 47th Street between Broadway and 8th Ave). This classic theater was built in 1928 by Lee and J.J. Shubert for it's namesake actress Ethel Barrymore. The stage has been graced by legends such as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Marlon Brando. As we waited for the show to start, I tried to imagine what it might have been like to be there in the 1930's and 40's. How much where the tickets? What would people be wearing? What celebrities could be seen in the audience?  A game I love playing in New York City, so much history all around!

If given the opportunity, I recommend you check out this play. It's limited time engagement with showtimes only scheduled through the beginning of June. Click here to learn more! Are you a Broadway fan? I'd love to hear what your favorite shows and New York theaters are!

Tuesday
Feb072012

A Giant Family Tree: The Mara and Rooney Families

Congratulations to the NY Giants for their big superbowl win this past Sunday! I'm not a huge sports fan, but you gotta love it when your hometown team wins the championship. One thing that intrigued me was the family aspect of the Giants team. I found this famliy tree from the NY Daily News and it breaks down how the team has been passed down the Mara family tree from the original owner, Tim Mara. So interesting that the original owner's grandson, Chris Mara, and Art Rooney's granddaughter, Kathleen Rooney, married! Art Rooney had great respect for Tim Mara, even naming his son Tim after him. Take a peek at their tree to see the connections.