Before Sandy: Ocean City, Philadelphia, and New York City

Native American Masks in the American Natural History Museum

Our  interest and concern about what is happening on the East Coast right now compels me to share Barry and my great experiences this past summer when we were in many of those places hit by “FrankenMonster” Sandy.

In Ocean City, we visited with our friends, Tara, Mike, and Julia, and walked and biked along the boardwalk.  In Atlantic City, we checked out the boardwalk and the casinos.

From the Ocean City Boardwalk

Ocean City beach

We went into Philadelphia:

Tara in front of the Barnes Art Museum in Philadelphia.

Our friend Ellyn says she saw a fascinating documentary on the Barnes Collection this year (Netflix):

The Art of the Steal 2009NR101 minutes

“A gripping tale of intrigue and mystery in the art world, this film traces the history of the Barnes collection of Post-Impressionist paintings, which was worth billions and became the subject of a power struggle after the 1951 death of the owner. Dr. Albert Barnes collected 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos and many other valuable paintings. But the political wrangling over the collection eventually led to its division.”

Adam, Tara, & Mike: moving Adam out of his Drexel University house for the summer –back to Ocean City.

Museums, history, and friends

Liberty Bell reflection

Free (or Fighting) Quaker House, built 1783: unlike most Quakers, they  supported armed resistance following the Declaration of Independence.  Closed 1836, it’s now basically a philanthropic organization.

Arch Street Meeting House, built in 1804:  practicing  Quakers even now.

Four other signers of the Declaration of Independence and Benjamin Franklin are interred in the Christ Church Burial Ground.

Major David Salisbury Franks, highest ranking Jewish officer in the Continental Army (1740-1793).

Others have seemingly dubious backgrounds–Gerald J. Connelly Jr.: Seaman, Soldier,  Safecracker, (1927-1991)

Betsy Ross’ House

Elfreth’s Alley, homes of tradesmen since 1578; now a National Historic Landmark–and pricey real estate.

Philadelphia street art


Trendy shops

Street reflections

Near Philadelphia, we also caught up with Robbie, a friend I haven’t seen for 20 years, and her daughter Stella.

Then we headed on to New York City:

From the patio of our Canarsie apartment on Jamaica Bay –just a subway ride from the City.

Carnarsie, a community older than our nation, is a section of Brooklyn that the Native Americans sold first.  Now it’s the home to many immigrants–and a great place for Barry and me to spend a week.

Our Canarsie hosts from Panama

We enjoyed New York history, art, people, and nature:

Graves from the 1700s

Beautiful brownstones

Tiles done in memory of 9/11

N.Y. side street

Street art

New York is a great place to watch people:

In love


Lonely or content?

Involved and happy


On the move

Protesters in Washington Square

Barry and a graduate school friend in Washington Square

Feeding the pigeons

Sex workers were represented too.

Our biggest surprise was the red-tail hawk family living in Washington Square:

Red-tailed hawk chick  in Washington Square Park.

Cooling off in the Washington Square fountain

Dancer in the park

Fun to watch – and fun to do

42nd Street–people — and character watching supreme!

Hard Rock & Yoga –43rd Street

42nd Street buildings

“Street People”

The “Naked Cowboy”!

Halter tops & headscarves

Sikhs and housewives

A monk and his family

Barry with Broadway tickets!

Magic and slight-of-hand tricks on the street

Hey Dude!

Pedicabs and limos

Perhaps the best ride!

But –garbage  at  the curb!

Money, lights, chocolates!

Friendly N.Y.P.D.

Where’s Barry?  Live video at 42nd Street. (Hint: look in the upper left-hand corner).

Life swirls all around

Get your N.Y. pretzels right here!

We loved the American Museum of Natural History so much that we spent two days there.

Great dioramas.

Great Canoe from the American NW coast.


Native American baskets

We also saw the premiere of Kumaré.


 Filmmaker Vikram Gandhi, an American of Indian descent, acts the part of  wise swami Kumaré.  The film is entertaining and wise; its  message is that the only guru you need is the one inside yourself.  Although Kumaré tricked those who saw him as their guru, many of his followers took positive action to improve their lives.

On the left, the filmmaker and actor “Kumaré. ” The woman in the middle took responsibility for her own life – and lost over 100 pounds. She found out that although Kumaré wasn’t a guru,  he cared for her and got her to see what she should do for herself.  I came away from the film with my own list of five actions my guru within was telling me.

On our last stop before heading back west, we spent a weekend in the Hamptons with Barry’s friends.  (No, we weren’t invited to Romney’s fundraiser).

Hampton cottage.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by the storm.  We hope life returns to normal soon.

Aloha, Renée


Tags: , , ,

About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: