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Boo at the Zoo..

Some other fun Halloween activities that we were partaking in last week:  some ‘Boo at the Zoo’ at the Bronx Zoo was one of many things we did.    Ezra has been receiving some school vouchers as a middle schooler – from Urban Advantage – a really cool way that kids can get credit in class for joining in learning sessions at gardens, zoos and museums around the city.  Yet another great reason to get out and enjoy all that the city offers!

There was an amazing docent at the gorilla house at Bronx Zoo who filled us in on how these animals are rescued and reintroduced to the wild.  The whole session actually made Ezra and Zoe (zoo skeptics who assume all the animals are cruelly caged up) rethink their disdain of zoos.  This particular zoo is now heavily guided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, and really strives to keep animals in their most naturally seeming habitats – putting animals that would really exist together in the same large ‘spaces’ instead of in cages.  Ezra got super close to a baby gorilla and pretty much fell in love. It’s inspiring to see this zoo model!  And it didn’t hurt to have magic shows and halloween costumes in the mix either.

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Halloween week

Remember our friends, the fun Marten family who treated us to some ‘glamping’? Well they put on a super fun Halloween party at their home – with a magician, aerialist, and amazing food! And of course their family and friends are always fun as well.  After that, we felt the urge to decorate our own front door and as always – E and Z’s dad got some great annual Halloween costume portraits .. have a great weekend everyone!

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zoe hangs with a skeletal pianist

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Ms Marten has her own little Dorothy too!

 

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I love the juice boxes wrapped as mummies and infusion bags of frozen red punch

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yes, they had an aerialist at the party!

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mozzarella and olive ‘eyes’

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and then days later at our own home before Halloween night…

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Austin Powers, yeah baby!

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And Dorothy with basket of Toto (Louie was too tired for the role)

Last weekend our synagogue took part in a ‘place of worship crawl’ of sorts… where we walked around the neighborhood and explored a number of different churches and temples all in a 10 block radius.  Rumor has it that Flushing Queens boasts up to 200 different places of worship – synagogues, Catholic and Methodist churches and Buddhist temples, Shinto temples.  At the end of our trip we got to go to the Flushing Quaker Meeting House – built in 1694!  Of course it’s chalk full of ghost stories and best of all, it seems to be the first site of religious freedom in America.  Its first members created a remonstrance to be accepted in Peter Stuyvesant‘s rigid idea of what New York/America should worship.  See the actual remonstrance here!

(to add: this is called the ‘Interfaith Unity Walk‘ and it happens twice a year in Queens.  I should also add that I did something like this with my mom when I was about 11 years old and it was really moving then, as it is now – how much we all have in common despite differing religions)

 

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Ah to be by the sea… only this time we were “virtually” IN THE OCEAN via the magic of VDR and other cool affects at the National Geographic Ocean show.  I have to admit, I thought this show at the NY Hall of Science was slicker as we felt like it was wayyyyy more interactive than this Nat Goe show.  But the VR movie at the end is amazing .. when we got swallowed by a whale! IMG_9820

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down the escalator into the sea

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playing with virtual sea lions

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The VR movie of being eaten by a whale was the best!

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Ezra enjoys some Nat Geo reads

Zoe’s mad talent…

This little lady and her crazy upper body strength … she’s gone from gymnastics to rock climbing effortlessly!  I love her drive to get higher than anyone else.  Go Zo!

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Ezra rocking it!

Ezra’s band the E3s got a gig with the John Lennon Bus event, with Bootsy Collins as the MC!  The kids practiced so hard, and did so well on such a big stage in front of a very impressed audience!  It’s so nice that Ezra’s love of drums kind of started at the Lennon Bus event at school, and now he and his band were able to offer up some talent! To see the shows, check out the links at the bottom of this page:

(top 4 pix by Greg Kessler)

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the band with their teacher

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on a really big stage!

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even Louie was inspired by Bootsy

Lucy in in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles:

Holiday by Green Day:

Army by Ben Folds Five:

Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones:

I am a Walrus by the Beatles:

Hello October

I do love this crazy, orange month with it’s hot and cold flashes and … hopefully… some changing leaf foliage soon.  We’ve been building a sukkah at our synagogue and enjoying the last of the Jewish New Year holidays and atoning.  Our synagogue is in Flushing Queens, surrounded by Chinatown which – as it turns out – Chinese Harvest Festival is going on at the same time as Sukkot.  And if you haven’t seen all the crazy Halloween costumes on social media lately, you must stop in at Target to try them on.  Zoe can’t get enough of dress up:

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Chinese Harvest Festival – dancers at the Flushing Queens MallIMG_9753

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