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Archive for the ‘Queens Life’ Category

Well here’s what’s been going on here: we had a dusting of snow that lasted for all of a couple of hours and then melted away as rain within the same day.  It was pretty enough to photograph but didn’t linger long enough to turn into snowmen.  My Jewish kids were once again tapped for their acting skills – as Zoe played the Grinch in the school play just as her brother did 3 years ago.  I’m glad the school hung on to that backdrop that I made all those years ago!  This year was spruced up with a sled made from the janitor’s cart – it was Zoe’s favorite scene, riding in that thing.  We got to squeeze in a kid-version mash up of Swan Lake and Nutcracker called ‘Ballerina Swan‘.  Zoe loves posing with the dancers!

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Zoe’s classmates from front left: Haitia, Isabella, Grace and Annissa

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Well it was time again for the ‘Trotto Holiday roundup’ as we’ve done in years past.  My kids got gifts in Chanukah wrap paper and their cousins decked out in red and green and tore open gifts in Santa paper.  The food was delicious and the company was great.  And our newest addition to it all – Angelo – was surprisingly chill for a tiny guy at the table.  He even tried to keep up to conversation.

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gift pile growing

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cousins with the same refusal to get a hair cut

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thanks Aunt Semi for the cool photo disguises!

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little Angelo gets in on the action there to the far right

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is pretty fabulously diverse. It’s why we moved here. It’s why we raise our kids here.

That’s Ezra to the right in a photo taken by his dad (below). His last school – and most of our neighborhood – is predominantly Spanish speaking or Asian/South East Asian and Bangladeshi, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese.

My in laws joke that if they want to travel the world, all they have to do is come and visit us.

We all live on top of each other with the same goals: love our kids, stay well, help our kids thrive. When I travelled to India and South East Asia that was my takeaway – we all seem culturally different but we really have so much in common.
And kids in Ezra and Zoe’s classes are hungry for knowledge .. future doctors and lawyers and teachers. The gratefulness for opportunity is palpable – when you cross a border or an ocean to do something new for yourself you don’t sit around waiting for opportunity. You find it and take it. It’s a great vibe to be around.

Recently everyone’s been seeming and feeling a little scared, even if here legally. It’s ironic to me that the President elect is from Queens. I think he’s lost touch with his origins – but then realize that I’m assuming something that younger New Yorkers experience. Maybe he grew up in Queens when Archie Bunker’s character was developed? See here.

It never occurred to me that having my kids in a dual-language Spanish speaking program (or that our neighbors have their kids learning Chinese) would be an ‘elitist’ endeavor. I thought growing globally was a ‘looking toward the future’ thing that we were all on board with. It’s ironic how you perceive ‘success in the future’ as one thing, and then it can in theory shift so quickly. I can’t imagine now that we know how to access global information so readily, we would want to shut it out so thoroughly. But only time will tell.

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and scenes from Zoe’s Multicultural Day Celebrations at school:
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It was a crazy busy week last week of movie premiers and parent/teacher conferences. We ran off to a friend’s house in the country to enjoy the foliage but it was covered with snow by Sunday! Here are some snaps from IG of some of the highlights :

met Anthony Bourdain while at a peaceful protest in our hood!

met Anthony Bourdain while at a peaceful protest in our hood!

checked out the new movie 'Fantastic Beasts'

checked out the new movie ‘Fantastic Beasts’

so warm outside on Saturday..

so warm outside on Saturday..

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suddenly crazy snowy by Sunday!

suddenly crazy snowy by Sunday!

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We had some tombstones and skeletons that we bought at the store (as well as last year’s fuzzy spider) and sadly they all got swiped from our front lawn a week ago! Enter: the challenge to make some decorations that would live INSIDE our house and away from the elements (and sticky fingers). Zoe and Ezra made bats out of paper and a ghost to hang from the tree, and I made some big eyes to look down at potential thieves. It was fun getting some time to do things from scratch – like trying our hands at carving pumpkins. E and Z’s dad is the pro at instructing us on this .. Look how proud these little artist are! And roasting the seeds at the end is the best reward.

the objects that disappeared from our lawn!

the objects before they disappeared from our lawn!

our more creative option to keeping the decorations inside

our more creative option to keeping the decorations inside

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so proud

so proud

roasted with salt, brown sugar, and curry powder!

roasted with salt, brown sugar, and curry powder!

Rocky and Unicorn enjoy the decorations before moving out to get candy - photo by gregkesslerphoto.com

Rocky and Unicorn enjoy the decorations before moving out to get candy – photo by gregkesslerphoto.com

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Since we have only a limited amount of time after school and work today (Monday) we decided to have a Halloween ‘carnival’ of sorts in our alley for the kids.  As it turned out the weather was amazing and cooperated until about dinner time, when the skies opened up and rain drove us all indoors.  Our house provided a bean bag toss (like this easy one to make), and there was a Diwali station where kids could henna their hands.  We created a photo booth, and other neighbors set out chalk stations, apple bobbing, karaoke and ‘Boo-sket ball’ hoop.  In each station, kids could earn a ticket (or many) for participating and scoring.  At the end of the alley tickets could be cashed in for treats – including berries, pretzels and access to the chocolate fountain!

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since the Indian festival of lights is happening now as well, a neighbor created a station where hands were henna’d

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the chocolate bar has treats for tickets

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‘Rocky’ is ready for Halloween

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Zoe as a unicorn!

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Another first week of school is starting, and these 2 look happy in the photos but are really having a hard time with getting back to the grind.  We had such a great summer of lying about in the heat and reading, or jumping into city pools, tending the garden and eating from the garden.  Summer is just too dang short really – if I could home school them I would.  They are just that enjoyable to be around.

photos by their dad

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