I had one thought when walking up to the Whitney Museum, to see the Jeff Koons’ retrospective. Thank God we were getting in via the corporate sponsor ticket line. That regular line snaked out the building and around the corner, and it was LONG. We only had to wait behind four people who were either members or also worked for corporate sponsors. The lesson here: if you aren’t either category, expect a long line.
The vacuum cleaner room
I learned a bit about Jeff Koons during my modern art history college classes, but after going through this four story retrospective, I realized just how little I actually knew. Get the free audio guide (you can listen to parts of it here) or take a tour. The signage is good too, but it’s nice having a little extra information. The retrospective covers 1978 to present, with 150 objects on display.
The inflatables room, with mirrors
The exhibit is broken up into sections based on his genre of work/time period. They were all quite different and diverse, and the way they organized it provides an excellent way to see his progression of art and what concepts he worked with at that time. The first section (The New) was the vacuum cleaner one – first picture on top. He was exploring the interaction between the viewer and the object, using only new vacuum cleaners that had the added anthropomorphic ability to express life/death, male/female (phallic bag/womb of suckage) etc. Not such an interesting gallery for us, I’ll say. Continue reading Review: Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney – Should you Bring Kids?
I’ve been a big fan of Kiva and have made microloans through it. Have you heard of Kiva? They coordinate loans of around a few thousand dollars to help individuals and those running very small businesses fund their business in one of 78 developing countries around the world. Your small loan of $25 or so is mixed with loans from other people, so that an entrepreneur in another country can do something like buy chickens to resell at market or buy auto parts for a small repair business. The repayment rates are extremely high – 98% – and you choose who you loan to. While the money is paid back, you funnel it into another loan after, so you don’t actually get repaid yourself. Kiva is a nonprofit.
I’ve been making microloans through Kiva, $25 at a time for a few years.
Kiva has a promotion right now for new lenders who make their first $25 Kiva loan during August through their Go Far campaign page. Do so and you’ll get two $25 promo codes by September 3, which you can use or share with others.
Please lend, and let me know who you helped fund!
One of the great things about being pregnant, at least for the nonpregnant partner, is always having a designated driver! I haven’t been pregnant in awhile, so when we go out we have to decide ahead of time who is driving. If you do plan on driving and are still having some alcohol, you need to pay attention to how much you’re drinking, what you’ve eaten and how you feel. However the more you drink, the less likely you are to be able to accurately measure your level of intoxication. Enter the Breathometer. (Read through the review for the Breathometer discount code)
I always assumed that breathalzyers were not something consumers could buy. But of course that’s changing, and there’s now a small breathalyzer that connects to smart phones and iPads, letting you know quickly what your BAC (blood alcohol content) is. And it’s fun to use.
I tried out the Breathometer, which was sent to me for a paid review. And it was some serious work to try out various scenarios, varying my alcohol intake (and my husband’s) to see how the machine worked. And you’re welcome for that. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.
When I told my friend Leah I was testing out the Breathometer, she said “wasn’t that on Shark Tank?” Yes it was! It was such a popular pitch that all 5 “sharks” got in on the deal and the product took off. Continue reading Review: Breathometer review – and discount code
My husband saw a Fuera Bruta show a few years back and has been telling me I’d love it. It’s a hard show to explain. It’s like a combination of performance art and Cirque du Soleil type acrobatics in the air (though not as technically difficult) but in a club atmosphere. The show goes on above you, to the side of you, behind you…you get the point.
When you enter the theater, the red lights are glowing like in a club, and you just stand there. You do not sit at all during the show, and the staff will move you around depending on what scene is coming up. They’ll use hand motions to move you. Just hang on to those in your party and back up or move to the side – whatever they tell you. It’s not the best place to go if you’re truly claustrophobic.
In case you’re wondering (I was), Fuerza Bruta Wayra means “brute force wind” and the show was founded in Argentina. The name does help explain why many of the show elements did include wind! The show has live music (mostly drumming) and singing, but no words other than the words of the main song, which basically sounds like a backdrop. There’s no storyline either. It’s like a series of vignettes. Of course you can interpret themes like man’s struggle against the movement of time, or various emotions, or entrapment or whatever you want. I’m not sure what’s behind it, but you can just stand there and enjoy it without reading too much into it. Continue reading Review: Fuerza Bruta Wayra NYC – Good for Kids?
I will admit that the main draw to me getting If/Then on Broadway tickets was to see/hear Idina Menzel perform. And the concept of the show interested me too – a look at one woman’s life depending on which choices she made. Like in the movie Sliding Doors.
The gist is that 38 year old Elizabeth moves back to New York City from Phoenix (my hometown – they had a few jokes at the city’s expense). She’s out of a relationship and looking for work. The show goes back and forth between two different scenarios: she takes a job as an urban planner or she takes a job as a professor. She hooks up with a stranger/soldier she meets in the park and gets married and has kids. Or she hooks up with her former best friend, has an abortion, loses him and lives a spinster life for a few years. Continue reading Review: If/Then on Broadway – Appropriate for Kids?
We love going to the shows at Discovery Times Square, and were excited about the world premier of Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., because it involves superheroes and was high tech.
In case you’re wondering (because I was), S.T.A.T.I.O.N. stands for Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network. I won’t be typing it out that way in the future. Too much!
The first thing you’ll do when you get there (aside from getting your tickets and checking your bags) is to go to a computer kiosk and print out an identification card. Don’t think too hard about this, because I’m not sure they actually use any of the information, other than pulling up your name once or twice in the exhibit (more later). My husband chose the name Thunderbutt Jones, just because. Also, while I put in my email address, I didn’t get any emails within one week – so not sure what that’s about. It’s good I’m not getting spam, but I thought I’d get some kind of results emailed to me.
Continue reading Review: Avengers at Discovery Times Square with Kids
I am super disappointed to miss the press preview of Zumanjaro Drop of Doom tomorrow at Six Flags Great Adventure. It opens to the public on Friday, and to season pass holders on Thursday. My kids are not going to forgive me for missing this one.
This is the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride, at 415 feet and 90 miles per hour. It’s 41.5 stories high, and is nestled into the middle of Kingda Ka (the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster). Eight riders go up for 30 seconds on three gondolas. The ride down is 10 seconds, and the gondolas descend together as well. In case your little ones are wondering if they can go, the minimum height requirement is 48 inches. And no, you can’t wear your mountable GoPro camera on it.
Zumanjaro Drop of Doom at Great Adventure is the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride.
Continue reading Zumanjaro Drop of Doom Opens at Six Flags Great Adventure
My family went to Philadelphia over our fall break (i.e. NJ Teachers Convention break) last November. It was a whirlwind of sightseeing and an awesome trip (I wrote a ton of posts on what to see in Philadelphia with kids here). But when a friend was organizing a girls’ weekend in May, I jumped at the chance. Though we had one overlap in activity (the Barnes Foundation), the entire weekend was a different experience than traveling there with kids, and even my visit to the Barnes was completely different.
My girls’ weekend group, after the evening tour at the Barnes Foundation followed by free cocktails
Coming from the Northern NJ area, people here don’t think about spending the weekend in Philadelphia, given that the much larger New York City is so close. But Philly is close too – and there is so much to do and see there that you can’t cover it all in a weekend – or in a weekend plus the November break. Here’s how we spent our almost-48 hours. Continue reading Weekend in Philly
It’s been about 15 years since I saw the Blue Man Group, at a theater in Chicago. I remember the drums and I remember the toilet paper. And I remember changing into my skirt in the front seat of the car ride from Wisconsin to Chicago. And I recalled that the Blue Men’s faces and hands were painted blue. That may have been true. Or perhaps they had some kind of rubbery skin covering like they do now.
—Want to win tickets? Details at the bottom.—-
Well, now I have kids. And Blue Man Group has been performing for 23 years at the same Astor Place Theater in New York City, plus a year at another NYC location, and a year performing as a street act. They have five permanent shows across the country (Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston), plus a touring group, plus a Norwegan ship show.
I know that not everyone who is blue looks the same, but I could not figure out how they could tell each other apart. They’re around the same size, all wearing the same thing, all covered in their blue skin. And they don’t talk. Or smile. Or laugh. Continue reading Review: Blue Man Group with Kids – Win Tickets
We chose the perfect day to go to Hurricane Harbor (albeit, a weekday might have been even better). It was warm, in the mid-80s, but not too hot. We hit no traffic on the way there (going home was a different story). We didn’t get sunburned! I didn’t leave with a headache from motion sickness. All in all, a great day at Hurricane Harbor, our first time at this water park.
The entry bridge to Hurricane Harbor. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.
If it weren’t for my husband’s contact lens emergency, we might have been shaved 15 minutes off our wait in the first line. Lesson learned: if you wear contact lenses to the park, bring a spare set AND a bottle of saline solution, neither of which my husband did. Continue reading Review: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in New Jersey