Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Play Date In Central Park {New York City}

One gloomy autumn afternoon, we planned a last-minute Halloween play date.  My daughter and negotiated the terms of the event, and we worked hard and fast to pull everything together.  She had everything planned from the venue and activities to the goody bags and dinner menu.  I love my little party planning girl.

My mom sent these amazing Rest In Peace Halloween pillowcases from Love Mom that served both as our craft and then got wrapped up and put in the goody bags (genius!)

After our coloring activity, the girls got dressed up as fairies with wings (from the Target $1 section earlier this year), stickers and glitter tattoos too.  My son and his little buddy had black spider web masks to wear, but I'm sure they would have preferred wings. 

We started out at the same location we had our Easter Egg hunt earlier this year, and then due to the wet ground and little boys wanting to do nothing but play in the water and mud, we had a venue change up to the North Meadow just before dinner.  E's menu consisted of the following: bagels, pirate's booty, apples, white and yellow cheese, and juice boxes.  Done. 

After we ate, E helped me put the pumpkins and goody bags around the giant tree stump, and everyone got to choose a pumpkin and find a goody bag before gathering for cupcakes and goodbyes.   We were going to decorate the pumpkins with paint markers, but unfortunately it got dark really early on this stormy autumn day, so we called it a day and headed home after cupcakes. 

We were so fortunate to have pulled off this little event before the hurricane hit, especially since most of the Halloween-related activities were cancelled here in NYC.  

Hope you all have a wonderful, safe, Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Metropolitan Museum of Art Islamic Galleries {New York City}

The new Islamic art galleries at the MET are absolutely breathtaking.  I wasn't familiar with the art and architecture from this part of the world until I was a senior at university and took a course in Islamic Art and Architecture.  I was absolutely blown away, and if I wouldn't have been graduating in three months and headed to grad school, I would have changed my major and gone back to start over from scratch, learned Arabic (or tried to), and studied Islamic Art and Architecure. It was eye-opening and completely changed my perspectives on the origins of art as I knew them.

The new galleries for the art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia are truly incredible, and is a must-see for anyone visiting the MET.  They have even a small replica of a portion of the Alhambra, in Granada, Spain which is just too beautiful for words.

I have always been particularly drawn to the calligraphy and symbolic shapes and colors seen in the art and architecture of Islam.  Even my four year old noticed the beautiful, bright blue hues seen throughout the galleries, which is thought to be a color that provides protection and wards off evil (try teaching a 4 year-old the word apotropaic. Comical indeed.).  The curators at the MET have done a masterful job of creating a unique experience that helps you feel and understand the art.

You can learn a lot about a culture by looking at its art. If you have never been exposed to the art of Islam before, this incredible, beautiful art is about to teach you something new.