10 September 2009

End of Summer

Ah, summer. Did you really come and go so quickly? I don't want to let you go yet. I want to take another early morning walk through Sugar House and reminisce about when you could slide into a vinyl booth at Snelgroves and spoon up a delicious ice cream treat.

I want to be ferried across False Creek in a tiny boat to enjoy the bounty of fresh produce and local art on Granville Island.

Then I want to return to that little shack tucked into a corner of the dock where they prepare fresh fish purchased just moments ago. Waiting 45 minutes in the blistering sun? Completely worth it.

And finally, I want to retreat to the 3rd-floor suite in a renovated Victorian house and leave the door ajar as I listen to the pitter-patter of rain drops and feel the static in the air as an elctrifying summer storm sweeps across the sky.

Can we do it again next year?

03 September 2009

Summer Retrospective: Part II

In a recent article, Pico Ayer wrote that "visiting a new town is like having a conversation." If you leave your assumptions at home, you can hear whatever your destination is trying to say to you.

In June, I had the opportunity to continue a conversation that I first started four years ago in Sicily. And two years ago I revived that conversation in New York City as I retraced my great-grandparents journey through Ellis Island. This time the city lead me to the Tenement Museum:

In a partially renovated 6-story walk-up, you can participate in a small group tour that will introduce you to some of the families that lived at 97 Orchard Street. It was built in 1863, and almost 7,000 working class immigrants called it home before moving on to other enclaves in the city and around the country.

Tenement Museum

I think the next time I rejoin this conversation, it will be in the small coal mining towns of western Pennsylvania.