Saturday, February 2, 2008

Schools of Fish;
Queues of Russians

Our Saturday plans have changed over a dozen times before we left a house earlier this morning. I had asked Seth last Friday night whether he'd prefer going to NY Aquarium this weekend or making a trip to Lowe's with David and try to do some handy work around the house. Since Seth likes to fix broken things as much as I like to cook gourmet meals, the choice was obvious: On to the NY Aquarium!
On Saturday morning, Julia woke up screaming and a fever approaching 102. We decided that only Seth and David would make a trip to the Aquarium. However, as Seth was leaving the house, he suggested we all go since Julia's fever was down. Another 15 minutes later and all four of us were on our way to Brooklyn.
Once there, the kids were running from one fish tank to another as they both fed their curiosities. Julia didn't even exhibit any behavior of someone who had a relatively high fever two short hours prior.

David was in awe of the walruses, yet he wouldn't stop licking his lollipop.

To most, the step in front of the tanks offer a way for small children to view the residents in each exhibit, but Julia found another use; She'd climb onto it and then jump off. I have a feeling that this was the highlight of her experience today.

The kids saw all kind of water animals today: sharks, moon jelly fish, starfish, stingrays, penguins, eels, and even a small crocodile (among many other animals.)

We even caught a performance by sea lions which David enjoyed watching, even though his sister didn't seem to have much interest in it.

After a stop at the Aquarium's cafe for a quick lunch, it was time to say goodbye to all the fish and head back home --- or so I thought. Seth thought since we were so close to Brighton Beach (a.k.a. Little Russia,) I'd want to go food shopping in the area. A few minutes later and we were seeing Russian signs on every block.

I should mention that since I've come to US, I have never seen the lines for food as long as I saw today in Brighton beach. The sidewalks were so crowded that not was it almost impossible to walk, let along push a stroller, down the streets. Are the people so nostalgic for the old life that they bring their lifestyles to the new country?
So, instead of going straight to a Russian supermarket, we made a stop at a toy store. Ok, it was a Russian toy store and maybe that's why it was so much more appealing to me. That's when I felt nostalgia ... for my childhood. I saw so many familiar toys featuring characters that I grew up with. They even had a small section of Ukrainian books which most of them my kids already have. The store was divided into two big sections -- Russian and American. David ran right away to an American section that had an inventory of every musical toy imaginable.

As my kids entertained themselves in a store under Seth's supervision, I became a kid myself in the Russian section of the store. I was tempted to buy a lot of stuff, but I held back. Instead, we left without making a single purchase, pulling a screaming David away from a toy guitar (whose box he ripped opened.) One day, when I am a grandma and don't have to save for my kids' college education, I'll be doing nothing but shopping in a toy store!
Since I didn't have the patience to deal with the crowded stores, we ended up only buying lots of fruits and vegetables from outdoor markets.
Once back home, Julia's fever came back and she was hysterical. We realized she was teething and after applying an anbesol, she calmed down. I couldn't wait to put them to sleep tonight as neither one of them had napped and we had all ran around nonstop.
After putting the kids to sleep, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of baked ziti, garlic bread, salad and some wine. Afterwards, we were ready to call it a day.


Sadaf Trimarchi said...

Well, I have to say, this might be one of my favorite posts to date. It has all my key components - food, kiddlywinks, nostalgia, and of course Brooklyn references.

Now when we head into that neck of the woods, we're always tempted to make a detour down Coney Island Ave to hit the scary dive Pakistani storefront restaurants that serve it old school. We're talking styrofoam containers and not a pale face in sight. Punjabi Palace anyone? I usually send Jeff in there for a take out order just to shake things up a bit.

Our kiddos love the aquarium too. glad you had a good weekend!


Jujuro said...

I am trying to locate this Russian Toy store called "Children's World" in Brighton Beach to find the russian never fall doll that I read about in the following article:

Do you have any clue of this toy store's address/contact? I have been trying to contact the article's reporter but didn't get any reply.

Thanks for your help!