Friday, February 21, 2014

Rocking and NOT Rolling in NYC

Went to NYC last weekend for the Youth Bike Summit 2014. It was awesome. These young people have such energy and drive to make the world around them a better place, not just for themselves and their neighborhoods, but for the future of the planet!

I went with the Phoenix Bikes crew. They're a non-profit earn-a-bike program that I've been working with to get ideas of how to start one in our neck of the woods. The kids are awesome and the quasi-adults who traveled with us were amazing. I say quasi because ... well, keep reading.

Friday evening the kids were making signs for the procession on Saturday. Lots of paint, lots of 'get to know you'.

In plaid shirt, one quasi-adult, Stephen. He's close enough to them in age that he's very silly with them but still (ahem) responsible.

In the red shirt, Edoardo.  Same status as Stephen.  So why quasi?

Well, on Sunday when my friend Amy was traveling upstairs via elevator to the conference site, she heard singing in the elevator shaft. Turns out that some people were stuck in a different elevator. They were bored so they were singing.  Turns out they had done the "everybody jump" at the same time thing and stopped the elevator.  Turns out they were from Phoenix.  Turns out both Stephen and Edoardo were part of it. HA HA

On Saturday morning we listened to a keynote speaker or two and then had to move the entire Summit to a different building for the breakout sessions. This being NY, we had to make a procession of it!  So, lead by Batala (a women's drumming group) and holding our signs from the night before, we went 3 blocks to the second site. This was probably my favorite moment. Here we were, tourists, in a procession, and tourists were filming us as "typical NY" behavior. SO much fun!

This is one of the most important things I gleaned from the breakouts. These are some rules the youth have come up with at one of the bike clubs for the ADULTS to observe.

And on Sunday, instead of going to the last session, I visited with my husband's cousin and had a great time. They didn't really know each growing up, so it's fun to meet her -- it's like family, only none of the emotional stuff, but closer than an interesting stranger!

Here we are -- a selfie at the East River.  It was BRUTAL cold!

Good times. And why NOT rolling?  We took our helmets so we could try the Citibikes but the bike lanes were covered with snow and slush so we passed.  No rolling...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Checking In

Been very busy!

Last week I went to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. They have a conservation lab there where you can make an appointment for them to look at a painting or drawing you own and they make suggestions on what you might want to do to preserve it.  I took a painting that we inherited from my in-laws.  It had lived in a house with smokers for many years, so I wasn't sure whether the yellowing would be cleanable.  Good news!  It is!  Bad news -- they don't do it there.  Sigh.  They did give me a list of restorers/cleaners though.

Since we were down there anyway, we spent the day and saw some of the exhibits in the museum. I nodded at one of the guards and spoke briefly sort of acknowledging his presence instead of ignoring him. Well, that started him talking and he was really interesting. He came from Sierra Leone and has lived a life time in his 50 some years. He believes they need the British to come back and run Africa because, "it's been no good since they left." I'd imagine that isn't a popular idea back in Sierra Leone. Perhaps that's why he's working in America.

At any rate, America, America, God shed His grace on thee...I don't know why He would when we've kicked Him out of everything. But at any rate, we're still plugging along and this exhibit at the museum shows it!

Did you figure it out?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rainy Days & Mondays

They don't always get me down, and today in fact, I'm just as happy with a rainy, soggy morning that I don't have to go out.

I rode my bike yesterday for the first time since Christmas. It was in the 50's.  I had nursery duty at church and the kids don't care if you're sweaty, so I rode over there.  Afterwards, I had a meeting on that side of the highway, so I stayed that direction and rode around some.

This morning I got ready to get out of bed and OW -- my right hip is NOT happy.  I used my old bike, and it's heavy, and it is not a step-through so I think I just insulted muscles not used recently.

So, I'm taking care of business by computer. And lots of business to take care of!  We have a Mini Maker Faire coming up in March and I'm on the planning board. I'm technically the volunteer coordinator, but we all sort of bleed all over the organizing duties to help. The Faire is going to be so much fun.  You can read more about it here:

If you have a maker faire anywhere near you -- within 100 miles -- GO.  They are so much fun!  They're an opportunity to let your inner child do that creative thing with other people. They are not competitive, but collaborative.

The Makers who have applied range from exhibits on robotics, arduino, fiber arts, jewelry making, drones, laser cutting, 3D printing, sustainable food folks, etc! And of course, we'll have some bike action with bike blenders making smoothies and bike bling, an exhibit at which faire goers will help us put rhinestones on an old bike to make it flashy -- it will eventually be donated to Phoenix Bikes for auction.

So, a parting photo from yesterday:

"I told you we should have headed south!"