Weekly Link Love

by Esha Samajpati on July 17, 2014

Marblehead, MA. Photo by Esha Samajpati © All rights reserved

I should do this link love sort of posts more often. There’s so much fun stuff I want to share, and talk about.

First off, let me start by saying I do not like zoos. Most people will beat around the bush and tell you how it’s great for the animals because they are safe and cared for before they express their discomfort with it. That’s because nobody wants to come off as crazy. But here’s the thing – keeping a brown bear confined for life is crazy. The person who wants to let it roam free? Not so much. The point I am trying to make is plain and simple – we should not keep any living being captive for our own enjoyment. Period.

But I also know that as a parent to a preschooler there will soon come a time when I will have to give in. Sigh. Anyway, I thought the least I can do is share this beautifully written piece by By Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The Case for the End of the Modern Zoo.

On a lighter note, hey, what do you like to nibble on while you work? If it’s in the morning, I need my cup of coffee but at night I go all out on a bag of buttery Pop-Secret and a glass of Chardonnay (usually Beringer). Here’s a look at a handful of famous writers and their favorite snacks. Kafka wrote all that on milk, really?

If you are a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, watch him drive a bus here.

I may be a little late on this one, but what I am reading these days is The Family Dinner by Laurie David. It was released back in 2010, and since then, she has published and produced more wonderful stuff, but if you, like me, haven’t yet read it, this is your chance. It’s about the importance of sitting down to eat as a family at least one meal per day. And as for the recipes, Gary Stuber’s bean tacos have become a staple for our Taco Tuesdays.

And, last but not the least, this is something that never fails to make me smile.

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A Day at Norwalk’s Stepping Stone Museum

by Esha Samajpati on July 11, 2014

Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. Photos by Esha Samajpati © All rights reserved

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of Norwalk, you must have heard about the children’s museum called Stepping Stones. Parents love the place. One woman told me they got a membership for their 18-month old son. For what else to do during the infamous Connecticut winters? She then went on to praise the staff and the place in general. After spending a day at the museum, I agree with her. And if we lived any closer, I would snatch that membership up.

Our son refers to it as “the stones” and sometimes, as “the fairy tale.” So the stones is a fun place. It has colorful balls and water and slides and buses for tiny tots. And educational exhibits for everyone. When done right, the world of fun collides with that of learning, and your preschooler gets a hands-on idea of wind energy.

The museum has ample space, a nice outdoor play area, a family room for changing, and enough exhibits to last a day. The only corner that didn’t live up to our expectations is the cafeteria. While the service is excellent, the food is not.

After we were done driving and painting and splashing and building and drumming, we came to the multimedia room where my son’s favorite book The Very Hungry Caterpillar showed up on the big screen. The book was read, butterflies were chased, and lessons were imparted on the life and likes of bugs. I don’t know about you, but bugs are held in high esteem in our house. They are often studied closely. Them bugs and anything to do with water and balls get good rating with us. Now you know why we liked the stones so much and the energy lab twice as much.

As that wise mom pointed out, this is a great place for kids in winter, but I wouldn’t pass it up on summer either. Beats a crowded beach, it does.

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The Summer of 2014. So Far.

by Esha Samajpati on July 2, 2014

First trip of Summer. Cape Ann, MA. Photo by Esha Samajpati © All rights reserved

Summer is the most looked-forward-to of the four seasons. Notwithstanding the flies on the beach, the sand in your ketchup, the sudden sunburn, the ticks, the other bugs, onset of allergies, and crowds everywhere. So what is it that makes New England summers so coveted? Is it the buttery lobster rolls or the deep green of the leaves which seem to have wiped off all signs of a long, white winter?

For me, the best part of summer is not having to switch on the headlight or the porch light till the clock strikes eight. I like walking in the park sans headphones, taking in the chirping of birds and the odd squeak of a truant rodent. Winter is cold, and still. Summer is full of life.

One would think that our trip to Cape Ann is the highlight of this summer. Seeing as it’s the only long trip we have taken so far. But that’s not it.

For us, this summer has been about presenting the outside world to our two and a half year old. In all its bug-ridden dirt-splashed glory.

Together we saw tadpoles swimming in a nearby pond, we met a black and red caterpillar, picked up rocks and sticks from the park, gave them names according to their shapes, “climbed” a boulder, counted trees, and bubbles, said hello to a frog, shook paws with numerous dogs, biked along deserted train tracks, and found that we liked to sit on the grass after all. Yes, prickly, crunchy grass is fine, and so are the bugs that crawl in it.

Things that we are yet to do this summer – go berry picking, find a good splash pad, or a nice swimming hole, and take an easy child-friendly hike.

All in good time. For the leaves are still green and pumpkin flavored beverages look like a distant dream.

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Pic(k) of the Week – Sunset at Chandler Hovey Park

by Esha Samajpati on June 23, 2014

Sunset at Chandler Hovey Park in Marblehead, MA. Photo by Esha Samajpati © All rights reserved

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Eastern Point Lighthouse – Gloucester Harbor, MA

June 16, 2014

Tweet Why not live in a lighthouse I say. Except for the occasional gale unleashing fierce waves at your doorstep and the dreary winter leaving a coat of treacherous ice on the rocks in your yard, it is rather nice, isn’t it? There’s a certain sense of adventure that is effortlessly and rightly associated with [...]

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Marblehead Neck in Massachusetts

June 9, 2014

Tweet Why would anyone drive through the other-worldly charm of Salem, into the town of Marblehead, and go all the way to the end of Follett Street? Well, they could do it to catch a glorious sunset. Best seat in the house, I have been told. And after going there on a particularly cold and [...]

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Cape Ann – The Other Cape

May 29, 2014

Tweet What was once a little-known cluster of beaches and pretty beach-side houses is now a magnet for tourists, whale watchers and sun-bathers. We chose Memorial Day weekend for a quick beach getaway to Cape Ann, in Northeastern Massachusetts. It must be something like six years since we have been to this rocky shore and [...]

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A Date with Serenity

May 14, 2014

Tweet We visited Mauch Chunk Lake Park in Jim Thorpe when there was still a nip in the air, which means we had the beach to ourselves. Not that I am complaining. Solitude is bliss. Especially when you are on a beach in the middle of Pennsylvania’s Carbon County. Popular in summer, desolate on a [...]

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Biking Along the Lehigh River – Jim Thorpe PA

May 8, 2014

Tweet Jim Thorpe in Pennsylvania’s Carbon County is named after a legendary athlete who had never set foot in it. Nowadays it is a place that attracts bikers, hikers, rafters, rail buffs, and architecture enthusiasts. We were there to test the whole new world of biking-with-toddler-in-tow. We rented what seemed like the safest option for [...]

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Solitude. Another name for rural Pennsylvania.

May 3, 2014

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