Tag Archives: new york

A Quiet Friday Morning with a Book

Here’s our lad quietly reading his New York book as Mommy and Daddy go about the morning routine of getting him dressed and ready for school.

Of course, Nyan being Nyan, halfway through he demands to see the picture on the back of the camera. “Look. Loooook!”

And later he explains that he “wants to go to New York in a book.” Which, come to think of it, is exactly what he was doing. Smart kid.

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Posted by on November 2, 2013 in Video


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Today’s photos: Nyan Thomas’ first art gallery

On Friday evening, we headed to an art gallery featuring some great photographs of Karen freedom fighters, in the mountains of southeast Burma. We met some great people, including some fellow Burmese, and Nyan Thomas made friends with, well, just about everyone, including Luke, who is about 8 years old and was totally enamored with the little man. His mom told us later that as she was putting down to bed that night, “he expressed the desire to have a little brother like [Nyan]. He was really taken by his sweetness. Good job, mama and papa!” Aww, thanks! We try our best.

Some pictures from the event:

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Photos



Merry-go-round (with video and pics)

To celebrate Nyan Thomas’s return to New York, I took the day off on Monday and we all headed down to DUMBO, the cool cobblestoned neighborhood down along the river, underneath the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Last fall they opened up a merry-go-round – a restored carousel first built in the 1930s, and one of the few (if not the only) carousels listed on the National Register of Historical Things. Some photos, and a video, of our afternoon (click on photos to enlarge):

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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Photos, Video


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Dragon in Chinatown

The other day, we had an appointment near Chinatown in Manhattan, so I left work for a bit while Beatrice and Nyan came in from Brooklyn. Afterwards, I headed back to work while they strolled through the city and came across some sort of dragon parade. (I must confess that I’m not at all sure of the meaning or significance, but it looks pretty cool nonetheless). Some pics from the scene:


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Posted by on March 4, 2012 in Photos



Dim Sum!

Earlier this week, we rented a car and headed down to Chinatown in Brooklyn for a midweek midday dim sum feast. We found this sprawling banquet hall of a restaurant that was jam packed with Asian families munching on their dim sum. The food was good, and your humble blogger’s dining companions were, of course, top notch.

Our boy enjoyed the stimulation – so many new smells, sounds, and people to see and charm!

Of course, his new thing is to have his fingers in his mouth at all times…

So daddy decided – for better or for worse – that two can play that game:

It was a touch chilly out, so we bundled him up before we strapped him into the stroller. The kid was happy to vamp for the camera, too…

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Photos



Today’s photos: Nyan’s big weekend

It was a big weekend for young Nyan Thomas, with lots of visitors, activities and fun. (Yes, it messed up his sleeping schedule a wee bit, which led to him being wide awake at 4am this morning… his parents were not crazy about that, but it was still a fun weekend…)

First off, he got to meet Aunt Jill, Uncle Phil and the Dunn cousins, all visiting from Chicago for the weekend. Here he is having dim sum with Jill:

And on Saturday afternoon, Grandma L. arrived! She’s here til Thursday and has been having loads of fun with her grandson.

We all went to the 9/11 memorial too. Nyan spent the whole time strapped in to the baby backpack thingie hanging from my chest and napping.

And that, of course, meant another subway ride for the young man:

And there was plenty of hanging out time at home, too, with piggyback rides…

and admiring the baby in the mirror…

and trying out the sound-blocking headphones we got him for his upcoming plane ride. Quite possibly the best picture of young Nyan yet:

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Photos


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The ‘NY’ in ‘Nyan’ doesn’t stand for New Yorker…

… but you may be forgiven for thinking so after you learn how quickly the young man took to the New York subway system…

Last Sunday, Beatrice was meeting a friend in Manhattan for a late lunch. I just assumed she’d leave Nyan with me – give us boys an afternoon of bonding over, I dunno, football and other manly type things. But as she was getting ready to leave, she asked, “Should I take Nyan?”

We just sorta stared at each other, pondering, the question hanging in the air. You see, he hadn’t yet been on the subway, period. No real reason, other than perhaps us being protective (overprotective?). We worried a bit about the germs, but mostly about the cacophony of clanging and banging that comes with the trains. Would it freak him out?

After a few seconds of pondering the question, we both agreed that it was time to give it a try: time for Nyan to ride the rails. We loaded him into the Baby Bjorn, packed the diaper bag full of diapers, bottles and other goodies, and off they went.

Did he fuss? Did he freak out at the noise? Did he cry the entire time?

Let this picture speak a thousand words:

No, dear reader, he did not mind one bit. Well, that’s not entirely true: at first, he was indeed fussy. But, Beatrice quickly realized, that’s because she had loaded him in to the Baby Bjorn facing her – thinking he would want the security and comfort of being nestled very close to his mommy. Nope, not our boy. He wanted to see what was going on! So she flipped him around in the carrier and he spent the entire ride looking around the train car, making faces at the other passengers, and generally charming everyone.* Beatrice took a couple of self-portrait pictures, but was having trouble with it, so a lady across the way offered to take some snaps.

After seeing how relaxed he was on the subway, I think it’s fair to say that our boy is becoming more of a New Yorker with every passing day, for better or for worse. (Really, though, as long as we can keep him from growing up a Knicks fan, it’s all good, I say.)

* This being New York, of course, some people were immune to his considerable charms. Like a lady sitting a few feet away who saw Nyan and snorted, then said derisively to her friend (though of course loud enough for Beatrice to hear): “Humph! I would never take my baby on the subway. Think of how dirty it is!” Yeah, yeah – stuff it, lady. Our boy needs to see the world, and that starts with Manhattan and the N train on a Sunday afternoon.

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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Photos


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Hey Kool Thing

Nyan Thomas got his first pair of sunglasses this past (very sunny) Sunday:

(Click on the photos to enlarge.)

His new shades are a bit big, but he rocks them well, we’d say. Passers-by on the street tend to agree.

As you can see from this picture, taken a few minutes before we went sunglass shopping, the poor little guy needed some respite from the glare:

And oh yes, this was also his first time as spectator at the New York City Marathon, which rumbles up Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue, about fifty feet from our apartment. Mom, Dad and Nyan came out to cheer on the runners.

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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Photos



A Bunch of Firsts for Nyan

Our boy got several firsts last weekend. His first road trip. His first sight of snow. His first visit to a Burmese Buddhist temple in New Jersey. Okay, on that last one, it was a first for his mom and his dad as well.

We’d been wanting to visit this temple for a while now. It was founded by some Burmese immigrants, and features a stupa that’s modeled after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma. That one is several hundred feet tall, and is said to house, somewhere in its base, six hairs plucked from the head of the original Buddha himself. The one in Jersey doesn’t quite have that. It’s only, perhaps, 50 feet tall, if that, and it’s surrounded by McMansions and New Jersey. But it’s a beautiful structure, and the attached temple serves a noble purpose. It was a great place for a quick road trip.

Last Saturday, New York and much of the East Coast got blasted by a rather nasty, wet, slushy, icy, snowy – and early! – storm. In Brooklyn, we got a full day’s worth of cold rain, sleet and really heavy snow that snapped some tree branches, caused plenty of localized flooding on the roads, and generally made for a wet mucky day. (Really looking forward to winter!) Sunday, though, came bright and clear, although cold, and by midday most of the snow and slush had melted away. So we picked up a rental car, strapped Nyan into his car seat and his car seat into the backseat, and headed south – down the BQE, across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, through Staten Island, and into the quasi-rural setting of Central New Jersey.

It was actually only about an hour’s drive, and that included the slow bits through Brooklyn before we got on the expressway. Definitely a world away; lots of freeways and tollways, strip malls, McMansions, even open farmland. Felt like we were in the opening credits of The Sopranos. We found the temple pretty easily, and pulled in to a muddy parking lot.

We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, and it took us a few minutes to figure out the lay of the land. The stupa itself was obvious. And there was a long, narrow two-story building under construction and a small wood-frame two-story house. Nothing that said ‘temple’ to us… but we walked around to the back of the house, slopped through the muddy back yard, and walked in. Sure enough, this was the temple – at least until the under-construction temple/community center is done – and it’s a working temple, with Burmese Buddhist monks and an abbot overseeing them. It’s also a community center, and we had to pass through a small kitchen packed full of Burmese women cooking Burmese food. They of course offered us some; we declined, out of politeness mostly, I’d say.

It wasn’t hard, in this small house, to find the front room, which serves as the main room of the temple. We hung out here for a bit, bowing before the small statue of Buddha, reading about the history of the temple, making a donation to help with the construction. The temple’s monks, it turned out, where in prayer downstairs, and would be for a while, which put a crimp in our plans to have Nyan blessed by the abbot. But that’s alright. We did have a brief conversation with one monk who passed though, and who took the boy into his arms. Nyan, being Nyan, pretty much charmed him. And then, as soon as the monk handed Nyan back to us, he started fussing. Nyan, that is, not the monk. (Nyan had been so good on the drive over, napping or just sitting there quietly.) We’ve learned that sometimes when he’s fussing for no good reason, a change of scenery, or just some movement, will do the trick. So we gave some cash as a donation to help the construction of the community center outside, slipped back into our coast and shoes and headed out to the stupa.

It’s an impressive structure, a tall column of white concrete, I guess, partially covered this day in snow, and glistening in the bright late October sunlight. Atop the column were many small bells which tinkled softly in the breeze. We found the corners of the stupa that correspond to the day of the week we were born – Saturday for Beatrice, Tuesday for Nyan and I – and said our prayers.

A few photos and soaking in the quiet atmosphere and it was time to go. We strapped Nyan back in and headed up the highway, stopping for an early dinner at a random Italian restaurant along US 9. The food was good enough; Nyan sat quietly next to us in his car seat, and we marveled at how the stereotype of the New Jersey native is, in fact, not far from the truth, based on our fellow diners. ‘Nuff said.

We got home after dark. It was a long day, and a lot of driving for a relatively brief stop at the temple. But well worth it. We may go back to get Nyan a more formal blessing from the monks, and may make further donations to help the cause. Not bad for his first road trip.

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Photos


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