There’s more to NYC birds than pigeons!

Ever since studying birds with my students, I started to notice the influence that this animal has on many things around us. Whether it’s paintings or designs on a cloth, many have hints of birds in it. Some more beautiful than others. I must admit that although I may be able to recognize the different kinds of pigeons with excitement, it’s not too exciting to be actually near them or to be pooped on!

Still, they are a beautiful species to admire, which is probably why there are so many activists that fight to help over 9,000 bird species survive. On the west coast, we have Jamaica Bay right in New York. Jamaica Bay is a wetland estuary surrounded by the Rockaway Peninsula by Queens and Brooklyn. Its wildlife refuge is very famously known for its migration of birds. I recently went with colleagues to visit the bay and had the opportunity to do some birdwatching along the way. To my excitement, I saw ospreys and a snowy egret, birds we would never see on a regular day in the city!

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 I heard about this incredible artist’s gallery not too long ago and had an opportunity to go to the gallery today in Chelsea.  Until March 22nd, the Klein Sun Gallery is exhibiting Li Hongbo’s Tools of Study gallery featuring all artwork created from paper. A stunning work of art called Bust of David looks like a sculpture but is actually created out of paper! Up close, I could hardly tell it was made out of the recycled material!  What a uniquely talented artist (and to imagine, his inspiration came from simple Chinese toys and paper lanterns).

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How many ways can I draw … “ME”?

In the school that I work at, a monthly requirement (a rather fun one) is to have students create a self-portrait. I wondered how many ways a child can make a picture of him or herself without getting tired or bored and the more I thought about it, the more exciting it became. To see the growth of each student’s piece is jaw-dropping especially in a span of 9 months. There are some materials and methods of work that I love re-using every year, but every group of kids is different. This year, I took several “AH-HA!” moments and embedded them into each portrait session.  I also challenged myself in using materials that I rarely ever used before. Turns out that with specific instructions, felt is not hard to cut at all!  … Here are 3 portraits from one of my students.

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(Top left): “Me With My Winter Gear” – pencil, Sharpie, crayons, multicultural crayons, felt, white chalk
(Top right): “Simple Portrait” – crayons, thick Sharpie
(Bottom): “Me In Action! – color pencils, thick Sharpie

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Nom nom from mornin’ to noon

A couple years ago, my best friend and I decided to try something called “brunch.” At that time, I don’t think it was as popular as it is nowadays but since that afternoon that we went to Sarabeth’s in Central Park South, I became hooked and started creating my own brunch menus at home. Yelping restaurants that serve brunch also became a daily ritual. Who knew that my love for this meal would now spread to my lovely husband?One of my favorite dishes is indeed the classic Eggs Benedict. Since my husband and I started trying out more brunch places, he felt inspired to make it himself. WIth the right amount of smoothness to the hollandaise and crispiness for the English muffin, it came out perfectly! 

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Want to give it a try? Here’s a great recipe from Gordon Ramsay, one of my favorite chefs in the business. 

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