Monday, December 27, 2010

Boxing Day Blizzard Time Lapse Movie

In an 18 hour period starting around noon on Boxing Day Hoboken received at least 2 feet of snow. Here's a time lapse movie taken from our apartment window. You can actually see the snow level climbing on the parked cars. You can also see us in the window reflection relaxing at home, glad to be warm and comfortable as the storm raged outside.

Boxing Day Blizzard

A Boxing Day blizzard dumped lots of snow on Hoboken. The morning after, very few of the roads are plowed and even fewer of the sidewalks are cleared. Despite this we set off on foot to the Antique Bakery for fresh baked bread and to play in the snow along the way. Wind gusts made for blizzardy conditions. Click here to see the rest of the pictures.

From Hoboken Snowstorm 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

The grandparents wanted to see the present opening so here it is: 10 minutes of paper peeling highlights.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Cool Installation at the Park Avenue Armory

The subway gods smiled on us as we smoothly traveled to and from the city today. No waiting, no service interruptions - bliss!

Today we visited the Park Avenue Armory, an immense space on the upper East side. The space was occupied by Peter Greenaway's installation "Leonardo's Last Supper." The installation was a multimedia exhibit describing Leonardo's "The Last Supper" and Veronese's "Wedding at Cana." It was an innovative and effective way to explain the composition, lighting and artistry behind these famous paintings.  It's well worth visiting but, if you go, be aware that it's a show with a beginning and an end so be sure to arrive on time.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays From the Wall-Bonds!!

The photo was taken at Hoboken's new Pier C park overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baroque and a Red Tail

Today was the first concert of a new season of Young People's Concerts performed by the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center. Todays' concert dealt with  the Baroque period featuring works by familiar composers like Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, and J.S Bach. They also featured an interesting piece by a contemporary composer Christopher Theofanidis whose work is inspired by Baroque music. The Vivaldi piece was the Winter movement from his Four Seasons violin concerto featuring the 13 year old solo violin virtuoso Hana Mundiya. Very impressive!

On way back home I saw a big bird swoop into a tree along Hoboken's Hudson River promenade. It was Hoboken's resident Red Tailed Hawk. It permitted Pierce and I to walk up right underneath the tree to take a picture and, after a minute, it swooped away prominently displaying its trademark red tail feathers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A visit to Macy's Thanksgiving Parade float studio with Pierce's class

I happily joined Pierce's 4th grade class for a visit to the Macy's float studio. The studio is located in an old soap factory just a 5 minute walk from Pierce's school. The tour was a great sneak peak into some of the new parade floats and we saw the design process from the rough clay models to the final floats. The floats are all designed to fold up in order to make the trip through the Lincoln Tunnel to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. You can view the full album here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alien Invasion!

A comic from Pierce. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Date Night

Deirdre and I got out for a night on the town. A leisurely dinner at Compass followed by a concert at the Lincoln Center's new Alice Tully Hall. The performers were New York's Orchestra of St. Lukes and the Latvian National Choir conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste. The program was a mixture two J.S. Bach motets and U.S. premieres of two recent compositions by contemporary composer Arvo Pärt. The Bach pieces were elaborate and lovely. The Arvo Pärt was sublime and sonorous. There's a good article about Arvo Pärt in a recent New York Sunday Times Magazine.

Here's an illicit photo of the stage with choir, orchestra and conductor taken with my iPhone.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today we visited the nearby Liberty State Science Center just in time to see Lyuba the baby mammoth, before moving on to the next stop on her world tour. The exhibit was informative and accessible, just what we've come to expect from Chicago's Field Museum where the exhibit was conceived.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

007 "Politrick or treating?"

Here's Greg aka Tim Occhipinti/Peter Cammarano out in Hoboken on Halloween afternoon to remind 4th Ward voters in the commuter crowd returning from NYC to vote in the Tuesday Nov. 2nd election. Our friend and local blogger Kurt (who is quite fly on the dance floor) took the great pictures above and has the story on his blog: Hoboken Journal Exclusive! Peter Cammarano campaigns for Tim Occhipinti!

Greg was handing out cards to promote his political commentary video

A Trekkie Halloween 2010

Here's Pierce as a Star Trek red-shirt with his phaser at the Wallace School Halloween Parade and below with friends Tori as Anakin Skywalker and Austin the Skeleton. For the uninitiated (don't laugh I was one but I now know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars) the red-shirts in Star Trek are the disposable crew members that die in each episode. I'm happy to report that Pierce will live to die another episode!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Art and Architecture in Chicago

Eric and I spent the afternoon in suburban Chicago visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright family home, the first home he designed. The guided tour of the home was terrific and highly recommended. Unfortunately no photography was permitted inside. Hard to believe it was designed in 1889! It still looks contemporary - it must have looked shockingly modern at the time. Sprinkled around the neighborhood were a number of FLW's commissions. Home owners were clearly inspired by the architect's home and wanted something special for themselves as well. Sadly, in today's era of cookie cutter suburban development there's very little room for individual architectural statements.

In the evening we trekked into the city to see the Alexander Calder and Luc Tuymans exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Calder exhibit was comprehensive and provided a good overview of his career. Tuymans was refreshing as I haven't seen some really "serious" painting in a while. His work reminded me of Gerhard Richter's.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday Afternoon at the Opera - with Popcorn!

Desperately curious to see the Met's new production of Wagner's Das Rheingold but unable to get tickets for it (reasonably priced tickets sold out for all performances - the only tickets left cost $1000 or more!) we decided to try attending a live HD performance at the local Hoboken cinema. The irony of being only a mile or so away from where the actual performance was taking place was not lost on us.

I went with some trepidation but it ended up being an enjoyable experience.  For starters, the seats in the cinema were far more comfortable than at the Met. This was most welcome given that the performance ran 3 hours (the next installment in Wagner's ring cycle runs 5 hours!). The sound was fantastic. The Wagnerian voices, horns and strings were clear and loud.  Intense HD close ups of the (often sweaty) performers provided an experience that one could never get at the Met. And prior to broadcasting the performance, we were treated to a backstage interview with Bryn Terfel (Wotan) and some clips from an upcoming documentary about the production showing the actors being introduced to the intricate and intimidating set. One downside was a subway-like rumble emanating from a neighboring theater. Presumably this was a planet blowing up or some such, which wouldn't be out of place in Das Rheingold but, unfortunately, it wasn't synchronized with the performance.

I expected a small audience but was pleasantly surprised to see the theater was 3/4 full by the time the performance was underway. It's interesting to consider the effect of this technology. During Bryn Terfel's interview, he said a few words in Welsh to people watching live in Wales. And speaking with my Mom yesterday, she said that the performance was being broadcast to the local theater in Duncan B.C. on Vancouver Island, a small city with a population of approximately 5,000. As Mom said, the world keeps getting smaller.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bowling Birthday

Pierce celebrated his 10th birthday at the Bowl Rite Lanes in Union City today. Lots of kids and adults put on the bowling shoes to participate in good natured mayhem. Click on the picture to see more pictures from the event.

From Bowling Birthday

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We visited the MOMA today to see the Matisse exhibition. It was great to see the paintings we're so familiar with "live", full size with vivd colors. After MOMA we visited the new Lego store at Rockefeller Plaza. Pierce's birthday is coming up so he decided it was the perfect place to choose a gift (or two) for himself.

Looking Down at the MOMA
Red Pierce
Atlas in Lego
The Haul

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

A long and enjoyable summer vacation this year. First a trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia to see the Bonds with a side trip to beautiful Tofino. Then a trip to Cochrane, Alberta to see the Walls, including a camping trip to Kananaskis Provincial Park and a paleontological dig in Drumheller. Click on any of the pictures to see an album of trip highlights.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Whirlwind Visit to Munich

I (Greg) had a pleasant, but brief, visit to Munich earlier this week for a technical conference. I attended with two of my colleagues and we each presented technical papers. Located next to the conference site is the TUM Computer Science building which features two 30m tubular slides that we took turns sliding down on carpets. I know: it sounds like a joke, but I have the pictures to prove it.

The conference included a couple of social events which, not surprisingly, consisted of beer and Bavarian fare in Munich's old city. I also had a bit of spare time to visit the modern art museum and the central plaza, Marienplatz. Munich seems like a very nice place to live: very relaxed, bike friendly, many public transit options, and every amenity you need within walking distance. Oh yeah, and the beer is good too.

Click on the picture to see more pictures.

From Munich 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cool in the Pool

We all hit the Secaucus Swim Center today to escape the mid-90's heat that just won't go away. It's a great pool and we're grateful that it's open to Hoboken residents given Hoboken doesn't have its own community pool.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

This independence day we were invited to the home of a fellow-Hobokenite for a evening BBQ. Pierce and Ava (festively attired) were the only kids in attendance so Pierce took to stave off the boredom by playing his DS and Ava served as an audience.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Tie-rrific Father's Day!

Pierce's very thoughtful teacher, Mr. Peterson, organized ties for Father's Day and Pierce made a Kirby character inspired Father's Day card (you can click on the pic to enlarge). Pierce is more than a little subdued as a result of his latest orthodontic "adventure" the lip-bumper which we though would be more benign than the last orthodontic appliance the rapid palate expander; think again:(

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pool Party @ Sky Club

We spent the afternoon at the Sky Club roof top pool for Pierce's friend Liam's birthday. The kids and smart parents were cool in the pool (note to self).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wallace School Field Day 2010

It was overcast and threatened to rain all morning but the rain held off long enough for all the kids from Wallace School to enjoy field day at Hoboken's JFK field.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Free Jazz and Cool Jobs!

We had a busy day in NYC today. First was an afternoon concert at Jazz at the Lincoln Center; the last concert in this season's Jazz for Young People series entitled "What is Free Jazz". Now I like jazz of almost every variety but I've always found free jazz the most challenging to appreciate. And I know that Deirdre most definitely does not appreciate it based on her reaction to a Charlie Haden concert we saw together many years ago at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Furthermore, Pierce clearly enjoys the symphonic Young People's Concerts more than the Jazz for Young People's Concerts and I can empathize: I didn't really start to enjoy jazz until I was in my early teens. Needless to say, we entered Rose Hall with some trepidation. But our anxiety was dashed the moment the Matt Wilson Quartet took the stage. Matt and the band did an exceptionally good job of breaking the genre down into its components in order to explain what's behind free jazz and how to listen to it. And they did it all in an exceptionally engaging way for kids and the adults. While we came away with a better appreciation for the music, I can't say that I'm going to run out and buy an Albert Ayler recording.

After a quick subway trip to the Village our next event was the World Science Festival's Cool Jobs lecture at NYU's Kimmel Center. Four scientists and engineers described their passion for creation and discovery and explained some of the science and technology underlying their work: a roboticist, an extraterrestrial life hunter, a marine biologist and a neuroscientist. Pierce loved the roboticist and his ingenious creations.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Afternoon at the Met

On a sunny warm Sunday on Memorial Day weekend we took advantage of a quiet city and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We lingered in the Greek, Roman and Renaissance sculpture halls as Pierce has become interested in Greek mythology. Click on the link under the picture to see more pictures.

From Afternoon at the Met

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Roy and Joanne's Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary

Allison threw a special party for Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary last Friday. With the very capable help of Marianne (chef extraordinaire), Ben (maitre d' extraordinaire) and a surprise musical guest, Mom and Dad were treated to an evening of fine food and music. Many thanks to Allison for putting this video together for those of us (including me and Trevor) who couldn't be there in person. Click on the picture to see the video (17 minutes).