There is a statue in the middle of Central Park of a Polish king, called the King Jagiello Monument. It was first presented at the 1939 World’s Fair, which was held in Flushing, Queens. Intended to be returned following the end of the Fair, the Nazi invasion of Poland prevented any transfer of the monument back to its homeland. Instead, the statue moved from Queens to Central Park, now sitting just east of Turtle Pond, in the shadow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been in this location since 1945, guarding the center of the park for the past 70 years. I learned all of this from Allison, a maintenance worker with the Central Park Conservancy who was my third stop on my trek around the park that ties all of Manhattan together. Continue reading A (Somewhat) Self-Guided Tour Through Central Park
This is a speech I wrote upon leaving the only home I’d ever known, the American International School in Israel (AIS). The equation of home and high school may seem a bizarre, if not pitiable analogy to some. But as the Montana-born product of two international school teachers, I desperately, unconsciously needed a headquarters. The transplantation of our stateside family abroad occurred in second grade. First came Berlin, then Israel two years later. Though I am profoundly grateful to my parents for all the opportunities a childhood abroad beckoned, there were a few drawbacks for my sister and I. No city or countryside fits just right. The winding streets become familiar enough to politely remark, “You don’t really belong here.” Not so at AIS. The hallways, the people, the occasional feral cat, welcomed all the wanderlust. So I gradually adopted AIS. Or rather, she claimed me.
One of the most revered yet humble goddesses of Grecian antiquity is Hestia, daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Unlike her siblings, Hestia rejected lusty antics and moronic power plays, choosing to tend the sacrificial fire on Mount Olympus. The maiden nurtured the godly estate and warmed visitors by the heavenly hearth. Because of her devotion to the home, Hestia was believed to have stood sentry at every house in Ancient Greece, protecting those within from harm. Continue reading The Uprooted