Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bryant Park Skating Rink at Night

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Some scenes from New York at night coming up. But first, a moment of silence for a beloved backpack. It went all around the country with me, on my back for 10,000 miles and all over more than 20 cities.
Then it went to Paris with me: libraries, the Louvre, up the Eiffel Tower. It went up into the French Alps with me, through Provence, Nice, and other South-of-France cities, to the Atlantic coast of France. 

It went to Barcelona, through Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, under the Arc de Triomphe. It watched the wild parrots flit through the palm trees with me and waited for me while I swam in the Mediterranean.

The only reason I tossed it was the back straps were badly frayed and looking very poorly. Don't anybody comment below that I could have replaced the back straps!

On to happier things. This is the fountain at Bryant Park, merrily babbling.

Here's an intrepid skater, very tall on his skates.

Showing a little footwork.

Here's one of the skate guards, telling the wild ones to slow down.

A glass pavilion overlooking the ice at Bryant Park.

More guards. Looking quite comfortable on skates.

A little love in the making?

And a last goodbye to the best ever backpack. How about you? Do you get fond of things and then wait years before you throw them away? Comment below!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

American Dream: To Live in Brooklyn!

American Dream: To Live in NYC, and in Brooklyn -- Even Better!

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

One of my dreams has come true. I was always curious, what was it about Brooklyn that people enjoyed so much?

I've been here two weeks, and I approve of Brooklyn! It's bustling, the neighbors are getting to know me and saying hello, there's LOTS of great cafes to choose from to work in. It's got a diverse population, and that's important to me at this point in my life. I like to talk to all kinds of people.

If I won PowerBall, I'd buy a row of brownstones, renovate them, and rent them out at cost to my family (except most of them hate the city) so therefore artist friends.

Here's some scenes from my neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant.

It's January, and it's COLD. But the sun warms the faces of the brownstones.

Here's a close-up of a handsome one.

The front door is glamorous.

There's lots of murals around. This one spells out "Brooklyn."

A row of bigger brownstones. The area is gentrifying rapidly. Notice the architectural details under the eaves and above the doors and windows.

Here's another mural, on a corner. That's my shadow in the corner :)

A mural with a message: Stay in school.

"Find the good and praise it!"

Here's another mural, one of a row of brownstones.

It's glamorous enough for a movie set, no? Well, there's lots of movies being made in Brooklyn. My roommate directs indie films!
How about you? Do you dream of living in the city? Comment below!

Monday, January 11, 2016

American Dream: To Live Protected and Safe

One of NYC's Finest, Fallen

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Last week, New York City's midtown was choked with traffic--streets were blocked off around St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. I saw groups of NYC policemen and women, in dark blue suits, shirts, and ties, standing and talking in somber voices.

There was a funeral going on for a policeman killed in the line of duty. He had been a Marine before serving in NYC to protect us.

Police commissioners from all over the Tri-State area sent motorcycles to NYC, to serve in the procession. 

The bike with the yellow gas can is from Newark, NJ.

The motorcycles were parked on Madison Avenue, waiting for the funeral to end. There were hundreds of bikes.

A view of the motorcycle cortege that preceded the hearse with the fallen hero.

Hundreds of red and blue lights flashed as the motorcycles proceeded down 42nd Street, at Bryant Park. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

American Dream: To Do What You Love To Do

American Dream: To Prevail Against All Odds

by Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

My daughter's dream of earning her Ph.D. came true recently. She labored for six years, not knowing if she would prevail or not.  She studied the Hepatitis C virus and how it enters the liver.

She persevered! She got it! A lesson for all of us.

I asked what she would aim for, now that she had won her Ph.D. She said she just wanted to keep doing what she was doing, scientific research. 

Here's Sharon with her advisor and mentor, Dr. Matt Evans. You can see her ace her thesis defense at

She just added "Ph.D." on masking tape to her name outside her laboratory.

She's at her bench, where she pushed the frontiers of science back a little.

This is the building where she worked, the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine building at 100th Street and Madison Avenue. The shot is taken from across the Jackie Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, NYC.

Here is where my daughter labored long and hard.

One last shot of where she spent six years of her life.

How about you? Will you persevere? Stick with it!