Hudson Gateway tunnel construction site-to-be

J and I checked out a spot in the Hudson Yards LIRR train yard, near the convention center, that is going to hopefully have some visible construction work towards the new Hudson river train tunnels.

As part of the Gateway Program (construction info) to spiff up Northeast Corridor infrastructure between NYC and New Jersey, a new tunnel under the Hudson (map) is going to be built so that the existing tunnels can be fixed up and to eventually provide more rail capacity. The tunnels were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as were many of the other tunnels into New York.

There’s supposed to eventually be a cut-and-cover section of the tunnel built right by the LIRR train yard. I wanted to see if work had started yet. J and I didn’t see anything, but there is a lot of equipment getting set up. We will check back soon!

Hudson river and New Jersey in the background.

Winter in New York

It’s been a fair bit below freezing all week. That seems right for winter, but is a little unusual from my experience living here. In previous years, the temperature hasn’t stayed below freezing for very long, and if it snowed (rare), it would melt the next day.

It’s snowed and “iced” twice this week, which was exciting! And because of the temperatures, it’s stuck fairly well in places that don’t get salted. We have a big empty lot next to us that has a nice wintery atmosphere.

The snow from last week. It looked heavier in person.

Post-snow, with my bird of paradise.

Stuffed animal kit

J’s mom kindly gave me a craft kit for Christmas. It reminded me of all the craft kits I got and the subset of those that I finished as a kid.

This company makes various stuffed animal (mostly amigurumi) kits. They increase in complexity from here.

Pretty cute! I repositioned the eyes, wings, and beak to make it even cuter 🙂

Trip to Green-Wood Cemetery

We walked around a big cemetery in Brooklyn last weekend (the main point of the trip was to eat Asian food in Sunset Park, but I’ve also wanted to go to the cemetery). There’s a Gothic revival entrance gate, with a huuuuge parakeet nest in the central tower.

Parakeets. Their noise gave them away before we could even see them.

Lots of fancy monuments and grave stones there.


With custom gates.

The founder of “The Truth Seeker” (some magazine?).

And a nice pond. Given the temperature, there weren’t many people out, but there were a couple of birdwatchers.

On a previous attempt to visit the cemetery, one group member thought it was creepy and then it started snowing.

Pottery visit

While visiting my parents in Austin for Thanksgiving, J and I went to a local pottery studio and gallery.

We hiked along a harrowing stroad ( to get here. So many driveways for cars to hit you at…

Compared to New York stores, the studio was shockingly large inside, like a small warehouse.

There was quite the variety of ceramic items at the store, decorative, useful, and both. I liked the following items.

The vertical lines are carved into the cup. The artist used a glaze that changes color based on the thickness of the coat, so the lines ended up a different color than the main body of the cup. I also like the particular color combo.
I like the “notches” in the edge and the little diamonds removed from the side. The decoration is nice but not overwhelming, it’s just simple.
J like the size of these teacups. Unfortunately they came as a set with the teapot (plus the colors are ugly!).

Goodwill finds!

I got a purple corduroy jacket/overshirt from Goodwill ($10) over the holidays!

Definitely in fashion now, but the similar jackets I see others wearing aren’t normally so bright. The jacket is currently in a trial period. If I decide not to keep it, sibling C is highly interested. She originally found it at the thrift store but it’s too big on her. It’s also big on me, but we’ll call it stylishly large.

I also found a nicely-patterned kid’s shirt. It fits in the shoulders but everything in the torso is a little too short. I spent too much time compared to the cost of the shirt ($5!) letting out the hem by 1/4 inch.