Triangles are Our Favorite Shape

First thing Monday, I got to grab a real Australian flat white with my twitter-colleague, the remarkable Susanna Williams, who now calls Brooklyn home and who has done pretty much everything … and done it well.  We’ve had so many online conversations and one day may actually get something out there in print.  It’s so fun to meet people in person and find them to be wonderful 🙂

Then, our family turned our minds to things mathematical and our faces to the future!

But, first, we grabbed Starbucks brekky and grabbed some Lexington lobby time.  Seriously, this lobby has more folks hanging out than I’ve seen in most hotels ever–way to set a scene, Lex.  By the way, that pink thing is a horror known as the Birthday Cake Frappuccino, because the Frappuccino is apparently 20 years old.  Think about that!

Because triangles are our favorite shape, we set off for the perfect museum on Alt-J Day: Museum of Math (MoMath).  It’s only been open a couple of years, and we’d not been there before.

Turns out … it’s awesome!

Especially in slo-mo!!

It’s a slim two stories of incredibly high tech interactive math fun.  Through play, kids (including about four schools while we were there) learn about angles, fractals, geometry, number theory, and more.  In Harper’s words, “When you said we were coming here, I thought it would be super boring, but I love it!”  Welcome to the math of the future!



Robot swarms

Fractal trees–made of you

And a kid who literally spent 30 minutes at a Pythagorean Theorem exhibit, determined to figure out the more difficult of the two puzzles.  He was failed by both his parents, so his ultimate success is all his!

Crazy parabolic chairs!  Again, slo-mo makes the difference!

And, the giant wall of tessellations!

Turn strings into a straight line curve by rotating your chair.

Turn a blank light screen into repeating patterns of beauty with a magical paint brush.

We had a big dinner planned and were near Eataly (which we’d never been to before), so we grabbed some sandwiches and drinks and headed outside into the brief sunshine.  The clerk at the panini counter was so delighted that I hung up her phone after she knocked the handset off that she gave me an extra sandwich for free.  See, kindness pays–this time via a prosciutto, arugula and fennel panini!  Ned picked up some Phoenician fries at ilili Box.  We’d never heard of them before, but we would eat them with every meal, every day.  Salty, spicy with a great tangy sauce.

We decided to wander toward Union Square and stumbled across a Dr. Martens store fully stocked with the elusive Adventure Time boots.  Suddenly, they seemed so much more appealing than another Lego set.  And, ta da, a birthday present was born … and worn out of the store.

Penn selected Max Brenner’s for dinner.  It’s claim to fame is chocolate, in everything!  But, we have to give it up for the waffle sandwiches, too.  Penn got the waffle Cuban, and it lasted about 10 minutes on his plate.

Then, we hopped the Subway to dance, scream, head bang, whistle and sing our lungs out to Alt-J at Madison Square Garden.

Joy preshow: the family that rocks together stays happy together.  By the way, our status as a family that rocks was cemented by the row of Brits behind us to stopped us on the way out to tell us repeatedly that our family (expletive) rocks.  Thank you, drunk and stoned British people, we’ll take that 🙂

Seriously, this was a fantastic show.  Alt-J is just crazy good, but their ability to fill MSG equally with smashingly loud drums and lilting vocals, swirling keyboards and scarily mean growls, was awe inspiring.  And, their light show killed!  Here’s the final number of the night to prove my point! (PS–here’s the New York Times review of the show.)

Penn was in constant motion–made his year!

After several hours of dancing and screaming, we were starving.  Thank goodness for high quality 99 cent pizza!  We were clearly the Pied Pipers of pizza for all Alt-J fans.  This place was about 8 blocks from MSG, yet the line behind us was all singing or on the phone talking about the show.  Cool!

By that point, we were ready to fall in bed and fall asleep to the refrain of Lovely Day.  Which it was!

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