November 1, 2011
I saw this sign in September, but fortunately it was still there when I went back two months later. Besides the stunning spelling mistake, I wish there were another period in OK. Found on Lakeview Avenue near Crooks Avenue in Paterson, New Jersey.
November 27, 2011
Over the past four or five weeks, I’ve spoken about Wheels of Change to four different and very distinct groups: cycling enthusiasts; senior citizens; school librarians; and Girl Scouts. Each audience was wonderful in its own way. The cyclists represented the present day embodiment of bicycle love, which helped bring the subject matter of Wheels up to date in dramatic fashion. The senior citizens were members of a monthly book club and it was amazing to speak to a gathering of refined, intelligent folks who all had read my book in anticipation of the session. The school librarians at the New York City School Library System Fall Conference were pumped up about nonfiction, thanks to a rousing keynote address by my former editor, Marc Aronson. It was great to witness their interest in the process of putting together a nonfiction book and hear their excitement about sharing what they’d learned with their students.
Senior Center Book Club, Englewood, NJ
Then there were the Girl Scouts. These particular Girl Scouts attended my talk at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, and wow, were they something. A bundle of energy and questions—I could barely get a sentence out without one or more hands shooting up. “Where did people keep their bicycles in the 1890s?” (Some people lived in buildings with special bicycle storage rooms. Others kept them in less secure areas and used locks to make sure they weren’t stolen.) “Didn’t women’s long dresses get caught in their bikes?” (Yes; that’s why female cyclists started wearing bloomers or shorter skirts.) “What did young people do on dates when their parents chaperoned?” (Talked; listened to piano music. That’s why they embraced the freedom from parental supervision offered by the bicycle.) It was a solid hour of back-and-forth that reinforced my respect for the Girl Scouts and made me glad that I’ll be a featured author on their Web site, The Studio, this coming January.
More on that later. Now I have to go prepare for my next bicycle event, a poster presentation at the National Council of Social Studies Annual Conference in Washington, DC, at 9:15 a.m. on December 3. If you're at the conference, I hope you'll come by.
Thanks to Marty Ittner of m-Art for the terrific Girl Scout photo.
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Misspelling of the Month
I don't often turn to Chinese restaurant menus for misspellings because they can be easy targets. But this one invented a new word that has a bit of charm. Quite accidentally, it's the second "steak"-related Misspelling of the Month in a row. So thanks to Empire Szechuan Village on Seventh Avenue, South, in New York City for this meaty mistake. (Of course, "waterchestnut" should be plural and two words as well.)
Click on the photo to see a larger image.