Taking Exams…At Times You Just Have to Rely on Street Smarts

Taking exams isn’t fun, but it’s fun making fun of exam-taking. In my young adult adventure series, Central Park Story, the main character, Christopher Middleton, doesn’t open a book when it comes to studying for exams. Rather, he relies on what his girlfriend tells him on their early morning walks to school…with amusing results. I […]

Montessori Schools and the Future of Education

More than 100 years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician, inspired the birth of a worldwide educational movement. Drawing upon her scientific background and clinical understanding, Dr. Montessori observed how young people learn best when engaged in purposeful activity rather than being fed information. She recognized that children’s cognitive growth and development requires […]

Thoreau’s Walden–Not Your Typical Backyard Camping Trip

Walden, a book by by noted Transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau,  is part personal declaration of independence, part social experiment, and part manual for self-reliance. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau’s experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. By immersing […]

Skateboarding in Central Park in 1965

You probably think you’ve seen it all when it comes to New York, but New Yorkers like to have the last word on every subject–skateboarding being no exception. In the pic to the right, a well-heeled New Yorker takes a ride on a board in Central Park well before skateboarding became ‘cool’. And, in case […]

School Rankings: What’s Really Behind the Numbers?

In order to get a high ranking for a private school these days, you need to offer a low student-to-faculty ratio, a challenging curriculum, and an excellent reputation for college prep. You could say the same about colleges and grad school rankings. Add to this the more general principle that input equals output, meaning if […]

Skating in Central Park: As Popular Back in the mid-1800s as it is Today

Today, there are two skating rinks in Central Park, one in the north end and one in the south, but there used to be only one in the middle . . . the Ramble Lake. When the park was  first opened to the public in the late 1860’s, skating was a popular sport and brought […]

Aspen, Colorado: Just a Short (Private) Jet Ride from NYC

If you happen to be like Ashley Ferguson, one of the characters in my young adult adventure series, Central Park Story, you have a choice of which resort to visit over winter vacation. However, when it comes to skiing the choices narrow considerably, and you are forced to make the difficult decision between Aspen and […]

It Took More Gunpowder Than Was Used in the Battle of Gettysburg to Construct Central Park

In Book One of my young adult adventure series, Central Park Story, Christopher Middleton, the main character,  mentions that it took more gunpowder than was used in the Battle of Gettysburg to construct Central Park. I also have one of the statues (yes, the statues talk in my books) compare Christopher’s personal challenges to the […]

The Mineral Water Pavilion In Central Park: A Treasure Lost to Time

Although it would eventually be razed in 1957, the Mineral Water Pavilion delighted the inhabitants of the city for nearly a century. Clean water was a major problem for New York for much of its history. Several epidemics of cholera swept the metropolis throughout the early 1800s, costing many thousands of lives, so the advent […]

Olmsted’s Family–Not Your Typical 19th Century Family by a Long Shot

  When I think of what it might have been like to be a parent in the mid 19th Century, the word ‘indulgent’ isn’t what comes to mind, yet that was exactly what John Olmsted, Frederick Law Olmsted’s father, was to young Fred. Tragically, Fred’s mother died before he turned four, and one might imagine […]