Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not Going to Carnival

Carnegie Mellon has a Carnival every year and every year I get all excited to go. 9 times out of 10 I end up not going. Mike and I went last year and, apart from the poorly made funnelcake served to us by the aggressively disenchanted student, it was fun. This year I was stoked to take Donny.

Mike worked today so it was just me, the boy and the Pittsburgh transit system. My initial thought was to start at the library and then walk the block and a half to the carnival. As I was trying to cram everything for the boy into a reasonably sized bag, however, I realized I needed a backpack. Well, that would work: take the bus downtown, get a backpack at Burlington, choose one of a gazillion buses going back into Oakland.

We had a fine time at the first bus stop, which is the Herron Avenue Station. Donovan was smart enough to bring a block with him and that kept him amused up until the bus came.
No backpacks at Burlington (which means the era of the backpack as purse is officially officially over.) We hopped a 71A back into Oakland, had lunch at the little park outside of the library and then went into the kids library. As far as experiments go, it was a good one. Donny is still too young to really understand what's going on there but he enjoyed the alphabet rug and the wooden box with the wires and beads. He started to get a little shrieky and, having grown up in the Quiet Library era, I decided it was time to make an escape. That left us with 40 minutes before the next 54C home: not enough time for carnival but way too much time to spend at the busstop.

So we went to the Frick Fine Arts Building.

I love this building--its got a great backstory and its such an oldschool didactic space built in the completely wrong era. I don't know the architectural term for it but the center of the main building has this wonderful square gallery that surrounds a little square garden.
The gallery is full of reproductions of famous paintings. I tried to take a photo of Donny in front of Botticelli's Birth of Venus but I couldn't quite get the angle right. He was all wound up so I let him crawl around the polished stone floor--I'm sure Pitt mops that space way more than we ever mop our kitchen.
We also went outside to look at the fountain and the pots of pansies.

By the time we got back on the bus the boy was fussy. He couldn't get comfortable so I finally sat him on my lap facing forward and just held him down. Within about a minute he was snoring.

We didn't go to Carnival but it was still a nice day.