Friday, July 6, 2012

New Holland

Of course it was the first day +30C that I decided it was time for us to check out New Holland. I'd heard too many good things and it was Friday - my day off. After somehow requiring 1.5h to get the kids fed, dressed and pottied, and all the snacks and other "just in case" accoutrement prepared, we ran out of the house before something could pull us back in.

The 22 bus is surprisingly convenient, as Ploschad Truda is a переход (underground crosswalk) and a block away from the entrance to the island. From the moment we walked in we were entranced. After crossing around a building that was being renovated, we saw the LETTERS.  лето, ("summer") is spelled out in letters a bit higher than me and are perfect for climbing (for example, E makes a stairway and the O is boxy enough for both kids to fit inside the hole). Then we saw the children's play area. It's not the typical jungle gym, rather it's one of those indoor soft-foam obstacle courses and soft foam shapes to stack or climb on, just outside. It's covered over to there's protection from rain and - more importantly today - sun.

It's much smaller than I thought it would be, although I know they are continuing construction and I am sure more and more of the island will open up over time. The community garden is about as big as my living room, with about a dozen plots. The cafe was very nice, my veggie panini fresh and clearly made after I'd ordered it.

My biggest complaint - my only real complaint - is the lack of shade. The cafe had a lattice-type structure over it so we weren't in direct sunlight, but I had promised Alex a picnic and couldn't deliver because the only trees - about 4-5 of them - are right by the entrance and we didn't notice them til we were on our way out.

All in all, it's worth schlepping over there a few times this summer. Who knows, maybe we'll go back tomorrow with Terry and actually take a few photos*.

* photos were in fact taken, but on my phone, the quality of which Terry finds overly dubious and only under duress will camera phone photos be allowed on the blog. Sometimes it's a pain to be married to a photo snob.

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