Saturday the fabled trip to Staten Island finally took place.  We hopped on the red line subway and transferred to the Staten Island Ferry, a big free boat.

Standing at the extreme front of the ship offered this view:

Staten island ferry

I have now seen both Statues of Liberty.  After the French donated the statue, they erected a smaller copy in Paris, which I saw by chance out of the side of a train car during my trip there two years ago.

Upon arriving on Staten Island, we proceeded to the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden at the Staten Island Botanical Garden.  For everyone less familiar with New York City, Staten Island makes up a large portion of New York City, and is one of the five boroughs along with Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.  Staten Island is mostly surburban as opposed to the other boroughs, featuring malls instead of skyscrapers.

However, the Chinese Scholars Garden, the first of its kind in the United States, offered an escape from the trappings of city life:

Garden statues

OK, this first picture wasn’t from the Chinese Scholar Garden per se, but instead from a smaller garden within the botanical garden.

Garden courtyard

This mosaic was made by a traditional Chinese scholar garden artist who uses materials around him.  The white parts were rice bowls he broke from the kitchen without asking and the green parts are Heineken bottles.

Garden mosaic

We continued to a blatant “secret” garden, which was closed.  Since we had paid for admission, we felt it acceptable to hop onto the wall and sit for awhile.  As the photographer, I do not appear in these photos.

Secret garden wall

Afterwards Tucker impressively hopped onto a nearby and somewhat inaccessible tree:

Garden in tree

We ended the day by watching King Arthur, which not unlike Lord of the Rings did not strike my fancy.  I did manage to stay awake for this one, fighting hard at times.  I did enjoy the show for what it was, but I could not suspend disbelief long enough to really care about what was going on.

Today at work during my lunch break a bird flew over and perched on my outside table in the rain:

Bird on table

He rejected my offer of a small morsel of tomato (the red spot in the picture), but violently grabbed Tucker’s offering of a little piece of bread and cheese and flew away fast enough that he could be sure we couldn’t reconsider.

Grant Hutchins @nertzy