My Sister-in-law, and her cousin and my niece came into Manhattan. My niece and daughter are both young teens so it was good to for them to have some time together. SIL and her cousin are originally from Beijing. (My brother's family lives outside Boston now.Brother could not come as he was at home doing taxes.)
Husband daughter and I met up with them on Canal St. They took us out for dim sum. Canal St is raucous and crowded, it is busy with street vendors and open air fish markets, and enormous unlikely fruits. It is just crazy and overwhelming, and really head-spinningly cool.
When we get Chinese food here in Brooklyn, we usually get it delivered. It is not nearly as fancy as this, and is, I think, more like home cooking of the end-of-the-day speedy sort. This was much more fancy. It was all tiny little snacks in groups of three or four,which we shared around the table. You could see that they were made to appeal to the eye as well as the mouth. . All the ordering was done in Mandarin, so each dish was a mystery to me. Husband tried one which he liked very much which was chicken feet.
After that we went out onto the sidewalk, the way you do after you have eaten well, sort of blinking and adjusting to the world again.
Niece wanted to see the NY Public Library-- the big central one with the lions out front. It a gorgeous marble building, all columns, and arches. But it still had that serene library feeling. It was a gift to NYC from the Astor family. It has stupendous art, frescoes, carvings, the sort of place that makes me look like an idiot because I'm walking looking at the ceiling with my mouth open.
So we did that for a while-- the place was so big, with so many wings and floors that we got lost. But we found a wonderful exhibit,
That is a link, I hope it works. If not, just search 'Shelly's ghost', for pretty pictures
I saw PB Shelley's skull, and his baby rattle. (Who would think it was a good idea to put tiny golden (inhalable,) bells on a baby toy? It is a wonder that anyone survived! I may have to use that rattle in a story sometime... Perhaps baby Archie had such a golden thing. Or little Percy Edrington. Their mothers will remember, I am sure
And there were letters, and locks of hair, and all sorts of family mementos, and Byron stuff, And a brief side-trip for Mary Wollstonecraft, and early feminism.
My niece was pleased. She is not quite 13, but very interested in writing, and she has a fondness for poets. She did not know the story of Mary Shelly's elopement. We laughed at the image of the skirts and the window, and the little dog under her arm.
Anyway, after that husband daughter and I stumbled home, happy, fed, and buzzing.
************ I realize I probably sound like an idiot. It was not his whole skull, just tiny fragments. Apparently they were left over from his cremation, and got saved. They were mounted on card paper. They were that small. But exciting anyway!