Posts Tagged With: Holocaust

Saddness, Shopping, and Laughter in Jerusalem

Jan 9 2009
Another early morning wake up call. Again, I was the first one to get ready. We had to dress conservatively today because we were headed to Yad Vashem. It was extremely cloudy out and was misting a bit. We stopped in front of the museum to take a group photo. We were just one of many tour groups there.

We got our tour guide who guided us through the museum. We had to listen to him on headsets. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the museum. I didn’t think the tour guide was very good and I didn’t feel the museum was comprehensive. Nor did I find it very moving. We got to see a room full of records from survivors, which was a bit interesting. The museum was very gray and dark. It opened out to a beautiful view of Jerusalem. To show the hope and renewal after the destruction. Morgan was in a wheelchair because of her Masada incident and her poor brother had to carry her up the stairs. For me the most moving thing was of a statue towards the exit of the museum complex. It was of a teacher who was given the option to be saved or die with his students. He chose to die with his students.

After that we went to the shuk. Ricky was my shopping buddy. First we hit the amazing bakeries and candy stores on the street outside of the shuk. Then he haggled for me in Hebrew so I could get a t-shirt. After that we got zatar from a spice merchant. We walked around the shuk for a while and looked at all the yummy food. The we wandered down a side street and found a Sephardic bakery that was cheap. We loaded up like nobody’s business. The food was amazing!
We headed back to Mehane Yehuda St., which was the meeting spot. We looked at what everyone bought. A lot of people were jealous when they saw the good looking items Ricky and I picked up. We met Shabat’s son. He was so shy. We had to leave because shabbat was about to start.
We got back to our hotel in time to hear the shabbat alarm.


We then did the candle lighting and had services. It was our 2nd shabbat Friday in Jerusalem. Let the shabbat elevator fun begin! We had dinner, which was yummy. I decided to get more adventurous with my food choices and was pleasantly surprised with everything I ate.

After that we went back to Jen, Lindsey, and Jordi’s room and hung out. Sarah, Sara, and both Jens were there in addition to Ricky, Ben, Marc, Jacob, Julie, Lindsey, Lior, Jordi, Emily, Rachel, Michelle, and myself. Jen flat-ironed Ben’s hair, while Ricky prank phone called Alan. It was hilarious! We were laughing so hard! Then we went up to Alan’s floor to continue the prank by knocking on his door. But when the elevator opened on his floor he was standing there. We let the elevator door shut and fell on each other laughing.

After that we went downstairs to hear what Hebrew names the soon to be Bar/Bat Mitzvahed people picked out for themselves. We then headed back to our rooms only for a fuse to go out. The hallways turned into a party. A couple of us eventually called it a night after an hour or so because we had to wake up for services in the morning.

Categories: Asia, Food, History, Israel, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random Conversations with Random Strangers-NY Comic Con Day 1

10/11/13
It’s my first comic con and I’m excited and nervous. I got a 4 day professional pass and hope to go for 3 days. I spent the weekend planning my 3 days using the comic con app. I decided not to dress up which is funny considering I own at least 30 costumes, but none of them work for comic con.

I headed to comic con straight from work. I had a Holocaust panel I wanted to attend. I got off at Penn station and ran to 34th and 11th in my rain boots. They told me I had to enter at 39th. Turns out I could have entered at 35th since I have a professional badge. Security searched my bags and then tapped my badge.

Once in Javits I went straight to the official store and bought a $5 pin since it was one of the cheapest items. Then I went in search of my panel. I got the official program and a lanyard for my badge. I easily found my panel and realized the place was empty so I didn’t have to wait. I decided to kill time and walk around. I used the bathroom and ran into one of my old high school teachers. I checked out the autograph area, which was empty. I went back to the panel room and they eventually let us in.

The panel was set to start and there was only about 15 people in a room for at least 100 to 150 people. The guy running the panel, Neal Adams, walks in and goes, “Where is everyone? Everyone here go out and grab a Jew.” Everyone started laughing. He continued to crack jokes while they set up the panel. He told us about a young Jewish girl who’s mother was being taken away by the Nazi’s. The little girl elected to stay with her mother and they were brought to Auschwitz. While there a boy found out that she could draw and her paint Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs inside one of the bunks for the kids. Dr. Mengele found out and demanded to see her. She thought she was going to die. Instead he asked her to paint/draw gypsies as inferior in exchange she demanded that her life and her mother’s be spared. She eventually went on the Death March and survived. She wound up coming to the U.S. and married one of the people who worked on Snow White. Years later Auschwitz called her and said they found her work. She wanted it back and they said no. Artists and lawyers have been petitioning for her to get her work back. So Neal Adams turned her story into a comic. Here’s the NY Times article about it.

The rest of the panel was about the DVD they created that tells the stories of heroes during WWII. The stories are all done in a comic book format. We watched the one on Laguardia. I found it fascinating!! I never knew how much he was against the Nazi Party he was. His actions prior to and during the war were incredible. It made me want to read a biography about him. The DVD was $20 so I decided I was going to purchase one. I thought it would make a great teaching tool. After the clip was done playing the lights were still off and the guy controlling them was no where to be found despite his promise he would stay. Someone eventually found him so he could turn them on using his switchboard. Neal teased it was anti-semitism, which made everyone in the room laugh.

After the panel was over I decided to take advantage of the fact the convention center was empty and went in search of the other panel rooms I would need over the next couple days. I headed to Artist Alley to get Dan Parent, one of the Archie artists to sign my comic books. He wasn’t there. I waited and waited and waited. Then a staff member told me that he was at a panel and I should come back. I decided to go upstairs to kill time and I walked through the 1000 or more booths selling merchandise. There were too many and I got overloaded. I found the one I wanted and purchased the $20 DVD. I decided it was time to head back to Artist Alley. Dan still wasn’t there. I picked out the items I wanted and waited. Right next to him was Fernando Ruiz. He’s another Archie artist, but I didn’t have his comics on me because I didn’t know he was going to be there. I saw Alex Simmons (he draws Clayton) come back from the panel and then I saw Dan. I bought a comic book and a drawing from him. I had him sign the comic I brought with me. It was late and I was tired so I decided to head home. On my way out I saw the coolest Inspector Gadget costume. There were so many great costumes!

On my way long way back to the train I see this guy who looks exactly like one of my former students (it was dark outside). I do the “omg hey” face and at the same time so does he. So I’m thinking it really is my student. I go “Nick!” and he makes a confused face. Not him. He thinks he knows me and we try to place where he knows me from. We can’t figure it out. I’m stuck walking with him to the train station, which is about a 10-15min walk. At first I’m super nervous because he’s a strange guy, but then I find out he’s gay. He begins to tell me everything about his life and I do mean everything. Half the time I don’t know what to say so I just nod or make one word comments. He winds up needing my same train and in the same direction. Not good. I already begin to plan what I’m going to do to get away from him. Turns out he needs to get off several stops before me so I’m ok. After he gets off the train I breathe a sigh of relief and can’t believe that the conversation actually happened.

One minute goes by and a man facing me on the train makes a comment about my Comic Con lanyard. I ask him if he went he said he didn’t. He tells me that he works for HBO on True Blood. Since I don’t watch the show that doesn’t impress me. We talk about comic cons, Star Wars, celebrities, etc. He shows me pictures on his phone of his family and celebrities he has met. I eventually have to get off the train. As I walk home I think only in New York and I wonder if I have a sign on me that reads, “Strangers please talk to me.”

Categories: NYC, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gun Fight Ahead

July 16 2012

My mom brought up some breakfast which I ate quickly while getting dressed. Our first stop was going to be the Dallas Heritage Village. We would need to take a bus there and then walk. However, the neighborhood looked deserted on Google maps. The hotel was nice enough to offer to drive us to the village. On our drive we passed Pioneer Plaza, which consisted of statues of a cattle drive. We also passed the Dallas Farmer’s Market. We made note of its location so we could go back.

When we arrived we purchased tickets in the gift shop and then I picked up a postcard. The lady gave us a map and informed us that shortly there would a gun show with the actors. We took our seats for the show and were thoroughly entertained. We went into each house and shop. It was like going back in time. I was pleased that my mom was enjoying herself as well. The village is a great historical spot for people of all ages. A lot of people brought their kids and they were having a good time. Nothing was repetitive. In most of the houses we just roamed around since there wasn’t an official tour. However, a docent in one of our final houses (the Sullivan House) closed the house to the public (temporarily) and gave us a private tour. My favorite house was the Blum House. I also enjoyed seeing the Doctor’s office despite the fact all the instruments were scary looking. Thank goodness for modern medicine. We stayed to see the second gun show and surprisingly it was different than the first. I purposely had us go on a Saturday because I had read about these shows and the fact they docents in some of the houses. Additionally, there were animals and the blacksmith was in his shop working. We used the restrooms and walked a couple blocks to the Farmer’s Market.

We saw the Farmer’s Market on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and thought we would check it out. We went the outdoor portion first where there were tons of vendors selling fruits and vegetables. Many of the vendors were giving out free samples. I didn’t have any, but my mom tried a few. She seemed to enjoy them. Next we went inside and saw the long line for the Pecan Lodge (where Guy visited). We walked around for a bit and bought some sweets. We sat and watched everyone stuffing their faces with BBQ. Everything looked and smelled amazing. We used the restroom and went outside to wait for the bus. We waited for 15 minutes and no bus. It was hot and there wasn’t a place to sit by the bus stop so we decided to walk.

I had read about a mall so my mom and I were going to head there. I figured it is nice and cool after a couple hours out in the sun. I also figured we would eat dinner in the mall. The “mall” was called Plaza of the Americas and it was anything but a mall. It was the bottom levels of a hotel. There was  an ice skating rink. There was a very very small food court that was closed but looked gross anyways. There were probably less than 10 stores and they were all closed. Not one of them looked good. So we decided to leave and see the Holocaust Museum. We boarded a train and realized we were the only suckers who bought tickets. Everyone just got on. The people at the stop we got out at looked kind of scary. I guess we weren’t in the best neighborhood. The museum wasn’t very obvious (bad signage), but we eventually found it.

The admission was pretty steep considering the museum consisted of only 3 rooms (I didn’t know that at the time). There was a holocaust survivor there to talk about the book he wrote and to sign it. We walked around and saw that most of the items in the museum were actually donated by him. There was a recreation of one of the cattle cars that took the Jews to the camps. There was a very moving video at the end that had very informative signs.

We were very hungry at this point and decided to get dinner. We walked to TGI Friday’s and read the menu, but nothing appealed to us. We went into a candy store that was super expensive and left. Back to Hoffbrau’s. This time my mom ordered a bacon grilled chicken honey mustard sandwich with chips. I ordered mac n cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy again. They served us the best hot fresh bread ever! It was just so darn good!!! My mom’s sandwich looked and smelled incredible. She loved it and said it was one of the best things she ever ate. I ate her bread which tasted like honey mustard and the grill (but in a good way). We took the chips back to the room and munched on them later. What a great dinner!

On her way back to the hotel (through the scary tunnel) we had a crazy lady follow us in. She was cursing at us and threatening us. We walked fast and tried not to pay attention to her. My mom had the plastic knife from the restaurant in her hand just in case. There are no cameras in the tunnel so it is so dangerous. We reported the incident to the hotel. We went back to our room and called it a night.

Categories: Dallas, Family Vacation, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.