LIST Birmingham October 2019

OCT 2019




New York Tour Highlights

Last year, instead of going to the beach, we went to Washington, D.C., and Bram, our 10-year-old, loved it. This year, Bram asked if we could go to New York to see the Yankees, so we went to Yankee Stadium and saw the Yankees play the Red Sox, and the next day we saw a Mets vs. Marlins doubleheader. We did many other fun things while in New York, so here are my recommendations about what to see and do if you’re ever in the Big Apple. Sept. 11 Memorial A must-see! We took a tour of the Sept. 11 memorial, and it was the highlight of our trip. The tour guides do an excellent job bringing the events of Sept. 11 to life and walking you through the history of the site since that tragic day. We, of course, had to go to the One World Observatory located on floors 100–102 of the One World Trade Center (previously known as the Freedom Tower), the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 104 stories. Yankee Stadium or Citi Field? Citi Field wins. Both are awesome, but Yankees fans are intolerable. I’m sure playing their rivals did not help, but we found them to be rude, vulgar, and obnoxious — and those were their good points. Bram, for the fourth time this year, made it on the Jumbotron at a major sports venue. The Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Orleans Pelicans were his others.

of the most iconic symbols of your country, there is no inferior tour.

Uber or NewYork Taxi? You’d think Uber, the newcomer, would have an advantage, but no. NYC taxes Uber heavily, so an Uber from LaGuardia was $75 to Midtown, but a New York taxi was only $45 (and, of course, the Uber app doesn’t let you in on this). However, once you are in New York, the subways are tough to beat. They are near every major attraction, and we felt safe taking them every time.

St Patrick’s Cathedral If you are Catholic, you have to attend mass at a church that has hosted four popes: Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. Although, don’t be alarmed by the numerous NYPD in the vicinity. They guard the cathedral and carry machine guns outside. Plays on Broadway We saw“The Lion King” on Broadway, and Bram loved it! Before visiting New York, check for current shows using Google. The variety is astounding, and you’re sure to find something the family will enjoy while you’re in town. Other Great Stuff A few final things not to miss if you have the time include FAO Schwarz (forget Amazon – being in a real toy store is unforgettable), Hershey’s Chocolate World at Times Square, New York pizza, Times Square at night , Central Park, and Rockefeller Center.

The City View If you had to choose between the One World Trade Center or the Empire State Building, hands down, the Empire State Building is the best place to see an amazing view of the city. Why? Because at the Empire State Building, you are outside. Also, it’s fun to roam where some of the most classical movie scenes took place: “King Kong,”“An Affair to Remember,”“Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Elf.”

Statue of Liberty If you book tickets months in advance, you can get the

While Washington, D.C., is probably more kid-friendly if you have young children, we loved New York and will cherish the memories we made on this vacation.

“Crown Tour,”which allows you to go all the way up into the crown of the statue. We did not order in time, so we had just the pedestal tour, but, when you are beside one

-Melvin Upchurch


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HOW’S THAT FOR ODDS? Reggie ‘Mr. October’ Jackson’s Legendary Game

The leaves are turning, the weather is changing, and the holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s time to bring out the fall decor! To make this season especially memorable for your family, create your own decorations with these fun ideas below. PINE CONE PAINTING Go on a family walk through the park to pick up a few fallen pine cones or take a quick trip to the store to buy a bag. Once everyone has their own hand-picked pine cone, grab a paintbrush and a few colors and have at it! For extra flair, add some fixings like glitter, beads, sequins, string, and more. LEAF PAINTING Take a trip outside with the kids to pick out some large, unbroken leaves, then head back inside and get creative! You can pull out the construction paper and paint trees, using handprints and “arm prints” as the trunks and branches. Paint the leaves you found to spruce up your trees or use them as decorations on their own. You can also use them for leaf printing or leaf pressing. FUN FINGER FOOD When you’ve got multiple friends and family members coming over and you need snacks, edible decorations are the way to go. You can get a little creative and make elaborate treats, or you can opt for delicious and easy-to-make finger foods with your kids. A good starting treat for your family is a batch of pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats. Add orange food coloring to the mix and get your kids to shape the treats like pumpkins before using a few pretzel sticks to make sturdy stems. THANKSGIVING CRAFTS Thanksgiving is only a month away, and your possibilities for holiday- themed crafts are endless with just a few supplies like paper, scissors, markers, and string. You can make turkey placemats, tissue paper trees, pumpkin garlands, paper pumpkins, or leaf mobiles to hang from the ceiling. Compile a list of ideas and have your kids pick out which craft they want to do first, then get to work together to create as many decorations as you want to display for Turkey Day. FALL FAMILY FUN Decorate Your House With Your Own Creations!

“I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.” –Reggie Jackson

Some people shine brightest in the spotlight. When put to the test, they deliver every time. Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is one of those people. During the sixth game of the 1977 World Series, Jackson hit three home runs in a row, securing the Yankees’ victory over the Dodgers and winning them their 21st World Series title. The legendary playoff game also earned Jackson the nickname “Mr. October,”which has stuck to this day. Like many stories of greatness, Jackson’s featured a lot of hard work behind the scenes. He dedicated himself to his sport and constantly worked to improve his play. Growing up, Jackson played baseball, basketball, and football and excelled at all three, though football was his strong suit. He was scouted and given opportunities to go pro straight out of high school, but, on the advice of his father, he went to college on a football scholarship. Thanks to a $5 bet, he tried out for the baseball team at Arizona State University and made it. Jackson was the first black person on the team, and, even though he experienced discrimination, he never let it stop him.

From the minor leagues into the majors, Jackson’s ambition got him through many tough times, as did the constant support of his father and

of Oakland A’s manager John McNamara. Jackson always dreamed of playing for New York, and, eventually, his dream came true when he signed with the New York Yankees in 1976. To this day, Jackson holds many prominent records, including being the first player to earn more than 100 home runs for three different teams

(the A’s, Yankees, and Angels). He even has his own candy bar, the “Reggie! Bar,”which debuted during a Yankees game in 1978. Let’s see if any of this year’s playoff games stir up as much excitement as Reggie

With these engaging craft ideas, the whole family will be eager to make their own decorations and show them off for months to come!

Jackson’s did in his heyday.

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TAILS FROM THE PAST Mythical Cats of the World Most owners will tell you their cats act like ancient deities. Majestic, scrupulous,


and utterly unpredictable, these fascinating creatures have long captured our imaginations. Even before cat videos took the internet by storm, humans have been idolizing felines, placing them alongside some of their most important mythological figures.

In Norse folklore, the goddess Freya had a unique means of travel: a chariot pulled by two cats. These were skogkatts, or Norwegian


Of course, a list of mythical cats has to start with Egypt. While many people know the pharaohs and their followers thought cats were sacred, you may be surprised by how deep the connection goes. The earliest depiction of Bastet, the feline deity of protection, is a lion-headed woman in battle. But, over the course of 2,000 years, Bastet evolved to resemble the domesticated, pointy-eared cats we know and love today.

Forest cats, that were only a little larger than your average house cat. Still, these small felines towed Freya around battlefields as she gathered


Legend has it that in the 17th century, a monk living in a small temple in Edo (now Tokyo) was struggling to survive, but he still split his meals with his cat, Tama. One day, Lord Nakaota Ii got caught in a rainstorm while hunting and took shelter under a tree near the temple. Nakaota spotted Tama near the temple, and the cat raised its leg, beckoning the noble to come toward him. Curious, Nakaota complied, stepping out from beneath the tree just before a bolt of lightning struck it down. The lord’s life was saved, and to this day, the Maneki-Neko (the beckoning cat) is a symbol of wealth and good fortune.

warriors to send to Valhalla. On top of being the goddess of war, love affairs, and magic, Freya may well have been Midgard’s first cat lady.



Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine

This recipe fromMomofuku Milk Bar chef and “Master Chef” judge Christina Tosi makes great use of those extra Halloween goodies. It’s a quick and easy way to both elevate and get rid of unwanted leftovers.


2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely broken

1/3 cup dry milk powder

1/4 cup light brown sugar

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp granulated sugar

12 oz mini candy bars, such as Snickers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces



Heat oven to 275 F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, fold together pretzels, sugars, milk powder, and butter. 3. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. 4. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and mix in candy bar pieces before serving.

Solution on Page 4




INSIDE 1 A Family Vacation


Fall Crafts for the Whole Family ‘Mr. October’: The Legendary Reggie Jackson


Amazing Cat Tales Leftover Candy Snack Mix


The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow

HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN Halloween Celebrations in Sleepy Hollow

In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home

Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows”will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins. Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.

alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.

This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of

North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big

If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!

Halloween party during the month of October.

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