Monday, October 31, 2016


Happy Halloween to my dear pterodactyl.

Friday, October 28, 2016

View from the sanctuary

It is a pretty intimidating view from up there.

In the crypt

Bishop Fulton Sheen's tomb and kneeler can be found in the crypt. Bishop Sheen would likely be beatified quite quickly if they could just agree on whether he should be in New York or Peoria.

In the Cardinal's sacristy

This carpet was made for the recent papal visit but not used. Now it is in Cardinal Dolan's sacristy.

Clerical tchotchkes

The Rector of the Cathedral gets to welcome visiting pontiffs and present them with the cross and holy water. Around St Patrick's that happens with some frequency.

The Rectory

The Rectory and parish offices are small but the address is all one could ask for. Msgr Ritchie is only the seventh rector in the history of St Patrick's because No. 2 served for more than 50 years and No. 3 for 30 or so.

VIP Tour

We spent our last morning at St Patrick's Cathedral, where we were treated to a VIP tour. The VIP in this case is Msgr Ritchie, the rector, whom we know from the Cathedral Ministry Conference.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In a loft in Brooklyn

Zizi's auntie Krista lives in the coolest artist's loft you can imagine. She is a weaver and is amazingly good at it.

Quick trip to Brooklyn

We finally walked across the Brooklyn Bridge! It was a very rainy afternoon. This photo is by M because I used up my phone battery at the Morgan. When we were almost to Krista's place, M's battery ran out, so we had to ask at a gas station if we could plug in the phone and double-check the address. He sent us to the garage next door where two mechanics were standing around waiting for someone's car to break down. They let us plug in the phone until it charged enough to get Krista's address. "Are you from Europe?" the mechanic asked, probably finding it hard to believe that any American would end up in this predicament.

Still at the Morgan

J. P. Morgan also collected a few other odds and ends, like the original numbers of Pickwick Papers and MSS pages from Waverley and Evelina.  

The key to the Brontës

At least, the key to CB's writing desk.

Brontë art

For a great writer, CB was also a pretty good artist. Here is one of her early works: The Atheist Regarding the Body of His Dead Wife. A suitable subject for the teenage daughter of a clergyman.

Charlotte Brontë and her circle

We made it to the Morgan Library where there is a fantastic Brontë exhibit underway. They not only have Branwell's portrait but a ton of other amazing things, including the MS of Jane Eyre from the British Library.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I want to be in the room where it happens

We would not have thrown away our shot if we had had a shot at getting Hamilton tickets.

Dinner in NYC

We enjoyed a simple, traditional meal on Fifth Avenue.

The smallest hotel room in NYC

And the cheapest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The collection is magnificent, too. A cute saint in a stained glass fragment:

A page from a magnificent antiphonal for Easter Sunday:

A Rococo tea party. I can't believe they didn't finish off those delicious-looking cookies.

They also had an amazing exhibit of early French photography. This is an 1854 negative of Chartres:

At the Getty

We had an amazing time at the Getty which is phenomenal and also free. A train takes you up the hill to a complex of magnificent Richard Meier buildings with epic views of Los Angeles, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Ocean, you name it.

Another Mission

On our way back we stopped at Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura. They have a Holy Door. And an old mirror that we took our picture in.

In the cemetery

One of the people buried in the cemetery is Juana Maria, who lived alone on San Nicolas Island for eighteen years. She was the inspiration for "Island of the Blue Dolphins." She was thrilled to be rescued and laughed and danced though no one was left who spoke her language. She died six weeks after her rescue "from eating too much fruit." For years they kept the tools and clothing she made in a museum in San Francisco, but ultimately they were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.

Chalk art

On the patio in front of the church they have a huge chalk art competition each year. Some of the art is still quite visible many months later.

Mission Church

The church is quite grand. There are views out to the ocean from the steps.

Queen of the Missions

Today we visited Mission Santa Barbara. It is where the first bishop of "Both Californias," as the diocese was originally called, established his residence.

Monday, October 24, 2016

More from Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier gave us a feeling of impending disaster because it is so exactly like the scene in the movie before a shark or dinosaur attack. The weather is perfect, people are walking along eating ice cream, and young lovers are taking selfies in the sunset. There are loud screams but they are just screams of delight from people riding on the roller coaster.

Pacific Park ride

We took a ride on the Santa Monica equivalent of the Seattle Great Wheel. It was a great place to watch the sunset.

Santa Monica is full of expensive shops and restaurants and the biggest Apple Store we've ever seen. And lots and lots of beach bums.

In Santa Monica

After our meeting with the archivists we went out to Santa Monica to see the famous pier. It is so important to immerse oneself thoroughly in one's subject.

Mission San Fernando

This is the Mission Church at San Fernando. We know we have been here before but the missions are easy to mix up. It makes it hard to track how many of the 21 missions we have seen.

The Archives of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are housed in a, by Archdiocesan archive standards, palatial facility on the grounds of Mission San Fernando. The archivist emeritus has an office by the door where he and his dog (Wild Bill Hickock) can see all the comings and goings. His desk is a replica of the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. He is also the author of more than fifty books on California's Catholic history.

In Los Angeles

We are on a research trip for a new comic book. We began by investigating the local burgers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

History in the making

It was sooooo fun to put our ballots in the mail just now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Old book giveaway

They were giving away some old books at the Chancery. I have never been one to say no to an old book even if it is a collection of the decrees of the third plenary council of Baltimore in Latin. This copy turned out to be quite special as it belonged to Father Fierens, who was pastor of the Portland Cathedral in the latter part of the 19th century, and later to Bishop O'Dea. One of them used a ticket to an ice cream festival as a bookmark.

Monday, October 17, 2016

In Redmond

Reunited. [Multiple face-with-hearts-for-eyes emojis here]

Friday, October 14, 2016

The end of the vacation

What a great time we had with the H's! We got to hear Charlotte read...

And watch Pete play lions and trucks...

And hear Bethie sing...

And we even got to watch "Detectorists" with Jason who is also a fan. Sigh, it's already over.