Sunday, November 22, 2009

USA - NYC / Westfield

After a slow start we got on the road out to Long Island. Our destination: the Cradle of Aviation Museum, where about a decade ago we donated a bunch of stuff to their collection. The short story is that my great-grandfather was pretty involved with the early years of the aviation industry, having built the plane in front of the Franklin Institute & also having built a seaplane base & factory on Long Island – the latter moreso the museum’s interest, as the museum focuses on aviation’s extensive history on Long Island.

Our first stop was the café, and we kind of laughed at how there seemed to be one or two birthday parties (or maybe bar mitzvahs) going on here… and how dorky it must be to have it hosted at a museum. The more I wandered around, though, the more I thought it might actually be kind of neat… big machines and lots of interactivity, though probably best for little boys that like dinosaurs & fire engines and not for borderline teenagers.

The museum was quite good – much better than I was really expecting. I just figured it’d be a couple hangars in the middle of nowhere & no patrons to speak of; but instead if was a fancy-looking building full of people (though still in the middle of a sea of parking lots). It was a bit disappointing, however, when I came upon my great-grandfather’s plane. In describing the plane, it only attributed it to my great-grandfather’s company; and in describing the company, it said that it was set up by Savoia-Marchetti. This was a big strike on the museum’s part: it only leased designs from Savoia-Marchetti; SM otherwise had no involvement. My great-grandfather’s name didn’t appear once. I’d wager that my aunt or myself will be getting in touch with the curator soon enough…

By the time we got back from the museum, much of the day was already spent. So we got some tasty pizza in Westfield and then took a stroll through downtown so I could grab some photos. …And in the process of that, Chris & Lindsey both froze. Or at least Lindsey did. I think Chris just became bored. Lindsey was bored, too. The dog seemed content.

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