Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Quiet of Winter

As my commute to work becomes more of an adventure each day... and the views along the way more muted, spare, simple - I have to fight being lulled into a winter sleep. The Alice "sleeps" during the cold months as well. On the first day of the new year we close our doors to the public - except for a few evening events - through the end of March.

In the main museum rooms I lower the steam heaters and keep the lights turned down. It has always been a quiet place in winter, and these days just a few of us wander the collection. We will keep up with our work: cataloging, researching the collection, planning events, organizing archives. But the only times we will see our public are when we invite them in for events or gatherings, there are no tours for the next few months.

The collection breathes a sigh and settles down to a dark, cool quietness. In the meantime, keep an eye on our website, and this blog for news of upcoming events! If you would like to receive email announcements of our events and exhibits please send me a note at!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Simpler Gift

There is something about these passing years that can make us forget how much things have changed since we were children... the days really begin to fly by in our early 20’s... life fills with friends and family, and work and play, and eventually careers, and perhaps even children of our own.

When Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa come along we start thinking of gifts to get for the people in our lives. More frequently these days gifts come with batteries, or plug into our televisions or computers; iPods and Wii video games have replaced the record player and Twister. One of the gifts that was most memorable for me as a child was the bike with the banana seat I got for Christmas when I was six!

Here at The Alice, however, none of the toys have batteries or plugs, and few even have moving parts! The toys at the museum hearken back to simpler times. Dolls and ice skates were things children enjoyed for hours, and in ways that did not necessarily isolate them from those nearby.

As a way to celebrate the youthful joy of the holidays we have put together some of our toys for you to see for yourself... sort of a visual "Letter to Santa Claus" from the 18th and 19th Centuries. We hope you will come enjoy this display, and perhaps linger for a last tour for 2008.

Ice Skates, an Adventure Book, Dolls, a simple tin puppet...