Sunday, January 03, 2016

Hunter's Birthday

My son Mark and his wife Reesa have two children - Hunter and James.  Today is Hunter's 4th birthday.  He is having a kid's birthday party in a few weeks with a few other kids who are having birthdays around now but today was family birthday day.

Hunter's special event was to go to see Noah's Ark at the Skirball Cultural Centre on Sepulveda Boulevard.  The Skirball Centre is a combination kid's playground, museum, art gallery and community centre.  The Noah's Ark area is made up of three different rooms/areas that allow kids to interact with different aspects of Noah's Ark.  There is one area with mechanical animals that the kids can interact with by turning knobs, pulling levers, etc.  The animals are beautifully made from 'found" objects.  The second area is a climbing room - basically the interior of the Ark.  And the third room is an arts and crafts room where the kids can draw pictures or do other things related to Noah's Ark.

They sell tickets and you are only allowed into Noah's Ark at your appointed time and you can only stay in there for two hours.  There were lots of people in there but it wasn't too crowded and the kids didn't have to wait to play at the various stations.

We also went through the Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams exhibit. Adams' pictures, amongst other photographers pictures and a variety of documents such as newspapers, letters, etc. documented the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war.  Canada's behaviour was not better.

The exhibit was very moving and educational.  Adams pictures are stark and clearly represented the bleak atmosphere of those camps.  The descriptions downplayed the clear violation of these citizens human rights and made clear the bigoted and racist views held by too many Americans.  It was a shameful time for the country but also a time for those families to be proud of what they accomplished and what they were able to endure during those days.

The little party tonight was highlighted by the delight Hunter displayed when he opened his gifts (we gave him two star wars figures - Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader - and some books) and by the birthday cake Reesa made for Hunter.