Monday, August 20, 2012

Cityscape - Day 1

Wikipedia: A cityscape is the urban equivalent of a landscape. In urban design, the term refers to the configuration of built forms and interstitial space. In the visual arts, a cityscape (urban landscape) is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print, or photograph of the physical aspects of a city or urban area.
Since this August marks six years of living here in Charlotte, I decided it was time for a history lesson on our city. While the boys (and for a few minutes, Annalyse, too) stayed busy painting their Charlotte cityscape, I read facts and figures about our city and they shot back question after question.
And, like usual, one bunny trail question led to another bunny trail question, which led to another bunny trail question. Before I knew it, I was trying to explain why America fought the British, and how much of that history happened in and around Charlotte. All of this talk of war and fighting had Grady Lee wondering "why the Americans were allowed in their country to play in the Olympics if we had a huge fight with them before?" Enter another long bunny trail.
Sometimes I wish we lived closer to our previous home in Chicago. My boys would learn what a real city is. A real city meaning that the concrete jungle can't be walked in one afternoon, the train system involves more than one line, and you're not young, hip, professional, and sans kids just because you live in a high rise. While I am a huge fan of Charlotte, I have to admit that Chicago will always and forever hold a place in my heart that no other city will fill.
Memories of my previous life in Chicago aside, Charlotte really is a great home. It's a large city without being a crowded city; a growing city without being an underdeveloped city; a bustling city without being an  overwhelming city. And, maybe even better than the city itself is simply where it's located: a short drive from the mountains and a short drive from the beach. Nothing beats that.
So, with a short history lesson and an art project under our belts, I told the boys we would spend the next day enjoying a short walking tour around downtown - er, Uptown - Charlotte. We would take the train to the middle of all the tall buildings and, rather than head straight to a museum or park like usual, we were going to walk and walk and walk. We were going to use the day to learn about some buildings, enjoy some fountains, explore some parks, visit new museums, and maybe even find a new favorite snack stop.
Our Charlotte cityscape, covered in hammered nail holes representing building windows, became a fun nightlight this evening. I placed a lamp under the box and the boys fell asleep to the soft lights of the city they call home.
Yes, it was oh-so-sweet to see their sleeping faces and their finished project glowing in the dark. The only bummer was when Micah wandered downstairs two hours later, softly crying. "The city of Charlotte is making scary shadows on my wall and I don't like it anymore!" So I mandated a city-wide blackout and Charlotte stopped glowing for the night. Sheesh.


  1. Simply! So, when does the Peeler school open up for ALL of us to come to? Seriously, Sarah, can you start a co-op and we'll just all come to it? PLEASE???

  2. OOOOO...I love this! I'm going to show my boys this and see if they want to make one too!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Awesome - LOL funny on the scary city - that would be my luck too! Have fun downtown - I mean uptown - just get that trip in before the DNC :)

  4. I agree with ALL of the above! That cityscape night light is too cool & turned out beautifully! Oh, Drew would love a project that involves a hammer & nail!
    And, I have to agree with you 100%, Chicago is the BEST & forever holds a special place in my heart for turning this country girl into a true city girl! Oh, I lamented to Jeff for YEARS after we moved back here, that I just wanted to be able to take a walk that was both fun & having a nice little walk & stopping at the Jewel & ice cream shop on the way!