Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Pleasure of Good Radio

Being a writer has unexpectedly put me in contact with journalists, a happy, if naively unexpected side effect of publishing a book. If the post below was about potentially untrustworthy journalism,this one is about radio journalism of the best time. You must, must, must check out and click On Air to stream it to your computer. This is the community radio station in West Marin that interviewed me last night. What a treat. The host, Jonathan Rowe, who, it turns out is on the board of Take Back Your Time Day, was just one of those smart, engaged, broad-thinking people that you just want to talk with all night. I was surprised, and sad, when our hour was over. The conversation was so good that I kept asking him what he thought. He started with an anecdote about being at the Hong Kong airport with his wife and young child, and being surprised that there was a full indoor playground for the kids. His comment: things are usually so bad, and as a result, we expect so little. that we are surprised when we come across something that actually suppports our families. Wouldn't it be great if every airport in North America had a play area and play scape for kids in the various terminals.

I seem to have a hazy memory--I was there very early one morning--that the Vancouver airport also had a playscape for kids, right near a large cluster of skyway gates. I too, was happily surprised. Must one leave the USA to find such things, and to place the scarcity and lack of support in real context? Every air traveler in america should be lobbying for these things--just think about how much better behaved all our kids will be on airflights if they have a chance to run around and climb for 20 minutes before boarding? All those business travelers who complain about antsy kids--call and write your airline now! This is not just a problem for families!

And for very funny and well-written kid on airplane stories, see Andi Buchanan's Mother Shock and just scroll down to the airplane stories.

I'm off with some pages to a new cafe that opened down the block from my house--High Point cafe--a local woman who just moved back from Seattle where she owned a cafe. I'm bringing a draft of an essay I'm writing for Andi's forthcoming book "It's a Girl," the gender companion to "It's a Boy" which I think is already up on Amazon and will be released soon. Both are essays about raising kids, and I'm trying to sort out my daughter's love for cheerleading, including a story about how she took her cheerleading doll to school one day and not one but two boys attacked it, leading me to feel staunchly protective of the doll and curious that the girly act of cheerleading would provoke such acts of violent reprisal--at Quaker school, no less.


Rosemary said...

There actually are a number of airports in the U.S. with play areas for children. The Atlanta airport has several small areas with playhouses and toys, the Baltimore airport has a large play area (including a cross section of an airplane that kids can get right into and pretend to fly). I guess my point is it seems as if sometimes people automatically assume things are "better" elsewhere...sometimes they are, and sometimes you just need to know where to look.

Miriam Peskowitz said...

Thanks, I don't remember the Atlanta playscapes, they must be new. I know Philadelphia used to have one. There must be more, especially in some of the newer airports. Thanks for writing in. And yes, it is about knowing where to look! mp

Jennifer said...

There is a play area at O'Hare as well. It was a pleasant surprise. IMO it is still pretty rare in the US.

Thanks for linking to Andi Buchanan's airplane stories. I have had very similar experiences as well.

carla said...

Welcome to the Progressive Women Bloggers webring

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

The Portland, OR airport has a new section that is really well designed for kids. Doesn't have a playground per se (except in the gritty "local destinations" wing) but lots of benches designed to be walked on & other things. Also I seem to remember the SF airport having a small children's area. I was there VERY early, I may have dreamed it : )

One thing about travelling with children, I found people to be very friendly and helpful. My experience was different from Andi Buchanan's. Maybe I looked more haggard?

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