When most people think of Little Italy, they often picture Lower Manhattan. On Friday afternoon, however, members of Wheatley’s Italian Club discovered that Arthur Avenue (in the Bronx) is the real Little Italy—filled with authentic edible Italian treasures!
Accompanied by Mrs. Susan Vasselman and Mr. Robert Gadamowitz, 29 Wheatley Students had the opportunity to meet various vendors, varying in novelty shops, delis, pastas shops, bread and pastry shops and an indoor food market and experience their specialties. The students were warmly greeted by the owner of Mike’s Deli in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market. He gave us a demo on the different cheeses he makes at his store and a lesson how they how they should be served.
A further appreciation for the Italian culture was had by all. Many students cannot wait to go back with their families and show them what a great corner of the Bronx this place truly is.
[Thanks to Mrs. Vasselman for the photos and the write-up!]
Last week, 23 students and four faculty members departed for a week in Spain. Mrs. Martinez has been kind enough to provide some wonderful updates regarding their time in Spain.
Monday, 5 November
Today we took an interesting tour of the Plaza de Toros de Sevilla
, the oldest bullring in Spain. We learned about bullfighting and walked behind the scenes as well as out onto the sand where it all occurs. Since we know that it is animal torture, we tried to look at it from a cultural perspective. We learned about the techniques, the clothing, the training, the ceremony, and the profession.
Then we walked along the Guadalquivir River
, crossed the bridge, and wandered around the Triana neighborhood. This is the place that the gypsies and flamenco musicians and dancers lived. We went to Mercado de Triana
, a food market, and then had some time to get lunch and go to a few shops.
Triana is also where many of the intricate tiles of Spain are made. We went to a big factory store where they are made in big ovens and painted. Many of us bought souvenirs. Then we went to a gourmet food market, el Mercado de la Lonja, for a few snacks.
Dinner was at a restaurant in a lovely round plaza with a fountain. It was a good day, and we have had sunny but chilly weather in the sixties, which is just perfect for walking around all day.
Tuesday, 6 November
Today we visited the Alhambra
, a fort and palace built buy the last Muslims that ruled Spain. On the bus ride, we passed orange trees, olive trees, white villages with church steeples, palm trees, cactus plants, and snow capped mountains. We also saw that Spain uses renewable energy, as there were many windmills and solar panels along the way.
During our tour, we learned about the Alhambra, its architecture, how it was used over the years, the life of the sultans and the Spanish Inquisition
. There are colorful tiles with patterns and calligraphy among intricate stucco, arches and marble patios with fountains. The vaulted ceilings and views through the windows were breathtaking.
Wednesday, 7 November
Today we took a cooking class. We made salmorejo
, a cold tomato soup, similar to gazpacho, but creamier. The main dish was a giant vegetarian paella with snow peas, tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, asparagus, garlic, peppers, and cauliflower. All of the food was fresh from the market where we took the class. It was delicious. For dessert, we made flan. The kitchens were open and modern. We had a great meal. Everyone was involved in the cooking and preparation, and it was a lot of fun. The class was in Spanish, and the kids handled it very well.
Next, we took a boat cruise down the river. There was a recorded guide in Spanish and English, which explained what we were passing, such as bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava
and historical landmarks.We learned about the buildings we were passing and relaxed before heading to our flamenco dance class, which was taught in Spanish as well. We took a class on how to clap and stomp and keep the beat, as well as where flamenco came from and how to call out when the dancer is doing a great job. After the workshop, we went into the dance room and tried to bust a move.
Clearly, our students are having a wonderful experience in Spain! Thank you to Mary Martinez for the terrific and informative updates! Thanks as well to Alison Amarain for the beautiful photos below!
On Thursday evening, 23 Wheatley students and 4 Wheatley faculty members departed for a week in Spain. The first few days have been filled with activity!
Mrs. Martinez provided the following updates on the first two days:
We went to the Seville Cathedral (built in 1409) and saw Columbus’ tomb, where “less than a hamburger” of his remains lie. Gross, right?!? Next, we climbed to the top of the Giralda bell tower, which is very easy to go up, because it is a ramp. It was originally a minaret for a mosque.
We enjoyed the Plaza de España, ornate with beautiful blue, yellow, and white ceramic tiles. There was a Fiat car show surrounding the fountain, a man blowing giant bubbles, and a flamenco group upstairs, making the atmosphere even more fun. We took a boat ride; some of us chose a motorboat and some rowed. Next, we found an international food market, and the kids sampled foods from all over the world, including kangaroo.
Mrs. Stein and Alison Amarain provided the following wonderful photos!
Earlier this evening, we were excited to begin our first-ever American Sign Language (ASL) course at Wheatley! Thanks to the efforts of senior Charlotte Goldbaum and the sponsorship of the Wheatley PTO, we were able to find an experienced ASL educator, Azadeh Malekan, ready to lead participants through the fundamentals of ASL. Through this 10-week course, participants will be able to communicate using ASL at a basic level. This course is open to all community members, and we are thrilled that two dozen participants registered!
I attended the beginning of the first class and was absolutely dazzled by Ms. Malekan’s skill and ability to engage the class!
After months of submitting, revising, editing, and proofing, the 48th Edition of Vintage, Wheatley’s student literary magazine, was released amidst great fanfare at Friday evening’s Vintage Coffeehouse. During this wonderful event, students, faculty and family members assembled in Room 450 to hear some of the selections included in this year’s edition and to be entertained by the incredible talents of our students.
A huge “Thank You” and “Congratulations” to our Editor-in-Chief, Vani Kumar, our Junior Editors of Literature, Saman Suleman and Anne Yan, for assembling a wonderful team of editors for this year’s truly remarkable edition. Thank you as well to Rick Allen Wilson, our Faculty Advisor to Vintage.
- Ally and the Suncats
- Emma Melnikov
- Kenton Wu
- Alekya Bokka and Adeel Anwar
- Michaela Balboni
- Robert Boubour
- Alexandra Levine
- Spectrum (see Wheatley’s Got Talent 2018)
- Shruti Goyal and Talia Rosen
- Kimberly Esquillin
- Kajal Kapoor
- Justin Vega
- Vani Kumar
- Patrick Brady
- Halli ArbitalJacoby
On Friday afternoon, 20 Wheatley students (accompanied by Mrs. Martinez, Mr. Craven and Mrs. Trosko) departed for a week of adventure in Spain! Students will spend the week with families in Madrid, with a variety of cultural and historical excursions planned during the week.
We are fortunate to have faculty members willing to take our students on these worthwhile opportunities.
Wheatley has an incredibly talented student body, involved in so many activities both inside and outside the classroom. Areas in which students have always excelled have been the fine and practical arts. From incredible stage performances to award-winning literary magazines and newspapers, Wheatley students have provided so much entertainment and value to our school and community. To recognize some of the students who have made special contributions in these areas, the faculty advisors invite them to a special dinner—held this year at The INN at New Hyde Park.
In addition to a lovely sit-down dinner, the evening features student performances and a mini art show. The faculty advisors and students are reminded of the critical role they play in helping Wheatley remain a school where there is a place for everyone to shine.
A highlight of this evening is the presentation of the Eve and Jerry Jerome Award, a recognition given to the music student who has demonstrated outstanding skill, character and citizenship at Wheatley. Presented by Mrs. Luftig, this year’s recipient is Justin Vega!