Mapping Memory Lane: NYC

New York belies a single blog post. The zing, the thrill, the ease of getting around, the inevitable consumer lust I get being in such a shopping mecca. Being there with our kids amplified certain aspects. Even though I’ve been before, it felt new to see it through their eyes.

Our first night in New York we had no plans, and a stroll brought us past the box office for Phantom. We had tried to see it before, with disastrous results. Now we were standing outside of it – five minutes before show time. We looked at each other and looked at the kids. Four minutes later we were seated in box seats, stage right. Kid2 looked at me, she was literally quivering with excitement. “Feel my heart, mommy,” she said. I did, and it was racing.

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel. People walking through Times Square have seen it all. Naked Cowboy dude is still there, doing his tight thigh guitar business. There are characters in smelly fuzzy suits, there are the lights, the noise – it all astounds. That night the spectacle was enhanced by a 7 year old skipping joyfully through the crowd wearing a Phantom mask and singing at the top of her voice. People were doing double takes then smiling. Just another fan.

Our last morning we took the kids to the 9-11 memorial.  I vividly remember being pregnant with kid1 and watching the world change. As we walked to the entrance, he and I talked about what happened. I was struggling to find the right words to explain when a group of military personnel in uniform began quietly filing into the memorial. Someone in the public line started to clap – as more joined in it became a quiet wave of applause. I swallowed hard and turned to follow kid1 through the gate. “It’s about remembering and respect…” I whispered. He gave me a hug and said he got it.

We shopped, ate, walked, and laughed to our heart’s content. We slept each night as soundly as people should who squeezed a ton into each given day. As we made our way home I was glad that our trip included both sides of New York: the latest and greatest plus reminders of days gone by. If the point of travel is to see and experience new, and be left with a greater appreciation of the comforts of home, then our trip was a success.

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