new york state of mind

oren is grumpy this morning. everything is making him cry. i just sat down to eat my breakfast, and over he ran to sit and eat with me. earlier, i turned on a dvd for the boys so i could eat in peace, and now, i’m saying to oren, “come on, go watch t.v.” and he dissolved into tears. moment of irony: having your kid cry when you tell them to go watch t.v. hmm.

this morning, i’m remembering the great part about taking a trip sans kids: eating in silent contemplation or quiet conversation–uninterrupted for hours if we wanted–breakfast, lunch, dinner; walking relatively aimlessly, carrying only one small bag without any diapers in it; sleeping soundly knowing there is no way the kids can wake us up from hundreds of miles away; waking up gradually, not jumping out of bed to a baby demanding “milk” or “eat.” aaaaaaahhhhhh. that’s nice.

so, these are my thoughts on nyc… it’s all about the people: glamorous people; beautiful people; rich people; people who want to be glamorous, beautiful, rich; ugly people; poor, poor people; people from here; people from there. we were definitely not the only people visiting the big apple. i heard so many foreign languages and accents everywhere we went. people looking at guidebooks and maps. people asking for directions. people asking us for directions–apparently we looked like we belonged. i had wondered about whether we would fit in before we went, but i need not have worried. in nyc, everyone fits in.

walking down 5th ave midtown to times square, it was impossible (for me at least) not to get caught up in the ebb & flow of crowds crossing the streets, moving along the streets. if the cars don’t run over the people, the people run over the cars. in central park we found, not a quiet, soothing greenspace, not a hideaway from the city and the crowds, but mayhem. more people. lines of people. crowds of people. people exercising–running, biking, in-line skating, walking–along the roads through the park. people walking and trying not to get run over by other people. people riding in bike taxis. people riding in horse drawn carriages. people rowing boats. people waiting to row boats. people together. people alone. people together wanting to be alone.

and if we thought we could completely escape being parents, we were wrong. everywhere in new york city there are people with kids. kids in strollers. kids pushing other kids in strollers. kids on bikes and scooters. kids climbing up islands of rock scattered throughout central park’s green rolling lawns. kids in playgrounds. kids on the subway. the whole time i was imagining how much fun it would be for seb and oren to be in nyc too.

nyc is only a little bit about the buildings. when you’re downtown, you’re surrounded by them. they’re random, scattered. there are so many of them it’s hard to see what’s what. central park does a good job of hiding the buildings. there were only a few places to see them through the trees. when we were in brooklyn on sunday night, we strolled to the brooklyn promenade, a brick walkway, a sort of rambling park along the east river. from there we saw the statue of liberty, the brooklyn bridge, the skyline. from there the city was in clearer perspective. this view, as well as sharing it with friends, rob and susan, made getting stuck in the neverending vortex of the subway system totally worth it.

and now we’re home.