When I think of home I think of New York City. I grew up in West Bloomfield Michigan. I moved to New York when I was 17 to go to art school and stayed for 20 years. New York is the first place I CHOSE to live. I never quite felt like West Bloomfield was my home, it was just someplace I ended up living for a long time. I CHOSE New York, or New York Chose me. We spent a lot of time there when I was a kid. My grandparents lived in Coney Island, Brooklyn. You could hear the Atlantic Ocean from their high rise. It sounds more glamorous then it was. A lot of Russian, Polish and Yiddish speaking Holocaust survivors moved to Coney Island after the war. My grandparents lived in New York for almost 60 years and spoke very marginal English. So New York was the place we traveled to on vacations, we used to take the subway into Manhattan. It was very exciting.
I moved to New York to study photography. I stayed until I was 37. I have friends from High School who followed the same route, so some of my oldest and closest friends live there.
Andy had a freelance gig in New York and I literally begged, whined and pouted to bring Davy and I along. I knew it would be a different trip with a toddler. The last time I was in NYC we were waiting to hear about our Court date to go to Ethiopia. I need my yearly fix. I needed to see my friends. The only time Portland feels far away is when I think about how long it takes to get home.
So we packed our bags, our light weight stroller, the Ergo and an armload of sippy cups and headed to the big city.
Here is what I learned. New York is hard on a little one. It’s loud, filthy and full of stimulation. We little rolled our stroller over the same flattened rat everyday. I think you almost need to be born there in order for you to tune it out. I was very worried about our little one. Also New Yorkers are happy to give you their opionion no matter what. Andy was on the subway letting Davy play with his phone when a woman, a total stranger leaned over and said “I hope that’s educational”. Screw you total stranger.
There were some amazing upsides to our trip, friends who have never met Davy got to see her in her giggly glory. Davy working her charms on a gaggle of total strangers on the subway. The butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Zabars. Eating bagels in Central Park, black and white cookies. The thin sweet coffee I love (but really IS NOT good coffee). Diversity. A giant Elmo that totally terrified Davy. She is a little young to totally enjoy the magic of the city. I am just hoping that we can go back enough so that NYC and our dear friends is in the lexicon of her childhood.