Sidewalks of New York
My brother in law picked us up and I sat in the back with my 2.5 year old niece who promptly fell asleep. The streets were as quiet as the airport and a wonderful homemade German dinner was waiting for us when we arrived. We got our own room with a Murphy bed!! It was my first time ever sleeping in a Murphy bed. They are more romantic in concept than in reality. That said, I was sleeping with my husband, in our own room, in a lovey warm safe place with his family in the wonderful land of Brooklyn. So it was divine.
Day 1 of the trip my husband and I took for a bit of a lovers ramble, walking Manhattan almost end to end. We started in East Harlem where he showed me where he had rented a room when he had an internship there nearly 10 years ago. The air was cold but the sun was shining on our faces as we walked. To head south we cut through the northern most end of Central Park. I love that park. Every time I visit I make a point to go there. It's an idyllic land where you can lose yourself, forget where you are (until you encounter a New Yorker who is somehow completely a "New Yorker" and you remember, but it's still magical).
My in-laws needed a stroller for their new baby and had been watching Craigslist trying to snatch a specific make and model. Since we were in Manhattan and there was a fresh listing in Manhattan would we mind stopping? Of course not! We went into a high rise at the corner of 70th and Broadway where a lovely family had just upgraded to, "a Cadillac of baby strollers." We learned how to use it, test drove it in the halls, (it handles corners beautifully) and left with this:
|Photo credit to uppababy.com|
The rest of our time there was spent in quiet, happy family times, delicious food, and niece snuggles. My sister-in-law is from Germany so there is a very European vein that runs throughout their home. That means delicious breakfast! With bread. Such a wonderful abundance of bread. I've decided if you are German and gluten free you may as well kill yourself. "I'm GF," translated to German is, "You have 3 months to live."
Monday afternoon came (after yet another delicious breakfast) and with it our time to return home. We took the subway back to the airport. There was a preacher in our train car, philosophizing on the futility of life and quoting every Bible verse known to man to try to save that train car's soul. A homeless man got on at a later stop, unaware that our car already had a public speaker. However the preacher politely waited for the new comer's sales pitch to end before he continued with his own. Part of me wished they would have competed for air space just to see and hear the confusion and who would concede first.
Walking home back in Chicago I said to my husband, "My goodness, did they clean the alley's this weekend? Everything seems so clean!" He responded, "You're probably just used to seeing the sidewalks of New York." New York, there is much I love about you and so much you do so well. Trash is not one of them. But Central Park and one of the dearest families I know will always keep me coming back. That and stroller shopping.