My kids are good travelers. Whether it’s a grassy median or pincher bug they find the fun. Everywhere we go, even if it’s only for a few days Rex says, Are you moving here?
He is ready to stay. Portland, Mendocino, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Washington DC, Montana, Arizona. EVERYWHERE… until now. He doesn’t want to move to New York City. Cue, the music. “Dum, dum dum da… screech…” Empire state of mind has not entered his little body.
We just got back from a week there. We had fun. He had fun. A full, lively trip. BUT, it was humid, crowded, dirty, lots of walking, lots of subways.. it was NYC. So, while water views, Miss Liberty and my many sweet, wonderful friends pleased us all I think I was a little surprised when Rex said, “I’m home sick”. He has never said that. Not imagining your loft apartment? The subway’s were his biggest hurdle.
” Mommy, once when were on the subway I had a fat man sitting next to me and I was looking at a woman who looked like man, or man who looked like a woman, I don’t know.” But, Rex , I said, “You go to school in Hollywood. Haven’t you seen all sorts?
“I go to school in Hollywood?” He got briefly excited thinking of the Hollywood of the dream world, not the reality of me having to scream at a homeless guy exposing himself near the gate of the school. Or Yelling, “Watch out Poo!” as we walk to the car.
As adults we filter out all of the senses that are coming our way. Kids are still sorting. The people I know who grew up in NYC are all super cool people, so obviously plenty of people benefit from growing up in such a dynamic atmosphere. It was just kind of an “ah-ha” for me that I have country kids. Though if you do take kids to NYC run to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. What a fantastic bit of urban development that is! Fun, immaculate! Views of Manhattan, interactive art installations. It was a major highlight.
Now, we are all humidity wimps. I fold. 3/4 of the rest of the country, I don’t know how you do it. So, that ‘s one factor. But, when we went up to see a friend in Connetcut, the humidity came with us, but Rex said he could live there. Open, grassy fields. Not so much walking. Oh, and a pool.
When is the right age to visit NYC? I was 9 when my dad took me. I liked it, but it was part of a bigger trip where we were in Atlantic City ( before it looked like it does now) Jersey country side, Washington DC, Atlanta, so it was all exciting. I do remember NYC seemed a bit overwhelming, but the excitement carried the day. So much going on. But then again I didn’t come back till I was 18. Is this one of those things where you remember something when you are older and think you were younger? Where your old person brain is off sync with a young brain? Like when I played “Caddy Shack” for my then 11 year old stepson and he reacted as if I was making him much a documentary about tooth extraction?
In the end the best moments for Rex and Vivien were, along with the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park and playing with my friends’ kids in their homes and apartments. Parks and fun kids. Those are available anywhere. Though due to the massive population in NYC I do know a fair amount of people there, so you can do a lot of visiting. If I go to most cities I’m lucky if there is one person I know there.
We got back home and I asked my kids what was their favorite part about New York? They both said, “Connecticut”. Do they have a song?