Well, I did it again. I took the kids on vacation. And actually, we did great. I suppose 7 years into single motherhood, I am starting to get the hang of it…My bff (the one I told you about in this post) and her bf went on vacation (like a real one…to a tropical place, with scuba diving and no kids and alcohol….) and offered me her place in Brooklyn for the week! Being as I am broke this is completely in my price range!!! Plus, my bff has excellent taste and lives in DUMBO which is so beautiful…the view from her roof is AMAZE. Anyway, the kids and I get 6 days and 5 nights in NYC!!!! My kids love NYC. Especially my 14 year old who is Broadway Bound. Between me and you, I think my 10 year old and myself could sit on a beach and read Harry Potter and be completely content for weeks if not months…but when I was a kid, NYC was where I wanted to be. Off we go!
Not before my 14 year old wakes up vomiting with some sort of stomach bug. Because, as you know from this post our vacations always involve puke. Oh and the place where I usually board my dog called to say they are having a bout of kennel cough. Excellent! Now I KNOW it is vacation!!! Regardless, we pack and go. I have three rolly suitcases except one doesn’t have a handle so to actually roll it, one has to stoop over in a hunchback fashion to use it. I won’t say which one of us got that job. I drove to Albany because, after much thought and worry I decided that we should take the train rather than brave the bridges into Brooklyn. Having made that decision made me feel loads better. We hopped on the train in Albany and my 14 year old was still feeling rather ill. I wouldn’t let her talk directly at me because if I got sick then the world would end. So, everytime she tried to talk to me I would make her look straight ahead and speak, which would crack me UP because to look at her it looked like she was talking out loud to herself.
We got off the train, found the subway we needed and almost passed out lugging our six heavy bags (screw you and your 50 pound a bag limit Amtrak!!!!!) up the stairs then down the stairs then up the stairs then down the stairs again (rolly bags don’t work on stairs. They just bang along and make really loud crashing sounds which makes other people jump out of the way.) We wound up in Brooklyn! And wheeled our way the 6 blocks to my bff’s apartment. Her friend who has the Gorilla Glue duct tape appeared holding 3 bottles of cold water and the keys to the 4th floor walk up! The water brought some color back into my poor, sick 14 year old’s cheeks. The looming 4 flights of stairs drained it right back out. We country folk ain’t accustomed ta all this here walkin around. It only took about a half hour to get the key to work and voila! We are IN!
I took the kids up to the roof to see the view.
We took a walk around DUMBO and stumbled upon a family fun night down under the Manhattan bridge. My 10 year old played in the really nice playground and got wet in the sprinkler, we got ice cream and took some great pics.
We went back to the apt, showered and passed out. We got up the next day and went to Coney Island.
I don’t think I have ever been to Coney Island and I am pretty sure once is enough for me. We went swimming, I saw a shark, a lot of broken glass and some body parts that are not legal in Upstate. The kids rode almost every ride
and we ate Nathan’s hot dogs because that is what you do. I was raised in Liverpool, NY so really anything that is not a Hoffman’s hot dog is just shit. Not being mean, just stating a fact. But when in Rome…
We went home and showered and passed out. The next day we went exploring Manhattan. I am not a fan of Times Square. I mean, it is fun for the kids and all now that it is Disneyfied and Giuliani kicked out all the hookers, drug dealers and homeless.
But I will always have a special place in my heart for the Times Square of peep shows and street magicians and pick pockets and not looking up. Regardless, we wound up in Times Square a few times during the week. We also went to The Village and China Town and Little Italy
and the Garment District which is my FAV place. I LOVE buying clothes for 5 bucks from racks on the street. And we did eat at Jekyll and Hyde restaurant which was a blast! It was a Tuesday evening so it was not crowded and it was dinner and a show. Perfect for kids who have been walking the island of Manhattan all day.
We went to the New York Public Library (as featured in Ghostbusters…no really, that is what the cop said when we asked him how to get there “oh you mean the one with the lions from Ghostbusters?”) because it is free and so beautiful. They have free tours which I LOVED because it is all about the history. And their bathrooms are so lovely and clean!I guess I should stop here and tell you that my goals beyond making sure the kids had a good time and not catching my daughter’s stomach bug were to find free fun things to do and to find free clean bathrooms to use. Turning 40 has really narrowed my priorities. The bathroom at the Jekyll an Hyde restaurant was so INCREDIBLE. I won’t tell you the whole story but you have to walk through a fireplace
and then find the right book to push, in a hallway that is top to bottom books, which will open the door to the restroom.
And the only way to tell if you are entering the men’s or the ladies is if you happen to notice a man standing at the urinal…which didn’t register with me as I had to pee…whoops! “This is a family joint lady, not Studio 54!”
We went to MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) I can’t remember exactly why we went there. But it was 25 bucks for me to get in and the kids were free. And I got to make the kids imitate the art, because life imitates art in my world. Most of the other museums in NY are only a suggested fee. So if you don’t have their suggested 25 dollar donation then you give what you can and go right in. Kids are generally free anyway. MoMA was ok. I don’t care about modern art really, or Led Zeppelin or gaucho pants which isn’t to say I don’t own a piece of modern art, a Zeppelin song or two and a pair of gaucho pants. I can appreciate that which does not thrill me. MoMA had a very nice bathroom, but nothing to write home about.
Wednesday evenings in the summer Central Park has free concerts at Rumsey Playfield.
Wednesday night was Martha Graham Dance Company…for FREE! Wow!! I studied up on the specs of exactly how and when to get there to get in line. And we did it! The show started at 8 and lasted until about 10. It was outside with the breeze blowing… incredible. It was so refreshing to see dancers trained in a technique performing that technique to perfection. The artistic director was there and gave a short talk before the show about the history of Graham company and Martha and the technique she created. It was really so fulfilling for me to hear and for my kids to listen to after all of the SYTYCD and Dance Moms crap that they are exposed to which is so far from the art of dance. Ok, I won’t get into it here. Suffice it to say, it was inspiring to be surrounded by people who love dance, not that crap on tv and to see such beautiful dancing by professionals (and not a single illusion or switch leap or crotch shot in the entire performance).
Thursday we went to see Potted Potter, an Off-Broadway musical parody of the all 7 Harry Potter books. It was HYSTERICAL! A must see even if you aren’t a Potter geek like we are. We had orchestra center. We picked up our tickets at TKTS booth in Brooklyn the day before for half off. So, basically we paid the nosebleed price for the best seats in the house. Although, it is a small theater and any seat would be good for the show. But audience participation is optional and sitting closer is better for that sort of thing. My 10 year old, who has read the entire series twice thru so far, was in heaven!
And last but not least, we got to see Selena Gomez in concert for FREE as part of the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series!!!!! I had NO idea I like Selena Gomez as much as I do! For that experience we had to get up at 4am, get on the subway by 5am, get to Central Park before 6am and queue up. We did it, and we had GREAT standing places (there are no seats…not even for old people who have been walking around for 5 days in bad shoes and have been up since 4am. Nope. I checked.) We were directly behind the VIP section! That was very much alot more funner than I would have imagined it was going to be. And yes, it made me that much dumber. Whatev, it was free. And I spotted Sam Champion who is my favorite.
We did lots of other stuff like the Whispering Wall in Grand Central and Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Punk exhibit (which sucked ass and was so lame I gave it the finger)
We stopped for every street performer
, we did eat at a few nice places
. We talked to some fun people on the subway and I got punched in the eye by a pigeon. No lie. Over all it was a great trip. The best free bathrooms are NYPL, ANY hotel on the Upper East Side, and The Bottom of The Rock (Rockefeller Center). There are others but I have a NYC hangover and can’t think of them at the moment. And I didn’t throw up at all. The End.