Urban kid

I had to go to New York for two weeks last fall at the start of my new job, leading Laurel to build up this far-away city in her mind as some kind of Shangri-la. So when we learned that Devin would need to go there in June for a few days in June, we began plotting a way to join him.

Since we bought the tickets well in advance, there was a lot of buildup. “Mommy, when are we going to New York?” was a common question around here. But finally the day came, and we got up in the morning and went to the airport and got on the plane (which was only delayed an hour). It was her first time flying since she was 14 months old — before she could walk — but she was mostly content to stay and play in her seat, read and draw a little, nap and look out the window. I didn’t have to do too much apologizing to people in neighboring seats. :) Then we took her first taxi trip, from JFK into Manhattan, to meet Devin where he was staying, at the Standard Hotel on the High Line.

We were only there about two and a half days, and she was only mildly jet-lagged, leading to some later-than-usual but manageable afternoon naps. We visited two playgrounds (Bleecker and Union Square), Bryant Park, Times Square (kind of by accident), the outside of the main branch of the New York Public Library, where the above photo(bombing) happened, Central Park, Washington Square Park, the High Line, and both my offices and Devin’s. She ate pizza, Chinese food, sushi, a Reuben, fancy pasta, and donuts from Babycakes. She rode the NYC subways like a pro. She was pretty sad when we had to get on the airplane to come home, although she got to watch a movie and then slept most of the way back, which was nice.

Probably her two favorite places were Central Park’s turtle pond and the fountain at Washington Square Park. She spent ages at the pond throwing things into the water, watching the turtles, running around on the rocks, and drying off from slipping into the edge of the pond at one point. At Washington Square, we showed up just as the Dyke March was ending, and the fountain was full of topless women and kids in swimsuits. Laurel loves water (if you couldn’t already tell), so it wasn’t long before she was in the fountain along with everyone else — and refusing to come out. We stayed there a long time, too; long enough that it got dark and the fireflies came out.

We’ve been back a couple of weeks, and already she’s asking when we’re going back to New York!