So I'm off to NYC tomorrow. I lived there for 7 1/2 years, and boy was I ready to leave. But I still get SO excited when I return. I don't think I'm alone here, I mean, it's an obvious tourist destination, cultural mecca, food mecca, museum-lover's paradise...
It always brings me back to the times we went when I was a kid. We'd usually take the train, but sometimes a more intrepid friend of my mom's would drive in. On one of these trips we went to a Broadway show (Eubie, I think), and it rained. POURED. It was the 80's, so puffy down feather coats were in, and I still remember the wet feather smell as we sat in the theater waiting for the show to start. I was a kid, so weather didn't bother me then. The more extreme the better. Now, not so much. And for some reason the sub chain Blimpies stands out in my memory. We didn't eat there, so I don't know why. I've never eaten there, in fact.
Another visit that stands out came earlier, during the King Tut exhibit in the mid-70's. I think it was the first time Tut came to the U.S. Steve Martin had released a single singing Tut's praises ("...had a condo made of stone-ah!"). It was a big deal. I had awoken that morning with a stomach ache, but the family had bought the tickets, it was a day off school, and it was TUT! So we went on with the show. We took the train into the city, saw the exhibit, ate something (can't remember what), and I was holding steady.
Until we waited on the platform for the train home. I remember telling my mom I was going to puke. "Are you sure?" she asked. When I nodded, she said, "Well, this is as good a place as any." Following a trend that would continue through my school days to an infamous field trip to the Peabody Museum of Natural History where I tossed my cookies in the car on the way there (my terrified classmates leapt into the way-back of our station wagon to escape), I vomited on the platform. Commuters scattered like roaches when the lights are turned on. Yep. All over the place.
I was done with my purge, though some of the businessmen sharing a car with us weren't quite sure. I remember one skeptical guy looking askance at me as he read his folded-up newspaper. I also remember being impressed at how he had folded the newspaper so neatly. Mom wasn't afraid. She held me and cuddled with me the entire way home. I was in 4th grade at the time, and I had just started eschewing mom's hugs. But not this time. I needed me some mama-comfort. It's one of my dearest memories of my mom, actually.
I feel fine tonight, so I think NY is in the clear. Let's hope there aren't any weird smells to turn my stomach.
Itinerary: MOMA shop to use precious $50 gift certificate given by great friend. Then to the Met Musuem to visit with some of my favorite
friends art objects. Then off to dinner and to see Dream Girls at the Ziegfeld with my pal Lu-lu.
As the Pointer Sisters said, I'm soooo excited.
Will report back later.
Oh, and photo credit to Helen Levitt, some time in the 40's in NYC.