Thursday, August 31, 2017

Girls in the City: New York, AGAIN

I'll try to get back on schedule (end of summer, back to school) but this deserves its own post.

We headed back to NY for an end-of-the-summer trip. E and Viv refer these types of trips as "Girls in the City", as Jason works during most days of a trip like this. Our (first) trip (last year) was so successful, we decided to go again, only this time, armed with City Knowledge. You might notice E is wearing her "pocket sash", our current attempt at practical pockets. More on that in another post--she typically carried her clip on sunglasses, her metro card, and anything else little (lego person, map, money, etc.)

We traveled by train to NYC. We all love the train. The girls were busy with games, coloring, and walks up and down the carriages; parents read and planned our trip, while we all studied maps. Naturally, we brought Elena's wheelchair. Our goal this year was less on shows, more on seeing different parts of Manhattan. We were not necessarily going to shy away from the subway; we have became more confident with Elena and our ability to carry or use her wheelchair on public transit.

The weather was beautiful, even though it was a bit hot. It rained one day out of our week. The first day, we arrived in our lodgings near Chinatown and had an easy dinner. The following day, we headed out to brunch in Harlem (by Uber; the subway was going to take a long time!) and then headed to Central Park.

Elena received a song in her honor at Red Rooster!

We decided to try to ride bikes through the park. We rented three; a bike for Jason, a bike for Viv, and a bike for me with an attached trail-a-bike. I am the only parent who has successfully used a trail-a-bike, and my knee is much stronger than it used to be--but the last time E was on one, she was much smaller and lighter. I considered a tandem, and I am very glad I decided not to get one. Elena and I had a rough start; I felt very uneasy, had trouble starting once stopped (a significant issue, as bikes have to stop for foot/horse/vehicle traffic in the park), and Elena kept leaning from side to side so much I had a very difficult time maintaining balance for the two of us. Her feet kept falling off pedals (which would have been a HUGE problem on a tandem). We stopped by my request..I was ready to give up. I asked Jason to take the kids on the carousel, while I tried to collect myself and figured out what to do. I ended up talking with E about my concerns, and my plan to try again and what to do if our attempts ended in failure. We were a team. And we figured it out. We rode all over the park! Biking in Central Park was one of the top two things we all did in NY!

Jason daringly snapped this mid-ride

Strawberry Fields

Walking the bike was just about as difficult as riding it. For me.

Our only rainy day, we headed to the Museum of Modern Art. Elena loved it, Vivian not so much. Then we headed to the NY Public Library. Vivian loved the children's room, but E wanted more, so she and I explored the building.

Warhol Cows at MoMA

Trying to keep dry in the City

We were joined by our good friends the Gs; we spent a lot of time exploring parks and museums. We decided to head to Brooklyn from our Chinatown spot. Elena decided she wanted to walk the whole bridge; so she did!

Girls on the Bridge

Enjoying the Park
 We really enjoyed Brooklyn. Lots of walking, for all of us. We hopped on the Ferry to the Financial District.

Fearless Girls

The Bull

We enjoyed walking back through Chinatown. We ate in Little Italy. Viv and M and M and Z loved running around the parks, chasing pigeons and playing in fountains (Elena was tired). And, very important--if you are wondering if your kid can catch a pigeon, the answer is yes, so you better figure out how to convince your child to release it. 


We went back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We loved it. There is so much to explore, and with the wheelchair, there is enough energy for everyone to see as much as they can.

The kids at the top of Belvedere Castle on the way to the Met

Bamboo Display at the Met

Lots of playing in playgrounds and parks, stopping along the way for cool shops and food. Loved walking the Esplanade along the Hudson. Enjoyed the shops and bars in East Village. Only messed up once on the Subway--and everyone in Queens was very nice. Vivian and M ended up joining in a square dance/dance/exercise group in Chinatown. J and I got to go out to dinner, big thanks to the Gs for watching all the kids! So much to see...the only repeat we did this year was the Met and Rockefeller Center (kids always want to visit Lego and see what new displays they have!). Everything else was new.

Pickle Shop!

Heart Balloon

Hailing Taxi

Japanese Crepes? Yes please!

Union Square

We ended our trip with an easy evening at a Cat Cafe, called Meow. It was a very weird but pleasant way to recharge after being in such a busy city.

Refuge for Cat Lovers

Our only issue, besides me being tired from walking, was that we forgot E's crutch hand grips and she mentioned she probably wouldn't be as tired if she had them. We'll remember next time--b/c we'll definitely be back!

No comments: