I was in New York City last week with daughter Jill, where I made a profound discovery. I have lived my entire life in the wrong place. It never felt quite right living here among the tall blondes, and now I know why. My people hie to the East, in the land of small brunettes who know better than to expect anything from people and wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without makeup.
The last trip I took was three years ago with daughter Jessica, when we went to the other coast, where people are mellow and we sat around a lot drinking wine. That was a nice, relaxing trip. This was a nice trip too, but not relaxing. You have to move fast if you want to see everything in New York. I distinctly remember spending three minutes in Grand Central Station, immersing ourselves in the ambience, before briskly moving on to see that big tree at Rockefeller Center. Check and check.
You might want to check your credit card limit if you’re planning a trip to New York. The restaurants, the shows, the shopping. By the end of the week, I had given up any shred of restraint and was whipping out my Visa card like I was Sarah Jessica Parker.
We bought subway passes, thinking to save a few bucks on cabs, but we got disgusted after a few days and gave up. It isn’t that the people are weird or the subways dangerous; it’s that you can’t figure out where the hell you are when you get off and have to walk a block in the wrong direction before you figure it out. I don’t think the New Yorkians really want strangers on their subways, as they have opted for obscure neighborhood names on the platform signs in lieu of universally recognized directionals (N, S, E, W).
So we took a lot of taxis, and got to know a lot of cab drivers. Some mute, some chatty, all maniacs. There are traffic lanes, but driving in them is completely optional. The cops don’t care. Who are they going to stop? Everyone?
Let us hurry up as fast as we can, ladies, driving within inches of the cars on either side of us and then slamming on the brakes, because there is no way we’re going to make it around that sanitation truck and through the yellow light without taking out the guy riding his skateboard BETWEEN THE MOVING CARS. But you can try, can’t you.
We saw three Broadway shows in New York, which you can do for roughly the cost of a small pony. Just my opinion, of course, but the best of the three was Newsies, the most overrated was The Book of Mormon and the most disappointing was Chicago, only because someone thought casting Billy Ray Cyrus as Billy Flynn for a holiday run was a good idea.
But that’s okay. The older I get the more I think I’d better start wasting my money on some fun stuff. Does anyone really want to go to their grave thinking, “Thank God. I was able to leave every penny I had to the kids.”
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