Let me just get that up front and center. I LOVE NYC. I always have. I find it enormously fascinating, always interesting, and surprising on every corner. So when I got the chance to speak at the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book Conference, I was thrilled–because I knew it meant I could go you-know-where.
Now my husband doesn’t get nor understand my love affair with NYC, so I took my son, Nicholas with me. He’s been pestering me to take him to New York since he was four. Yes, four. I promised him way back then I would take him when he was eight–thinking he would never remember such a promise–oooh, he remembered. And in Nick, I found a kindred spirit–a traveling buddy who loves NYC as much as I do.
And the fun part about going to NY this time, even after I’ve visited so many other times was seeing it through the eyes of a child. He brought back all the wonder and joy I felt exploring the city nearly twenty years ago. We visited places I’d been before: The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the American Museum of Natural Sciences (aka Night at the Museum), Central Park, rode the subway, rode in taxis, saw two plays–all of it accompanied by these gasps of delight and “Wow, Mom! This is SO cool!”
Not often a mom gets to be cool.
Even though it was hot — the 80s in October, who would have thought it? — he trudged alongside me up and down the blocks in the garment district while I searched for new button stores, took the 3 hour time change in stride, and ate more slices of pizza than I thought was possible. If I carry away anything from this trip it is the image of him dancing on the piano at FOA Schwartz, ala the movie Big. He even conned his Aunt Cathy into taking him back there while I was at the conference so he could do it again. The little ham–I don’t know where he gets it.
Best of all, the little squirt did me proud–he went in to HarperCollins and made himself at home, learned how they make book covers, pitched his comic book series to Carrie Ferron and dealt well with having to sit through “a very boring” lunch (his words, not mine) with my editor at my favorite lunch spot (the tea room at Takashimaya.) Thank goodness I had the forethought to put Garfield, A Tale of Two Kitties on my iPod for him. The only time he really balked was when I had to catch up with Julia Quinn and she was in The American Girl Store.
Word of caution: Do not ask an eight year old boy to set foot inside The American Girl Store. You stop being cool in a New York minute.
So as we flew home last night, and he sleepily curled up next to me on the plane, I heard the best words of all just before he fell asleep, “Thanks mom. I love New York, don’t you?”
Yes, honey, I do. I really, really do.
What are your favorite places in NYC? And if you haven’t been, what would you most like to see?