Last week we took Logan on a New York City adventure. In a newish tradition I take Kayla or Logan, on alternate years, on a short trip, giving them some fun and focused time. Kayla invariably picks NY, and happily (no plane ride!) Logan wanted NYC this year.
When I take Kayla, it’s a girl trip, but Logan wanted everybody. So we had me and BW, Jason and Kat and Laura as his adventure team.
His priority? Niketown and basketball shoes. Easy to fulfill that particular dream right after arrival and unpacking. It’s a good walk from our hotel, and really good to stretch the legs after the long drive. Logan has very specific taste in bb shoes, knew just the brands he wanted to look for. And since he wouldn’t, like his sister, dive into makeup and clothes, I granted two pair.
Happy boy! I can’t remember the players whose shoes he settled on–Laura probably will–but the guy helping him out was impressed. Apparently he covered his bases and got a pair from a player on each team in the playoffs. [Note from Laura: Logan went with a white pair of Kyrie Irving shoes and a blue pair of Kevin Durants. He alternated them as day and night shoes.]
The guys headed back to the hotel with shoes, and the girls peeled off for . . . makeup and clothes shopping. Kayla has learned at our feet, after all.
Back at the hotel, Laura’s daughter joins us for a big, happy room service dinner. And Logan has people who actually follow basketball (Laura and Jason) to watch the game with. Break that up with some hot tubbing on the roof at halftime, and it’s a good arrival day in the city.
Like Kayla, Logan has a cot in the second-floor parlor. He’s told me it won’t bother him for me to workout there in the morning. So I do, quietly–and it doesn’t.
We also brought the heat. Laura, born on the Ice Planet Hoth, is not pleased. Jason wonders if she’ll melt or just burst into flames. Me? I like the heat. We get plenty of it as we head down to the High Line in the morning. And there, I see an American Smoke Tree (ID’d by Laura, the High Line interactive map and Google) in full bloom. It’s just magical, and I hope to have one for my own.
Lunch, then back to the hotel. Logan gets his own Metro Card for the subway.
The boy likes cards, and Kat’s come prepared. Some of the games have very odd rules that can, apparently, change during play. This is no problem for Logan. We cap that off with a round of Reverse Charades–a new game for the boy, and one he’s enthusiastic about.
[Note from Laura: the hotel sent up an extra special chocolate chip cookie cake as a belated birthday surprise on Saturday evening.]
The next day is for Wonder Woman. I can’t say enough about Wonder Woman, and will say little as some reading this may not have seen it. I’ll say this: Go See It! It’s wonderful, hit every note for me. And from the conversation after the movie, hit every note for our entire group.
We walked to the movies–long walk uptown. We wanted to avoid the crush of the Puerto Rican Day parade, and managed that well, then cut through Central Park, got to the theater in plenty of time.
Shorter walk back as the parade’s done, and Logan and I discuss the movie. I want to see it again, and will own it when the DVD’s released. Though more of a Marvel than DC fan (as is the boy) we’re both looking forward to the Justice League, for Wonder Woman particularly.
Laura can talk basketball. I can talk superheros.
Back at the hotel, Laura and I do a Facebook Live chat. Easy, breezy, with cameos from some of the group.
Time for more cards, another round of Reverse Charades. I see these being popular activities during family spa week next month.
The next day is downtown again, and The Flatiron. BW and Logan subway; the rest of us walk. It’s a hot, sunny, gorgeous day. It’s fun to take Logan to my favorite building in NY, and my publisher. It’s great to see my editor and lots of the St. Martin’s Press team–and my agent comes by, too, before she has to head off to a lunch appointment. What I really like to do in NY, is going through the city on those new scooter kopen. It´s a new french model that runs on electricity and goes really fast, so it gets even more exciting on an open road with no cars.
Best for Logan–and always a highlight for me–a trip up to the roof. It’s amazing up there, the views, the feel, the gorgeous architecture. I skip the trip down and down to the boiler room (it’s wonderfully spooky) to hang with my editor awhile.
Then it’s off to lunch and the fabulous Lombardi’s pizza.
Logan and I ride back, drop my editor back off at work. This 13-year-old boy considers the trip to the roof of The Flatiron his favorite moment so far. Thanks SMP!
I teach him to play Hearts–Jason, Kat, Logan and me. He latches on quick. Pretty sure the bb finals ran that night. Or maybe it was the night before. Whenever they did, he watched them.
Our last full day, at his request, was The Empire State Building. I haven’t been there since my boys were younger than Logan. Getting the group moving took some time, so Laura, Kat and I headed out for a little more shopping. Then it’s the walk down. I point out the NY Public Library. He doesn’t seem all that impressed. LOL.
He says at one point: I can’t even see it (The Empire State).
I say: Look up.
We’re standing on the corner directly across the street.
Our clever Kat’s arranged for fast pass tickets, or whatever they’re called. So, so worth it. We’re whisked along, and into the elevator where I try not to obsess about the numbers going up and up and up. I’m not big on heights.
I’m okay with The Observation Deck as long as I look out and not down, and God knows there’s plenty of air. We circle so we get all the views, and point out buildings. And there’s the roof of The Flatiron where we stood the day before. It’s pretty far down, and that seemed way high enough. But here we are.
Then up we go again–over 100 floors up. Why does anyone need to be over 100 floors up? I can feel the building sway. Why does anyone want to be 100 floors up and swaying? I’m thrilled when he’s had enough and wants to hit the gift shop. But my system swayed for much longer.
I like that he’s taking his time, being thoughtful over the little gifts he wants to bring back to his family. I approve his choices–well done–and thank God when we ride down to street level.
The sidewalk sways for a while, but eventually steadies.
We have time for a breather after the walk back to the hotel, time to cool off then head out again for the long subway ride to Queen’s and the Mets vs Cubs at Citifield.
I’ve ridden subways countless times, and have never been so packed in. Logan’s nearly as tall as I am now, but I’m pretty much literally around him, with him in front of me, and me holding onto the pole.
If I had to commute this way to work, I’d be unemployed.
It’s a beautiful ball field. There’s nothing quite like a baseball field–that green and brown and white. We’re right behind the first base dugout.
For me, it’s a beautiful, balmy night for baseball, but I wasn’t born on the Ice Planet Hoth. It isn’t such a good night for the Mets. The pitcher gets dinged with a home run in the first inning. He loads the bases (at least one with a base on balls) then walks a run in. Still, I want to see the game, and there’s this guy in the row in front of us who keeps standing up, obviously looking for someone.
It’s a lot worse when his friends arrive. One, a woman, never, never, never stopped talking. Not in a muted conversational voice, but in a loud, thick Queen’s accent. I know all about her recent vacation–ALL about it, including meals. Every day. I know her name’s Pam because the guy who kept standing up keeps talking to her, asking questions. I think one of the guys she came with is her husband, but this other guy has stars in his eyes.
I know about her work week. I know where she parked the car and why.
I wonder why this group didn’t go to a bar to catch up instead of talking through a ball game they obviously have no interest in.
By the fourth inning it’s clear the Mets aren’t likely to come back from this. It’s a rout. By the sixth, Pam has given me a headache. Doesn’t it start to hurt the throat to talk nonstop for a freaking hour? I see Logan’s not so happy–we’ve exchanged glances and rolled eyes over Pam. He tells me he has a headache. I get it.
I give him a Motrin, take a couple myself, and we decide we’ve had enough. I think the score was 11-1 Cubs at that point anyway. We head out, sit in the relative quiet, wait for Laura. It’s tough for her–a Mets fan–to sit through the sad, sad game. The others are going to tough it out, but at Logan’s request, the three of us Uber back to the hotel.
Logan settles down with the season final of The Flash on his phone. I have a very large drink.
When the others get back, they report a final of 14-3.
Say goodbye to Laura in the morning, who’s heading off to visit a pal on the way home. Pack up, organize. Check the space a half a dozen times. And we’re on our way home.
I asked Logan for his favorite thing on the trip. The roof of The Flatiron remains his number one, closely followed by Wonder Woman.
When we get home, Kayla comes up, and before I’m unpacked, he’s got her playing one of Kat’s card games. I’d say cards ranked high as well.
My best? Experiencing the city through a 13-year-old boy’s point of view. We had some serious fun–despite the chatty Pam–from start to finish.