The Boy and the City

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.

Smoketree!
Logan and his Nana.

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.

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.

On top of the Flatiron Building.
The boiler room
A look up the stairwell from ground floor up to the 20th.

Then it’s off to lunch and the fabulous Lombardi’s pizza.

Logan capturing the beauty of his pizza before diving in.

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.

On the Observation Deck.

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.

Before the first pitch, when Laura’s hopes were still high.

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.

Bedtime.

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.

The Logan Adventure Squad.

Nora

25 thoughts on “The Boy and the City”

  1. I always love reading your travel comments. I’m amazed at your recall when you did so much, and I especially love reading so many little bits that I recognize as also showing up in Eve’s thoughts. So much of you in her! It’s fun to see! Thank you!

  2. Just love your trips into NYC and all you do there! How do you remember everything? So very glad Logan had a great birthday trip! Happy Birthday Logan!
    Would just die laughing if this Pam was a Nora Roberts fan or a friend is a fan and read about your game night lol.

    1. I thought the same thing! It would be great to see her face if she recognized herself on this post. Shame on rude people.
      Regardless, I’m glad Logan and family enjoyed the trip overall.

  3. I’m such a fan of you “the author” just nice to get to know a little bit of you the person. Thanks

  4. Sounds like a fun trip! I’m wondering if fans ever recognize you on your travels, Nora? And when they do, do you enjoy that, or is it a pain? Glad Logan had such a fun time!

  5. I’m sorry the Cubs beat the Mets that badly but I cannot say I’m not glad the Cubs won. Sorry Laura. It sounds like Logan had fun. That’s cool getting to experience something you’re used to through someone else’s eyes.

  6. What a wonderful north day trip for Logan. You are the best grandmother. I love that Logan likes card games – much better than constantly being on a cell phone playing games. The Pams of the world are every where and just downright rude and inconsiderate of others – they definitely should have gone to a bar to visit and catch up. I love your description of the crowded subway ride. I used to commute into San Francisco from Walnut Creek for work on BART and it was sardines every day for riders. These days, BART has daily mechanical problems from poor maintenance through the years. I thank God every day that I am retired and out of that rat race. Commuting via car is just as bad in the SF Bay Area as there are accidents every day, back-ups, delays – stress on a daily basis. I haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but am looking forward to seeing it. I, too, am more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan. Was Logan happy with the Warriors winning? Needless to say, the SF Bay Area was ecstatic. Thank you for sharing Logan’s New York adventure.

  7. Happy Birthday Logan!

    Laura, a Phillies/Orioles fan here, and have seen too many games like the Mets-Cubs. I feel your pain.

  8. What a fun trip for Logan! He will have such wonderful memories. Thanks for taking us along on the trip with you all.

  9. I so enjoy reading about your travels, especially to NY. I’ve never been and enjoy your descriptions of the places you visit. It makes me feel like I’m there with you guys.
    When I got to the part about the subway ride I had to smile because you sounded a little like Eve when you said you’d be unemployed if you had to rely on the subway😄
    I’m with you about Wonderwoman! It’s the best movie by far that I’ve seen. I can’t wait for the DVD!!!!
    I’m glad y’all had a great time and a safe trip(sans Pam lol) Logan is indeed a fortunate guy ( two pairs of bb shoes )
    Thanks for sharing parts of your life with us.

  10. Logan’s shoes are HUGE. (Kyrie Irving shoes?) He is going to be a TALL guy! I love being a grandmother and seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

  11. Love to read your comments about your visits to my hometown. As a gift to myself for several years on my birthday I played tourist and my favorite thing was taking the Circle Line around Manhattan, especially to remind myself that I live on an island. Some New Yorker’s, like myself, avoid the subway when we can for many reasons. I much prefer the bus, we have a great bus system here, you just have to allow extra time to get around.

  12. I’m glad you had a great time in my city, or should I say Eve & Roarke’s city. The heat left when you did, but now it’s rainy and low 80’s. To think I’ve never noticed the smoketree, but then I didn’t use the HighLIne interactive map.

    Everyone I know just loved Wonder Woman. Too bad for the moslem countries that have boycotted the movie, because Gal was a badass Israeli soldier. I’m going to see it again, to catch all that I missed first time around. Now if you were more of a badass, you could have put chatty and rude Pam in her place. I guess you are more polite than our Eve.

    I laughed about your subway comment. It reminded me of Eve when she is stuck taking mass transit. My advise to you,- in the summer, when men don’t know about deodorant,- just take uber or a cab.

  13. Not exactly related to Wonder Woman, but I had the honor of catching the new Ghost in the Shell movie, and I thought it was the closest thing to an actual In Death movie, to the point where me being familiar with the source material got me thinking that Motoko Kusanagi and Eve Dallas would be great partners to work on a case.

  14. Happy Belated Birthday Logan!
    Loved reading your blog post today. I had dental surgery on Wednesday and still in a lot of pain and was glad to have something fun and engaging to focus on. Took a break, headed to my bathroom mirror and opened wide. Well hell no wonder I hurt so bad. Now that the swelling has gone down I can see part of the tooth that was pulled is still there!!!!! Crap now I am going to have endure sitting in the dentist chair again but I am reading The Obsession so maybe I can have something to distract me while I wait.

    Your adventures are always a pleasure to read. I love seeing the world thru the eyes of a child. I took my daughter to Six Flags in Dallas when she was five and the look of awe in her eyes is something I am sure to remember forever.

    It is probably a good thing that you left when you did or perhaps your patience would have vanished and Pam would been told off lol.

    Have a good week.

  15. I and my girlfriend have agreed to trade movies when we don’t always agree. She LOVES things that blow up and I’m usually not averse (i.e., Dwayne Johnson in San Andreas – omg), but I also like mysteries and we’ve learned to enjoy each other’s choices. Since I was also born on Hoth (hi, neighbor Laura), I spend my summers getting up at dawn to tend my gardens and the rest of the day thinking fondly of my girlfriend’s house in Calgary (high of 55 today). Always figured it easier to get warm than to cool off. I’m with you about the boilerroom, but then I’m not one for being below ground. I’ll never, ever go to NYC (ref: the subway ride) but omg, the library! I’d have lived there if I was in the area. Many thanks to you, Laura, Logan and the rest of the clan for sharing your holiday in the city!

  16. Love the travelogues. SO much fun seeing the world you know through another person’s eyes. I am pretty introverted but the “Pam’s” of the world really bring out my b****y side and there is usually no way I can excuse myself from saying something. Hubby went to see WW on Friday night and just LOVED it so I’d say it gets very high marks all around. I’m not much for movies, I’d rather read, but he loves them.

  17. Ah, June in NYC – does life get any better? (Unless it’s October in the Rockies.) The trip sounds so fun . . . great memories for you and your sweet guy. Our neighbors have an American Smoke Tree and it’s the most beautiful, ethereal spot of their yard, which is a beaut, by the way. Glad you’re going to be getting one. You’ll love it. Thanks, too for the pics. That New York skyline . . . a dream. Sorry you now have to go back to work. But as it’s your work that keeps all of us happy and slobbering for more, I’ll wish you onward and upward. Cheers and happy writing! (PS – sorry about your “Pam” episode. What a ditz.)

  18. Such an exciting adventure – for all of you. Ugh, except for the ball game; I thought that only happened to me.
    How tall is the Flatiron – just wondering, I can look this up myself though.
    It’s nice to hear Logan buys gifts for the family at home (knows how to share).
    I’ll have to see “WonderWoman” now; wasn’t planning on it but I better check it out.

  19. As a California woman, who has never been east of Albuquerque, I enjoyed reading your New York travelogue. In fact, I have enjoyed your descriptions of Ireland, Maryland and Greenwich so much I Google Mapped them to “see” them.

  20. What a thoughtful young man. (Also, a cutie!) Super birthday trip he’ll never forget.
    Have y’all ever tried LeftRightCenter? Fun, fun, fun!!!!!!
    How tall,exactly is BW? Y’all look like fidgets next to him! Hehe.
    Xoxoxo

    1. We played left/right/center on our family vacation. I won twice, the second time was the last game, so I came out ahead. A fun, fun, fun game.

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