eva of new york

round and round

we just spent five lovely days in new york city, along with larry's parents. i used to go to nyc nearly ever year, but haven't been since eva was born, so it was really nice to get back. i'm no new yorker, but i was pleased to find that i still knew my way around better than i might have expected. in just a few short days, i feel like we really saw a little bit of everything, which made me happy since rita hadn't been to new york since a brief trip when she was young.

eva, as expected at this point, was a great traveler. naps on the fly in the stroller, cooperative about going wherever and whenever, all-around cheerfulness (minus one or two brief bouts of sleep- or hunger-induced whining). she seemed positively charmed by the city -- the tall buildings, the taxis, riding the subway, the crowds and views on the street -- which made me happy. we hiked all over midtown, went to the top of the empire state building, strolled through central park, had a pint (not me :) at an irish pub in the east village that opened in 1854, saw several museums (she was the only child we saw at the guggenheim that day, hmm wonder why -- but she was asleep when we went in then stayed happy so why not go with it?), and ate lots of yummy food (that one mostly thanks to farah's guidance -- including some great ethiopian food, made possible by rita's generous offer to stay with eva at the hotel.)

eva of new yorkthe things that made the biggest impression on eva (other than having her grandparents nearly undivided attention for several days straight!) seemed to be riding the carousel in central park -- that thing is fast -- and having a sugary tea party with an "alice in wonderland" theme at a place called alice's tea cup. she had tea and scones, finger sandwiches and cookies, and best of all, chocolate mousse! very fun, and just about the cutest thing ever.

we stayed at flatotel, which was really nice -- we were in a two bedroom flat, so we could spend more time all together. i don't think they get many children there, so that could really go either way, but it seems eva sufficiently charmed the staff. riding the elevator one morning, eva stood holding on to the railing as usual and, looking up at the mirror on the ceiling, excitedly asked "do you see everybody?" and of course, everyone looked up and saw each other looking back. well, it turns out one of the other riders was the general manager of the hotel. upon our return that evening, the concierge came running after us with the cutest teddy bear dressed in the signature flatotel robe -- he said the GM thought eva was charming and wanted her to have it. how sweet is that? eva loved it and snuggled it in bed that very night; i was pleased that my child made a positive impression, haha. (in general, i was impressed with the staff there -- especially the bellhop who managed to get us a cab during shift change at the beginning of rush hour to newark of all places in the rain -- all in under 10 minutes. amazing.)

all this travel has allowed eva to have experiences she couldn't have at home. and on this trip in particular i was interested in what things she learned. she will tell you that (from our 27th floor room) the taxis look small since we're up so high but when we go down they look bigger. she knows the difference between a monorail and a subway train. she knows the weather is different different places. she can point out the chrysler building and central park, and knows how the subway works (she was running around the house today saying "please stand clear of the closing doors" -- that and ringing a handbell saying "happy holidays!" like the salvation army bellringers we saw). i don't know if she'll remember all the trips we've taken this year, but i think somehow it will be in there, contributing to her sense of the world -- or something. maybe all that will happen is that she'll remain enamored of subways and taxis, but i think maybe as she grows up strange and new things won't seems so bewildering, even if she doesn't consciously know why that is.

great trip, and a memorable one. and we're glad to be home with no trips coming up any time soon (well, excepting larry's departure for madrid on friday. but other than that...)


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