We moved to NYC last Halloween, but between unpacking, a string of snowstorms, and a series of colds, it took a while before Greg and I could really start enjoying the city. It wasn’t until a couple of visitors came to town that I started exploring beyond our own neighborhood, and it all began with my mom.
Mary really is the perfect person to get you excited about a new place, because she feels excitement on an order of magnitude unattainable by most humans. When she’s excited, her expressions, gestures, and voice become Muppet-big to match her mood. Of course, her slightly cynical, urbanite children have a tendency to roll their eyes a bit . . . but we wouldn’t ever change a thing. It’s also likely that I’m a little jealous because, while I’m a pretty happy person, I would probably need some potent uppers to attain the same high as my mom seems to hit on a regular basis.
She was particularly excited to come back to NYC, and I took her to all my new favorite places around town – we walked through Central Park, the High Line, and Chelsea Market. We hit a slew of museums and saw all the requisite sites at Rockefeller Center and Time Square. We had a lovely Broadway evening -- my first in years. Before the show, we had a drink at Sardi’s. Being her usual chatty, charming self, she made friends with the bartender, Don Jose, who took very good care of us at the bar. The show, Billy Elliot, was simply amazing! All in all, it was a really lovely week.
I think that my favorite part of her trip was that I actually got her to eat! Food is perhaps the only thing that Mary has apathetic feelings for – which I find incomprehensible. She eats like a bird. She’ll have a yogurt or a Wasa cracker with a small piece of cheese and call it a meal. She also happens to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. However, while she was visiting she ate like . . . well . . . me; and I do believe she enjoyed every bite. I didn’t even have to force her – about half of the snacks and meal stops were her idea. Unheard of!
I made sure we got all of her favorites. We began with a delicious Indian dinner at our neighborhood favorite, Earthen Oven, followed by bagels piled high with lox, and brownies at Fat Witch in Chelsea Market. There were delicious pretzels in front of the Met and an elegant lunch at the Neue Gallery’s Café Sabarsky, which included an amazing Linzer Tart.
I also forced her into her first experience with ramen. Greg and I had recently discovered a little place not too far away from us called, Menkui Tei. When I tried their extra spicy ramen, I knew she’d like it. I proceeded to give her the hard sell on the place all week, but it paid off, because I was right. She loved it.
The most amusing meal was perhaps our stop at Gray’s Papaya. That near-veggie was nowhere in sight. She downed that dog with relish --- literally and figuratively.
Apparently NYC can make a foodie out of the least interested eater. It was so fun for me to see her take that kind of pleasure in food – like maybe I’d rubbed off on her just a little. In turn, I think she left a little extra enthusiasm with me and I’m pumped to start discovering all of NYC’s delicious treats.
Whenever my mom is in town, a lot of cooking goes down as well, and we will get to that next.