12.20.2009

In retrospect, high points from our trip to New York

The moment we returned from New York, it was final exam time, and I started the last busy push of the semester. So I haven't had time to reflect on our trip until now. Here, three weeks later, are the high points of our NYC experience, with pictures.

    At Macy's Santaland
  • The Christmas stuff.  We saw the tree at Rockefeller Plaza and the windows at Macy's, and they were great--as magical as you would want them to be. We also made a visit to Santaland inside Macy's because Christy said it was great, but the line to get in was an hour long, and Maybelle was asleep.  I decided that for both those reasons, as well as because Maybelle is too little to care at all about Santa, we were not going to Santaland.  I was surprised, however, to see how many parents were waiting in that one-hour line with babies Maybelle's age or younger.  No thank you.
  • The food.  One thing I can say about Christy and Joel:  every time I've ever visited them in NYC, they've taken me to absolutely fabulous places to eat.  This trip was no exception.  We ate Uzbek food, truly delicious burgers and shakes, and indulgent artisan-bakery-made versions of Oreos and Nutter Butters.  The best food of the trip, though, was the ramen restaurant Christy and I went to after my event at Bluestockings.  We had pork buns, noodle bowls, and cold cucumbers in sesame oil that were all so delicious that you had to make a face and groan after every bite.  And since two of the servers were students of Christy's, we got in without having to wait the hour plus that everyone else was waiting.
  • Bluestockings 2The book event at Bluestockings.  It was terrible weather on Saturday night--cold and windy with a rainy snow falling.  Weather like that in Charleston makes the whole city shut down, but New Yorkers are a sturdy bunch, and despite the unpleasantness outside, a lot of people came out to Bluestockings to hear me read from Girl Zines, and to hear five zine creators read from their work.  I loved the whole event--and I especially loved getting to answer questions with Lauren Jade Martin, Vikki Law, Jenna Freedman, Sarah Dyer, and Ayun Halliday.  People in the audience would ask things like, How do zines negotiate between being public and private documents?  Or, how are zines different than blogs?, and several of us would weigh in.  As I'd answer, I'd be thinking of the lengthy conversations I had with each of these women three years ago when I came to New York for a research trip for the book, and I'd be tempted to quote them back to themselves.  They were all so insightful, in our original interviews and then again at Bluestockings.
  • Walking
  • The strollers.  This is something Biffle and I both commented on.  New York is, of course, a walking city, and so if you have a kid, you toss the kid in a backpack or stroller and you walk.  If it's miserably cold and snowy, you bundle the kid up, wrap the stroller in a plastic cover, and you walk.  Every day that we were there we walked long distances with Maybelle, and we saw loads and loads of other parents doing the same--hauling the stroller up and down the subway stairs, negotiating crosswalks and crowded stores.  In the burger and shake restaurant Christy and Joel took us to, they actually had a section up front for you to park your stroller, and it was overflowing.  What a great thing!  In Charleston it's easy to toss Maybelle in the car and drive someplace if we're feeling lazy, but I loved the no-car culture of Manhattan, and it was really easy to adjust to it, even with Maybelle.
  • SwingingUnion Square.  This may be my official favorite place in New York.  I spent a lot of time walking through there on my zine research trip three summers ago, and when Biffle and I came back to the city for Christy and Joel's wedding, we visited the farmer's market there--a farmer's market so impressive that New Yorkers could probably more easily buy all their food there than we can do at farmer's markets in Charleston.  There wasn't a farmer's market there the day we visited on this trip, but there was an expansive holiday market filled with all variety of funky crafts--so many cute baby t-shirts that it was only with significant effort that I restrained myself from spending $20 on an item of clothing that Maybelle will outgrow in three weeks.  And although it was super-cold, the excellent playground was jam-packed with happy kiddos in heavy coats.  It may also be worth mentioning that it was in Union Square, during our visit for Christy and Joel's wedding two and a half years ago, that Biffle and I decided that having a kid was a pretty good idea for us.  So it's a place that I value for lots of reasons.  If I ever get a bajillion dollars and move to New York, I'll get an apartment close to Union Square.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

OMG, that picture of Maybelle swinging with rosy cheeks and all those pretty colors in the background! She is the cutest baby ever. :)