My daughter invited a friend to spend Christmas with us. J. lives in Germany and is doing a year of service in Portland, OR. She flew in to and out of Newark International Airport rather than Philadelphia International which wasn't a problem – the drive is only about 90 minutes. But, because of the time of her arrival and departure, we choose to spend the night in an airport hotel when picking her up and dropping her off. For her return flight to Portland last Sunday, we decided to arrive in Newark early, take advantage of the free hotel shuttle to Newark Penn Station and take the train into New York City. To J., NYC meant Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center and Ground Zero. To me, NYC meant fabric stores! Sure, the Statue of Liberty is cute, but does it compare with Mood Fabrics? (Yes, I do think about sewing way too much.)
Lindsey and J. did a little research and came to me with a plan.They would purchase One-Day Metro Fun Passes and take various subways and buses to the places J. wanted to see: Central Park, Battery Park (to look at the Statue of Liberty from across the river), the United Nations, Times Square and Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas Tree. My sister, who lives in Dutchess County, a short train ride away, agreed to meet us in NY. She and I were to spend time in the fabric store while the young ladies navigated the NY public transit system on their own!
What was wrong with this plan? First, I could not enjoy fabric shopping knowing my innocent, trusting daughter (who has grown up way too fast) and her friend from another country were roaming alone up one side of Manhattan and down the other. Second, it was Sunday and not many fabric stores were open. So we compromised. We would get the one day Metro passes, go to only Paron Fabrics, which was open on Sunday, and we would stay together and see as many of the sights as we could. My sister, who is more familiar with the transit system, would serve as guide. Everyone was satisfied. It worked out even better than planned. As we walked up 7th Avenue from Penn Station to Paron Fabrics, one of Lindsey's friends from high school saw her through the window of a restaurant. (What were the odds of that happening!) She and J. went into the restaurant with High School Friend while my sister and I went on to Paron. Lindsey had no interest at all in sewing, so she was only too happy to have a way out.
In spite of the cold (and I mean COLD. Battery Park was brutal!) we had a great time. We saw the Statue of Liberty from across the water, the tree at Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the UN building from outside (closed on weekends in January and February) and Times Square, which was lit up in all it's glory by the time we arrived. And, I got to buy fabric!
There is nothing like seeing NY with a 20-year-old from another country. J. was so excited about everything! She and Lindsey wore out the batteries in two cameras taking pictures. They stayed outside in the 20º cold and took pictures of each other in Times Square while my sister and I had dinner in warm and cozy Ruby Tuesday!
J. and Linds in the bowels of NY
J. and a not-so-terrific view of the Statue of Liberty
Sis & me at Rockefeller Plaza - too cold to smile
Props to my sister: I would have been much less patient and much more cranky in the cold if she hadn't been there to distract me. Props to the guys in Paron, who cut a deal while cutting fabric. And, big props to J. for allowing me to see New York City (and the United States) through her eyes.