Whew! Back from New York City. My son and I had never been, my daughter had only been for "hit and run" visits through school, my husband hadn't been there since BEFORE the World Trade Center towers were built and our exchange student hadn't been at all. BUT OF COURSE, it was the one place he wanted to see before he leaves the US next week.
I whined, I complained. I hate crowds, I hate noise, I hate pretentious people. I thought New York was all about that. My son whined along with me. But in the end, we sucked it up and went.
And don't tell anyone I said this: It wasn't so bad after all.
Yes, it was busy, and noisy, and crowded and smelly. And there were people of all kinds who were almost uniformly generous, and helpful and kind. A few were less than pleasant, but compared with some of the people we run into in the Washington, D.C. area, they weren't so bad.
We stayed in Brooklyn at Ft. Hamilton (love those military benefits) which made the trip affordable. We bought City Passes so we could visit some of the sights without having to stand in line forever.
And most importantly, the rift that had grown between my children and our exchange student closed a bit. It will never be a perfect relationship, but they understand each other better and they are more patient with one another. Sharing trudging a zillion blocks of city pavement cuts through the B.S.
Did we find pretention? Oh yeah -- but that's another post another day. In the meantime, here's what we saw last night on our river cruise. The two structures under construction are the World Trade Center towers that are being rebuilt. The one on the left is the Freedom Tower. It will top out at 1776 feet. On purpose.