There were Micky Mouses and Minnie Mouses all over the place. I was wondering what brought them all to Time’s Square, which shows beyond a doubt it was our first time there. I made the expected and perfectly understandable mistake of taking a photo of them. Just that fast, we were surrounded. They offered to pose with us for a photo. Sure, why not? What came next, I should have expected: “Tip? Tip? Tip?” over and over until each one of them has a dollar or two. I wasn’t sure what would have happened had I not been able to tip them. After that, I was very careful about taking photos.
New York City is …. interesting… especially in the area around Time’s Square and Broadway. It’s glitzy and greasy at the same time. It’s exciting, fast, crowded, loud, and not very gracious…and then someone does something gracious to remind us there are wonderful people everywhere. An older man noticed my daughter and I looking lost. He stopped and quietly took his time giving us directions and made sure we understood. As he walked away, I noticed the stiff gait and lack of arm swing. We may have been helped by someone else with Parkinson’s. To be fair, I don’t think people in New York are NOT gracious, they just seem to be in a hurry all the time.
Going to the Pride Parade in New York City on the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall sounded so cool, and it was, sort of. A LOT of people where there for the parade. Nice to see so many people celebrating Pride and showing their support, but there were so many people that the city had closed off many streets and limited pedestrians to specific walkways. This meant walking down 5th Avenue was a little like trying to drive to and through the Lincoln tunnel on Friday at rush hour on a festival weekend. It was stop and go all the way.
We were often directed to places which were not accessible for my scooter. Several times, I needed help to lift the scooter on or off a curb. Who helped? Women! In each case, it was a woman who came to our rescue. Attempting to find a place to see was a lost cause for me, so I parked and told Emma to try to get as close as she could. I took out my knitting. Might as well make use of the time. The energy was so fun and positive and alive, I was okay with not seeing the parade. I heard it and felt the energy.
The day before the parade, we experienced a true NYC moment. Standing by the entrance to Central Park, a young man driving a horse and buggy made his way down the road followed by an impatient driver in an SUV who honked continuously at them. Once the horse and buggy were out of the way, but before the SUV driver could hit the gas pedal, a man stood right in front of the SUV and started lecturing the driver. I don’t know what was said, but judging by the gestures, it was lively.
The best moments are always those with people we know. On Friday evening, we square danced with a group which included several of our friends from Denver. Saturday, we were treated to a wonderful lunch at the home of my cousin Daniel and his family, and Saturday evening, we had dinner and explored the city with two of Emma’s friends from college.
Central Park is also beautiful and a wonderful gift of nature in the middle of all the concrete, steel, and glass. We saw fireflies in Central Park - and squirrels and pigeons. There are trees and grass and I remembered the scene from “The Fisher King” when Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams lay on the grass naked.
I’m glad to be back home and, if this doesn’t sound like the most enthusiastic review of the big city, it might be because I came home with an infected tooth. This, too, shall pass.
We learned a lot over the weekend, not the least of which was that we can successfully navigate the city. I’m not sure how soon I want to go back, but I think I will some day. We can do this!