Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ah, The Comforts of Home

Well, the mother-daughter weekend in NYC was great, if... trying. Really more great than anything. You may be wondering about our itinerary? Well, here's what we did:

Thursday night:
Somehow made it to our dumb hotel (my mom made the reservation and there was a slight mixup on her part re: location, though it turned out fine) and then walked around in Times Square and found food. My mom was overwhelmed a bit (remember, this was her first trip to NYC), and it was pissing rain, and my mom had forgotten to bring her umbrella on our walk so had to share with me, and this is where the complaints began. It was fine, but yes, my mom, she complains. A LOT. Even when she's happy and enjoying herself. I'd forgotten about this.

  • Staten Island Ferry
  • Got reduced-price tickets for a Saturday matinee (Top Girls)
  • Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Went to Chinatown for lunch (at a place called "Big Wong," which I highly recommend)
  • Went to Union Square so I could go to The Strand (deposited my mom at a coffee shop to rest, for there was a lot of complaining over the walking, the stairs in the subways, etc.)
  • Went over to the West Village to go to the White Horse for a beer (yay bar of Dylan Thomas!)
  • Went back to the East Village for dinner at Veselka (delicious! affordable! If you've never had Ukrainian food, you should go!)
  • Back to the hotel ("Crazy, you walked my ass off! Were you trying to kill me?" I will note that we took the subway at any opportunity, so it's not as bad as it might have been.)
  • Subway to Columbus Circle
  • Central Park
  • Walked up Madison Avenue to window-shop and to see how the other half lives; went to the Polo store for stepdad where my mom bought a shirt for him that was WAY too expensive, but I was so loopy that I didn't even try to dissuade her.
  • Subway back to midtown, where we went to the NY Public Library, Rockefeller center, St. Patricks.
  • Top Girls matinee! Woohoo! (I - obviously - chose the play, and I was a little concerned that my mom would not be pleased with the choice, but she actually really enjoyed it, although she did note that she enjoyed it more because I filled in many blanks for her about what to expect beforehand and then gaps in what she got during the intermissions. That PhD was good for something, apparently :) )
  • A drink at the Algonquin, at which I introduced my mom to the Brandy Alexander, which she just adored.
  • A lovely dinner at a place on 9th Ave called Cascina (which we chose for no reason really other than that there was an old Italian man outside attempting to lure people in and the menu looked pretty yummy and we didn't need a reservation). I had a delicious lobster risotto, and the dessert that we shared - a pie thing with raspberries and custard in the middle - was out of this world.
  • Back to the hotel.
And today we came back home.

And yes, my mother was filled with complaints, but this is just her way. She really enjoyed herself, and on this, her first visit to NYC, she managed to see at least a bit of... the financial district, Chinatown, the East and West village, Midtown/Times Square, the Upper East and West Sides, and Central Park. Oh, and I suppose a teensy bit of Brooklyn. And, should she ever return to NYC again, she can happily not "walk her ass off" all over town.

I know, I know, we did no museums. But after Friday I basically told her that if walking was something she wanted to do a bit less of that she'd have to choose between Madison Avenue/Fifth Avenue or museum-going, because I would not deal with the complaints that I knew would arise if we did both. And the reality is that I knew she only wanted to go to museums because she felt like she should, and I don't think that's a good reason to spend one's time doing something on such a short trip.

While all of this was going on, my stepdad was hanging with the Man-Kitty at my place, in between trips to the racetrack and the casino. In other words, he was on a bit of a vacation as well. That said, the poor Man-Kitty is exhausted, because my mom brought a laser-pointer for the stepdad to use for playing with him, and well, apparently it was a roaring success. So as we chill at home this afternoon, this is what the Man-Kitty has to say about his "Guys' Weekend":


Pennythrower said...

I am laughing about the image of the complaining mother. I am taking my mom on her first trip to the ME (Lebanon and Syria) in September, and I'm dreading the complaints. I know she'll have a great time, but yeah, we're gonna walk, okay? Deal. :) When are you heading that way?

Sisyphus said...

Ooh, sounds so fun! And yeah, complaining is a _hobby_ for some people, so you just gotta let em run on sometimes.

The Man-Kitty looks so cute and exhausted there --- they're so cute when they're asleep and not causing trouble.

Dr. Crazy said...

Pennythrower: You'll laugh at this: as my mom and I were having a beer in the White Horse Tavern, I turned to her, and I said, "I think we need to make a pact." Her response, before I even described the pact, was "I'm not agreeing to any pacts! It's the day after my birthday!" And I said, no, just hear me out. What about no complaining as we're doing things?" And she said, "I will make no pacts! I won't even pretend! I'm you're mother and you have to put up with me!" There was then a lot of laughing about the fact that my stepdad got the weekend off from her antics :) At any rate, SD and I are off to Lebanon at the end of July. I'm *wicked excited* for that trip, especially as SD NEVER complains about ANYTHING. Also because it's his show, and I won't have to be the cruise director as I had to be on this trip with my mom :)

Sis: They ARE so cute when they're asleep and not causing trouble. And you will laugh at this. I was talking to FB about my trip, and talking about the Many Complaints of My Mother, and his initial response was, "But I complain constantly and you seem to like that about me!" and I replied, "Well, I guess I sort of do like people who complain, but not the whole while that I'm attempting to show them a good time, and since I'm never in the same place with you we don't have that problem!" He seemed to accept this answer. Incidentally, when I complained to him about my mother he totally took her side. He's totally a traitor. :)

Dr. Crazy said...

ER, I'm YOUR mother (not you're). Apparently I've forgotten how to type properly in the days away from email and blogging :)

Pennythrower said...

I love your mom :) I am so excited for your trip! How long, where will you go, where are you staying? You can go skiing in the morning and sunbathing in the afternoon! You can eat tons of lebneh, zaatar, and roam Hamra street. Will you go to the Chouf? I can't wait to hear your opinion on Lebanese wine. You'll have a great time! And I love the pic of Man-Kitty in a coma!

Dr. Virago said...

Holy crap, we really *do* have the same couch!

And ah...Velselka. I miss that place.

MommyProf said...

My folks aren't big walkers either, although they don't complain. They just injure themselves (my Mom) or start looking like they are about to drop dead from a heart attack (my Dad).

We have to take lots of coffee and other beverage, sit down breaks. It also gets worse as they get older.

PowerProf said...

Walking is essential here - and it's really good for you. My mom lost a good 15 pounds without trying when she moved back to the city.

Sounds like a very good weekend. I lived within a block or two of a couple of the restaurant/bars you mention (in different parts of the city). Next time - I buy :)

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Ooh, I love Veselka. Haven't been there in, heavens, 15 years; am glad to hear it's still there. The Man-Kitty is totally charming.