Last Saturday was the first in many, many months that Ed did not have to go in to work. So I got a LONG-awaited, WELL-deserved, MUCH-anticipated, UNprecedented day in the city by myself!
I showered and dressed in record time, gulped some breakfast and caught the 9:oo express bus that picks up right outside our building, the same bus Ed takes to work during the week. My bag was packed with my current novel, wallet, water bottle, granola bar, primary lesson printout and my trusty NYC Fodor's guide.
I took the bus as far up as it went, and got out on 57th and Lexington in front of Chanel, Christian Dior and Montblanc. This is my attempt at name-dropping. I felt so metro chic just walking by them. I walked a few blocks to the 4 subway train and took it up a few stops to 77th Street, then walked about 7 blocks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met.) I bet most of you reading this have been there, if you've ever visited NYC. I may not see many museums while I live here, but this was #1 on my list. I spent about 1.5 hrs there, and saw the modern art, European sculpture court, musical instrument exhibit (my favorite were the polynesian courting instruments) and arms/armor (only because I got lost looking for the Asian art section.) My museum style is keep-it-moving or else I get too tired, but I did enjoy taking things at my own pace and soaking up the beauty of creativity in the whispery halls of that massive institution. I finished off my visit at the gift shop, and bought the girls a puzzle of Van Gogh's sunflower painting, a board book of impressionists, and a stack of postcards.
From there I walked up 5th Avenue to the 86th Street subway station and took the 4 train down to 59th Street. I walked a few blocks to 60th Street and 2nd Avenue, to have lunch at Serendipity (yes, that one.) I was almost deterred when I saw the line stretching down the block; maybe I would just find somewhere else to eat. Then I reasoned with myself: this is where I had wanted to eat, and this may be my only chance; it's not like I can just come back another day. So I got in line, soon to realize the benefits of being a party of one. I was seated within 20 minutes. Serendipity crams a lot of pastel vintage ice cream shop decor into a super small space. I sat at a tiny table at the top of a narrow, twisted staircase, and every waiter coming up the stairs almost dropped his huge trays of food. I ordered "Catcher in the Rye" and their famous frozen hot chocolate. Yes, it was delicious but it was so frozen I got a brain freeze every other sip, and became too annoyed to finish it. But it was still delicious. My waiter saw me flipping through my NYC guide and asked where I'm from. "Brooklyn."
During lunch I called to check on Ed and the girls. Everyone was still alive, though Ed had gotten some work-related emails and had to log in from home to do some things. But things were fine and he told me to stay out as long as I wanted.
After lunch I took the 6 train down to SoHo for a little shopping. I hit Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing store that's just becoming big here, and got the girls some cute fall items, and gifts for other babies coming up. Then popped into Dean & DeLuca to drool over their cheese and pastry counters and buy some cookies to take home. Also stepped into Steve Madden and the Scholastic Store, and wandered among the street vendors.
Finally, it was time to head back home. Ed had told me to stay out late, and I would have loved to go see a movie (Becoming Jane, anyone?) But then there's reality. I am a nursing mother and I had not brought a pump. Seven hours away from my baby, and I was becoming quite uncomfortable. The subway ride home was about an hour, and I loved every minute of sitting there, reading my book and being off my feet.
Ed had a great day with the girls and were at the park when I came home. I can't wait to plan my next day in the city, and hope it comes sooner than I had to wait for this one.