Reliving Brooklyn memoriesJuly 3, 2017 in the United States
Sammy spent the night moaning with a headache and I was quite worried about how sick he would be when he woke up. Adalia on the other hand woke up early and was starving, so after keeping her quiet for an hour with Paw Patrol on my phone, I decided to take her to breakfast. Thankfully as I was leaving for breakfast Sammy woke up and was eager to eat which I took as a good sign. He was much better, but still not 100%.
Tom had organised back in Australia, for an employee's daughter who is living in America, to babysit for us on Wednesday night. She was coming to our hotel to meet us and the kids at 10am. To bide our time until then we did a quick lap around the block to find some good coffee (Tom ordered me a Mocha, but the barista couldn't understand what he was saying as he hadn't pronounced it correctly - Tom, don't you know its Mowka?! ;) and a little play at the park, which turned into a slightly longer play as Caitlyn was running late.
When Caitlyn finally arrived I was wanting a quick hello and goodbye, but it was awkward, I think she didn't want to be rude and leave too quickly, but we wanted to go! We made way too much polite conversation, the kids were practically doing summersalts to get attention and eventually I snapped, got the kids ready, bags packed and cheerfully said; "ok, are we all ready to go?" and we ALL exited the building.
Kerbside we set out our day's plans and headed for Brooklyn. This meant the Subway. Ahh the Subway, how I loath thee. It is one of the filthiest places I have ever been to. I swear it has not been cleaned since it was constructed. It is exactly like the scene from the movie "Ghost" where Patrick Swayze learns to flick the coin or kick the can, or maybe Will Smith when he camps out down there in that horrible movie The Persuit of Happyness; grimy filth that smells like wee and germs. The poles you hold on to on the train feel damp with bacteria, every external surface masked with soot. It is a nightmare when you have a daughter who constantly puts her fingers in her mouth!!! Today I felt like I was yelling either "get your fingers out of your mouth" or "Stop yelling" (as both children have blocked ears and are speaking at about 100 decibels).
So anyway, we got off the train at Williamsberg and walked to Greenpoint. We took in the strange and wonderful sights; a firetruck with the big crane on its back that had a separate driver for the crane, Peter Pan donuts where the whole interior of the shop is a counter top snaking it's way through the space so people can eat counter meals, and the closer we got to GreenPoint the grungier it became. I had a tight grip on the children, not for fear that they would be taken, but because I worried they would bump into someone with black fair down one side, white down the other and get yelled at; this was not a child friendly environment.
Our aim was to revisit an area we stayed in during our last visit to NY and to have lunch at our favourite diner "Coffee Friends", we happily found "The Garden" market filled with interesting delicacies, however our long walk only highlighted that the world does not remain the same to indulge our nostalgia, coffee friends was no more. We drowned our sorrows in a Bialy from a bagel store. It was a completley disgusting bagel with an onion/poppyseed centre. It was so gross it only compounded our missery. Just when we thought all hope was lost, we rediscovered a cafe we had frequented on our last visit, and enjoyed a yummy lunch there.
The kids would have happily returned to the hotel after lunch, but we enticed them on with endless rounds of "I spy" and another play at a park which sat at the edge of the East River.
We boarded another Subway filled with questionable individuals; a man covered in skull tattoos, including one of a very feminine butterfly with a skull face, an old man playing music through a speaker and singing VERY loudly along with his tunes, and three teenage guys who thought it was hilarious to brush their hair in different ways. It was so difficult to distract Adalia from staring!
I gladly leapt off the train, and after a touch of shopping we made our way to the police station that is featured in a show Tom and I watch; Brooklyn 99. We took some silly photos then ducked into the Doughnut Plant for a chocolate doughnut.
By this time the kids were really tired and it was starting to rain. We headed to the subway which pulled in as we reached the bottom of the stairs. Sammy, Tom and I swiped our cards and ran for the train, while Adalia, who isn't required to pay, just duck under the turnstyle, had a moment of difiance, confusion, who knows what and wanted to push the turnstyle herself. We all yelled at her, with one foot in the train, and in what felt like slow motion she eventually ran on sobbing. She was so scared. But its ok, she has a super mum who assured her we would never leave her behind, and one minute later she was asleep in my arms - a Hallmark moment ladies and gentlemen.
The walk from the station to our hotel was tricky. Tom was carrying a sleeping Adalia through the crowds, while I tried to steer Sammy through, but he kept bobbing away to pick up abandoned pennies; our professional money finder is back in action people!
We ordered ribs, hush puppies (fried cornmeal) and sides from the restaurant next door to our hotel and aimed for an early night. While Sammy crashed out, Adalia was energised from her shut eye on the train, and there is a noisy function happening just below our bedroom window. So not sure how the evening will go...Read more