New York moments
Yesterday I took Damian into the city for a visit with his friend C, in from California. The train conductor charged me for one adult, no child. This is the second time that's happened.
When we got into Penn Station, I wanted to stop at Staples. As we stood on line to pay, Damian was chatting a mile a minute, probably something about meeting C or about outer space (his current fascination) or even about the logistics of train travel. The man behind us smiled and started chatting with us. Before I knew it, he'd pulled out a wallet photo of his two blond boys, ages seven and nine. When we left, he waved goodbye.
Much later, after an enjoyable six hour play date with C and family, Damian and I ended up on the east side of Central Park. We needed to get to the subway on the west side. I didn't want to walk on the traverse road right beside the cars racing to get across 72nd Street, so I took a meandering path instead. Damian pointed out after about ten minutes that we were now passing the back of the Metropolitan Museum. Which is around 80th Street on the, um, Upper East Side. Not a good sign. I hailed a woman, who pulled out her iPod earbuds and cocked her head. "Are we heading north?"
"How can we get west?"
She showed me the path heading west, which happened to be BENEATH us. Short of parachutes or bungie jumping, that wasn't about to happen. But she gave me an idea how to actually meet up with said path. I thanked her. She said, "But you look like a New Yorker." Yes, with one hell of a long gap between, but yes. We chatted. Damian told her he wasn't a New Yorker but now is, or rather, lives in New Jersey. (What does that make us? New Jerseyans? Weird.) We parted ways with smiles and nods as Damian and I set off across the grass, heading west (but only a little west -- not, say, back to California).
On our way back home, I proffered the punched ticket, saying "I thought we'd be coming back off peak, but..." The conductor waved at my ticket and moved along the car. Not charging me the extra $1.50.
The moral of the story? None, really. Except: I still look like a New Yorker, apparently. And my belief in the innate goodness and genuine warmth of my clan (ie: New Yorkers) remains intact.