Friday, September 4, 2009

The Big (Inconvenient) Apple

We finally did it. We ventured out of our safe little suburb and headed into the big city with Kaylani. Sure we've been up there before to Bat Bat and Auntie Shannon's house, or even to Chinatown for a party, but we've never been up there to be tourists. Long story short, it ain't easy being a tourist in NYC. Well, not with a baby at least.

You'd think that we would be pros at getting around the city since we lived there for a year before moving to NJ. You'd also think that Daddy would be even more of a pro since he has an office in NYC that he goes to a few times a month. But if you really think about it, living in the city and traveling to the city previously has nothing to do with the trip we took. Traveling in the city before today didn't involve Kaylani. Traveling in the city before was just the 2 of us driving downtown, or taking the subway, walking the streets, or taking a cab wherever we wanted to go. Traveling in the city before was easy. Traveling the city now, is anything but easy.

Instead of driving into the city like we normally would, we took NJ Transit from Hamilton into NY Penn Station. Kaylani fell asleep about 30 minutes before we got to the city (or an hour after we got on the train) which you would think is a good thing. The problem is that she fell asleep in her stroller. Normally Kaylani napping in her stroller is great. But in the city, strollers are a pain unless you're above ground. And since we were not even close to being above ground, we had to do some searching around for elevators, which is no easy task in NYC.

We found a few elevators to at least get us to the subway to head downtown (conveniently, the elevators already smelled like urine so we didn't have to worry about Kaylani's diaper offending anyone). After making our way downtown, we ran into our first situation: no elevator. Sleeping baby in a stroller + no elevator = ow, our back. We carefully lifted Kaylani up as evenly as we could and headed upstairs. Luckily for us there were only 20 of them this time.

The next part of our trip was wandering around Canal St and Little Italy until we found a restaurant to eat at. NYC is great for people watching because there are tons of people around. NYC is not great for strollers because there are tons of people around. So after pushing our way through hoards of people, we finally found a nice restaurant to park at for a little bit. Surprisingly it even had a changing table (although we assumed they wouldn't and changed her in her stroller the first time).

Next was a walk uptown to From Rice to Riches (Mommy's favorite rice pudding place) and Pinkberry for some dessert, before we took the subway way uptown to FAO Schwartz. Another subway meant more stairs (and no elevator). This time, it was about 30 steps down so we just took the kids out of their stroller. That meant that Kaylani was free on the subway. While she was greatly entertained by all the people staring at her (and equally entertaining to them I'm sure), it also meant she was free to touch things. People, subway railings, walls, and other germ infested things. After making our way out, we wiped her down and were on our way.

FAO Schwartz was completely overwhelming and we didn't even end up buying anything (her 1 year birthday is too close). By the time we finished, it was after 5pm and Kaylani had fallen asleep in her stroller. We took another subway (down 40+ stairs this time), and an escalator (completely illegal with Kaylani sleeping in the stroller) before we got to Penn Station to catch a train 2 minutes before it was leaving (Kaylani was awake by this time). And since it was rush hour on a Friday night, the train was packed and we were split up. Kaylani and Mommy sat next to a guy who luckily didn't mind being poked and thrown Cheerios at by Kaylani, and Daddy sat nearby. About halfway through, we all got a row together and the rest of the ride went fairly well.

All in all, a day trip to the city turned out to be quite a long adventure (kinda like this post). We had a blast and I'm sure Kaylani loved it, but it was amazing to find out just how inconvenient the city is with a baby. No cabs, no elevators, no space, and no breaks. I guess that's the price you pay of living in the city. I'm not sure how people do it. I know plenty of people who love it (like Bat Bat and Auntie Shannon), but I'll take our SUV in our wide roads any day of the week. For us, the city is just fine as a day trip. Well, fine enough I guess!

1 comment:

Melisa with one S said...

I feel like I was there with you, thanks to your descriptions. (but my back doesn't hurt: haha)