Tag Archives: New York City
Despite all the trials and tribulations Monday had to offer, Maddie had a fantastic and magical day playing, wrestling and entertaining her cousins from Alaska. Never mind the fact that the weather gods have a mean streak about a mile long. Maddie’s cousins Porter and Catie just endured a a terrible winter season in Alaska only to come to New Jersey for some record cold weather and rain. Yet somehow, we were blissfully ignorant of this fact when we walked to breakfast this morning.
The four of us polished off our meals with great enthusiasm and were ready to catch a ferry into the city. As soon as we waltzed out of the diner, a heavy and cold rain set in. It pelted the area with a vengeance throughout the morning and our best-laid plans were torn asunder. We trudged home in the rain knowing that today’s travel plans were shot.
Maddie reasoned that her only recourse for the morning was to take a long nap and try to work things out while she was asleep. By the time her eyes popped open, it was just about time for lunch. Maddie reasoned that a bit of good company and delicious food was just the ticket to turn the day around.
Her dad packed her up in the stroller and set off in the rain while the grandparents drove the cousins to our lunch spot. Maddie feasted on fries and fruit, and made several loud crackling announcements to the lunchtime crowd. During lunch, the sun managed to peak out and Maddie thought she still might be able to treat her cousins to some pool time. However, as soon as we got to the pool about an hour later, the sun shriveled up into the clouds like a scared turtle. Maddie was more than happy to dip her feet in the water and kick around a bit, but without the sun, it was just too cold.
The baby opted for one more nap and try to pick up where she left off earlier. By the time she woke up, it was time to drive the cousins back to their grandparent’s house. About 30 miles into the trip, Maddie was treated to her very first flat tire experience. This led to an unscheduled stop at the Goodyear Tire Store off the highway. Between the rain, car trouble and unseasonably cold weather, Maddie is worried that it may be some time before her cousins dare to make their next trip back East.
It’s very rare when I actually wake up the baby. Maddie either wakes me up or I cater to her whenever she wakes up. So it was a new experience when I had to get her up this morning to go to a doctor’s appointment in the city.
Many people use the word precious very freely. Not me. It’s a word that I have rarely had any occasion to use unless I was doing a Lord of the Rings imitation of Smeagol. But Maddie’s reaction to being woken up this morning was the spot on definition of the word precious.
I softly called her name. Maddie wiggled and just barely opened her eyes to determine who was waking her up. She saw it was her father and gave me the warmest and most loving smile I have ever seen. Then she closed her eyes and went back to sleep.
I gently prompted her again, “Madddieee.”
She greeted me with that same smile before quickly falling back asleep.
Its little moments like this that makes this the best job anyone could hope for.
However, by the time we got out the door, we were in a serious time crunch. I bundled Maddie up in the stroller against the nasty wind blowing off of the Hudson River and took off.
We had 14 minutes to scamper one mile, buy a ferry ticket and board the ferry. And they’re off… Maddie and I were half speed walking and half jogging as we made our way through the streets of Jersey City.
I could see the ferry crossing the river as we steamed towards the ticket terminal. We burst through the doors with our adrenaline pumping! There was only one person in line – Niiccee!!
Maddie wheeled up behind the woman in line who was counting out $13.75 in quarters??? And the clerk was going through each one, “Nope, this quarter is Canadian – oops, so is this one.” Meanwhile, our ferry is docking right out front and the clock is ticking. “Oh, this one is American, right?”
“Hmmm, let’s see, I only need one more dollar,” said the befuddled woman. Before she could make a move I slapped down a buck and calmly said “Sold – Please print her ticket and give me one to Wall Street!” Maddie eyed me curiously as people started to board our boat.
The clerk laid down the woman’s ticket and ours came next. I snatched the ticket just as the ferryman was chaining up the entrance – “One more coming!” I announced. He lifted the chain as Maddie and I darted onto the platform. The boat lurched backwards and Maddie gave me that coy smile that said, “You can not be serious!”
A doctor’s appointment for Maddie deep in the heart of Lower Manhattan turned into a race through the city this morning. All it took was a delayed train for our plans to go up in smoke.
Instead of a pleasant ferry ride, Maddie ended up slugging it out on the Path system underneath the ever-soaring Freedom Tower. But before she could do that, we all had to overcome the obstacle of getting Maddie onto the path and through the turnstiles.
There’s no area wide enough for the stroller, so I handed the baby off to my wife and rested the stroller on the turnstile. This created a mini logjam of people as Maddie looked on with great interest.
She still had no idea what she was in for. Once got into New York City, the crowds were as thick as bugs on the bumper. This area is not for the faint of if you are pushing a stroller occupied by a fearsome honey badger.
People were inches apart, all battling for pole position and Maddie was starting to feel a little bit claustrophobic. She snapped her mighty jaws at anybody that ventured too close to her stroller and emitted a series of short grunts.
Maddie noticed far too many near collisions because of all the people who had their snouts buried too far into their cellular devices to bother paying attention to what lay in front of them. One clown had to spin to avoid the stroller and then nearly snapped his ankle on the curb. Poor Maddie was getting more and more anxious as we cut across the island towards toward the doctor’s office.
However, once we got to the doctor’s office located in a quiet and secluded area of Front Street, Maddie exorcised that mean old honey badger and resumed being her ever-charming self.
After the appointment, Maddie took some quiet time to feel the ebb and flow of the city. We all enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch and walk on the East River. Then we took a nice slow ride home on the ferry which seem to delight Maddie. She noticed every detail as we all took in the sights and sounds of the ferry ride home. Once again, Maddie is showing a resiliency and maturity that is very surprising for 7-month-old girl.
Our daily walk to Starbucks got sidetracked this afternoon by characters from some travesty of a television show called Jersey Shore. Snoopy and BowWow or some such nonsensical people have moved into our neighborhood and are already causing traffic headaches for cars and pedestrians alike.
Maddie and her dad had been running errands all day and our reward was to stop in and see her barista friends at Starbucks. We were hurrying along and not really paying attention to our surroundings when we ran into some police and camera crews. We marched around them but got caught up in a dead end of bicycle barricades with a growing crowd behind them.
Uh oh – Maddie gave me the look that said, “What’s the hold up, Stay Home PaPa?”
It dawned on me that this gathering must be for the Jersey Shore people who have now invaded Jersey City. Maddie gave the female police officer a wink and I shared one of my favorite movie quotes from the movie the Blues Brothers: “Use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Jersey Shore cast members has been approved.”
The officer got a real kick out of that one as her radio chirped that more officers were on the way.
Due the lateness of the hour and growing fervor around the arrival of the soon-to-be-intoxicated Jersey Shore wingdings, we decided to skip the coffee and head home for some corn, sweet potatoes and apples mix.
It’s amazing to me that even though we don’t let Maddie watch television, she’s already been exposed to the high-class quality programming that reality television has to offer. Maybe tomorrow we will pop into New York City and see if we can hang with some skanky Bravo Housewives.
The snow was piling up outside and the wind was charging up the Hudson River. All it took was one quick peek at the raging storm outside for the 6-month-old Mad Madster to make up her mind! “I’m going in!”
At this point, Maddie doesn’t particularly care for the taste of bagels, but she loves walking to the little shop where everyone is ready to share a smile and comment with her.
She snapped on her warmest pink bear outfit and called on her father for a little transportation (at least that guy is good for something!) Maddie got all snapped into her Bjorn and was ready for a crack at some real snowmageddon! Her father was a little tentative on the icy steps, but the little girl was restless and demanding some real action.
The harsh snowy wind gave little Maddie a good lick in the chops and I wondered how she would handle it. I paused at a parked SUV and peered at our reflection. This way I could see the baby’s face and gauge her reaction to this frontal blast a frigid air. It was obvious right away that she was fascinated by Mother Nature’s fury and it was time to press on.
I used a scarf as a baby windscreen and kept talking to Maddie during our trudge acorss the snowy sidewalks. Every time we passed a taller vehicle, I took a quick glimpse to make sure the baby was fighting the good fight. A few times we even had to walk backwards to keep the wind from blasting into the face of our little princess.
Once we entered the bagel place, the heat inside seemed more shocking to Maddie than the cold air we had just wandered in from. The place was pretty empty for 7:30 on a Sunday morning, so Maddie focused on grabbing the attention of the boys behind the counter. They all went to great lengths to greet and welcome her.
The walk home was better for both of us because the wind was now at my back. The snow began falling more heavily and the Yukon Baby shared these words with her father, “Buckle up buttercup and keep it moving!” I picked up the pace, but as usual, Maddie was just toughing it out and taking it all in.
One of the first things I noticed in our reflection as I walked up the stairs to our home was that Maddie must be bulletproof or have a built-in heat generator in that bear outfit. Her father was completely blanketed in snow from head to toe and Maddie was pristine – looking like she had just come off the runway. Even weather can’t bust the honey badger!