Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Big Apple, with a curious 7 year old, Part 2

We were up early again. Breakfast was a hit. When an older British gentleman sat with us at the breakfast table, he asked E if we were going to the natural history museum. E told him, "I like my animals live, which is a zoo and bugs on sticks and pins is just weird."

Saturday was the Intrepid. Something I knew nothing about until my friend DC mentioned it at lunch the day before we left. Located on the West Side, near Hell's Kitchen - it should have been an easy commute. This is the one and only time my directions and transit knowledge failed me. HopStop had me exiting the Time Square station in at a nonexistent exit point.

We eventually got turn around and got on the bus and then on 12th Ave we see this:

The admission includes access to the Intrepid and the Growler sub. We arrived two minutes after the museum opened and left about 2.5 hours later. E loved this. The planes, the access to the sub and the aircraft carrier. Hands on air, space and sea exhibits. I found the staff to be super helpful and friendly. It wasn't crowded until we were about to leave. Just perfect. Well worth the price of admission.

My plan had been to do the Central Park Zoo, but E was tired, I was hungry and there was no good way to get from the Intrepid to the Zoo. We could however, take the tour bus, do the Uptown Loop and end at the zoo. Even still it was a walk to the Uptown Loop stop.

So we began the trek thru Hell's Kitchen to the bus stop. Half way through, E announces he is hungry again and needs to go to the bathroom again. I am beyond hungry at this point, so we duck into Ocha, a little sushi place.

Best decision ever. Very clean. We were after the lunch rush and the only ones in the place. I think I had the best peanut avocado roll of my life. It was exactly the refueling stop we needed, before continuing our trek.

E wasn't thrilled about the bus trip, but I needed to rest and it was a much nicer day. I have never done the Uptown Loop and it sounded like a nice trip. E feel asleep as we neared Harlem and slept until it was almost time to exit the tour, so it was perfect for him too.

Highway near Riverside Park

The famous Apollo! I would have liked to check this out, but E was asleep and it wasn't the time.

A mosque - - in Harlem. It is being repaired. There was a great Halal market just down the street.

Prolly my favorite Museum in NYC. It was physically difficult to not drag E thru there...

We jumped off at the Zoo, but we were both tired and the Zoo would close before we could finish our tour. So I suggested we just walk in the park and enjoy the sunny afternoon.

We hit pay dirt. You can see into the zoo and just as we got there-- the seal show began. We had a great view and E loved the show.

After the show we had some ice cream and decided it was time to head back to the hotel for a rest. I had no trouble guiding us back to the hotel despite my mornings series of miscues.

One of the strange things about the block we were staying on is the abundance of Kosher Vegetarian Indian Restaurants. So after some rest time, E and I headed out to dinner. He loves Naan, so the vegetarian places aren't the best option as their isn't likely to be a clay oven.

E liked the look of Anjappar, which was literally around the corner from the hotel.

What a good call E! It was amazing. The decor was amazing, the staff super helpful and attentive. We settled on trying a Ghee Dosa to begin with and it was the most amazing things. A huge thin pancake, wrapped into a cone shape, served with chutneys.

E was amazed and ate an amazing amount of it.

Then we had some Chicken Bryanini, which was possibly the best Bryanini dish I have had anywhere. E doesn't really like rice, but he loved the boiled egg and the chicken from this dish.

As we ate two older women, obviously native New Yorkers came in and were sat next to us. They looked over the menu, commented that nothing looked familiar and got up and walked out. The next morning at breakfast, E said: you know, they should have tried something new like we did. I found out I like Ghee Dosa and gunpowder chutney. They missed out mom."

And that was the entire point of this trip. Trying something new. Going somewhere were things are different and having the courage to try new things. I was so proud of him. E is my introvert, my thoughtful homebody child. He would just as much prefer to stay home than go anywhere. But he is embracing new things. Normally he doesn't try new foods easily, but in NYC he ate a variety of new foods.

When people ask me why I travel with my kids or look sympathetically at me or disbelieving at me, that I am traveling with my kids, I think, you know what, if you don't start them young, it is so much harder for them. I was 16 when I left this country for Germany. My first ever plane flight, my first experience with a different culture and a big city for that matter. My first experience with different food.

We live in a global world now. I want my kids to always feel willing and able to say: I tried X and found out, I liked it.

On Sunday we ate breakfast, finished up E's homework, took the train to Grand Central, which underwhelmed E and then took the Airporter Shuttle to the airport. We caught our desired flight without a bit of nail biting and then ate dinner with H and L at the North Market.

It was a great weekend in the Big Apple, which I think will leave an impression and taught E and I both lots about NYC and ourselves!

1 comment:

Kafran said...

im so glad that you guys had such an awesome time! my parents instilled in me early the joys of traveling; the only thing im upset about that now is that i have a killer sense of wanderlust.

e makes me happy. not to say that l doesnt too, but they are very different children that make me happy in very different ways. because i spent that first summer just with e, there will always be that "babyness" there for me...

the pictures look great, the food sounds fantastic, i cant wait to hear about more on wednesday :)