The kids know their way around New York City — not well enough, say, to secure a safe bar and find a place to stay within a couple hours, as the city so often demanded of their father, but well enough to find their way home on the subway if we were ever to become separated.
Plus, there’s always their phones.
I can gauge their interest in this big city by how seldom they look at their phones while we’re here — and how embarrassed they get when I continually consult my own, because I maybe don’t know my way around like I used to, but I still know how to get to Broadway, dammit.
They felt at home as the lights dimmed inside the Lyceum Theatre for a matinee showing of The Play That Goes Wrong, a high comedic farce that did not disappoint, visibly less so as we moved west to Chelsea and walked a stretch of the High Line. They don’t understand what it’s like to be in a city that requires you to move: move your feet, move your car, move your ass off my stoop before I call the cops.
Not only does the city never sleep, it never sits still. Its denizens learn that very quickly. A lot has changed here in New York City since I grew up here, but not that.
My own impressions of New York draw heavily from my childhood near here in the 1970s and ’80s, so I’m still always looking for the hustle, the perpetrator, the angle one might take while separating a man from his stuff.
Our last night in town, my wife and I slipped off for dinner after ordering the kids a pizza to eat in — a New York experience of a sort, I suppose. While the younger two napped off the afternoon, our oldest ventured out from our apartment to accept this pizza, and in doing so locked himself out of the place.
He didn’t realize that when a door closes in New York City, quite often it locks up tight.
A lot has changed around here, but not that.