Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From Hipsters to the High Line: Quirky Guide to NYC with Kids

Before I write this post I need to give some props to my husband. For him, this was a working vacation which meant he was up, out of the hotel room and in an office every morning by 7:00. I received text messages around 8:00 saying things like "Hope I didn't wake you guys up."

I would reply around 10:00 saying things like, "Nope, just rolling out of bed and off to [insert fabulous breakfast spot]." Poor guy! He was such a good sport.

My child-centered approach to NYC fell apart a bit on the second day because, as Child #2 pointed out, "How am I supposed to know what there is to do." He wanted to go to Times Square and visit Toys 'R Us and aside from that he didn't have much of a vision for the day.

Luckily, I have plenty of vision and decided to put both kids on the subway and head over to the lower east side to sample the pancakes at the Clinton Street Baking Company. We arrived and were informed there would be an hour wait. "No problem," I declared. "Text me when our table is ready?"

We adjourned across the street to the Cocoa Bar where my children's charms were lost on the hipsters behind the bar. The cocoa's charms, however, were not lost on my children.

"It's like drinking liquified chocolate," Child #1 informed me. And it was. So much so that I witnessed a first. Two kids who only finished half their cocoa.

The Clinton Street Baking Company welcomed us with the world's friendliest waitress. Not only did she chat about manicures, she advised me one order of pancakes would be more than enough for Child #1 and #2 to share.

After pancakes, we headed off to Soho to visit the Museum of Comic Books and Cartoons. We located the address, no problem, only to be told by the security guard this particular museum no longer exists. I told the kids the museum's disappearance was a perfect metaphor for NYC.

The city is in a constant state of flux.

Our morning was salvaged by various works of street art in sculpture form. Again and again my children found our impromptu and unexpected street sculpture discoveries more viscereal and interesting than anything they saw in museums.

Times Square. What can I say. We did it. I hated it, because it's crowded and ugly. They loved it, because it's crowded and exciting, although Child #1 allowed, "I think I'd prefer it after dark." From there we headed cross town to Rockefeller Center, poking our noses into shops until Child #2 begged for a reprieve.

That night we visited the High Line.

For the uniniated, the High Line is an urban park on an abandoned elevated subway line that runs through the Meatpacking District. We wandered above New York City at twilight, stopping to eat gelato and stripping off our shoes to indulge in the wading path.

Both children availed themselves of the wooden chaise lounges with a perfect view of the Hudson River and Child #1 declared the High Line to be, "the best park in New York."

Stop by on Friday to read more of my quirky guide to NYC with kids.


Anonymous said...

You need to go back. STAT! The MoCCA (that is, the Museum of Comic Cartoon & Art) is now part of the Society of Illustrators. All of MoCCA's assets transferred the The Society and is now at 128 E. 63rd Street. More info is here.

Angela Cothran said...

Love that statue. It looks so real.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I agree, at first glance I thought that was you--that statue.

Liquified chocolate--yes, please!

We are so close to NY. We really need to make the effort to get there.
~ Wendy

Beylit said...

I am loving this. It really makes me want to go back and visit since I haven't been since I was 17. I was 10 when my mom first took me and my brother. We only got 2 days with her, and honestly I think we went to FAO Schwarts and the Met and that was it. Though my brother and I could have happily spent a week in the Met and not cared.

Carol Kilgore said...

I love all the street artists and musicians. The High Line park is new since we were there - it's going on my list when we visit again!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I had to stop by this morning to get the rest of the story.

I love the sound of Highline. I love it when cities get creative with unused spaces. This one be a great place to create a park. Did they add trees and flowers like they do on some of the rooftop parks?

That is a cool looking sculpture!

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

Connie J Jasperson said...

I have this vision of You being the statue, and your children being awesomely well-behaved as you had a moment of peace!

This is something they will remember all their lives. My kids remember all their 'strange vacations' with fondness!

Emily R. King said...

Child #1 is probably right. Times Square would be much more exciting after dark. I'd love to see it someday!

Cassie Mae said...

Oh I'm so jealous! This is amazing and your kids are too cute. And totally thought that statue was you too, lol.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to New York since I was a kid. Unless you count the New York New York in Las Vegas. We stayed there once.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I couldn't finish those cocoas either. And yes, your husband is a good sport.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Sounds like one heck of a trip! Well, for you guys anyway, your poor husband is missing all the fun!
I've never been to NY, your posts have made me want to go!

Johanna Garth said...

Josh, darn me and my misplace reliance on security guards!

Angela, it was very real feeling too.

Wendy, that's what all my tri-state friends say.

Beylit, it would be easy to lose several days to the MET

Carol, you MUST see the High Line

Sia, yes, lots of trees and flowers.

Emily, she got to sample it at night later on and loved all the lights :)

Connie, I really like that vision.

Cassie, I wish I looked as peaceful as she does.

Stephen, that sort of counts. :)

Alex, I know, such a good sport!

Rachel, it's such a great city with kids.

Liza said...

Oh this sounds like a lovely trip. Liquid chocolate indeed. Sign me up!

Ali Cross said...

Your kids are SO CUTE! And I'm super impressed at all that you tackled with two little ones in tow. Impressive!

Michael Di Gesu said...

It looks like you are ALL having a ball in the Big APPBLE!

Glad to hear it. HAVE FUN>>>

I miss home....

Unknown said...

I definitely think that I could go for some liquified chocolate as well. Looks like you guys are having a great time! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

Chuck said...

Since I have never been to NYC this is a very cool guide beyond the ordinary tourist spots. One day I hope to make to the Big Apple and actually experience it for myself. Thanks for the vicarious trip!

Barbara Watson said...

It all sounds awesome. Although I haven't been to NYC--mostly because your view of Times Square (ugly and crowded) is my view of the entire city--someday I will make the plunge. said...

Sounds like you made the best of NYC, especially with your visit to the Cocoa Bar. Your kids' energy is jumping from my screen. It's fun to see.