My friend and I have been talking about where to go with the girls. I have a "New York before we leave" list, but they are from here and have some of the same, and some different! on the list. In part because we know different things, but also because when you're local, there are things you don't rush to do. Me, have only been to Alcatraz to work a catering gig. Coit Tower the night before I left for college and it wasn't my idea.
Big hits on our lists: Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium. We made it to the zoo in early August when Pace was in town. These kinds of trips are not uneventful. We had to load two more carseats into Natasha's family-fantastic car. Then strollers. Then adults. And my coffee. We barely made it.
Now the aquarium is a straight shot on the F Train to Coney Island. Elevator at my station, ramp or something at the other end. Rain was predicted for the week. We got some, by the way, not enough to clear out the horrid humidity and the vestiges of a summer that needed to be over (Hello, Fall!!), but we thought, if it rains, let's see fish!
Did we firm up this plan? Yes, this morning but crazy texts. I can get us dressed and out the door in thirty minutes! I said, engaging in my usual game of "I can get this family out the door" akin to the 70s game show about music. We agreed, via text, we'd meet up on the train.
People, you know that a large part of the subway is underground, right? Down we go, trying to get to the 10:24 train (about an hour later than I'd planned). Texting frantically! It turns out, Bird and her mama are on the train behind us.
Rabbit, Bama, and I hopped off at 4th Ave./9th St. in Brooklyn to try to get on the same train. This spot, it's like Colma but less ugly, more ugly, weirder. The cemetary is split by the train. Look left or right, see a sea of memories. I wish I had better shots of the headstones, and of the clusters of them. All from my iPhone.
We didn't meet up at that station. More time-underground-delayed messages. We hop on, shuttle to the next station, off, then on. This time, we're on the same train, different cars. We all have to get off at King's Highway because there's track work. All of us off, down the stairs, up the stairs (two strollers, two toddlers, infant in ergo! oh my!). Natasha and me wondering how people do it. How do New Yorkers who don't look like I look — casual, unkempt — do it. (They use car services or don't do outings like this, the nanny does.)
Then. 8th St./Coney Island. The smell of the Atlantic. A bit of the boardwalk, us wondering why hadn't we done this earlier?
And, fish. I'm going to have to add a couple of pictures to the post, from the first fish tank of wonderment. Rabbit was agog watching the colors, but you won't see much of him as he was mostly with me while I was taking photos.
I can't say the shark exhibit moved me much, not compared with Steinhart, for example, but you could zip behind the seals, penguins, and other swimmers to see into the tanks (and catch some seahorses!).
The walruses were doing laps, with a tidy turn at this window. They come from the murk, turn, and vanish. It's awesome. I told Natasha I wanted a cup of tea and to stay there all day. It was incredibly soothing.
Checking out the whiskers.
A koi pond and turtles. The girls are watching the fish teasing one of the swimming turtles who is on his way to a baby and another turtle on the bank. Baby turtles are cute! Natasha's grandmother has had turtles in her backyard forever. She can call to them and they'll come lumbering for melon.
We rolled home at 4:45. You got that right. A dinner of curry soup, with star pasta instead of udon because we were out and I'm creative, everyone in bed, more or less, by 8pm.
When I asked Bama what she liked the best today, she said the seahorses, the walruses, and the turtles. Oh, and I think she really liked all the fish. And the seals. And the ….
… you get the picture.