After Nic and Emma had their gymnastics lesson Sunday, we dropped Nic off in Williamsburg, taking the “blue A train with yellow and orange seats” much to Emma’s delight, (while disproving my theory that she prefers taking trains with corresponding seat colors) so he could spend the afternoon with a friend of his who lives there. Richard, Emma and I originally had planned to go to the Metropolitan Museum, followed by a stroll through Central Park before ending up at the zoo, as per Emma’s request. However it was suggested we walk to the East river and visit the thriving Williamsburg flea market before heading back into the city.
The day was lovely and as I’d never spent any time in Williamsburg I loved this idea and suggested we walk around and explore. Richard was game and Emma, who really only cared about going to the zoo, was content to go along with this new set of plans as long as we found her some Nestle’s chocolate milk before we began our walk. It was so warm that all of us shed our jackets within the first few minutes of walking. Emma had a black fleece, which I helped tie around her waist. She then shoved the unopened bottle of chocolate milk into the “waist” her fleece created, as though it were a gun being thrust into a holster. Every now and again she would grab the sleeves of the fleece and tighten it around her belly, ensuring that the chocolate milk remain in position. I wish I had a photograph, I can’t think now why I didn’t take one, it was such a powerful look and one she was able to carry off effortlessly.
For those unfamiliar with New York City and it’s nearby environs, Williamsburg, once occupied by large industrial companies such as, Pfizer, Domino Sugar and Standard Oil, was also a coveted resort for many of New York’s wealthy elite in the 1800’s. In the early 1900’s it became home to Hasidic Jews escaping Nazi, Germany and much later to Puerto Ricans lured there by the abundance of factory jobs. Williamsburg is now going through a gentrification, with hipsters and artists populating the unoccupied enormous factory buildings and loft spaces. Though many artists have already begun moving east, unable to afford the rising rents in Williamsburg, it still retains a certain “hip” allure with almost everyone under the age of 50 showing off elaborate tattoos and unconventional hairstyles.
By the time Emma, Richard and I reached the East River, Emma enthralled with the notion we would take a water taxi back into Manhattan never once mentioned the zoo. When I explained to her that we would only have time to wander along the piers before the water taxi arrived and would then have to head home she nodded her head and said, “Go on water taxi, then take number 1 train home!”
“Yes, except we can’t take the number 1 train, we’ll have to take the number 2 train.”
“Take the number 2 train,” Emma confirmed.
Emma was ecstatic when we boarded the water taxi and sat on a seat closest to the window. “Mommy sit here,” she said, patting the seat directly in front of her.
“No, Em. I’m going to sit next to you here.”
“Mommy sit here?” Emma said looking slightly distressed.
I knew she wanted me to sit in front of her because she wanted to suck her thumb without any comment from me. “It’s okay Em,” I said, before sitting down.
Another family sat directly in front of us, with two small children no older than three. One of the little girls turned around in her seat to stare at Emma and then mimicked her by jamming her thumb into her mouth, just as Emma was.
When we arrived at South Seaport Emma said, “Go get Nicky.”
“No Em. Nicky’s friends are going to drive him back into the city later. But we could walk a little bit and take the number 1 train.”
“NO!” Emma cried. “Take the number 2 train.”
Which is exactly what we did.
“Hey Em. This was such a great day. Did you have fun?” I asked as we shot uptown on the number 2 train.
“Yes! I had so much fun with just Mommy and Daddy!”
For my latest piece in the Huffington Post, click ‘here‘.