I feel like my sister and my husband dodge a lot of bullets on this blog.
So here’s a thing:
Once we went to New York for my sister’s high school graduation. We wander through the streets, past 42nd, down Broadway.
Suddenly my sister stopped and turned to us. “I get it! On Broadway! They say that because the theater is ON BROADWAY.”
My mother and I stared.
Later that afternoon we were wandering down one of the numbered streets (7th? 8th?) when suddenly she stopped again. “Oh! I get it afternoon. Because it’s AFTER noon.”
Yes, our school systems are stellar, why do you ask?
My sister is much, much smarter than me in a number of areas. Word derivation is not one of them.
This trip also happens to be why I have a mildly like/hate relationship with New York.
This was the summer of the big garbage strike. And we were there during the biggest heat wave of the summer…so walking down the street was sort of like basking in hot garbage soup.
Then, of course, it happened. The Blackout.
We got lucky and had gotten off the subway a few stops early to walk back to our hotel. Then we stopped for coffee. Then, lights out. This gave us the benefit of being trapped in neither the subway nor the elevator. People got trapped in both.
Still, we sat nervously in our hotel lobby with no idea what was going on for about two hours. Cell phone signals were jammed. We were….scared.
When we realized we’d probably be fine, we were vaguely irritated. Then a lot irritated.
For instance, did you know that when your power goes out in a hotel, water no longer gets pumped up to the higher floors? Which means you can’t shower to get the stink of hot garbage soup off of you? OR FLUSH YOUR TOILET?
Yeah, 3 people in a room without being able to flush the toilet for nearly 24 hours is super fun.
However, it was a side of New York that few have ever seen. Bars were open by candlelight and there was much revelry and camraderie. Knowing that they were relatively safe but without options for lighted entertainment seemed to put the natives into a jolly mood.
Too bad I was 20 and with my mom or I bet I totally could have passed for legal in those candle lit bars.
Not that I would have tried.
Since then, every time I return to New York, I have very mixed feelings. I saw a side of the city that few have in those quiet, light less hours.
But I still get nervous that something atypical will happen while I’m there.
And I’m now convinced that the city always smells vaguely of hot garbage.