Places I Have Been: New York City

I was born in the Big Apple, the offspring of a Navy dad and an Army mom, who met and married within six weeks. How do you like those odds?

I have no memory of living in New York City, because that happened thirty years ago, and I don't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday. Maybe also because I lived there for a whopping two months before Uncle Sam told my family to move on.

Still, the way my mom tells it, NYC was going through a heat wave, and she--not knowing anything about babies--would wrap me up in a woolen blanket and carry me around the city, because she'd always seen babies wrapped up in blankets so she figured that's what she should do. Naturally, I developed a heat rash and my mom freaked out and took me to the doctor, who probably advised her to lose the blanket and then went to the nurse's station and said, "You will not beLIEVE what this woman did!"

We went back to the city when I was eleven for a one-day visit. Unfortunately, none of our photos of this trip developed correctly, which is another example of the Flower luck.

Here's what we saw:

-Wall Street, where we looked exTREMEly out of place amongst the yuppie elites in their Armani suits and cocaine hazes;

-The World Trade Center, where we went up to the highest floor we could get to before they start kicking you out for being a threat to national security;

-The Statue of Liberty, where we climbed eighteen jillion stairs up the inside of some lady's skirt to get to the crown, after which I immediately grasped the concept of vertigo;

-Battery Park, where a guy tried to sell us fake Rolexes for twenty dollars, and--I am not kidding!--totally held out his jacket so we could see the watches
hanging on the inside (I thought that only happened in movies);

-Lincoln Tunnel, which remains to this day one of the most horrifying travel experiences I've ever had, and is the reason I will never ever EVER use the Chunnel;

-Street vendors, one of whom was selling candles called Happy Sperm, which is really the most vivid memory I have about this day (what? I was eleven!); and

-Homeless people, about whom I had never heard, having lived a relatively sheltered and suburban life.

All in all, it was an educational experience, and sadly, much too short a trip. There is way too much stuff in New York to go there just for one day.

And you know that, when I do go back, I will totally be that wide-eyed, mouth-gaping, countrified pre-adolescent tourist who marvels at the tall buildings, masses of people ... and the Happy Sperm.

This is me, being super-cute on the sidewalks of New York.

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