Life with Mother, New York-Style

November 6 – It is my happy treat to have Mother visiting me for a whole week! This will be a great opportunity to blog a bit about a few of our experiences.

She flew in today from Minnesota, and we met at the hostel where she is staying. It is a quaint and affordable place in midtown, a few blocks north of Gramercy Park, and a block from the subway’s Lexington line. I don’t think she could have picked a better location to stay, and I’m sure I will recommend it to others in the future.

I arranged to meet her at the hostel. Arriving a bit early, I had occasion while waiting in the kitchen to meet some other guests, including three young people from New Zealand and Italy, and a gentleman from Peru. The Italian shared his chianti with us, and we four young people chatted about life where we were from while the Peruvian surfed the Web and listened to music videos.

If the kitchen were a bit larger, I could probably talk Mother into cooking for some of her fellow guests. However, the only oven is a microwave, and space would probably not permit such an activity. But we may have an opportunity to join a few of them for a glass of wine somewhere, maybe the Hairy Monk on Third Avenue. I let them know how sociable Mother is, and I know she will make friends while she is there.

Among the residents at the hostel are three beautiful parakeets and a cat. The birds were singing happily when I arrived, but the cat was not interested in my attempt to lure him for a cuddle. He just ran right past me up the stairs and walked down the hall.

Mother and I had a very amusing introduction to a thirty-year resident of the building. The hostel owner warned us that this elderly man likes to talk, and that we should be careful not to get snared into conversations because it would be impossible to get out of them. Just our luck: Mother’s room is next to his, and as it happens, his door was open when we checked her into her room. How upset he was that Mother had to excuse herself and close her door to attend to her unpacking!

We had a very nice dinner at Jaiya, a Thai restaurant blocks away. We split plates of chicken with ginger over rice, and a tender and very tasty egg foo young. We talked of our plans for the week, and among possible activities are visits to the zoos (Bronx and Central Park), museums, and perhaps a Broadway matinee of The Drowsy Chaperone. We also plan to try a variety of inexpensive eateries with a bit of effort, you can eat extremely well on the cheap here. We found a promising Mexican restaurant on the way back from Jaiya. On display in the window were a menu with very good prices and a plate of something very delicious being enjoyed by one of the guests at the window bar.

I walked Mother back to the hostel. By the time I left tonight, the parakeets’ cage was covered. I should be getting under the covers soon myself. I’m meeting her at eight o’clock in the morning, and we are going to try our luck at getting grandstand tickets to the Big Apple Circus under the big top at Lincoln center.

I’m very grateful to have this time! I can’t be in Minnesota for Mother’s birthday this month, or Thanksgiving, so it is indeed a blessing to have this trip on the calendar!

– p.k.