Over the years, my husband, Ernie, and I have taken one grandchild on a trip during the summer break. The oldest grandson went to NYC with us when he was 11 years old.
This past June we took the middle grandson, now 14, to see the Big Apple over a long weekend. My son and his significant other joined us.
I have so many memories of visits to NYC. The following recollections go back years.
Growing up in the 50s, I lived In Jersey City across the Hudson River from New York City. When I was a child, my mother took me on the subway to shop at Macy’s. I loved the huge department store with rickety wooden escalators. There was a bathroom on the children’s floor that had little toilets and small sinks that made me think I was Alice in Wonderland and had fallen down the rabbit hole. We had lunch at Nedick’s or the Automat. At Nedick’s, right on the corner as we came up from the subway, I always ordered a hot dog with mustard and an orange drink. Delicious.
The Automat was heaven for a ten year old. There were little windows that I looked through to see what dish was available. I would feed nickels into the slot and the window would open so I could pull out my dish. Most frequently it was a hot casserole of hot dogs and beans. Desert was more challenging because there were too many choices.
I got my first traffic ticket making an illegal turn coming out of the Holland Tunnel from Jersey City into New York. My father had forbidden me to drive into NYC–I had just gotten my drivers license. How could I pass up the opportunity to chauffeur my girl friends on a glorious sunny day, experiencing our freedom? When I told my father about the ticket, he said nothing but I will always remember the look of disappointment on his face.
When I was in my early 20s, I would drive with my girl friends into the city at night to dance to the big name bands at various hotels, or maybe it was just one hotel. One night three guys took turns dancing with me. Perhaps it was to Tommy Dorsey’s band playing “In the Mood,” or Glen Miller’s Orchestra doing “String of Pearls?” These guys were showing off for each other as they twirled me about and tossed me into the air. I loved to dance and remember not wanting to stop even though I had just had an appendectomy a couple of weeks before and prayed the stitches would hold.
When my husband and I dated we often went to NYC taking in the Broadway musicals. We had a late dinner afterwards at the Playboy Club. One time Tony Bennett was at another table eating alone. Our Bunny/waitress, at our request, asked for his autograph. He signed a napkin “Best wishes to Mrs. Crane.” I gave it to Ernie’s mother. How did I know?
After this last trip to NYC, I will have more New York City memories to stash away. You can never have too many.