Friday, September 17, 2010

Guest Book: Chris and Mindy

We have been looking forward to our visit from Noah's mom, Christine, and his sister, Mindy, all year! The call of the US Open song was too strong to keep these tennis aficionados away for long (Noah and Allison are a decent draw. Roddick and Clijsters sweeten the pot considerably.) and we're so glad it happens to be in our own backyard.

Before they came out, Mindy was explaining to her son, Josh, where we live. By the end of the conversation, Josh was apparently pretty concerned about our well being - what with our no yard/no car/no bedrooms existence. She also used this information + stories of art museums and lots of walking around a city to convince him why this was going to be a grown-ups-only trip, so I had to laugh when Mindy refrained from a photo of the display at the new Lego store in Rockefeller Center, knowing Josh would spot the photo and insist there are fun things for kids in NYC. Hilarious! I love how well Mindy knows her kids :).

The ladies took the NYC museum scene by storm while Noah and I wrapped up work, then we caught a "street meat" dinner (because we're classy hosts like that) before checking out Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue and Grand Central Station.

Saturday was Noah's famous lower Manhattan tour (a throwback to his USU Ambassador days. just waiting for him to start walking backward around the city...) and Clinton Street brunch at Tompkins Square Park with the potheads and weirdos. Seriously - do park goers get any stranger than this bunch? I submit that they do not.

We serpentined around the city and ended up back downtown in time for a visit to Purl Soho, where Noah joined the rest of the testosterone in the room at the shopping legs table (I saw them exchange knowing glances as he sat down). I've been looking for an excuse to visit this delightful fabric store, but knew I had to go with a seamstress extraordinaire like Chris. The woman knows fabric like the back of her hand, so it was fun to explore with an expert. From there, we were off to dinner and a show - Chris generously treated us to tickets to Memphis. It was amazing! One of our very favorite shows we've seen.
Sunday was an absolute highlight of the trip. After church, we packed a picnic to the High Line and as we dined, were serenaded by a group with guitars, harmonicas, you name it... singing everything from John Denver to the Beatles (though, I suppose John Denver and the Beatles aren't exactly on opposite ends of the "everything" scale).

After lunch, we enjoyed a nice walk through the Village, then retreated to our apartment for a few hours to escape the oppressive heat before venturing uptown in search of this building:

Noah's grandmother attended NYU for a time when she was a young girl. In fact, NYC is the scene of Grandma and Grandpa Riley's engagement. A month or so ago, Grandma found a letter her younger sister sent while she was living out here. Armed with the address, we came to this building - excited to realize it's a building we've passed often on Broadway in Morningside Heights. While we were there, we gave Grandma a quick call and sent a few pictures of the building. It's so fun to feel connected to Noah's grandparents this way and to think about the adventures they had at our age. I loved this note she sent back:

How fun to see the place where I lived 64 years ago!!! It brings back many happy, special memories, not only of the nine months I lived there but especially the week that Grandpa and I spent together seeing exactly the things you, Mindy and Chris are seeing while you are there. New York City is definitely an exciting place to be.

Looking at this picture I can just visualize Dave (the door man) standing on the side walk and opening the door for us with a great big smile. He always called us ladies and he was dressed very properly with gold trim on his grey suit and hat. And then I can see Frank the nice little black guy who ran the elevator for us with another big smile. His hair was so startling black that we thought he probably touched it up with black shoe polish. (The reason I know Frank's name is that I just found a poem in my book that I wrote about New York for my literature class at NYU.)

Mindy, after being in New York you will enjoy reading my diary more about our activities there. It was truly a glorious nine months of my life. Thank you all for the call and the picture. I am just happy that 'my' building hasn't been bull dozed over for a newer more modern building. Try to visualize me leaving the building and going in the wrong direction to buy ice cream for everyone in our apartment. It took a few blocks for me to realize that the numbers on the street were going up (or down) when they should have been gong the opposite. I was always lost, either on foot or subway. I am surprised Norma and our roommates even let me out of the apartment.

After our visit with Grandma, we stopped by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the LDS Temple before heading over to Julliard and Lincoln Center. The Metropolitan Opera happened to be broadcasting a performance of the Magic Flute on the plaza at Lincoln Center. We made our way to a grassy area further away from the crowd, but still within earshot of the music and spent the evening chatting and getting our Mozart on.
Perfect evening and wonderful company. Thanks for making the trip, Chris and Mindy!


allyn said...

glad you got to visit with noah's fam. even more excited that they took you to one of the more important places in the city: the fabric store. if you would like to choose something for a bag, send it my way, i will do it up and send it back;)

De Rosa said...

I love Chris, I just saw her last week and she said she had a blast in NY. And it of course it made me so jealous! I love that you guys went to those places for his grandma that is too cute and what good memories. We hope your doing good.