So, we finally made it to the city. Jude had been BEGGING to go on a train. We took the New Jersey transit from Rahway today and did just that, with the train dumping us out underneath Madison Square Garden at Penn Station. Remember what I said about New Jersey having some ugly parts to it? You will see it along that train ride. Mile after after of run-down, unused buildings, ugly terrain, and dirty water. It’s a shame, but it is what it is.
So yeah, we exit the train at Penn Station, and, just so all you parents with young families who want to go vacationing know, New York City is not designed for you. Get ready to work. I carried our two-seater stroller up several flights of stairs in among throngs of unsympathetic city-goers and New York Ranger fans (they were playing the Capitals that afternoon). That, while keeping a very wary eye on my kids, especially Jude, who is mobile, both in mind and body. We exit out onto 7th Avenue and try to get moving. It was a beautiful day in the City, with temperatures in the 60’s, a Sunday on Presidents Day weekend, so the streets were more packed than I remember them being in my past few visits. I bumped into more than a few people with our stroller once we unfolded it and unleashed this Ford-LTD of a stroller on an unsuspecting public. Poor souls.
For me, NYC has always been about a few things in particular: walking, discovering, and the food. I could walk that city for weeks exploring different nooks and crannies.
The more you walk, the more you discover.
As far as food, however, my heart has always gravitated towards one place in particular: Little Italy. Specifically, a restaurant named Angelo’s that my Uncle has taken me to on special occasions. But also for Roberto Baggio jerseys, and something else:
Today, I finally returned to renew an old tradition: coffee and cannoli.
And bless my family’s collective heart for humoring me and allowing me to do it. Full disclosure: this day wasn’t as enjoyable for my kids as it was for me. There were a lot of boring moments for the kids as we carted them around Manhattan, through treacherous traffic and up and down subway staircases. In the end, I was able to effect a bit of nostalgia that I was not counting on when this trip began. It was wonderful. A really, really good cup of coffee followed by some cannolis from Cannoli World, followed by a really nice dinner (yup, cannolis before dinner). Vanessa helped me figure out the subway system, and, in the end, she was carrying both girls in her arms while I carried the stroller in one hand and held Jude’s in the other while we slowly made our way back through Penn Station trying to figure out which train to get on. Many flights of stairs and a long walk to our train later, we sat down, both drenched in sweat. Oddly enough it was a good moment. We got through it. A nice day, sure, but a bit stressful, and very physical. I mean, for a non-hike, we sure hiked a lot. But we did it. We was proud. 👍
Tomorrow, we make our way to Philly. Next stop, Ireland.