mom’s visit to nyc, february 2015 edition

Lest you think all I did was run while my mom was here, I assure you I did not!  What’s nice about my mom coming to visit is that she usually visits twice per year, so she’s already seen a bunch of New York and will visit again in the future!  This is great because there’s not a need for go-go-go-must-see-everything-right-now.  (There was one time when my friend Katie came to visit, and I walked her 11 miles in one day.  Our feet survived and so did our friendship…at least we saw so much!)  Since my mom knows I’m not a morning person, and she’s become less of a morning person since she retired, we usually do our thing in my apartment, have lunch here, then head out for the day.  Great for having a relaxing visit and for saving money by eating lunch at home!

But don’t you worry, we still had plenty of fun.  A mix of New York things and mother-daughter fun.  Away we go!

friday

My great-Aunt Rebina, of People Magazine fame (seriously – check it out, especially if you’re interested in transgender rights), is 93 and still fit as a fiddle…my mom always visits when she’s in New York, so we get to hear about her life and her thoughts on aging.  (She says the key to be old is to never go to the doctor, ha.  And don’t stop working.)  We chatted at her apartment before heading to the diner we always go to for lunch.  She’s certainly had an interesting life, and it’s fun to hear about.

After lunch, my mom, Eric, and I headed down to the 9/11 Museum.  It was a little confusing to get to and the Port Authority Police weren’t the nicest in giving us directions, but we made it. I’ve been to the 9/11 Memorial multiple times, but I had yet to visit the museum.  I remember there being some mixed reactions when it first opened, but I thought the museum was really well done.  My mom said she read somewhere to expect to spend about two hours in the museum…we were there for about three and a half and easily could have spent longer.  The most interesting part about the museum is that I’ve never visited any sort of museum of something I’ve actually lived through.  Unlike other events in history, which I can have feelings about from what I’ve learned, I remember where I was on 9/11.  Although I wasn’t personally affected by 9/11 (well…my brother was at West Point at the time and subsequently deployed, but I didn’t know anyone from the events of the day), I still have memories of that day, which is different than any other museum I’ve been to.

saturday

Eric left in the morning to go skiing in Colorado, which means my mom and I got girl time!  We made the most of it by declaring Saturday our craft day.  My mom is a crafty woman from sewing/quilting to scrapbooking to knitting.  She tried to teach my sister and I how to sew when we were younger, but it didn’t quite stick.  I remember learning how to crochet (never finished that blanket…) when I was younger, and my mom just taught me how to knit a few months ago.  I finished my second scarf just before she got here (I borrow her needles and wanted to give them back!), and then we headed to the local knit shop to get supplies for our next projects.  She got materials for a summer sweater, I’m tackling another scarf.

photo 4 (9) My finished scarf!  (See Kim!  Make one!)

photo 5 (3) New scarf with a waffle pattern.  Maybe I’ll finish it before winter is over…

And finally…scrapbooking.  My mom has done many, many scrapbooks about our lives, but I never got into it.  However, over the year my dad has sent me many newspaper articles, letters, and cards, and I’ve kept them in a shoebox.  I’ve asked my mom multiple times how she thinks I should make them into more of a keepsake instead of paper in a box.  For Christmas, she got me some scrapbooking supplies and brought a few more with her in her suitcase, so we were able to get to work!  Luckily Eric and I bought the IKEA table that folds out to seat a bunch of people…or to be crafty on.

photo 1 (30) Crafters at work!

We kept it low key on Saturday night and made dinner at home – asparagus and sun dried tomato risotto, which my mom made while I was crafting.  We then wrapped up the night with knitting while watching Netflix. 

photo 2 (29) Ah, I love risotto.

sunday

SUNDAY FUNDAY.  After my long run (and lunch), my mom and I headed out to get some more scrapbooking supplies – thank goodness there’s a Michael’s in the city!  We had some time to kill before our afternoon activity, and we happened to walk by Madison Square Park and Eataly – gelato it is!  I got chocolate chip and my mom got salted caramel and life. is. good.

photo 3 (18) The little spoons make it so much better.

After the gelato, we headed over to our afternoon activity.  The main reason for my mom’s visit was to see the U.S. Aerial Championships.  A girl I went to elementary through high school with is a silks and hoop performer, and she competed in the championship.  (Same person Eric and I went to see at the Slipper Room a couple weeks ago.)  All the competitors (women on silks, men on hoop) were quite impressive – so strong and flexible!  I have a severe fear of heights so I don’t know if I’d ever be able to try such a thing.  (And I could never do the rope climb in gym class – no upper body strength!)  Many of Brenna’s friends and students came to watch her, and it was so interesting to hear the ladies talk about their love for silks or pole.  It was like when I talk about running – some take classes four-six times per week!  I’d be fun to try (push myself outside of my comfort zone…) if anyone wants to try with me.  Anyway – Brenna was AMAZING and placed as first runner-up.  Per the Facebook page, the videos will be soon, but here’s picture from her routine:

2015 U.S. Aerial Championships - Day 3 : News Photo

Photo credit.

It was really cool and something different to see – one of the many reasons why I love NYC!

My mom and I followed up the show with some Indian food – always delicious.

sunday

For my mom’s last full day in NYC, we had some low key plans – my mom is a retired elementary school art teacher, and the Museum of Modern Art was wrapping up their Henri Matisse – The Cut-Outs exhibit.  Late in his career, Matisse used cut paper (made while using giant scissors…) to create his art.  He would cut out the shapes and pin them to the background – or have his assistants pin it as he directed.  Some were small project while others took up full walls.  My mom used his artwork in her classes, so she was really excited to see it.  It sold out on Monday so luckily we bought our tickets early!

Mom and me.

My mom wanted a cool tshirt from the exhibit, but the shirts weren’t interesting at all.  Instead, she bought me a magnet that had a circus elephant on it – thanks, Mom!

Never enough elephants.

Both of us have been to MoMA before, so we headed out after the Matisse exhibit.  Not ready to go home yet, we stopped by an Irish pub for some beverages and nachos, complete with mother-daughter conversations.  Multiple beverages later, we headed home to watch the Bachelor!  Thank goodness some of the girls I disliked the most finally left…

And of course, I cried before going to bed because my mom was leaving in the morning – I keep saying that one of these days I won’t cry, but at 30 it hasn’t happened yet, so maybe it’s time to just accept it.  We had a great visit and lots of fun – now to get to work on that scarf and scrapbooking!

juno…the blizzard that wasn’t [nyc edition]

I’m pretty sure the entire country is well aware of the “blizzard” that was supposed to hit the Northeast last night and today.  I put the word “blizzard” in quotations to refer to the storm that actually hit NYC, as it was anything but a blizzard.  The more north and east portions of the Northeast certainly got hit harder, but NYC certainly went into panic mode.  For the first time in the history of the subway system, the entire system shut down on Monday night.  A ban was placed on road travel.  SNOW DAYS FOR EVERYONE.

Ah, snow days.  You would be so nice if I didn’t have a job that never shuts down.  (In other news, I have the best job security ever.  You keep being ridiculously unhealthy, America.)  Although I never really worried about getting to work (I’ve got two feet and I know how to use them!), I was worried about work being a disaster from people calling out due to not being able to get into work.  Luckily, a few nurses ended up sleeping at the hospital overnight, so we actually were quite well staffed.  Hooray.

But getting to work certainly made me nervous, and I woke up a few times last night to check and see how much snow we actually had.  Each time, I was never impressed.  I should have prefaced this entire post by saying that I grew up outside Chicago.  In order to get a snow day, it had to start snowing somewhere around 4am – and it better be snowing had.  Any earlier, and there was enough time to get the snowplows and salt trucks out, clearing the roads in time to school.  Any later, and it was too late to call off school.  I remember going to elementary school with snow over my head after a few good snowstorms.

I would like to take this time to note that had the snowstorm been as bad as they said it was going to be, I strongly considered wearing my New York City Marathon parka to walk to and from work.  It breaks the wind.  It’s impossible to miss.  I’d be warm and wouldn’t be hit by any cars.  I consider this a win-win situation.  (And yes, I still have my parka without any legitimate reason to use it so far…)

So.  Much.  Orange.

The walk to work wasn’t so bad.  My doorman reminded me that no buses or subways were running, and I reminded him that my boots were made for walking.  I heard that the parks were closed, but I figured no one would be patrolling them.  WRONG.  I got yelled at by a park guy with a snow blower when I tried to enter, even after saying I was a nurse trying to get to work.  Needing to reroute, I found one of the cross roads and walked down the street without another person in sight.

If I had to imagine what a zombie apocalypse would look like in NYC, it would be pretty close to what Tuesday morning was.  A few photographers were out with their tripods and fancy cameras, capturing pictures of an empty city.  Plenty of doormen were out with shovels and pails of salt.  Otherwise, people were walking.  In the street.  It was so quiet.  Sometimes a police car would go by, but New York City is certainly odd without the constant buzz of traffic.

nyc snow Lexington Ave.  With the assistance from plenty of filters.

Work went along as usual since the hospital doesn’t necessarily change its flow just because the weather is being weird.  Walking home was much less eventful than the morning commute – the park was open and many people were still out sledding.  One guy in Central Park asked me for a lighter (actually, his friend yelled, “Ask that white girl for a lighter!”), to which I wanted to say that 1) you’re not allowed to smoke in Central Park and 2) I’m a burn nurse, so no, I don’t have a lighter.

I’m looking forward to an easier commute tomorrow…may even one that involves a bus ride?

Did you get a snow day?  Are you snowed in up in Boston?  Did you run?  Are you sledding?  Did all the snow melt?  Or maybe you worked as well…?

And please tell me other people still have their marathon parkas stored away for a day like today…

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