One of the more relaxing things about having lived in NYC for a couple
of years is that when we return on vacation, we feel no need to hustle
about revisiting all the sites, even the sites we intended to include
such as the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Bergdorf Goodman window
display, Gracious Home, the ABC Store, Magnolia’s, Marie Belle and
B&H.  We have done none of these.  We haven’t visited the Metropolitan
Museum.  We had planned to do that today, but we had our
granddaughter, Rian, age 15, with us and the three of us slept in
until ten, then watched LOVE ACTUALLY with Rian covering her face with
a pillow during the R-rated scenes.  Very satisfying.

After we showered and lunched, there wasn’t time for the museum, so we
went to Columbus Circle and lulled about the bookstore and the grocery
store.  Then we went to Penn Station, and Rian bought a ticket to
Millburn that would get her home in time for her babysitting job.  We
had time to spare, so we bought some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Cokes
and sat on the floor against the wall of the escalator.

I learned that Rian’s favorite color is purple.  Her favorite book is
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, her favorite movie is THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, her favorite band is the ARCTIC MONKEYS.  I learned what a mosh pit is,
and that her favorite actor is Rupert Grint (Ron, in the HARRY POTTER
movies).  In ten years, she’d like to live in Europe and write.  My
kind of granddaughter.  Sometimes sitting on the floor in Penn Station
is the best use of one’s time.

We “do” the city differently, returning to Inwood and finding that the
manager of the Park View Cafe has missed us like we have missed him.
Looking at an affordable apartment near Lincoln Center that is ten by
ten with a teensy bathroom.  The whole apartment is smaller than my
walk-in closet (but Lincoln Center!)  Those apartments look so much
more spacious online.  Using the restrooms in Barnes and Noble on West
66th Street and sipping hot chocolate (not at the same time).

We did see LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN at the Metropolitan Opera, where
Rachelle Gilmore, the replacement singer in the role of Olympia
knocked us into the aisle with her off-the-scale high notes and comic
performance.  She got a larger ovation than Anna Netrebko.

And we spent an afternoon with friends, Howard and Margot, who took us
on a tour of their childhood homes in Brooklyn (Midwood).  Howard
drove, he and Tom in the front seat, Margot and I in the back.  We
bought pizza from a dive that is THE BEST PIZZA PLACE IN NEW YORK CITY according to Zagat’s.  We ate in the car, laughing at this seedy
choice.  Then they took us home to their apartment in the sky on Park
Avenue where we ate apples and nuts in their old prewar kitchen.

Tomorrow (today) is lunch with the Smylies, the end of a great week.

Have you ever gone on vacation and skipped all the “necessary” sites?
Like going to San Diego but not visiting Sea World, or to Florence and
leaving town before seeing the Uffizi, because it’s too hot, and your
two toddlers are fighting over the Fanta sodas?  Have you been to
Paris and missed the Mona Lisa?  Have you driven past the Grand Canyon
and said you’d see it next time you’re in the area, but then you
don’t?  Have you done that?

P.S. There is no visual, because I’m using a Dell PC and it is a
complete mystery to me.