I wrote this post back in 2010. I still double spaced after sentences and was quite new to blogging. But memories are memories and many are worth revisiting. This is one of those posts!
I am not from the city. Not even close. I am from a very small village in eastern Oregon. I grew up fishing, digging holes in the dirt and hanging out with friends. I did not work in the summer...well unless you count painting fences. I loved girlie stuff and shopping. And I always wanted to be from New York City!
When I was very near my 40th birthday I managed to score a trip to the Big Apple...all I had to do was escort a plane load of teens to the city. Six of those teen were my personal responsibility. After we got there all I had to do was make sure none of them got broken or lost. I also needed to make sure I came back with all of them. Parents are funny that way. If I promised to do those things, my plane ticket and room were giving to me at a reduced rate. It seemed like a really good deal!
We were traveling with a tour company that arranged our meals and hotels (yikes). We were given chits to eat breakfast with and the restaurant we were pointed to the Howard Johnsons. Even all those years ago HJ was very old and greasy. It may still be in the same place on or close to Broadway. (I did find a picture on flickr.)
The first morning we headed off for a breakfast of champions so we could use out chits. We found a counter stool, had a look at the chit limited menu and decided to order pancakes. We would not eat again until the evening unless we ate at a food cart...we were going to take on a carbo load!
What do you want? the waiter asked gruffly.
We would like pancakes, we answered in our polite Oregon style.
No you don't...you want eggs, just eggs.See, I didn't know I wanted eggs...not even a little bit. But the guy was big, busy and not fixing pancakes.
It turns out I like eggs...a lot. I also discovered that food carts have some of the best eats available. Who knew! And I still want to be from NYC.
Now we live in Portland, Oregon and life in a small city suits me perfectly. As I get older I am satisfied with watching from afar. Maybe New York would be easier for us now that we have "been around" a little more. But for a small town girl it was very difficult, expensive and a little frightening. Still, I would not trade that experience for anything ... Saturday night on Broadway is like no other place in the world.
hometown: Huntington, Oregon
I've been to New York a couple of times but didn't really enjoy it all that much. I like a small town much better, and to me Portland is too big! I enjoyed this, Barb. Thanks for posting it again so I could enjoy it for the first time. :-)ReplyDelete
I am not sure if I am brave or just clueless...I love the city and seem to be able to get around just fine. Those students rode buses and the subways with me. We stayed in a hotel just out of Hells Kitchen and wandered Broadway before theater opening times. It was great fun. But I will admit it scared me a little at the time but I would go again in a heartbeat.
One of those students went on to travel around the world while in college and became a stewardess so she could travel. I still think about her.