Since our last trip to New York City coincided with Father’s Day, I invited Henry to write a guest blog entry about how he and Lucy spent the weekend. I’m sure I’ll post later about the paper cutting class I took at the Center for Book Arts with the amazing Beatrice Coron once I take some pictures of my work!
While Caroline was in class on Saturday, Lucy and I explored Madison Square Park, which is across the street from Eataly and adjacent to the Flatiron Building. In addition to slides and seesaws – two of Lucy’s favorites – we were happy to learn that there was a Shake Shack in the park. If you’re in DC, you’re probably a little sick of hearing about Shake Shack at this point; all I’ll say is don’t sleep on their lemonade, and don’t wait in the “hot line” if you want one.
We also looked at a massively interesting sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, who it turns out created another of Lucy’s favorites, the Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park. And we walked right past Bill Cunningham from the New York Times; I tried to get his attention so he could take a picture of Lucy for On the Street, but I guess Lucy’s denim dress isn’t the style this summer.
From Madison Square Park we went on to Momofuku Noodle Bar for ramen and pork buns. Lu was a bit worn down for all the excitement, though, so I asked the waitress to pack up our noodles to go. We wound up back at Union Square Park – as you know, possibly Mom’s “favorite place in America” – and had a nice picnic on a park bench. (It helps when you pack Lu’s bowl and spoon.) Lucy inhaled the noodles and broth, and she ate the two sheets of nori we were supposed to tear up for soup toppings before I could even pull them from the to-go containers. Then on to some more swings and seesaws before meeting up with Mom for dinner.
Next up on Father’s Day proper was the High Line. Beginning in the 1930s, trains running over a set of elevated tracks along Manhattan’s West Side would bring meat and other produce directly to the warehouses in the Meatpacking District. The tracks fell into disrepair due to lack of use, and years later a community group spurred the renovation of the High Line into an urban park and greenway. As of two weeks ago, the High Line runs from 30th Street in Chelsea (just a few blocks from our usual hotel) all the way down to 12th Street in the Bowery, an area that’s now home to restaurants that let celebrity chefs show their fancy side, like Del Posto and Collichio & Sons.
Lucy also loved the High Line fountain. It circulates a thin scrim of water about a half-inch deep across part of the walkway – which is about as much water as she can enjoy outside a bathtub. She also really liked the ornamental grasses along the back of the fountain. The effect is very similar to the fountains that used to run along the length of the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery; I was disappointed when those were turned off because she wouldn’t be able to play in them, so I was happy to find one at the High Line.
Finally, we ended our day at Rainbow City, a new play space by the artists Friends With You in association with AOL. There were lots of inflatable moonwalks and giant tethered balloons that Lucy is probably still a bit young for, and walking around I felt a bit like I was transported into a Super Mario game. But it was a great atmosphere, including food trucks and beer taps, and hopefully it will still be up and running for our next visit – this time with Mom.
Thanks to all the NYC Parks and Rec workers who wished me a Happy Father’s Day – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it, or a better person to spend it with.