Almost three months living here and I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by. This week is what they call “winter break”. Children have a week off school which means I have both girls all week. Today we decided to go visit the Empire State Building. I realized also today that doing these tourist things is wise at the moment. Apparently they all get very busy and when I mean busy I mean 2-3 hour waits to get to the top of the Empire State Building!! We arrived and there was probably a 15 minute wait. Much to my delight here in New York like in most of the United States the disabled and parents with young children get priority. After going through once again the airport style security we were bypassed the crowd much to my delight. I have become so desensitized to the security as this city has it everywhere. I actually really like it as I always feel safe here which is very comforting.
We got to the top which for us was the 86th floor. It was an amazing view of New York and New Jersey. It also really puts into perspective the sheer magnitude of this city. Isabel and I tried to squeeze through the people glued to the sides so we could get a better look. It was hard trying to keep the stroller at arm’s length whilst ensuring Isabel could see over the top. Annika was more interested in her iPod touch and snuggled in her arctic stroller pouch. It was about -5 degrees so quite cold and a bit windy and I don’t blame her.
On the way home we got on a crowded train which is nothing new here in Manhattan. Once again as I boarded I had men get up to offer me their seats. I always get embarrassed however it’s so much easier and safer having at least Isabel seated whilst I hold the stroller in a crowded carriage. The trains can get quite bumpy too so it’s very easy for a distracted child to just fall over. I have found the men of New York to be true gentlemen. I am always just amazed at how complete strangers are always willing to either help me with the kids or give me their seat. At first I thought it may be a one off thing but it always happen. I have had men and sometimes women always offering to help. Normally they see me struggling to open doors and attempting to manoeuvre the stroller in and they quickly jump to my assistance.
It’s so strange as this city has absolutely NO TOLERANCE OR PATIENCE yet I always get assistance. I do however follow the “rules” and that is MOVE FAST and stick to your right. It’s not unusual to be basically told off if you do slow down or god forbid stop in the middle of the side walk. You are sure to get an earbashing New York style.