Sep 30 2005
There is no better city in the world than New York, let’s just get that straight.
I could get lost there and be happy for the rest of my life. Stick this Southern boy in a hot, airless subway and I could be perfectly content. I’ll pay ridiculous prices, and feel I’m getting a deal. I’ll get slammed hard by someone on the street, and thank them for the experience.
I’ve never felt a pulse like New York. It’s as close as I’ve ever come to getting struck by lightning — a rush of energy through my body that makes me think, “I’m alive! … or fried like chicken.”
That’s New York.
My wife (the pregnant one) and I went to the Big Apple for a last hurrah before the baby comes, and to celebrate her birthday (won’t say how old as the Surgeon General warns against it.)
The thing about life I’ve learned is this: Find a partner you can travel well with and you’ll never be unhappy. I’m very lucky, in that respect, and it holds true even when pregnant.
Although, when you need a pry-bar getting in and out of a cab, it tends to slow things down a bit. But I’m proud to say she never got stuck in a revolving door or a subway turnstile, as I feared. (She’s done it even when NOT pregnant.)
New York is fun with woman-carrying-child because it comes with power. You’re on a crowded subway, buried so deep from the doors that miners wouldn’t try digging out, and all of the sudden this woman I thought knew, so quiet, dainty and unassuming, yells from the bottom of her lungs, “Look out! Pregnant woman coming through!”
She then proceeds to bounce people out of the way as she snow plows through with her belly. I stood, just for a moment, in total amazement, then quickly came to my senses and followed her through.
“I’m her valet,” I told people as I passed.
And you get to use handicap elevators. Well, I’m not sure you “get to,” but we did one time in a subway. It was right after she used her belly as a battering ram, on a train that had creeped along so slow we decided to take our chances on the street.
When confronted with stairs to the above world, Nancy eyed the elevator and said, “We’re taking it!”
“Are you kidding me?” I said. “Fresh air is like 10 steps that way. We’ll be out of here before the doors even open. I want to live!”
“We’re taking it!” she said again, and it was settled.
So we stood and waited. Behind us, all of Manhattan, and some 200,000 tourists, had time to file by. The train we had ditched traveled back and forth between the Bronx and Brooklyn twice, with time for a servicing. Days passed and I wondered how I would deliver a baby in a subway. And we stood and waited.
We stood next to a hunched over little man, who was probably 33 when he started waiting on the elevator. And eventually it arrived. We entered.
And … up … we … went …
The speed of honey … dripping ,,, down … the … wall.
I think it all-total took us 30 minutes to reach the surface, which must have really been 9 miles up, despite the fact that it looked like sunlight was so close.
But, you know, I didn’t care. I was in the most incredible city in the world, with my pregnant wife and this nice old man, watching the rest of the world shoot by me at the speed of sound, I can enjoy it even from the confines of a handicap elevator, where we celebrated three more of my wife’s birthdays. Even in the elevator, growing old and arthritic, it’s an amazing city, and I ate it up.