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A Blonde’s Perspective: My taste of the Big Apple

Our snow bird friends are beginning to talk about heading south for the winter. It seems like they just came back! But every year they go south earlier and come back later.

We have not yet become snow birds, and I don’t think we ever will. However, we do go south for a few weeks, and it’s usually a road trip to visit the granddaughters in Florida or friends in Arizona. It’s a nice break to get away from the cold and snow.

I love to travel! Whether by plane or car, I enjoy seeing different places, eating different foods, and meeting the people. One of the more interesting places I’ve ventured to is New York City where my daughter, Kim, has lived for the past 18 years. I’m embarrassed to say that the last time I visited her was 10 years ago, but I’m grateful that she usually comes “home” twice a year.

According to NYC Planning, there are more than 8.5 million people living in the largest city in the U.S., more than twice the size of Los Angeles, the second-largest city. About one in every 38 people living in the U.S. live in NYC. The city has more people than 40 of the 50 U.S. states. The median age is 35.8.

The Big Apple has a very diverse population. Over 200 languages are spoken. Half of all NYC citizens speak another language other than English at home. I marvel at the many languages heard as you walk around the city, making you think you’re in a foreign country.

During my last visit, Kim and I ate at various restaurants and enjoyed a couple of Broadway plays, including one starring Morgan Freeman, one of my favorite actors. Of course, we shopped in the many stores that were still open after 9 p.m., whereas small town America rolls up the streets at night. The sidewalks of the colorful Times Square are crowded with people.

It was during our shopping and eating spree in Times Square that we decided to go back to her apartment in Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs in the city, with each being like a large city itself. Never having owned a car, she relies on the subway as many people do.

Riding the subway is an experience, and I had a funny, but yet scary incident when we decided to head back to her apartment. It was about 11 p.m. that night as we went down to catch our train. We needed to take either the N or the R train to get us back, of which some are express and some stop at every station.

As we stood on the platform, it wasn’t long before one of those trains arrived. Kim said that we should wait for the next one, but then suddenly decided that we should take this one. She quickly jumped into the train just before the doors closed between us. She looked at me through the window, put her finger to her chin as if to say, “Oh, oh!” With a small wave, the train was gone.

I had a feeling of panic, and at the same time, I started to laugh. I looked around at several people who were still waiting for trains. They must have thought I was deranged as I laughed at the situation I was in. I then realized I had given her my cell phone and wallet. I had no ID, no money, nothing! If I was going to be mugged, at least the robbers wouldn’t get anything. Crazy thoughts ran through my mind . . . if I take the next N or R train, will I remember where to get off? And when I do I get off, will I remember where her apartment building is? It was about a three-block walk, and it would be nearly midnight then. Would she be waiting for me? What should I do?

I got on the next train and quickly sat down to look at the map above the windows to locate the stop at which I should get off. It was going to be a long ride! It seemed like forever as the train raced through the dark tunnel before the next stop. When the doors opened, there was Kim! She had gotten off her train and watched for my blonde head. I was so relieved, and we laughed hysterically the remainder of the ride.

We are finally making plans to visit her soon. The Big Apple is a fun place to visit, but I don’t think I could ever live there.

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