As I told a friend on Facebook, putting together the gear for a three-day flee for two babies is a sort of shockingly item-heavy proposition: our essentials, which last year I consolidated into a “go bag” were this year better characterized as a “go Subaru Outback.”
After parking our Fiesta on the top of a hill, we drove into the city and checked into a hotel in Midtown. Nate immediately headed out to deal with the crazed water-and-bread seeking hordes (among whom I count myself, for the record, since I texted exclamation-heavy demands for more water and nonperishables to his retreating back). The boys and I got settled in our room, then went out to experience the siren call of the Big Apple while the getting was good.
First we walked to 10th Avenue, which Elliott found less than impressive, if his sustained stink-eye was to believed. We maneuvered awkwardly around a Duane Reade buying essentials (dish soap, iced tea and a Cadbury fruit and nut bar, in this case) and then hit the street to search for some lunch for Mum.
Even in jaded Manhattan, twins are a draw. On our walk, we had ma ny admirers: the Russian bellboys, a little old lady, several families, a gay couple in the window of Empanada Mama (one half of which came out to tell me he and his partner had been staring at us out the window because they couldn’t imagine anything so cute. They waved at us as we left), and a woman standing on the corner who said, “Oh, twinsies! I’m a twin! But I’m smoking a cigarette, so stay far away from me.”
The babies met their first crop of truly sketchy street loitering dudes: you don’t get your most authentic “creepy guys just hanging on the street” outside a major metropolitan area. I was more wary of them then I would have been pre-Wombats. I gave many a stink eye, to convey the message, “Oh don’t you look at my babies!”
Eventually both babies succumbed to Broadway’s sweet lullabye and slept, and I bought a chicken roll, a delicious delicious calzone like product I have never had outside New York. It was delicious and I would have enjoyed it just as much even if it hadn’t been the only thing I could buy because it had an order window on the street.
I realize why the boys drew so much attention: clearly, no one else is dumb enough to try and get a double stroller in and out of retail establishments in Manhattan. Most restaurants I had hoped to visit had steps, ramps or sharp internal turns that made them a no-go. And clearly I have become soft and suburbanized, because it only occurred to me after the nice man at Empanada Mama complimented the guys ,and went inside that I should have said, “Oh, you think they’re cute? How about you bring their mom a roast pork empanada and a spinach arepa since we can’t bring the cuteness up the stairs?”
Now the dudes are catching a few hours of the dreamless, which gives me time to enjoy what may be the only enjoyable part of natural disaster prep in NYC: watching Mayor Bloomberg give emergency announcements en Espanol. Informative AND delightful.