Sunday, July 15, 2012

Which Way to the Water Slide?

In the span of one hour, an 11-year-old and I took Midtown Manhattan by storm. We rode side-by-side on the Bryant Park merry-go-round, rolled through Times Square, sat down for a street artist’s charcoal sketch. If we had more time and I wasn’t such a tightwad, I would have taken us to a matinee performance of Evita. Everyone should see Ricky Martin get busy live at least once.

When I first toured an extensive swath of Manhattan as a kid, I was younger than 11, and remember equating the experience to being in the middle of a theme park. It still feels that way, if not more so, twenty years later.

During the stroll from the Nasdaq board area to the charcoal-sketch artist’s easel, we bypassed a group of kids getting their pictures taken with an adult-size muppet character. These muppets also routinely set up shop along several blocks of 6th Avenue during the holiday season, and I had a big problem with them, and the sidewalk congestion they create, until a few months ago. I’d been sitting on a bench near 42nd Street, cooling off from something that had just happened, and a defeated-looking middle-aged man (who might be somebody’s doting young grandfather) appeared by the bench behind me, fumbling through a huge bag. We exchanged sad smiles and I forgot about him until he left his spot at the bench to slowly walk toward Times Square, wearing a full-on Elmo costume.

Now whenever the street muppets wave at me, I wave back.


  1. I do wave back too, because I think that behind that costume there is a human being that is grateful to have that job.

  2. I deeply admire the people inside those costumes... most of these costumes are terribly HOT and it takes some real patience to play that pleasant jovial character especially when most people are ignoring you. I wave back too - and I've always wanted to hug one from behind (just to freak them out a little LOL!)

  3. I have always wanted to visit Midtown Manhattan but the small town girl in me is terrified. It sounds like a blast.


  4. Most days I am on auto-pilot, absorbed in my own concerns as I walk down the street. However,
    on the days when I am more open to the world, I find I can see a LOT of fun things in New York. Yes, New York really is a theme part, and I love it.

  5. Hello there, I'm just stopping by from SITS. I'm glad you guys had fun, it sounds like a blast. Have a great Thursday.