In September, I found out that Victor’s parents were heading on a trip to New York City in October. I’m not exactly next door, but I am just a bus ride away. I knew I had to go visit them, and I also wanted to be there to make sure they had a great time. This trip was their first time in the US after all. And of course, what is the downside of another trip to the Big Apple?
I hopped on a Greyhound bus at Union Station in Washington, D.C., and arrived on a Wednesday afternoon. After saying hello to my aunt and uncle, I met Victor’s parents at the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink. It was a little complicated to find them because the area was packed full of people (unsurprisingly). It also didn’t help that I was running late because the police stopped the subway to interrogate a guy who was transporting his motorcycle on my train (FYI, it is illegal to transport your motorcycle on the subway).
I finally managed to find them and we visited the Top of the Rock. I had never been because it’s so expensive, but Victor’s parents really wanted to go ahead and do it. The views are great, no doubt about that, but I think there are plenty of other great and less expensive views around. Nevertheless, you can’t help but wonder in amazement at the city. I’ll never get tired of the feeling you get when you see the skyline.
After descending the Top of the Rock, I showed them around Greenwich Village. We couldn’t walk around very much because Victor’s mom was still recovering from a broken ankle–poor thing! We decided to relax and drink at a bar, which is not hard to find in the Village. It was really nice to chat with them. With my English and intermediate Spanish, and Victor’s dad’s Spanish and intermediate English, we seemed to communicate just fine. As I was staying with my aunt and uncle, I wanted to make sure I spent some quality time with them during my short visit to NYC. After a couple of drinks, I left Victor’s parents for the day to go have dinner with my aunt and uncle.
On Thursday I picked up Victor’s parents from their hotel and we took the subway to the 9/11 Memorial. I felt like such a pro because I knew exactly how to manage the subway. We walked around the memorial and then proceeded towards Wall Street. I had never walked around the Financial District, so it was interesting to see all the tourists who obviously were enthused.
Along the way, we stopped by the Trinity Church.
As we moved south we made it to Battery Park. We walked along the harbour, which was perfect because the weather was gorgeous. We ended our walk at South Street Seaport, which has gone through some major changes since the last time I was here. There were a whole bunch of permanent food truck like places, so we got some food and beer and sat outside.
After lunch, we ventured over to Brooklyn. We wandered around a bit, though I explained to them that Brooklyn is not as easily walkable as Manhattan. We then made the great pilgrimage across the Brooklyn Bridge. Having done this many times now, it’s fun to watch everyone get excited about the bridge.
The day had been jam-packed, so Victor’s mom needed to take a break from all the walking. We went with her to the hotel, and then Victor’s Dad and I went back to Brooklyn to go to a record store: Rough Trade. I have not had the chance to really explore a record store in New York, but I have definitely heard of this one. Victor’s dad is a major music fan, so he was excited to go. Although, I think he ended up being a little disappointed because it wasn’t too different from some places back in Barcelona. Maybe the world is catching up! After the record store we had some time to kill before dinner, so went out for a beer at someplace nearby.
For dinner, we all went to Kefi, a Greek restaurant. It was somewhat stressful to find a place for dinner because I forgot to think about making a reservation until well into the afternoon. Everything worked out though! Dinner was delicious, and I loved the vibe. It was a little loud inside but, all in all, I was pretty happy with myself. After dinner, we walked down Columbus Avenue. We said farewell at the Columbus Circle subway stop, as I only had another ten minutes of walking to go. I thanked them for everything and lord and behold, a tear fell down my face. This trip made me realize how much I cared about them and how they really felt like family. I can’t wait to see them in Barcelona in September 2016!