Big Cities

We were watching a dvd until about 10 minutes to midnight last night.  We switched off the film and turned to the ABC Rockin’ Eve program to watch the ball drop in Times Square.  It was very cool.  It always is.  To see the people filling the streets.  The confetti.  The noise.  The snow….  And it was a little more thrilling for me when I realized that I had been there too.  Times Square.    It was just one of my ‘big city’ adventures this year.

The day after Thanksgiving, I dragged my semi-reluctant family to the Fox Theater in Detroit to see a professional production of ‘White Christmas.’  It was cute.  Splashy.  Colorful.  Expensive.  (And maybe…not nearly as good as the high school production of ‘Seussical the Musical’ we had seen the weekend before for about 1/4 the cost.)  As we were driving through the nearly deserted streets after the show on our way back home,  I was thinking about the fact that in the last eleven months I have spent a significant amount of time in Chicago, Detroit, Boston and New York.  Big cities.  That’s pretty amazing since I live in a fairly rural community in south east Michigan.  Detroit is about a 50 minute drive for us.  I used to go there a couple of times a year with a friend to shop at the Eastern Market, lunch in Greek Town and then cross the bridge to purchase baked goods at Columbo’s in Windsor’s Little Italy neighborhood.  Good times.  Great memories.

My family and I stayed in Detroit last spring while I attended the Michigan Reading Association’s convention at Cobo Hall.  Sadly, there was very little for my family to do in the city while I was attending presentations and classes.  They rode the People Mover a couple of times and visited a particular bakery in Greektown.  There were no shops to visit.  No bookstores or hobby shops or museums close by to visit.  Everything was shut tight for the weekend.  My children were actually fearful to get off the ‘beaten track’ when we went looking for a place to have dinner.  Sad.

They all love Chicago.  We have been there several times and never at any other time than February.  Go figure.  They like walking the streets looking for favorite shops…and some new ones.  They like riding in cabs.  They like the museums.  They have never been afraid there.  Never been fearful about getting off the ‘beaten track’  there.   Our plan is to try the city in the summer some time soon.  Heh.

Boston was a totally new trip for all of us.  A HUGE adventure.  We discovered that we like subway trains in Boston.  That we like the Red Sox.  That we like being on the water.  That we have new and greater admiration for JFK.  We would all go back to Boston in a heart beat.  Boston rocks.

I had been trying to get to New York City since I was eight years old.  My three day ‘adventure’ to see my favorite actress in a play was the highlight of my entire year….probably.  And it wasn’t just  catching up with an internet friend I had known but never met, the play and meeting Maura Tierney afterwards.  I like the ‘music’ of New York….the pulse….the people….the action.  Naw…scratch ‘like’ and insert ‘love.’   The Princess and I are planning a trip there together for her birthday in August.  One thing is for certain, her trip will be an entirely different one that the one I took in September.  We will see the Statue of Liberty this time – because she wants to.  But we will sneak in a visit to the West Village bookstores, Morandi and the Magnolia Bakery for hummingbird cupcakes – because I want to.

When I think about our big city adventures, I am sad for the city of Detroit.  So very sad.   It appears that the music there has dwindled.

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