One of the most reliably adorable news stories these days involves vaccinated grandparents able to see their grandchildren after more than a year apart. Prepare yourself for another one. Although Grandma Lisa lives just one town over from us and has been able to visit with my daughters from time to time, my father, Grandpa Marc, hadn’t seen them in person since Christmas 2019. So now that he and I were both fully vaccinated, I decided to take a trip (and, admittedly, a chance) and bring them down to NYC for Easter Weekend. We’ve had some wonderful times together there in the past, watching the Easter Bonnets parade down 5th Avenue, hearing Judy Collins sing “Amazing Grace” at St. John-the-Divine, and, of course, having an Easter Egg hunt at his apartment. It was time to make some new memories.
We drove down on Good Friday in record time, and spent a couple hours catching up and munching on burgers from 5 Napkins. Then, although my dad’s pinched nerve prevented him from joining us, he had several fun excursions to recommend. The first involved Gelato at Anita’s on the UES (yum!), and then, after checking into the Moxy near Times Square, we drove down to Artechouse by Chelsea Market for an amazing combination of Art and Mathematical wizardry. Everything felt safe and social distanced — we started upstairs next to a digital recreation of Hopper’s famous “Nighthawks” painting.
And then proceeded down to the main floor for the main event, an extraordinary creation that really defies description (and that’s not just hyperbole — when I asked my older daughter what she thought of it, she replied, “I’m speechless,” an event which happens as rarely to her as it does to me!).
We sat there for a good 30 minutes, just letting the experience wash over us in finest fractal fashion. And then it was time to sup safely (and with plexiglass separators) outside at the Very Good Noodles, which was definitely truth in advertising except they should have added “and very spicy” to the name!
After trying to catch some Zzzs, we began a Saturday of sightseeing. We started off in Central Park, where I had walked with my dad 4 and 1/2 months earlier. Although the trees and flowers were only starting to bloom, there was great excitement over some rare birds arriving in the park, and the mood overall felt happy and relaxed.
I don’t think I’ve ever been able to wander through Central Park without someone ending up on the West Side when I thought I was still nearer the East. But that gave us a chance to discuss the very appropriate story of the Bethesda Fountain, which we walked past, and enjoy more wonderful views.
Another lunch and conversation with my dad at his apartment, and then it was time to stop by the hotel and then walk over to Hudson Yards, one of New York’s more exciting recent developments. We were sorry that the High Line closed early on weekends, since that walk is one of our favorites, but found a new visual treat in the Vessel and the street art that accompanied it.
After a quick bite, we headed to New York’s best new overlook, The Edge. They very cleverly immerse you in a film of Hudson Yards being developed while you’re whisked 52 seconds (and more than 100 floors) higher, and then we were out just in time for sunset at one amazing glass-encased promenade. You can go as near or stay as far from the edge as you like (my older daughter preferred to be closer, while my younger stayed further off). Either way, it’s amazing.
The Edge has rightfully become one of Manhattan’s top new spots to propose, and, although the multiple engagements we witnessed did create temporary crowds, it was heartwarming to watch love affirmed in our time of turmoil.
We waited until dark and then headed back for another night of semi-rest at the ever active Moxy (proximity to Times Square is a double-edged sword!). The next morning it was Easter, and we made a fun new tradition at my dad’s — my daughters and I hid the eggs and chocolate, and then we Zoomed with my niece and nephew in London as they guided my daughters around the apartment looking for the goodies. It was a great way to be together, both technologically and in person, during an Easter time that my former chaplain has called the strangest since the first one. But there’s hope on this horizon, and after getting a rapid COVID test on the way home just to be sure (I certainly would never want to spread infection during my journeys), we arrived back in Beantown and I took a couple days off before beginning my next adventure.