Parents Take on the City

Dave and Dwenda came to visit New York for six days and it was an absolute whirlwind. Filled with delicious meals, sight-seeing, plenty of daily steps and cocktails, their trip went by super fast but I’m so glad they were able to make it.

I moved away from Winnipeg 10 years ago and my parents have always been great about coming to visit. However, half the time is usually spent picking up household materials and my poor mum often feels obligated to spend hours in the kitchen, cooking countless meals to fill my freezer. This time, I feel like it was a true vacation for them, and a fun way for me to showcase the city.

We kicked off the trip with a delicious meal at Double Zero (quickly becoming my go-to destination for visitors) followed by a nightcap at a local sports pub to watch the tennis.

The next day, Dave and I took off to Queens to watch the US Open while my Mum ran errands in the East Village and improved my still-empty apartment with every purchase. Definitely a highlight of living in NYC is that every September in Flushing, NY the best tennis players in the world arrive at the greatest sports theatre in North America (imho). Arthur Ashe stadium is incredible and we got to witness some great tennis on a very hot day. My dad even got to meet one of my team members from work who was also there with her parents!

Dave and Mike at the US Open

The next two days I worked and my parents crushed the tourist scene. Boat rides, bus tours, 9/11 memorial, the whole nine yards. On Thursday night we went to a local restaurant to watch the US Open (Bianca) and on Friday I met them after work for the only other thing you MUST do in NYC - Broadway! We saw the Musical “Ain’t too Proud - The Story of the Temptations” and it was fantastic. The talent of the singers and performers was next level and the show was endless entertainment. There’s a reason these shows are on Broadway.

After the show, in the city that never sleeps, we witnessed the gong show of Times Square - packed with people at 11pm - before meandering our way to a post-theatre dinner at a classic Italian joint for a light 11:30pm dinner of carbs and wine.

The weekend entailed massive amounts of walking, and just enjoying the many neighborhoods of the city. I showed them my office, then we literally walked 80% of Central Park, up to the Met and the Guggenheim, then across to the Dakota before making our way back downtown to the East Village for a quick bite and several beers while watching Bianca win the US Open. We watched it in a loud bar with one of my buddies from work and a bunch of Serena fans! Needless to say we were proud Canadians that day.

Sunday we grabbed bagels (like every day) from my favourite spot, then checked out the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. The place is massive and had some pretty interesting stuff on dinosaurs and marine animals. After that it was off to Greenwhich Village for tacos, then through Washington Square Park and back home.

One final dinner at a classic pierogi joint, and a nightcap and a fun-filled trip was over as I was on the road to Boston on Monday morning and Dave and Dwenda were heading back to Toronto to be grandparents for a couple more days.

Fun times watching the US Open at the Penny Farthing pub

Having them see my hood and my office were really special and I’m so grateful they took on NYC with such positivity. I was thinking about how much of a grind the city can be with transit, crowded places, and annoying/crazy people everywhere but my parents rocked. Here are just a few things that impressed me about their visit:

  • They embraced the subway, even in rush hour

  • Nightcaps were encouraged in what is now my new local pub - we may or may not be on a first name basis with the bartender/owner

  • Took over 25,000 steps per day

  • Took my stairs down five flights multiple times per day

  • They got the lay of the East Village within a day

  • We ate out for every single meal

  • Very few naps for Dave - lol

I certainly don’t take their high-energy and enthusiasm for granted. Living far away from your parents is not easy, but I like to think I value our time together even more, and I already can’t wait for their next visit!

At my new local - Mary O’s!

Thanks for reading,

Mike