Let’s not even start with the shenanigans I tried to pull before attending a baby shower for M & C this past Sunday. I thought I’d be slick and surprise them after saying I wouldn’t be able to come. But it’s pretty dickish to mess with the emotions of a pregnant lady, especially one who has had my back for nearly twenty years and is seriously tied with JB and N for the very best person that I know.
And I’ve been pretty “Brooklyn sucks gentrification blah blah blah white people ruin everything” for the last few years but it took no more than a few hours of seeing people on the subway looking all happy with their babies and their produce and their interesting shoes to convince me that if this is where little baby Huck (M & C have been calling him “Figaro” but I KNOW BEST) is going to be born and raised, I’d better get on board the B (for Brooklyn! for baby!) train before I get left behind.
So this is the story of how I spent a little over 12 hours in New York City on Sunday.
3:30 AM: Wake up after fitful dreams of Aidan Gillen (yes really) to find Lola snoring on my face. Lola is the Cavalier King Charles I’m dog-sitting for a friend who is off on a much-needed vacation. Another friend will be checking on Lola while I am gone for the day.
4:00 AM: Dressed, I check Lola’s food and water bowls before showing her to her crate. I order a taxi via Hailo (probably for the last time). Get excited for the driver when I ask him to take me to O’Hare. #kaching
4:20 AM: Arrive at terminal 3 to find a decent amount of people at security. Sneer inwardly at everybody wearing baggy sweatpants and flip-flops.
4:30 AM: Sneer at people in long line for L-concourse Starbucks, which is not yet open.
4:40 AM: Enter long line for McDonald’s, where I order a bacon egg & cheese McGriddle. STOP JUDGING ME YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE.
5:05 AM: Gate L5. Inhale breakfast.
5:35 AM: Start boarding plane.
6:14 AM: Depart (I got the time from Flight Aware). I’m in 11D. There is no wi-fi on this plane. I’ve never flown JetBlue before. Live DirecTV is nice. How many episodes of House Hunters can I watch before we get to New York? Gee the sun is awfully bright. Should I have worn a different outfit? Is the teenage boy sitting in front of me farting into his seat?
8:51 AM: Land at JFK. Pee. Search for shuttle to Federal Circle stop because the AirTrain is not running to the airport #IRONY but at least it’s free. These assholes wearing hiking gear are super rude to the airport employee at the shuttle stop. I silently curse their luggage.
some time before 11:00 AM: Take J train to Canal Street. This used to be my train to school until my family moved to College Point, which is the pimple on the side of that Chinatown-in-Queens wonderland, Flushing. This train has everything: elderly Asian people, old school Puerto Ricans, Eastern European dames, dudes dressed up for Comic-Con.
10:37 AM: Arrive Canal Street. Fight the hordes of tourists and residents heading east. Stop to take a picture of some lobsters.
11:00 AM: Arrive Elizabeth Street, where I find O & E and their brood. Street is full of people who also want to eat at Jing Fong.
11:05 AM: Get number from crabby woman with bad skin and holding a microphone. Though she yells numbers of other parties into the microphone, I’m not sure that her voice is actually being amplified through speakers.
11:30 AM: D arrives! Or was it M the expectant mother? We’re not sure when we’re eating so M and I go around the corner and get a box of roast pork bao to eat while we wait.
11:45 AM: We get to inside, up the long escalator to be met by a serious young woman holding a walkie talkie. She herds us over to a wall, where we stand until we are herded to a table by another serious young woman holding a walkie talkie.
11:55 AM: ALL OF THE EATING ALL OF THE TALKING ALL OF THE DIM SUM. I take awkward pictures of my friends. And no joke, there are White girls selling mimosas and glasses of juice like we were on “Sex and the City”. Since when are there cocktails at Jing Fong? The mimosa was fine and, most importantly, dirt cheap.
1:05 PM: Finish eating. E takes little S to a puppet show. M goes for a foot rub while the rest of us going to a park nearby where baby L can run around on the kind of concrete playground that looks like a total hazard but of course is the kind that I, D, and O grew up playing on and we all turned out okay.
2:15 PM: After a solid hour of swinging (baby L) and talking (grown-ups) and listening to different bands of elderly Chinese gentleman playing music, we meet M by the subway so we can go to her shower.
3:00 PM: HELLO BROOKLYN WHERE DID YOU PUT YOUR BODEGAS ARE THEY HIDING BEHIND THE VEGAN COFFEE SHOPS. We walk to the shower venue. So many grown-ups and only one baby apart from little L. I hug everybody I know, shake hands with those I don’t, and eat a lot of sandwiches.
5:00 PM: After two hours, I’ve made this charming thing:
Am I gonna get this through TSA?
Also! All of us wrote guesses for the baby’s name on a sheet of butcher paper. My guesses were Huckleberry, Beaver, and Raleigh. And just now as I type this, another guess would be Whistler, where M & C got married (aw).
5:30 PM: Start heading towards Tito Rad’s in Woodside to meet my brother and my friend K for dinner.
7:00 PM: LUMPIA PORK ADOBO CHICKEN ADOBO BISTEC. K looks awesome and so does P and I’m still in one piece thank goodness.
8:00 PM: Bid K goodnight. P walks me to the LIRR station at 61st Street, where I begin my journey back to JFK.
8:24 PM: While boarding train, I nearly get run over by two ladies whose look I can only describe as “Jersey Shore meets The Hangover” as they yank wheelie suitcases off and then back onto the train. Wave slowly and sadly at P while the train pulls away.
9:05 AM: Arrive JFK after LIRR/AirTrain/shuttle. Nobody is at TSA but I had been hustling so I was sweaty. But was this the usual “fat girl running through an airport” sweat? Was it the meat sweats from all the food? Or was it “I made this toy robot that I worry TSA may think is suspicious” sweat? In any case, TSA didn’t care about the robot though something in the vicinity of my crotch set off the body scanner so I had to go through twice.
9:15 PM: Start boarding. Pray nobody sits next to me so I can put up the armrest and really just sorta hunker down. Look out the window, see a gorgeous harvest moon for a few minutes until the plane turns towards the runway.
9:45 PM: Take off. DirecTV. Seat next to mine is empty. I drink a coke and watch the Giants game.
11:15 PM: Am I treating myself to a cab back to my friend’s apartment? See taxi line – NOPE.
12:45 AM: I’m walking down my friend’s street. Though her neighborhood is pretty safe, I decide the best way to keep away would-be rapists is to play “Nightshift” by The Commodores as loudly as I can from my iPhone 6:
Gonna be some sweet sounds
Coming down on the nightshift
I bet you’re singing proud
Oh I bet you’ll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night
It’s gonna be all right
On the nightshift
Oh you found another home
I know you’re not alone
On the nightshift
12:55 AM: Take the dog out. She refuses to pee because it’s too dark? Too windy? Too wet? She doesn’t like the neighbor’s Halloween decorations? I take out my contacts, wait for the dog to curl up next to my head, and try to get some sleep.