The Big Apple {a weekend with my son}

Last week I had the privilege of taking my soon to be 4th grader to New York City. It was a wild few days but I will always treasure the time I had away with just him. Travel is so eye opening no matter where you roam and we believe there are fewer things more valuable than going and seeing the world for yourself.  As most of us would expect,  NYC has much to offer and yet far too much character and crazy for her own good.  There are some eye popping things to see on Manhattan and taking my son helped me to see the city with new eyes.  In some ways I have been heavy hearted this week in thinking about how many tourists we saw from a variety of countries and wondering what they must think when they see so many advertisements and so many consumers. I have visited the city before but this trip I truly wondered if we as a society have it all wrong. I suppose my eyes have been renewed and it felt awkward to be among so much commercialism and crazy busyness. So many walking down the street were plugged in and many looked crazy as they appeared to be talking to themselves with their clip on cell phone mics. Carter really wanted to see NYC and we were fortunate to spend some time taking in the spectacular museums and the talent of Broadway, but when I returned home to the chaotic peace of my family I could not seem to shake the notion that we as a culture have progressed to an all time high of nuttiness.  It seems anything goes and I wonder if it’s just a wide acceptance and the many freedoms that makes our country so great or have we really lost our sense of integrity to entitlement and gluttony.

I swore I was not going to venture in too deep to this topic but some of what I saw was tough to stomach.  I mean we passed a new Prada store that cost $40 million to build and open this past winter. For real? I just wonder how we are to reconcile that when we have millions of people losing their homes and those searching for work at an all time high. Around the world there are millions without food or clean water. What happens next and what will fill us up? How much grander and sexier must things become in order to make us happy?

In spite of all my questions, it was a special  few days of teaching Carter about air travel, the subway, reading maps and so much more. He saw Ellis Island,  and learned about those from other lands who first set foot on American soil.  He met cabs drivers and tourists from at least 11 different countries. We were able to try a variety of diverse foods and we shared many conversations about the beauty of the many languages and people we met throughout our few days.  Like what you see or not… NYC is certainly eye candy for anyone who enjoys photography…