Take A Walk on the West Side
My folks visited me this past weekend. No sooner did they step off Amtrak, did we get pedicures (my dad and I), eat Thai with friends, and look at sleeper sofas – our weekend’s main goal. And while I went into the weekend expecting to find one, what I found instead was much better.
Saturday we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge then strolled up through lower Manhattan, my parents delighting in the intricate details of the architecture. Zooming uptown in a cab, they gazed at the people, not used to the excitement. We soon found a comfortable sofa with a modern design that my parents convinced me to get in an oatmeal color in leather. Plus it was on sale, the salesman added. I decided to go for it. Yet my instincts said first check online reviews. They weren’t just bad. They were awful. “I need the night to think about it,” I said as we hurried out the door.
We ate a delicious Indian meal en route to Simon’s Hardware, the Disney World of fixtures, to look at knobs for a special piece of furniture made for me by someone just as special. Our last stop was at Fairway for groceries. Their eyes continued to bulge as they took in all the food, so instead of rushing them, I followed behind, enjoying them, enjoying the process. Living in NYC I’m used to having plenty of choices for everything, but life on Cape Cod has not as many, so for my parents, they were like kids in a candy store. We returned home as night fell. Still full of energy, they hung pictures and rearranged my existing furniture, taking liberties only parents can.
Sunday found 15 family and friends clustered in my apartment for brunch. That afternoon I took my parents to the Hudson River for a walk I’ve done countless times. They marveled at the view (much different from the Cape Cod Canal), pointing out sights I’d never noticed, amazed at the periphery of a city they’d only been in the belly of.
Monday morning, after tearfully dropping them at the train, I walked home up the west side admiring the sights I once barely glanced at twice. Back in my apartment, I had to double check I was in the right one. Seeing pictures in their new spots, a side table closer to the wall, a blanket draped casually over the window seat, my home felt homier. The weekend’s goal of finding a new couch may not have been reached, but my parents did leave me a new appreciation for everything else.