New York surprised me in two ways. First, the city was far more clean than I expected. Sure, Manhattan has plenty of mystery puddles and icky smells, as does Hoboken, but so did Washington. I expected something much worse. The second is people are much nicer, for the most part.
This morning, we were passing through the Port Authority Bus Terminal on the way to that Big Apple Institution, brunch, when a woman said something unintelligble to me, but followed it up with a smack on my hip (which didn't hurt) and very clearly yelled, "You whore!" I never thought I'd hear that at 10 a.m. on a Sunday.
We met our friend and his mother for brunch at a wonderful restaurant called Norma's.
Our friend's mother and aunt started a really cool business called Incredibly Edible Delites some years ago. There are stores all over the country, but don't be fooled by imitators. It was great to see them both again. Besides taking us out for a lovely brunch, they also brought several gifts for the baby, which was very generous.
After brunch we all went to FAO Schwarz. It was my first time in that store, and wow. We walked into the plush section, where we saw rows and rows of stuffed giraffes, polar bears, gorillas, cats, catepillars, dogs, catfish, tigers and leopards. The centerpiece was a display of giant mythical creatures, such as Cerberus, a Phoenix and a Griffin. Seeing all of it made me want to ressurect my long-abandoned stuffed animal collection. It was hard not to regress when looking at the Smurf figurines, board games, Barbie gallery and Harry Potter display. Really, who could resist a model of the Hogwarts Express or Dumbledore's hat?
While we were in the infant/toddler section, Tim said he understood why people get the urge to spend ridiculous amounts of money before the baby arrives. We caved slightly and bought an adorable stuffed monkey. A few baby gifts have had monkeys on them, so I think a nursery theme is emerging.