Today’s review was again sponsored by the great Milena Barrett of Be Your Best Mom Dot Com. Big thanks to Ms. Barrett for such an enjoyable opportunity!
Last Saturday, December 3, the whole family and I jumped in the car and headed out to NYC to see Hanna and the Moonlit Dress, an interactive musical for children based on the Israeli children’s book Hanna’s Sabbath Dress by Itzhak Schweiger-Dmi’el. The show took place at the Theater at the 14th Street Y near Union Square, NYC. Please enjoy reading our before-and-after the show story below, then follow the link to the Be Your Best Mom site for the rest!
It’s Hard to be an Earlybird on Saturday!
Yup! I have an Eagles video for that!
Dang, those boys have talent.
The family and I had tickets for the 10 am performance of Hanna. 10 am is a great time for a performance, especially since almost 50% of the ages 2-8 targeted audience still naps mid-day. The one downside to a 10 am show? Since my family lives about 90 minutes from NYC, do the math and figure out what time my alarm went off last Saturday morning. Uggggh. Hello, 6:30 am.
My goal was to leave for the city at 7:30, since Google Maps “claimed” that our total trip time would be around 1 hour, 26 minutes. However, I knew from experience that driving from our house to NYC in 86 minutes on a Saturday morning was Google Bulls**t. Once a person crosses into Manhattan from the ‘burbs, all bets are off regarding “estimated trip times.” Also, the Theater at the 14th Street Y is located at yes, 14th Street. With my family entering Manhattan from the George Washington Bridge at 178th Street, that’s 164 blocks to drive past on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The HHP isn’t exactly known as the “Quickway” to anywhere, except maybe a traffic jam. So yeah, I was thinking that our trip would take a bit longer than Google’s laughably optimistic 86 minute estimate.
My original goal was to leave our house at 7:30 am, which would give us 2.5 hours to get there. That would grant us probably an extra 45-30 minutes of wiggle room in case we hit traffic, S2 needed a diaper change, or something else unexpectedly came up. Naturally, that meant we actually ended up leaving at about 8:00 am instead, which I figured would be the case. After two kids, I have zero expectations for timeliness.
Hey! You! Get Into My Car! (and Step On It!)
Oddly enough, Billy Ocean entered the family car conversation twice on this trip. The first time was when S10 asked about how to pronounce “Caribbean” and Mike responded “Well, Billy Ocean says Car-a-be-un.” (Yes, my husband used Billy Ocean to prove a point). S10 then asked, “Who’s Billy Ocean?” Cue Spotify to the rescue and the song, “Caribbean Queen.” As soon as the saxophone-oozing, post-disco 80s tune filled the car, a sneering, giggly S10 started mock-dancing in the backseat in response. You can only appreciate the 80s if you lived through them, I suppose.
Anyway, by the time our car entered East Village turf, it was 9:37 am, and I was panicking, not wanting to be late. Luckily, we found one of those 1-hour curbside parking meters near the theater address, and Mike kindly volunteered to step out mid-performance to move the car before our hour expired. The meters are real fancy in NYC, which I guess they have to be. Why? Just like a fancy woman, these
newfangled NYC meters are effing expensive! Unlike the quarter-eaters ’round our home turf, the new, hip NYC meters take actual credit cards…. because they charge $3.50 to park for an hour. Damn! I only made $0.75 more per hour when I worked at McDonalds back in 1994!
My mild panic regarding tardiness was for naught, thankfully, as my family arrived at the theater well before 10 am. So I’ll respectfully admit to my husband who kept telling me to “relax” as I flipped out over the time that yes, in this particular case, I was wrong and he was right. (see? It does happen sometimes, babe!) <3
The East Village
Upon arriving at the theater, we made a quick pitstop at the theater’s restroom. Beyond the obvious reasons why, upon exiting the car moments earlier, we had discovered that S2 dumped water all over the crotch of her pants during the car trip. This was done for reasons only known to S2, I presume. Sigh. Mike suggested I seek out one of those heat dryers in the restroom, and hold S2’s backside in front of it to dry her pants somewhat. But alas, the theater’s restrooms contained no dryers. So unfortunately for Ms. WetPants Destructo, she would just have to deal with damp butt. Which she did. I doubt she even noticed it, to be honest.
To read my review of the theater and of Hanna and the Moonlit Dress, please click this link: Be Your Best Mom Dot Com. My family’s post-show experience is detailed below, so feel free to read on here as well!
Post-Show: Time to Eat!
After the show, it was time to seek out some lunch. There are a ton of yummy options to choose from in the East Village, but with two picky eaters, we also needed to choose wisely. Milena had mentioned to me that there was a nearby macaroni and cheese restaurant that perhaps the girls would like, and Google Maps found it and gave us walking directions to our destination (which probably made us look like clueless tourists, but whatevs).
The eatery was called Sarita’s Mac and Cheese, and boy, was the mac and cheese tasty! They had a ton of varieties, as well as an entire board of options if you wished to customize your own m & c dish. While customizing looked fun, I felt like it would be too time consuming for me to deal with, being that I had two hungry children with me. So I ordered the “Garden Lite” which contained mac and cheese mixed with cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, and scallions, and it was crazy good. Mike had the “Cajun,” which contained andouille sausage, peppers, onion, celery, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. S2 had “Cheeseburger,” which contained hamburger meat, and S10 had…..plain mac and cheese. S10 is the plainest eater on planet Earth, I swear. She also has sensory issues with food, but I like to give her jabs regarding her limited palette, because its been an epic 10-year struggle to get her to eat more than 6 basic things.
The service at this place was great, too, as when we arrived the
doors were locked, yet it was passed the 11 am opening time. One of the workers came out and told us that someone was currently out getting cash for the register, but we could order anyway, and pay after we eat.
We ended up taking home 3 boxes of leftovers, because even though the girls and I ordered the smallest portion, the food was quite filling, in a good way. Mike ordered the larger size and ate the whole entire thing right then, because men.
Time to Shop!
Before heading home, we had promised S10 some shopping, so we set out to fulfill her wish. Since Mike had ended up finding a parking garage when he went to move the car, we didn’t have to rush back to move to another 1-hour parking spot. Instead, we headed over to check out an outdoor market in Union Square. There were little tents set up everywhere, with lots of interesting items up for sale by local merchants. We bought a menorah ornament for our Christmas tree, and had them write our very non-Jewish last name across it, perfectly representing our mixed-religion family. The girls were admiring these cute handmade wooden instruments shaped like animals, so we bought a dolphin whistle/percussion instrument for S10, and a frog percussion instrument that was painted pink for S2, which they will each receive in their Christmas stockings.
Mike and I made a mental note to return to the market once more in the few weeks before Christmas and Hanukkah begin, as it seemed a great place to pick up the last of our holiday gifts, while spending some grownup time together as well. Hopefully, our return trip will pan out!
This made me chuckle a bit. Yes, it’s getting cold in NY, but NYC now has heat lamps one can warm up under. I don’t know if I consider that brilliance, or over-pampering and borderline ridiculous. Probably a bit of both! Though would I use one? Yeah, probably.
Our final stop was at an art tent for kids, which was perfect for S2. She had a ball with these thick markers that reminded me of when I played Bingo a few times with the AARP crowd back in my college days. After she finished her art project, S2 and I played a quick round of a NYC version of one of her favorite games, “You want me to come with you? Nah, I’d rather laugh and hide behind this gate thing instead.” Though if it keeps her happy, especially as close to naptime as it was, its goin’ happen, kwim?
We then headed back to the parking garage back on 14th Street. For 3 hours of parking, we were charged $31, cash only accepted. I gotta say, I winced a little handing that over, I ain’t gon’ lie. $10.33 per hour for a piece of concrete? 15 million people in the country make less than that at their jobs. It doesn’t seem right. But then again, I’m just one of those pesky liberals, valuing human beings more than 100 square feet of prime real esta- I mean NYC concrete. Right? 😉
The ride home was pretty uneventful, which is always nice when kids are involved. S2 napped most of the ride, while S10 watched her YouTube DIY OMG LOL videos in silence. Mike and I were actually able to carry on numerous conversations, uninterrupted. It felt nice, but also very strange.
To conclude, I’ll leave you all with this YouTube video of a song Mike played on the way home from NYC. It’s a 70s tune that Mike remembered his mother listening to frequently when he was a kid. I had heard it before, but didn’t know a dude named Chuck Mangione was the featured trumpet player, and I certainly didn’t remember how funk-tastic it was!
Thanks for reading! Until next time!