figuring it out at an early age

Mary Jo and John, calling home, somewhere near the Statue of Liberty

In fact it was a totally delightful visit with my niece and her young son that so distracted both of us this weekend. [Witness the lack of posts since Friday, other than the images which reflected some of our itinerary.]

Barry and I did manage to visit some pretty elemental tourist sites. And by the way, there's a good reason for the popularity of those icons; most citizen New Yorkers don't give themselves leave to enjoy them until they find themselves eagerly ushering their out-of-town guests around a great city. But actually the greater pleasures of these few days were the delights and intellectual stimulation, provided by both Mary Jo and, yeah, John.

On the Number 9 trip uptown from South Ferry on Saturday after his first full day in New York, John, who is still eight, asked me, "do people here think it makes sense?" Of course as a resident I was still feeling protective of the city I love, so I assumed he was asking why people would want to live here, when he was really only asking whether we thought our subway network was at all rational. John is a student and fan of the world's urban rail transit systems and while memorizing the routes he had understandably found our own somewhat lacking in logic.

This morning he and his mother tried to visit the New York Stock Exchange. It was the last item on John's list of must-do's for his visit, but after a half dozen phone calls from their hotel they established definitively that not a single one of the New York stock or commodity exchanges now permitted the public to visit their premises, and the excuse was September 11. John was disappointed but also properly exasperated with the lack of ingenuity among the guardians of the sites of our financial wizardry. He told Mary Jo, "It's been two years! You'd think they would have figured it out by now."

Their fallback choice was the Museum of Natural History, where they have figured it out.

We're both really looking forward to John's next visit, and I think he is too.

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Published on November 17, 2003 2:49 PM.

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