I shot this on January 2, a clip of a huge tree near the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.
I had a hard time getting these shots; the dwindling natural light, the reflective ornaments, the golden hue – I needed to think about white balance, metering and aperture. I wanted to think about those things. I also wanted to capture a special moment; my return New York City after eight years. What I ended up thinking about was a pretzel.
Taking the buildng-patience and -anticipation route, in answer to the bajillionith request for food, I told Farrah that I really wanted a soft, salted pretzel! and we could share one! and the next cart we saw, we could get one! And boy, did she get on board with that plan. So we meandered from the WTC subway and Freedom Tower cross town to the Seaport, beckoned by the light of this tree. By the time we arrived Farrah must have said “But I want a pretzel” 18 times. “BUT.I.WANT.A.PRETZEL.” “But I wannnna preeeehhhhhtzuuhhhhl.” 38 times. By the time we got to this tree I was broken. I put my camera away, bent over in half and laughed. I just laughed. I could do nothing else.
Most of the Seaport is under construction. Surprise! No pretzel for you.
New York City is very dear to me – to put it in perspective, I lived in NYC longer than I have lived in Connecticut, Bermuda, Madison and Montreal combined. Being able to walk the streets of Manhattan is like walking on holy ground – it’s not even walking – I’m so high on New York I float.
But not that evening.
Battered and salty, we dragged/walked to the nearest cafe and sat down to a cream cheese bagel and cappuccino.
Gloves off, I bent over in half and cried.
In so many ways I am like my 2 1/2-year-old. I just wanted to enjoy New York. She just wanted a pretzel. I was so excited! She was so excited! I was so disappointed. She was, well, furious. I am the adult though, so after solving her tummy problem I got set on solving my enjoyment problem.
Kris was more than willing to “take the kids” and let me wander alone but that – most surprisingly – was not what I wanted. My kids don’t need to love what I love but I do expect compliance once all their basic needs have been met (sleep, food, milk, e.g.). Usually. But definitely if we’re on a holiday. We do that for each other and though she may not understand it at 2 1/2, I’m teaching Farrah (and Arlo) about doing for others, every day, everywhere we go. We went to the Lego Store in Rockefeller Center. I mean, are you kidding? Okay? You can STOP WITH THE PRETZEL ALREADY.
We were so close to the Brooklyn Bridge. I figured we had just enough time to walk it and get back before bedtime. I asked the barista if it was possible, pointing to my whole family, and she assured me we could do it.
And so that’s what we did.