I always associate summer with vacation. Really, who doesn’t? That’s why panic gripped me at the end of spring as I was leaving my job. Sasha was getting ready to leave his job to attend the Fletcher School at Tufts, definitely a dream come true for him. As in, his first choice for a master’s program ranking right next to Harvard’s Kennedy School. And really, hasn’t my mom been calling Sasha “The Diplomat” ever since she met him?
Anyways, it became increasingly clear to me (given our new financial situation) that we wouldn’t have a repeat of last year’s Aruba trip, a most fantastic family vacation – but that we’d have one big long staycation. And you know what? It’s been Awesome!! Because there are so many fun things to do that are either really cheap or FREE! No joke.
One of this summer’s best memories might just be slummin’ it up on the Upper West Side of the best city in the world … Take a trip with me folks.
Let’s start with the eating portion – New York does Middle Eastern better than Boston. Sorry Rami’s. But it’s true. I love going to the Broadway location of Hummus Place. It’s as delicious as it is inexpensive (of which it is both). With good service. And it’s small and cute. And Bob Marley is blasting in the bathroom. Bob Marley’s music that is.
What could be better than that, you ask? How about our first trip to Pinkberry? Wowowowoow!!!! Now I understand the Curb Your Enthusiasm “Pinkberry Incident” episode. This is where Susie Greene’s dog is about to be put to sleep so she sends Jeff and Larry out to get him his “last supper,” Pinkberry coconut frozen yogurt. Of course Jeff and Larry eat it on the way to the vet, only to be exposed at the end of the episode.
Next for the entertainment portion (as if food isn’t entertainment enough!) We attended a free summer concert put on by Lincoln Center. First was The Alaev Family. The Alaev family has roots in Tajikistan and live in Israel. I’m not sure what the Jewish music of Buchara is, but they bring it! The next and closing act was Dr. L Subramaniam: Global Fusion. You know, just a medical doctor turned world-class violinist and his very famous Bollywood wife. No big deal. Actually, it was a huge deal. This concert was amazing.
Nice outdoor entertainment, but you know what’s wrong with our country? We can’t drink alcohol anywhere outside. Not so! Beer and wine were available to purchase. I enjoyed a couple cans of Brooklyn Summer Ale. Girls. Why. Not. But then the inevitable. There’s probably nowhere to go to the bathroom. Not so! Public restrooms. Clean ones, were right nearby. Can this get any better? No. It really can’t.
Oh – last but certainly not least, my in-laws live on the Upper West Side and babysit, two very important details that made our fantastic date a reality!
And that my friends is how we slum in the Upper West Side.