This past week was special because my mom took her first big trip in many years to be in NYC with me. There were enjoyable moments together and there were also moments that made me want to tear my hair out. In the end, I’m glad we had the time, saw the sights, and shared the meals and conversations together.
I am surprised by how my relationship with her has changed over the years. My mom raised me on her own, so, as you might imagine, there was never a shortage of estrogen energy in our apartment. Both of our stubborn asses going through hormonal changes at the same time – me in my awkward teen years, she in a menopausal phase. We both have an attitude (yes, you can inherit an attitude because I got mine from her), and we both always think we’re right (but, actually, I’m right!!). I’m a brat and she nags constantly.
I have felt the need to make my own space and become my own person, and that’s what I’ve been doing since I started college. Our interactions have become less frequent since I moved out, but also calmer because we’re not forced to be in each other’s faces 24/7. Since I moved to NYC, I have only seen her during trips home, until THIS WEEK when she visited me here.
Being attached to her without interruption for 7 days straight drove me nearly insane. We squabbled often, but having limited time together makes it more important to apologize and resolve issues. We are far from perfect, but I think we are getting better at making up.
The other good news is that there were parts of the trip she really enjoyed, and I thought I’d share that with you in case you have an Asian tiger mom or otherwise fussy person who you’d like to hang out with in NYC. Here we go!
Beautiful: The Carole King Broadway Show
This is a definite mom and daughter activity. I assumed it would be a total sleeper but it turned out to be my favorite musical ever. I loved it especially because my mom (like every other mom) owned the Tapestry album and I used to listen to it; right off the bat, it was entertaining to hear the songs we loved. I would also bet that tons of people who aren’t into musicals or Carole King could love this show too, simply because Carole released banger after banger, both in her own names and for other artists. You’d be surprised at how many tunes you’d recognize in the show. As well, the story is fantastic and the performances stellar. Highly recommend and we give it a 10/10.
Something about the familiarity of Chinatown seemed to comfort my mom. I think Asian moms like to go food shopping, and my mom haggled for pears, dragonfruit and some choys. We also visited this giant Chinese Buddhist temple, did a few bows and prayers. Hard to have an attitude in a holy place.
American Museum of Natural History
Learning about black holes and death stars has always been more exciting than looking at paintings (SORRY I’m not sophisticated) so I wanted to take my mom to the space show. Turned out she also loved it as much as I do. There is something so cool in seeing the vastness of the universe and feeling so small. We also took our time walking around the different exhibits which included the history and development of cultures around the world. Again, she gravitated towards the Asian cultures as I do. v^__^v
This place is the literal worst but there’s no real equivalent to it anywhere else so you gotta make the trek.
World Trade Center Museum / Oculus Building / Eataly
My mom had visited the Twin Towers many years ago, and was glad to see the new shiny building up close. We were both interested in visiting the museum and are glad we did. They did a great job in creating the space and housing different art exhibits that tell the story of what happened on 9/11, the aftermath, the impact on the city. I thought it was really tastefully and respectfully done.
I’m a huge fan of the Oculus building which makes sense because I love white spaces that are bathed in light. It’s the coolest mall I’ve ever been in, and seems to be getting bigger. They now have an Eataly inside, which is this my favorite touristy Italian market, restaurant, cafe and dining experience all in one. We had pizza and were happy.
My favorite places to go when I visit cities are usually parks and urban spaces outdoors. Central Park is one of the most famous ones, and right now, it’s looking beautifully Autumn, with many shades of red, orange, and yellow. I’m glad my mom got to see it while there is color, because in a few short weeks, all the leaves will fall and we’ll be left with a brown, barren, twiggy landscape during the real winter months.
Well there you have it – a few easy go-to places that are likely to please your mom. Hope it is of use to you, and that you enjoy the final month of 2017!