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A Walk To Midtown To Visit With My Mom And Dad

Before I begin today’s post, I want to thank my friend Claire who wrote a really cool post about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart: ME! Claire took the time to wrie up a post about my time in New York City and it’s beautiful, check it out at her blog here: My Private Coney Presents: It Was Her New York. Thanks Claire!

My parents came to New York last weekend for what will be our last time on the town with me as an official New Yorker. So let’s go back in time to last weekend and take that long walk to midtown and go and say hello to my mom and dad.

And here we go, headed up 6th Avenue to Midtown. It's a nice day for a walk!

And only a block into our walk and hats appear! I love it when that happens!

One of the things I'll miss about New York is stalking pretty women on the sidewalk. I've been following these two for a few blocks now.

Well, the stalking ceases here as I spy a hot dog cart. I'm having dinner with my folks, but I haven't eaten all day, so time for a tubular appetizer.

This gentlemen is preparing the hot dog and I'm a little horrified with his sloppy approach, you'll see the results in the picture below.

Look at the way he fucking slopped the mustard all over the place! And the bun was stale. I should stick to the Papaya King! Which reminds me, I need to stop there before I leave for a final dog or two.

Here I am in Herald Square, trapped in time by these two slow-walkers. Ugh.

And now I'm drowning in a sea of slow-walkers. God, I fucking hate midtown and this is one slice of NYC I will not miss at all!

No news is good news! I'm cracking myself up over here!

Why, hello Joan Rivers!

Shit like this drives me crazy. If they're redefining the word, "craftsmanship," then that means it doesn't mean craftsmanship anymore. They don't tell us what their new definition of "craftsmanship" is, so for all we knew it could mean, "cookies." And who wants to walk around with cookies on their feet? I hate these people and wasted a good five minutes staring at this sign and obsessing over it. Time to move on.

Hey look, more hats! I would tell you that I love it when this happens, but you already know that. Okay, let's move on, we're almost there.

And here we are in the elevator of my parents hotel. Well, it not their hotel, it's just where they're staying for the weekend.

We're getting close, I think their room is right down the hallway.

Okay, here we are at the door. For the last 19 years, I've been doing the same trick. I cover up the eyehole on the door, then knock. Then my mom asks who it is and I say, "Police, open up!" It never gets old, I tell you!

Here's my mom at the door! My dad is looming in the background in a chair.

And here they are, the world's cutest couple, Anne and Gerry Wombacher! My brother Tom also came along and we met up with his daughters, Cara and Caylin and Cara's fiancee, John and Caylin's boyfriend, Greg. I didn't want to bug them with photos but we had a great time and some great meals. It was great to see everyone before I depart New York City!

One of the things my mom and dad and I discussed was when I broke the news to them that I had decided to move to New York. I wrote those memories up and you can read them below.

Taking My Parents Advice, 19 Years After The Fact

My parents are great people. When I decided to move to New York, I did it in the fashion I have lived most of my life. Kind of on a crazy whim. I’ve written about this before, but in a nutshell, in April of 1993 I discovered I had a pension fund of over twenty thousand dollars from a job I had worked at for over 13 years in Peoria. I decided that night to move to New York City to pursue my writing. I had only been to New York four times in my life and knew about five people and had no job opportunities. Not exactly a recipe for success in the Big Apple, but I had made up my mind. The first people I was going to tell about this decision of a major life change was my parents.

I was a little skittish about telling them my plans because on the surface it kind of seemed like madness.
And then when you peeled this onion of an idea a few more layers in, it seemed like flat out insanity. So I had my butterflys in my stomach as I drove out to my parents house for dinner.

After we ate a dinner of salad, round steak and Tater Tots, we were sitting around their oblong wooden dinner table and I uttered the fateful words, “Um, I’ve got something I want to tell you...”

My parents both leaned in to listen to this news I was going to report. Then I outlined my plan of quitting my job, yanking my pension plan and moving out to New York in hopes of getting some sort of a writing job. Although there was no writing job looming, but I had met Dick Stolley and he told me he might be able to get me an interview or two at Time, Inc. I had also met a few people at Spin magazine and I was certain these contacts could lead me to a bright future in New York City. But I knew most people would think I was out of my mind for yanking my retirement fund and moving to one of the toughest places in the world to live. I had no idea how my parents would react.

After I told them they looked a little surprised and then one of them said (I can’t remember which one, this is so many beers years ago), “You know, if you don’t do this now, you’ll probably regret it later on in your life, so you should really do this. If it doesn’t work out, you can always move back here.”

Well, nineteen years later, I’m taking their advice and moving back to Peoria.
It’ll be nice to be living closer to my folks who have always been so supportive of me and to the rest of my family, relatives and friends in the River City. And it’s not that it didn’t work out here in New York, it’s just my time to leave. I have great memories and have made life-long friends out here that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

Further Reading: Moving.com, Leaving New York and City of Peoria.

It’s a family affair.

Surprise link...click on it, I dare you!

Bonus Photos!

I've been having farewell drinks with friends for the last couple of weeks, yes, I'm stretching this goodbye thing as thin as one can play it! Last week I met my friend and artist, Jason Andersen, who's been a guest star on this blog several times. Jason made me a really cool piece of art for a going-away present and it's pictured below along with a NYC key chain, bottle opener that Goggla gave me. Thanks to both of them, it'll give me good New York memories when I'm back in Peoria. Jason's art is pictured below with Goggla's key chain to the right.

And speaking of Jason, he's part on an open studio art show coming up on October 20th. It's in Passaic New Jersey and lasts from 2 to 6PM with over 26 artists participating. In addition to the fantastic art and studio tours, there's wine and live music and an after party. The tour takes place at NP Art Studios, 183 Monroe St., 2nd Floor in Passaic, NJ. I'll be gone by then, but you should stop by, it's an easy train ride and sounds like lots of fun.

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Reader Comments (36)

enjoyed walking along with you and hats are always a great thing! lol!! always great to see your parental units too! hope to see more of them when your back in peoria!

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

Your parents sound like the exact polar opposites of mine Marty... had I told them I was going to bust a move that big, mine would have thrown holy water at me, shoved a crucifix in my face while waiting for me to burst into flame...

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Had something racked about "stalking hats".......but 'ya got me blubberin' heah........MANLY tears, you understand........it is REALLY gettin' close to LAST POST......yikes!!!

And I'm pretty sure in that last pic of your mom & pop, your mom's eyes were givin' off that "He's comin' home he's comin'homehe'scomin'homeetc." giddy vibe. Looks good on her.

SIP AHOY ! ! !

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrBOP

As Paul Simon sang so many years:

I'm sittin' in the railway station
Got a ticket for my destination
On a tour of one night stands
My suitcase and guitar in hand
And every stop is neatly planned
For a poet and a one man band

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

When you get there sleep and rest, baby, sleep and rest... My thought are with you, best of luck ;)

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

It Should Be Called Chinamanship !
Your Parents where Right, if You didn't Do It You would of Regretted It ! You didn't get what You wanted, but got a whole lot more then a writing career, which Your writing about & that's all that matters, Your writing !, something You Love to do !

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Oh the shot of Your Parents is Great, reminds Me of when Zioum Zioum sits on my lap, it shows that Your Mom Loves Your Dad just as much as they Love You, Cheers

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Oh the irony,
Your parents finally visited NYC with you not forgetting to black out their hotel door number on their last visit.
Moving tip:
When you are packing up your old newspapers, try putting some breakables such as glass in with the newspaper to make the move more interesting and dramatic.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@Bobby D: Glad you enjoyed the stroll! And yes, I'll have my parents on more often when I get back!

@Jaws: As I got older and heard stories like the ones you tell, I felt extremely lucky to have had my parents raise me!

@DrBOP: Let those MANLY tears flow! And you guessed right about my mom, her and my dad are happy I'm coming back, so that makes it all worthwhile! SIP AHOYAND FULL STEAM AHEAD!

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Thanks for posting those lyrics and for your good wishes, my friend!

@JHwang: I didn't get a writing career, but I've had a great run out here. I met so many great people and had so many great times, I'm happy I came when I did. And I'm happy to leave at what seems to be the right time to exit stage left! Glad you liked that shot of my parents! Cheers!

@csp: When you look up "irony" in the dictionary, it reads: "See, Irony." And I will try that moving tip, I'm always up for drama!

October 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hey Marty - I said the same thing to my daughter when she said she wanted to move to NYC - I said GO - and now she has left for much the same reasons as you, but i know it will always feel like her spiritual home. I knew she - like you - had morphed into a native New Yorker when I would come to visit and she would bitch at me non-stop that I wasn't walking fast enough or that I was somehow single handedly responsible for stopping the flow of the sidewalk traffic ! So, despite a little sadness in your post about having to say goodbye to NYC, you still made me laugh about the slow walkers - better prepare yourself for them in Peoria !

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

It's not sinking in that you're leaving :(

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

My parents were also very cool about me heading off to distant places, & I'm the same way with my kids. Adventures, travel, independence ... all very important.
Love Claire's piece, & looking forward to reading some of your P.I. stories. Maybe you have one or two more NY escapades in mind before you head west?!

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

Be great to see you after all these years, I just can back to this goofy town after 25 years in FL

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikeyC

Marty, I don't think Iv'e ever seen a picture of your father without a drink in his hand, I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the Wombacher Tree. It's gotta feel weird leaving a major city like New York. The sights, the smells, the Fucking noise & all of the crazy people. Do you think the slow pace of Peoria might freak you out at first?

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdannythefreelancer

@Kat: That's too funny about your daughter! I wish you, her and I could've all hung out together when we lived here. And slow walkers aren't such a problem in Peoria because everyone drives!

@GENE: I'll still be here via the internet with brand new Peoria blog that I'm hoping will be the best thing I ever do. We'll have to plan trips together to meet up in NYC next year!

@onemorefoldedsunset: I have to admit, my parents seem happier about me coming back than coming out here, but they've been so supportive through the years, I'm glad this move makes them happy. That was really cool of Claire to put that post up. I was actually humbled and that's hard thing to do!

@MikeyC: Looking forward to seeing you as well and blogging from your bar! I'll see you soon!

@dannythefreelancer: Like father, like son! So far it doesn't feel weird, but I'm sure it will on next Thursday, I'm not sure how my reaction to Peoria will be, but I think it'll be good. Time will tell!

October 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I hope you thrust into going back to Peoria with as much gusto as you did moving to NY. After all, nothing tragic has happened here, everyone is well and you only left because finding a decent job there is impossible. No big deal. Your parents look healthy and I hope the rest of the family is also. Not a setback, its all about looking forward to the next Marty adventure. You want tragic, I stopped drinking over four and a half months ago, I mean totally. Now that's tragic, plus I stopped eating red meat and pork,,,,,double tragic. Here's the real tragic part,,,,why? probably to see what its like, haven't been sober in almost 40 yrs. Trying to make it til Christmas, see what happens. Always Loved all your adventures, except that damn Papaya hot dogs,,,,,lol

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

A Family Affair script that was rejected.
Mr French: Fisticuffs are NOT allowed Master Jody.
Jody: Fuck off Mr. French.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Duncester

@Al: I'm excited about going back and can't wait to start the new blog in a new city! I agree with everything you say. You haven't drank for four and a half months? Wow! Good for you, but I'll bet you're going to tie one on at Christmas time! I'm drinking a 24 ounce Budweiser in your honor! Stay on that wagon...more booze for me!

@The Duncester: Ha ha ha! I'ld love to see that episode, I always hated Mr. French!

October 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Oh Marty, this was so beautiful and i LOVED the hats and seeing your folks.... It was a privilege to visit with you and write of Your New York. You are truly a native in the only way it matters - heart and soul.

Warmest farewell to you- especially if I'm still stuck in legal land on Wednesday night,


October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterco

Whoever said "You can never go home", was full of shit.
Welcome back Brother.

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Pee Ess,
Good seeing your Mom and Dad gracing the pages of today's blog.
Speaking of... Claire blog was a wonderful bit of writing.
You deserve it all Daddio.
Proud to have been a small part of it.

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Looking forward to Wednesday, Marty! It's still kind of strange that you're really going. I'll miss the photo trips around town as you head to a Saturday cheeseburger or the Chillmaster's. But I'm looking forward to seeing Peoria from a 'Marty's eye view'...see ya soon!

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdark1p

@Claire: Thanks again for your beautiful post and for lunch, it was a blast!

@"Boris:" Thanks, brother, see you soon! And you've been a big part of all of this and I thank you mucho, Daddio, for all your help and friendship! More to come!

@dark1p: I'm excited about the new journey, I'll miss everyone, but we can stay connected via this thing called the internets! Sneeze ya tomorrow!

October 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Oh Marty! What a fabulous post! I'm sad that you're moving away from NYC - But I am also looking forward to your new adventures! Love ya, buddy!

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

It was great seeing you last week Marty. Good luck on the move. This post cracked me up. Thanks for the laughs!

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTonya

You have the most awesome parents, Marty!

I wonder if Papaya King ships to Peoria??

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

I've enjoyed all your trips, Marty. You've been an entertaining tour guide. Although New York has a million stories, no one has definitely covered Peoria...that is, until now (I'm throwing the challenge at you). I wish you all the best and look forward to your reports from your hometown.

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatty

@meleah: Glad you're going to be keeping up with the new adventures, love ya right back!

@Tonya: It was so great to see you and hang out with you last week. I feel lucky to have made so many great friends here in the city and you are definitely one of them! xo!

@Goggla: Thanks, I feel lucky to have them as parents! Maybe I'll open a Papaya franchise in Peoria!

@Patty: I'm glad you've enjoyed the trips here and I thank you for following along and chiming in! And I accept you on the Peoria challenge! Stay tuned and thanks for the good wishes!

October 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

" Maybe I'll open a Papaya franchise in Peoria! "

that could be your calling .....

October 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: I'll try to make it happen, maybe Al would fly in for the grand opening!

October 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

HATS! It's always nice when you post something about your parents. A couple of great peeps, right there. Tell them I said hello - and can't wait to meet 'em back in the great state of Illinois.

October 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: I'll tell them when I talk to them on the phone. Looking forward to you visiting Peoria and taking a road trip to your fine state! TO HATS!

October 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Shit Marty! I'm pissed that you're leaving NYC .I have followed your blog since the 365, and basically considered you sort of a blue collor-old school NYC resturrant / good eats critic.In fact after your posts at some places ,I was days away from trying them out myself .I just see this as another brick in the wall sadly. Nadie Se Conoce sadly, now you.Whos next? I wish you luck in your new adventures, and all I can say is lets be glad we were here to injoy NYC when it was ....Going to miss your coverage of the city,well good luck and thanks for ythe work you did on this blog.Please keep this blog up and your old one for reference forever,Please!
Best of Luck.

October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLamont Cranston

@Lamont: Thanks for the good wishes and while one door is shutting another is opening. I hope you continue to follow my Peoria blog, which should be starting up sometime in November. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I appreciate you following and reading up till now and hope you continue. And yes, I will definitely keep all of the retired blogs up on the internet. Cheers!

October 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great post. Nobody tells it like it is in the city like Marty does, the gritty details, the botched street dog, the slow walking, the checking out of the ladies in shorts. Sorry ladies it's how it goes. Even nice guys like me and Marty can't help but admire with our eyes. Keep on chipping out the great blogs Marty, hope to read at least one more nyc adventure before you move.

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimate beef

@legitimate beef: Thanks for the nice words and I will miss the girl-watching in this city! One more small post today and then I'm live-blogging my journey back to Peoria on Thursday, stay tuned!

October 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

And remember that you've made lifelong friends all over world, man!!

October 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

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