Entries in Slow Walkers (1)


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.