Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The Escape

I could only take so much of the "House of Mouse" before I said "that's it, let's go." Barred from the playground because of Ian's oogie nose, we took the subway up to Inwood Library. What illness isn't made better by a little subway ride?

New York City does a lot of stuff really well. Its museums, zoos, restaurants are arguably the best in the world. Even their main library on 42nd Street is amazing. Its front steps are flanked by two majestic lions. Inside the marble entrance you can read the names of Astor and Carnegy who put together this world class collection. I spent many days at the long wooden tables just staring up at the huge painted ceilings. So, yes, NYC has some amazing accomplishments. But its branch libraries are not one of them.

The Inwood library was built by geniuses of some sort. The linoleum tiles squeak with every sneaker step, and make little toddler toes slip. Someone must have gone out of their way to find that special squeaky, slippery tiles. The children's area is on the second floor. Smart, right? That way I have to follow Ian around like a hawk to prevent a fall down the stairs. And the elevator is locked, maybe so those crazy kids don't joy ride. A librarian has to be tracked down for a key. So, we got out a train book and a Raffi video and split, since the boys were looking worse for wear.

We got home, walked up the stairs, and then I realized I forgot the keys. Jonah whimpered as we walked back down. "I am so excited about Raffi. I am starting to cry." 1-1/2 hours until Steve comes home. What to do?

Since my kitchen window was open, I decided to climb the fire escape. In movies, it looks so easy. Richard Gere in Pretty Woman pulls down the ladder with his umbrella and climbs up with flowers for Julia. Doesn't really work like that. I had to jump up to release the latch. As the ladder slid down, rust and old paint rained on my head. Richard would have been filthy if he had tried it here. And then I had to walk over plants that people leave out on their escape. But I did it. And Jonah kept asking if he could come too. The super's wife watched my kids as I climbed in and found my keys.

So, all is well. A nice little adventure today, and the kids are tucked away for bed.

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