Images from New York, parental visit edition.

The view from above 115th Street (approximately)

I thought Manhattan was supposed to be flat!

–my dad while walking up 116th St from Riverside to Broadway

My parents came for a visit on Saturday, their first to see us since we moved and likely my father’s first trip into the city together since I was maybe fourteen years old.  He’s not much of a city person, you see, and he would be the first to tell you–his first words to me when they poured out of the taxicab early in the afternoon were “I hate the city.”

Under normal circumstances I tend to shrug off these kinds of pronouncements from him and think them unfounded and exaggerated…but then my mom proceeds to inform me that they have stories and they already had a run-in with the NYPD.


It ended up not being nearly as big a deal as I thought:  they were wandering around Penn Station looking for taxis when a guy approached them and asked if they needed a cab.  He said it would cost $17.50, so they followed him to a yellow cab and my dad handed him $20.  What they didn’t know (and we didn’t think of because we never take a cab from Penn Station) was that scammers are all over the station trying to rip people off while “fetching” them cabs and then walking off with their money, the grifted left to pay the driver to get them where they want to go.

They didn’t sweat losing the 20 bucks all that much, thank goodness, and I’m pretty sure they had to endure a lecture from their cabbie on how they should NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE EVER in the city…but then their car was pulled over by the police.  A plainclothes officer showed them his badge and said that he had caught the guy who ripped them off, and amazingly retrieved their $20 bill!  Michael and I were floored when they finished telling their story over eggs and coffee at Deluxe–it all felt ripped from a cheesy romantic comedy meet-cute moment and not something that would actually happen in real life.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

Columbia Chapel

The rest of the trip was mercifully smooth:  brunch was delicious, and we took them on a tour of the neighborhood, keeping them within the relatively safe confines of Morningside Heights and going no farther north than 120th St.  They enjoyed seeing Columbia, of course, and enjoyed the views availed by both Riverside and Morningside Park.  Our apartment passed muster (I think) and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon chatting in our living room.

Dinner that evening was quiet and simple:  I was craving cacio e pepe and we served it with some fried okra, the entire process barely taking twenty minutes to do, and we toasted to our relative success in showing my country-preferring parents a fun afternoon in the city.

  1. Wow! Your dad’s luck needs to rub off on me. I’m going to the British Virgin Islands in a week, and hope NOT to get ripped off. 🙂 [K]

  2. jeanette Litts said:

    I can just see your parents going through this:) ~ not something you would ever experience in East Brandywine Township!

    • No, not at all! They were really good sports about it, though, and they will get a funny story to share with their friends for the next few months to boot.

  3. J McNutt said:

    Ah, NYC and the con games that are played.

    Easter Sunday – a lovely day to take the family to a show. My Dad was approached at the exit of MSG at 7th & 31st, by a portly gentlemen asking if we needed a cab. I have autism and don’t like all the hustle and bustle of NYC, but love Broadway shows. We were escorted to a peculiar spot on 7th, and asked to wait in between MTA police cars until the 2 guys could “service” another customer, ehh, a mark no doubt.

    These guys asked Dad to prepay for taxi services for a commission for the cabbie, but needed change for $100, so the cabbie could make change for the “commission”, my Dad compiled and the con man walked off without giving any cash to the driver. “I got no money from him” was his reply. Luckily, for me, with my autism, I know and see all the details. Telling my Dad them, well as my sister says, that man “is doomed.” I feel bad for the man, but feel worse for him now that my dad now knows the details about the men who scammed him.

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