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New York with a baby was such a bad idea. Now, it's probably one thing if you live there, and can head back to your apartment for naps. But when you take in the NJ Transit for 45 minutes, it's a different story. We took the light stroller because it fits in the car easily and it is easy to fold up to get on/off the train and up and down stairs. However, it doesn't recline, so he basically didn't sleep ALL day.

Kai was not himself at all. Without naps, he was just a nightmare, squirmy, alternately joyously happy and insanely cranky, with a lot more crying than usual. We felt awful because we had no way to fix teh situation but we realized we were not meeting his basic need for sleep. It just escalated through the day.

So, the morning was good, with the museum. He also greatly enjoyed his first train ride, into NYC. At the museum, I personally loved the Silk Road exhibit, the main reason I wanted to go to the museum. My BFF just left the museum's service last week but she had pre-reserved some tickets for us, so we got in for free. We also headed up to the dinosaurs, clearly the most popular part of the museum, and saw the Polar Expedition exhibit too.

Then we headed over to Columbus Circle by way of Central Park to meet ggirl. The park was lovely if a bit hot, and there was plenty of fresh air to breathe here. Seeing all that green was really good for my mental state, and Kai's too - he seemed very content.

At this piont, we were starving, so we went into the mall there. The food options were limited. Bouchon Bakerie was closed due to the holiday, and every place else was an expensive sit-down places. Of the options, we decided to try BarMasa. It's supposed to be amazing sushi. Honestly? It wasn't that great. I almost choked when I saw the bill. So, they have something on their menu called "Omakase"? At a less pretentious sushi place, it would be called "the sushi special". There was nothing omakase about it, at all. Alli had that. I wanted to save money so I only ordered a piece or two of sushi and a roll. I'll give them credit - the Shimaaji was amazing. But the Toro was cut wrong (last time I should have toro anyway - it's going extinct...serves me right that it sucked this time) - and my roll was ridiculous. Okay, spicy julienned potatoes in an inside-out roll with amberjack on top. Just too much potato. Interesting flavor but it was sorta like eating potato chip maki or something. But I will give them credit - they were very nice to Kai, and made him what was probably the most expensive agadashi tofu on the planet. However, he loved it - practically licked the plate clean.

My favorite part of the whole day was lying out on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park with ggirl, while Kai finally slept for a bit in the stroller (until a little girl woke him up). We were surrounded by families, in the shade of big old trees, taking pictures of eachother and catching up.

Then we had to figure out where to get dinner. We were in midtown and everything there is pricey, so we started to look at the village. We ended up at India row - all Indian restaurants, fairly low-priced, which was good after our lunch. However, getting there - omg. The subway is not air-conditioned in the slightest. We had to switch lines, climb stairs, Kai was crying because he was so hot, and we kept putting him in the Ergo to move him around - I had the folded-up stroller slung over my back and it kept hitting people - the subway was packed. Just insane. And the village is no picnic with a stroller either - much narrower sidewalks. At this point, I think it was 93 degrees outside.

So Indian food was, well, not that great. Not terrible because it's not like we got sick and died. It was edible. But I could make a better malai kofta and that should tell you something. Plus Kai cried/squirmed through the whole meal, either he was in our laps grabbing at everything, or he was in the stroller crying. Alternately we took him outside to calm him down. They didn't offer us a highchair - but when I went down to the bathroom, I saw that they had one. The service was shitty - they'd come, ask for an order, and leave the table while only half the people had ordered.

Okay - sidenote - it is much easier to have a good meal in Boston than NYC. In my experience. Now, you can have a much better meal at the high-end in NYC than in Boston, but you're also going to pay much much more. I think Boston sushi overall is better valued. I have yet to eat at a sushi place in New York that lived up to its hype, including Nobu here. No offense, New Yorkers, you may have more options, but that means you have more of both bad and good. In Boston, we have fewer consumers of food - so a bad place just doesn't survive.

It was 9pm before we finally got back to our hotel, resolving never to bring the baby into New York again until he's older. Our big mistakes - wrong stroller (although the big stroller would have presented issues in its own way - at least he would have slept, and then maybe we would have been forced to not get on the subway due to its size), and no naps. Otherwise I was well-prepared. The kid was clean, and had plenty of food and drink. Also, planning opportunities for him to get out of the stroller, now that he's older. One different thing about Germany was that on most days, we were not out for more than half the day. In Germany, he was content in the stroller most of the day because a) it was as comfortable as a bed and b) he was younger and less mobile (just starting to crawl then). Now, he wants to move around under his own volition more. We're at a difficult age because he doesn't walk, but he wants to. So, he's not happy being carried/held/strolled - but he can't actually go anywhere under his own power.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
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nepenthe01
Jul. 4th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
I was going to ask you those things - whether the T had elevators. I do remember the trains as roomy and air-conditioned. I was telling Alli that since we're staying in the middle of DC, it will be easier to stay home for at least the morning nap or come back for an afternoon nap.
shnells
Jul. 4th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
we were extremely dissatisfied with the food experience in nyc too. i would not recommend india row restaurants for the most part. it maybe cheap but there's generally a reason for that. it seems like the good indian restaurants are found on lexington between 23 and 34th sts. but it's really not what it used to be that's for sure.

we loved DC though and i agree that DC was a far more pleasant experience!
ggirl
Jul. 4th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
I will say that it definitely wasn't my first choice to go to India Row, but we ended up down there originally for a very good and well-rated Sri Lankan place that we ended up not being able to go to. Like other New Yorkers, I tend to avoid India Row and had only eaten there once, many years ago.

I did point out that Indian food, Sushi, and Thai food are all MUCH better in my neighborhood in Queens, Astoria. You can get amazingly wonderful cheap food right up the street from where I live. I agree that in Manhattan you will generally be overcharged for sub-par quality food. Things are overrated there like crazy. You really have to go to the outer boroughs to get better quality and more authentic food, because that's where the more ethnic neighborhoods are.

Also, NYC subway cars are air conditioned, and quite well, but the stations never could be regulated that way. I've yet to encounter any subway system with air conditioned stations too - that sounds impressive about DC!
dali_muse
Jul. 5th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
My friend Jannette lives on 43rd Street off of Ditmar, and I love investigating all the great restaurants when I go to visit her!
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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )