Labor Day was a surprisingly beautiful day here. It had been predicted that Hurricane Ernesto would upset the weather for a while, but it turned out to be 75 and sunny with a nice breeze and no humidity--one of those perfect days. Steve and I decided to take the kids to the Victorian Gardens in Central Park. In the winter, this area of the park is the ice skating rink. But in the summer, they turn it into a quaint amusement park, perfect for kids Chloe and Jonathan's age. We expected the lines to be long, but we didn't wait for more than 15 minutes for any ride. Plus, Jonathan won a useless red plush soccer ball at a water pistol game, which was thrilling for about 30 minutes and has been forgotten since then.
After the Gardens, we joined some families from Redeemer at a beautiful little cafe in Riverside Park at 105th St., over-looking the Hudson River (That's 12 blocks from our apartment, a little over half a mile). A sandy play area was conveniently in line of sight, so Chloe and Jonathan and the other children played while the adults talked and ate. When we were there with those kind, hospitable people, I realized how much I needed to have some down-to-earth, belly-laugh, honest-answer conversations with people who know the city and love the city well.
It was a great ending to a good day.