Journey To Oz


Sweet, sweltering summer – it’s like cotton candy. Soft, sticky and gone in sixty seconds. Ever since I can remember, Labor Day weekend was the most depressing weekend of the year. It doesn’t matter how much fun you have – each summer totally erases the one preceding it and the pang of letting it go is never easy. Summer is the true meaning of living for the moment. When you arrive at the end, you realize you’ve been home all along.

This summer, more than any other was like a journey to Oz. Like Dorothy, we didn’t go much further than our own backyard and discovered our true selves in the company of true friends.

I’d like to acknowledge all the good sports who came along for the journey. The summer of 2013 will go down in history! Well – at least in mine.

Thank you, Astoria Park Track and Field: Talk about a day. We did this Monday and Wednesdays and most of the time we followed jumping hurdles and throwing javelins with a dip in the pristine-with-a-prison-feel of Astoria Pool.

The city parks department has been running the Track & Field program for years – at least a decade, according to a dad whose kids have been going there so long that he got a t-shirt.

I reckon that’ll be me, someday. Because when possible, I must get clothed for free.

Thank you, New York Hall of Science Family Premium membership: Let’s face it – museum memberships are a rip off. No museum holds enough interest to warrant more than two visits. Except – the New York Hall of Science.

Despite the numerous school field trips and outings with friends – my guys can never get enough of this place. We’ve been there three times this summer alone and we’ve yet to do the mini-golf.

What sold me was the reciprocal admission to other science museums. We’ve been to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum twice already. If I paid general admission price to the Intrepid, one visit would’ve cost $24 for me and $19 for each of my monkeys.

That’s serious beer money.

With memberships, all you need is I.D. to check in – so I ordered the second adult card under my friend’s name and she did the same for me under her membership to the Bronx Zoo because seriously, would our husbands ever take the kids to these God-forsaken places without us?

So, now we can watch predators and primates in captivity, rather than under the El asking for change in between sips of Georgi vodka. And sometimes, from the window seat at our new favorite eatery.

We’ve probably been eating out a lot more than usual this summer. I think I abused the excuse that it was just too hot to cook, but on the flip side, my Reward points are stacking up.

So, for tax purposes, I’m reviewing the places I felt were truly “Kid Friendly” to my standards. That includes, greeting our party with a smile instead of a sneer and taking drink orders from Mom – not the charming boys asking for seconds of soda.

If you find yourself visiting Legoland Discovery in Yonkers, then you must stop at The Yard House, right outside the plaza. This place was – Spot – Friggin’ – On. As a matter of fact, all restaurants should use this place as an example of “Kid Friendly.” Make good food, bring beer fast, keep it in budget – if that were a girlfriend, she’d be a wife.

When I win the lottery, we plan to revisit Williams Burger, Hinomaru and Landmark Tavern, just because they showed us an awesome time. In the meantime, picnics will do just fine. And for the record, the candidate for Mayor who announces that picnicking moms can serve rice balls with beers – has my vote.

Pass the seaweed, please.



Author: Namzola_Goodness

A Japanese-American who grew up in the streets of New York during the racially volatile 70's, Nami blogs with guts, heart and humor. Dysfunctional parenting, cynical citizenship of beer to wash it all down.

3 thoughts on “Journey To Oz”

  1. Yes, seems like only yesterday summer arrived. But all good things must come to an end though, including summer. Unfortunately, the preceding sentence doesn’t apply to Kuwait. Summers tend to last for nine months out of the year. Dear Lord, we had 110F and 70% humidity, yesterday. Sticky and wet.

    Wow! Who would’ve thought one could find bargains in New York! And child friendly too….
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