The Scratches Take Manhattan, Part 2

New York City, Times Square

[Click here for Part 1.]

Hello, and welcome back to …

The Official Daddy Scratches Guide to Family Fun in New York City … for Broke-Ass People!™

Now then … where were we? Oh, right: The tighty-whities guy makes more than me. But that’s OK! Because we’re in Times Square! And we’re being frugal! So frugal, in fact (and I don’t know how I forgot to mention this in Part 1, but let’s assume it has less to do with forgetfulness and more to do with the human mind suppressing an unimaginable horror) that we actually packed lunch and — brace yourselves —



“No way!” says everyone.

“Yes way!” says me.

It’s true: My family and I consumed food and drink while riding aboard a New York City subway car … and in case you’ve ever wondered who planted the seeds of my germ phobia, that thud you just heard was my mother fainting. If whichever one of you is closest could please resuscitate her, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

(Also: When she comes to, please assure her that it was with wholly maniacal fastidiousness that I made sure both her grandchildren and I held our respective sandwiches using the plastic bags in which they were wrapped, and that at no time did any direct skin-to-sandwich contact occur.)

So let’s review: Free parking, free ferry ride, an affordable (and death-defying) subway picnic, and a mostly free sightseeing excursion in Times Square. Which brings us to:

Step Five: It’s high time we rewarded ourselves for being so responsible with our money … and what better way to do that than by acting completely irresponsible with our money, am I right? Of course I am.

Remember this place?

Sitting on the edge of our very own fiscal cliff.

Sitting on the edge of our very own fiscal cliff.

That’s us hanging out last January at a super-chic, super-expensive, sort-of-hidden gem that I found while we were celebrating my 42nd birthday. (I’m happy to report that we’ve almost paid off the remaining balance on those two margaritas that you see there on the table in front of us.)

You know where this is headed, right?

We decided to drop in again and class up the joint.

We decided to drop in again and class up the joint.

Living it up in New York City

After calling the bank to secure a second mortgage, we treated ourselves to some snacks.

Have you ever wondered what a $10, single-scoop bowl of ice cream tastes like? If so, I encourage you to ask my kids, because they both know.

Kids' first visit to NYC, 12.02.2012

You’re goddamn right they’re smiling.

But, hey, you’re not paying a premium for the food; you’re paying a premium for the location … and I was heartened by the fact that the kids were awestruck by the location (and very appreciative that we took them to such a special place).

With our batteries recharged and our bank accounts depleted, we’re ready for …

Step Six: Let’s get back on track with our budget, shall we? It’s time for a stroll through Midtown to do some more free people-watching and sightseeing. And, hey, while we’re at it, let’s shrink the kids!

Miniature Zan digs it.

Miniature Zan digs it.

Miniature Jayna is not impressed.

Miniature Jayna is not impressed.

Oh, did I forget to mention that it’s Christmastime? Yes, this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill maiden voyage to New York City. This is a holiday quest … a quest to …

See the Tree!

But wait! Before we see the tree, we have to cap off our walk with …

Step Seven: … a visit to the top of a skyscraper. Sure, it’s gonna cost a few bucks … but only a total douche would take someone on their first visit to New York City and not give them a bird’s eye view of the island. Are you a total douche? I didn’t think so.

Let’s continue.

You have two buildings to choose from: The Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, a.k.a. the Top of the Rock. Which one did we go with? You’ll have to wait and see.

(Yes, I’m actually stretching into three posts what I originally thought would be a single entry. Hang in there with me, OK?)

To be concluded in Part 3

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  1. Katrina
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I am thoroughly enjoying this step-by-step adventure! So glad you’re back to writing.

  2. Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I am absolutely loving this series – I almost feel like I was there….almost.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: Twenty-two years, rambling about "free" money and a bit of family drama (otherwise known as: Go ahead and go to the bathroom; this is a long one)My Profile

  3. Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your experience! My only trip to NYC was when I was 21 with a 9 month old baby. On a Greyhound bus. o.O Did I mention I’m from Podunk Nowhereville on the west coast? Yeah, it was memorable but only because it was scary as hell!

  4. m-m
    Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed part 1 and 2 JON..
    I am happy to be reading you again…
    thanks for the smiles!

  5. Posted January 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    While in Time’s Square, check out Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It’s dinner and a show. Ask if Grace is working. It’s affordable and it’s Broadway. I wouldn’t lead you astray.
    Smokeynall´s most recent blog post: The First Goalie Post.My Profile

  6. Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I love that you stretched this out! When I used to live in the civilized world; aka Boston, we used to take all of our visitors on the T. Nothing like a good subway ride to entertain the masses! Now I’m going to have to take them on a cattle drive here in Texas.

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