Yesterday I was with my 18 year old son because I wanted to go with him to buy football cleats. I had him meet me at my job on the upper west side of Manhattan. I felt that his meeting me there would save time as opposed to me wasting an hour or so meeting him in Queens and then going to a store.

On the weekend traveling on the subway can be an interesting experience and that is due to repairs that are done on the system only during this time. This week there were no repairs on the lines that I needed to use.

When we arrived at the West 81st Street station to get the C train the platform was full of people. Although there were no scheduled repairs, this is not unusual because many people come to this area to visit the Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium.

We negotiated our way to the middle of the platform where the crowd was thinner. We didn’t have to wait long before the train arrived and we rode it for two stops to 59th Street. There we had to switch to another train (the D train) that would take us to the store I thought would be a good place find these cleats.

We got off the D train at West 34th Street. This station is a considered a major hub. There are 4 trains that run there and it is also the first stop for the Path trains that go to New Jersey.

The reason why I like to come to this station is because it leads right into a shopping area called the Manhattan Mall. This mall is different from suburban malls in that it is vertical. There are enough stores on its’ 5 or 6 floors to make it possible to shop until you drop.

There are other times when I go actually on 34th Street to shop. Only in New York City is there a street like this. This street goes from the East River to the Hudson River and on every inch of it there is a store. There are major department stores, specialty stores and even street vendors.

The store we were looking for was not in that mall. It is a sporting goods store located just outside. Once inside we went to shoe department. The only problem was that they didn’t have the size shoe he needed. The sales clerk even looked on the store’s computer to see if there was another store that carried his size. There were none to be found.

We left empty handed and disappointed. We decided we would try to look for these cleats at another time.

At first glance, one might think that this was a wasted trip because we had no shopping bags.

As a positive parent there is no such thing as a wasted trip when I spend time with my kids. Since we could not get what we wanted, we quickly moved on to our next goal.

I had not had anything to eat since lunch and I don’t know about you but shopping makes me hungry. I could tell that my son was in agreement because I could hear his growling stomach as well.

We went to my favorite fast food restaurant. Along the way we couldn’t help but notice how dense the sidewalk traffic was. We forgot that at this time of day (6 or 7 PM) 34th Street is filled with people. These were not holiday shoppers. These were just your average every day Saturday shoppers. The denseness of the crowd increases 10 fold when the real Christmas shoppers come out.

We ate our food and with our full tummies we began preparing for our trip home. I live in Queens and he lives in Long Island but we still have to use the same mode of travel to reach our destinations.

The crowd that was on 34th Street always bleeds over to Seventh Avenue where my favorite fast food place is.

The reason why I like that place is because it is right across the street “The World’s Most Famous Arena”.

I’m sorry. You don’t know what “The World’s Most Famous Arena” is do you?

It is Madison Square Garden, a sports arena that seats 18,200 people, that is placed right in the middle of Manhattan. There they have concerts, the circus, the rodeo, hockey, college and professional basketball. There have even been Republican and Democratic National Conventions held here.

It’s also the home court of the 11-4 New York Knicks.

We began our trip home by going under the Garden structure where there is another major travel hub. This is where Pennsylvania Station, The Long Island Railroad and the NYC subway are all located.

We headed to the subway to catch the E train. We rode this train to Union Turnpike where we both switched to the F train which would the take us to buses that will take us home with him going in one direction and me going in another.

We came home empty handed in that we did not get the football cleats he needed but the two hours that we were together was time well spent.

As a positive parent I am always looking for times to bond with my kids and today was a perfect day to do this with my 18 year old son. We talked about everything which included current events to what was going on in our personal lives. We had a great time and I look forward to when we can again spend time together.

Did I mention that the New York Knicks are 11-4??


An “I Love Being A Dad Tee Shirt” is a perfect holiday gift.

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