Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dim Sum and Then Some

Mom has been here for 9 days.

We've done a lot of home improvement, more baby shopping than we probably should have, and have dined out repeatedly.  We've slept in, watched TV movies, seen a play, gone to a doctor's appointment, walked Hank, and have had a fun-and rather normal-visit.

I was a little worried Mom may be bored, and wracked my brain to come up with cool things to do.

I'd envisioned taking Mom to Ellis Island, and finding a Minogue or a Quinn signature on some passenger list, Mom pointing at it with tears in her eyes, grateful that I brought her to this special place to make this special discovery.  It was going to be A Moment We Remembered Forever.

That didn't happen.  It was kind of cold for a boat ride.

I thought we could take a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan, seeing the city from an entirely new vantage point, Mom beaming with pride that we'd moved here, a la Mary Tyler Moore, and are Making It After All.

That didn't happen either.  Cold.  Boat.

I was Hell-bent on Mom having a definitive New York Experience, so today, her last full day in NYC, we ventured to Elizabeth Street in China Town for dim sum.  Dean and I have never been for dim sum since we got here, and my last attempt a year or so ago was thwarted, so TODAY was the day.  Like it or not.

Dim Sum is like a brunch of Chinese tapas- little plates of (mostly) delicious goodies, brought around to your table on carts and trays.  "Would you like some sticky pork buns?"  Yes, yes I would.  "Shrimp and seaweed?" Yes.  "Sticky rice?"  No, thank you.  Mom is still mastering chop sticks.  "A giant plate of bok choy?"  Indeed.

The thing about dim sum is that one waits outside on a crowded sidewalk for what feels like a really long time, before being called inside to finally eat.  You're given a number by the hostess, and they'll hopefully eventually call you before "One Hour" has passed (the standard answer for "How long will it be?"  And if you're clever, you can go to the other dim sum place next door, get a number there, and straddle the invisible line, straining to hear which place calls which of your numbers first.  Which is what we did.  In fact, another girl got called by one place first, and gave us HER number, so we doubled our chances of getting called.  But I digress.

Aside from a weird bite of something pork-like, we had great food, and a memorable New York Experience.  Waiting on the sidewalk, reading (not REALLY reading) all the Chinese signs, watching the array of people pass by, being offered fine counterfeit bags and watches on the street, smelling those little balls of fried dough for sale at street all added up to a fun afternoon.

Now, to finish all this leftover bok choy.

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