We had a long day with Chris’s parents today, which began with breakfast at the apartment. I prepared artichoke gratin toasts with some of our Korean leftovers, and Chris made bellinis. We walked through Central Park, to the northernmost areas, and walked west to the Upper West Side, taking the train down to Chinatown, where we had a late lunch of dim sum. We continued walking around the Lower East Side, Alphabet City, East Village, stopped by a wine bar near Union Square for some South African wine, and then walked along the High Line to Midtown West, where we had a quick Japanese meal at our theater night staple Tabata before going to our Agatha Christie show.
Every time I am around his parents, I’m always a bit amazed at exactly how willing they are to do pretty much anything we want them to do, within reason. It doesn’t seem to matter how much walking or wandering or uncertainty there is in our plans. In the way they move with us, they really define the idea of “go with the flow.” As we are wandering around East Village and Central Park and the Lower East Side today, not once did they complain about being tired, or wanting to stop or go home or just sit down. I was reminded of the walks we did in Vancouver with my parents, where my mom was constantly asking where we were heading to, saying she was tired and didn’t want to walk anymore even when we were in the middle of Stanley Park, and there would literally have been no other way to get out other than to walk. When we took them to a major lookout point in Queen Elizabeth Park where you can see the entire Vancouver skyline, five minutes hadn’t even passed until my dad said, “Okay, where are we going next?” I snapped at him and said we took them up there for the view of the skyline, so go look at it. And dad said sheepishly, “Oh,” and then moved towards the view. My parents can’t seem to appreciate a walk for what it is — a walk just to have an experience, to take in one’s surroundings and the beauty that exists. Who goes up to a lookout point and within minutes wants to leave?
Chris’s parents aren’t like that, though. They appreciate a flower just for what it is, or a walk as a walk. It doesn’t have to have a destination in mind. They enjoy the walk for what it is as an experience. They enjoy a flower just for its beauty and little else. They don’t make comments about how that bud probably would cost $5 if you bought it, or how much one market might rip you off for it versus another. They appreciate the bits of life for what it is.