Big Apple – Be Warned!!

Start spreading the news…….I am not leaving today, or entirely sure when, or what exactly is going on but Mrs Bowes Lyon (yes, Prince Albert that is my friend who is the better looking version of Sarah Jessica Parker!) and me are heading over to…NEW YORK!

To be honest the plans are a bit sketchy; but we have time to work it out.

1.) Any hotels in New York want to showcase their wares then get in touch?
2.) Any New York restaurants want to give us the star treatment then drop me a line?
3.) Any swanky cocktail bars want to fill us with liquor?
4.) Any clubs want us to come and shake our booty (Mrs Bowes-Lyon is an 80s fiend – we are not entirely musically compatible)?
5.) Any spas want to anoint us?

I’ll happily pimp New York because I love it.

The first time I visited New York, I was a student, and during the Christmas holidays I had agreed to nanny for a family, who were so desperate for a nanny that they didn’t balk at the idea of employing me, a completely unqualified child carer, because their professionally qualified nanny had bailed on them and their trip at the 11th hour. Yes, it was in the black and white days, before it all became all proper. They were in luck, despite me being a gob-shite, feminist, I actually intended no harm to the little darlings. Well, not before the trip anyway.

The trip was 4 nights in The Watergate Hotel, Washington, 6 nights in the Polynesia resort, Disneyland, Florida and 3 nights in The Warldorf Astoria, New York. I thought the nanny was mad – why would anyone turn down this trip of a lifetime? I was being paid £200 per week, plus all expenses.

He was a partner at city Professional Services firm and she was a Barrister. They had two young kids. It wasn’t long into the trip it became patently obvious why the nanny had bailed because they were a fricking nightmare! The kids were spoilt beyond all control, and simply didn’t do as they were told. As a nanny, I discovered you are not actually allowed to punish other people’s children. Regardless, of how vilely they behaved. Fortunately, I was fairly adept at using Jedi mind tricks to get them to do my bidding.

He just wanted to spend time with his wife, and she was trapped between the two – her husband’s demands and her childrens. To add to the complications – he was a complete control freak, and despite her earning the best part of £80,000 per year, she was only allowed a cheque book and no plastic – not even a debit card!! I actually as an impoverished student had more disposable cash available to me, which he hated because it meant he couldn’t stop me doing whatever I wanted when I was allowed some free time.

I had a fairly blinkered life, and although I definitely harbour delusions of grandeur, I had at that time no intelligence of where the deluded grand hang out. I had never heard of The Watergate Hotel, or in fact, The Waldorf Astoria. After a fairly turbulent 10 days of torture by the rude, wealthy and arrogant smug git of a father, a marathon of Barney the Dinosaur – alas he is still not extinct; but my own children do not chant his name with the same moronic fanatacism of the wards I was responsible for back then, and the wife dithering around try to placate the nightmare; we arrived at JFK airport to be collected by a vulgar, but kinda cool, stretch limo. We were whisked off to the incredibly impressive Waldorf Astoria, which I discovered to be a fairly upmarket hotel – I may be understating the opulence a little. In the afternoon, the snow began to fall and fall and fall and fall. In fact, unbeknownst to me at the time I was being impacted by what is now referred to as ‘The Blizzard of 1996’.

[The Blizzard of 1996 was a severe nor’easter that paralyzed the U.S. East Coast with up to 4 feet (1.2 m) of wind-driven snow from January 6 to January 8, 1996.]

Our flights were canceled. There was not a single crime committed in New York for a 24 hour period. We were stranded. In the morning, the mother, who, by now, was at the end of her tether, gave in to her children and allowed them to have chocolate ice cream and full fat Coca Cola for breakfast!!! Following this ingenius and inspired idea, she then very deftly excused herself and retired for the day to massage the ego, or penis, of her very petulant husband. Of course, leaving me holed up in a small room with twin doubles, and two children under 7, who immediately went mental from the sugar that was coarsing through their veins. They literally climbed the curtains and scratched the wallpaper off the walls. In the end, I locked myself in the bathroom, and phoned my flatmate. It was that posh that there were phones in the loo. (Not actually the WC!) I distinctly remember the conversation, I said;

“I can’t believe these words are coming out of my mouth because I am sat in the Warldorf Astoria in New York but right now I would rather be in Plymouth!’

(I was at Uni in Plymouth)

This experience also introduced me to the agony of 24hour news reporting in a manner that could only occur in the USA. Let’s face once you have seen one snowflake you have seen them all.

“Ok we are going live to Bob in Brooklyn. So Bob what’s going on with you down there in Brooklyn?”

“Well Bob! It’s snowing here fairly hard, which means that there is a lot of snow falling here and it’s fairly snowy. Back to you in the studio.”

Please repeat for every district with a 500 mile radius of Manhattan for every second of every day for 24 hours. It was riveting.

On the bright side, I we did manage to pop out to a chemists over the street. In this chemist, I bumped into none other than Whoopi Goldberg!! How cool is that, and in fact, because she is American, and like all Americans will talk to anyone (and not an emotionally repressed Brit like myself, who would only ever engage anyone in conversation unless that actually needed something, like directions to the loo) she asked me whether she should buy chewing gum with sugar, or sugar free. I felt under the extreme weather conditions that we were experiencing that she could probably handle the sugar fix. Of course, being British and a bit embarrassed, I didn’t say anything else, or even identify that I recognised that she was Whoopi Goldberg, or even ask for her autograph!! Talk about a missed moment!

Eventually, the snow cleared and I was released from the agony. I did still manage to fall in love with New York, but whether I will ever be able to afford to stay at The Waldorf Astoria is another thing – unless of course they want to offer Mrs Bowes-Lyon and I a free room!!

Anyway, we are really up for it – so if there is any particular New York experience that Mrs Bowes-Lyon and I should add into our itinerary then we want to know about it.

Where should we go? What should we do?

New York we are ready to be seduced – come find us and show us a good time.

Email me at: amodernmilitarymother@gmail.com

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9 thoughts on “Big Apple – Be Warned!!

  1. The most horrific part of your tale is the Barney The Dinosaur thing. My eldest went through the Barney stage but came out the other side fairly quickly. Alas my youngest has now been Barneyfied and the poison is still coursing around his veins.

  2. Oh my gosh I am so jealous! Not of your horrible trip with the family but because you are going to New York soon! I wish I still lived there! I would totally hang out with you guys.

  3. Downtown SoHo or Little Italy for the best bars & food.
    O’Neill’s Irish Bar for the best lock-in 729 3rd Avenue.
    MOMA for a fabulous collection of art (and a great location on Central Park).

    Have fun!

    LCM x

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