My first trip to New York City was with my mother when I was 15 in the summer of 1985. That trip instigated my love affair with NYC. As a child of divorce, I became a seasoned flyer traveling between parents in Cincinnati and Miami. However, this trip to NYC was different: my first trip flying without my older sister. My destination was Martha’s apartment, my mother’s friend, in the Upper East Side. Upon arriving, she told me my mom was delayed by several hours, driving in from Nantucket, Massachusetts.
After I settled in and caught up with Martha, she told me to go out and explore the UES neighborhood on my own. At first I was apprehensive, but realized how empowered I felt with finding my way in NYC. I set out wondering around, ready to meet New York City. Everyone on the streets seemed to smile and say hello. I fondly remember walking by the local firehouse with proud firefighters standing out on the sidewalk. They quickly started a conversation with me; it made me feel so special, like an adult.
Thereafter I met with my mom. Then the real exploration started with shopping in Midtown. She bought me very trendy floral jeans from Fiorucci and a floral sweater from Benetton. Nothing that cool had ever been seen by anyone in Cincinnati. Then, mom encouraged me to get a makeover from the Chanel counter in the beauty department in Bloomingdales. We went downtown, dining at the very hip Odeon in Tribeca. Followed by a nighttime stroll through Little Italy, getting our picture taken with parrots. This trip to NYC with my mother was my rite of passage to becoming a young woman. That trip with my mom was not only a special experience of bonding with my mother as an adult, but forged a relationship with NYC that brings me back at least once a year since.
Thank you Bond No. 9 in reliving a bonding memory with my mother. She committed suicide 8 years ago, and ever since then I have struggled facing Mother’s Day until now. Now remembering all kinds of fond memories of bonding with my mom.
- Erin Swing Romanos