My post about the Bryant Park bathroom brought an email response from my aunt, who used to live in NYC. She writes,
Your comments brought this incredibly vivid memory sweeping back to me. You and your mother had come to visit me on the train, and I was picking you up at Penn Station. You had to go to the bathroom, and much to my dismay, we went into the public restroom in Penn Station. For me, it was like a scene out of the dark ages- dark shapes of women lined the sides kind of moaning and definitely stinking. You were quick and we got out alive.
It's funny to hear that memory since, though I remember a lot from those magical trips to NY to visit my aunt, I don't recall that bathroom visit. It must not have been *that* bad if I don't even remember it. I do remember one time when my mom, brother and I ran for the subway but only I made it, and the door closed behind me, catching my bag in the middle. The door re-opened quickly, just enough time for me to pull my bag in. I still remember the look of horror on my mother's face as the train pulled away from the station with her nine year old daughter on board (who had no money, no ID, and no idea where her aunt's apartment was, aside from "the upper west side").
But my favorite 1980's NYC memory is buying Nintendo Game & Watch handhelds from one of the zillions of electronics stores all over Manhattan. Parachute (close-up of box) was the first we got and between my brother, my mom and I, there was always a fight over who got to play and who held the high score. Another memory is of the first time I had sushi, but that one's not nearly as good. Probably more akin to the yuck of the bathroom at Penn Station.