The Joy of Being A Child Tourist in New York

I stood waiting on the platform for the J train. A bald man approached me asking if the train stopped at Delancey Street. Unfamiliar with the area myself, I told him I’m not 100 percent sure but I hope so because that’s near where I was headed. We exchanged smiles and he walked over to the woman, her pig tailed daughter and another young girl with glasses. They all wore matching sneakers and carried umbrellas. All bundled up for the rainy dreary weather.

The train pullked up. I was about to take a seat when I saw the French couple looking at the subway map and asking for directions from another passenger. I got nervous and panicky thinking I was on a downtown train and hopped off of the car. Then decided against my choice and hopped back on.

The car was mostly empty, a young boy sat across from me and the French family.

The cute little girl in pigtails must have noticed my frantic energy and asked “Are you from New York?”

“I’m from Long Island”

She looked confused.

“It’s a big long island with water surrounding the entire thing!!”

Her eyes lit up, “You must have the biggest beach!!”

“We do! We have the best, biggest beaches!!!”

Her eyes filled in wonderment. She was amused for a moment then went back on to jumping around.

Her older sister who wore glasses sat down on the other side of the car, quiet and well behaved.

The little girl pulled out a gold coin. She flipped it, then dropped it.

“Put that away before you drop it,” her mother advised.

The train came to a screeching halt, the coin slipped out of her fingers as she was trying to place it back in her pocket.

“Allie, be careful.”

“That was an accideentt!!” she said.

She put the coin away. Then she was standing with her knees bent and her arms stretched out wide, surfing the track.

I watched on knowing that the train was going to stop soon and hoping she wouldn’t get hurt. The train lurched forward, she slipped up a little, giggled and kept right on playing.Next she danced around the pole, ballroom style. Pretending like the pole was her dance partner. She then sang opera songs. Her older sister kept looking at her telling her to stop. Then the younger sister would do something silly and both girls would be standing there giggling with each other. They filled the car with their laughter and happiness. The older girl walked over to their papa and put her arm around him.

When the doors opened she said “open sesaameee!” when they didn’t open right away she spoke very slow “oppeeeenn sesssaammee!!” the doors opened, “Aha! I did it! Thank you, thank you.” She had another woman smiling and laughing. Her parents looked at her and laughed. Her mother and I exchanged glances and smiles, laughter, joy, happiness.

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