MTV To Grandma: Let's Get Started!
The last time Grandma was in NYC, Gerald Ford was in office, so this is a HUGE thrill for her. Things have changed a bit since 1976 from what I understand.
Not least of which is the inclusion of "NintendoWorld."
I love New York. It's my favorite city. There are so many things I want to show her. Grandma has never afforded herself the luxury of travel; even when times are good it can be a pricey venture. MTV's message is clear: "Don't worry about it. Think of it as a 'business trip!'" So basically, Grandma's job is to play some games, review some games, then do it on camera. I would say Grandma has the best job in the universe, but I get to follow her around, take pictures and write about it... so I win ;)
The last time I was in New York, Grandma was comfortable at home playing Xenosaga while I wandered through Battery Park; the knock off watch and sunglass "suitcase salesmen" who stalk the tourists coming off the arriving ferries from Liberty Island were replaced by a wall of people holding a candle vigil in front of a twisted, mangled and burnt statue recovered from the small park between the World Trade Center Towers. The time before that, I was at the top of those towers; in the observation deck overlooking all of Manhattan, taking photos as gifts my professors later took to China as part of some "theater awareness expedition."
Within the observation deck was a restaurant and a "helicopter ride;" a horrible simulator that consisted of a dimly lit projected fly-by of the skyline and a 10-20 seat platform attached to rusty, loud pistons that would rock it in directions relative to your perspective of the screen. As I realized my $7.50 was gone forever, the only thought I could offer up while being violently jerked around on this god-awful carnival ride 100 stories into the sky as some vaudevillian voice-over screamed through blown out speakers behind me "Uh, oh! ...Here comes the BROOKLYN BRIDGE! DUCK EVERYBODY!!" was "...Grandma would laugh so hard she would pee a little if she saw this shit."
I kept my ticket stub just to tell her the story. I still have it.
A common perception to folks from either coast in this country is that those who reside in the vast region from New Jersey to Las Vegas are crazy motherfuckers who envy anyone who live in L.A. or New York and look up at skyscrapers in awe of man's achievements only to fall into a pothole at that very moment and have their Platinum Amex card with the cute Mickey Mouse design on the front stolen during their incapacitation in that Darwinian manifestation of country mouse / city mouse in which the lesson learned is 'it is the rodent who always loses.' On this point, I can't speak for Cleveland because we never considered ourselves a part of the Midwest. Cleveland and its suburbs are situated in a very New English style; the settlers and geography of the region not unlike Connecticut.
I can say for Grandma at least, well... let me put it this way. US Rte. 80 is less than 5 miles from our home in Mantua. This magnificent stretch of highway begins on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco and ends at the George Washington Bridge in New York City. When Grandma and I drive South on Rt. 44 and cross over this road, she looks both ways, and sighs.