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It’s likely that I’m snorkeling off the shore of some Caribbean island right now. So to stave off any jealousy or daggers thrown in my general direction, let’s pretend that we’re still in New York contending with Month 5 of sleet and snow.

Though the temps may have been lower than hoped this spring, it hasn’t stopped us from getting out and exploring the city on foot.

Emma was off on Spring Break last week, a full week earlier than the other kids. And since we’re traveling this week, she gets to skip a full week of school. Translation: that is SO NOT fair MOM.

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I told Lauren that it wasn’t fair that she was born first and had my complete attention for the first two years of her life. And that she’ll get her driver’s license first. AKA zip it.

So back to last week. Emma knows not to broadcast what actually took place since it was nothing short of incredible.

Monday took this form: lunch–chocolate store–Sephora–nails. 

We took a breather on Tuesday, just enough rest to recharge the batteries and prepare our feet for another day of walking.

On Wednesday we spent the day on the Lower East Side doing the following:

Park visit:

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As if Monday’s visit to Lilac Chocolates didn’t provide us with enough sweets, we were determined to visit Economy Candy.

We headed off on Rivington and quickly realized that we were heading in the wrong direction. But in one of those fortuitous twists of fate, we ended up at the tip of the alley that leads down to Freemans Restaurant.

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I haven’t been to Freemans since a friend hosted a birthday dinner there years ago. It’s one of those restaurants that I wouldn’t normally visit with a kid in tow but figured that all was fair game at 11:30am.

We were seated at a table next to the other oddball customers who were taking advantage of the early timeslot – the crew from Gothamist that was conducting a noisy business meeting; a woman with her centenarian mother, who was noisier than my three-year-old and the Gothamist crew combined.

“I don’t like this menu! It’s too fancy! Just make me a grilled cheese!”

“No grilled cheese? I just want a chicken noodle soup!”

“No soup? Why is it so dawk in here! Just give me the scrambled egg then.”

“YOU have the salad. I don’t want the salad. I just like HOME FRIES.”

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For the record, my mussels and Emma’s white cheddar mac & cheese were heavenly. As was our table which wasn’t “TOO DAWK!” and gave me a bright green view of the alley.

Next we walked around the neighborhood, exploring all of the graffiti. New York neighborhoods can be summarized by the following:

Men with facial hair + building tattoos are to the Lower East Side……as…..Men with facial hair + building tattoos + women with wide felt hats are to Williamsburg.

So according to this equation, a neighborhood can be defined by an absence of hat.

Which is just a more complicated way of saying that I don’t really fit in to either location although I aspire to it.

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We finally stumbled upon Economy Candy.

Would I send friends to Economy Candy for a visit? Probably not. It’s crowded, you get elbowed in your sternum, it smells like bubblegum (not in a good way), and people who may or may not work there like to order you around. “Stand in this checkout line. Look, that line’s open. Ma’am, that line’s open!”

That being said, if you feel like being herded like candy-loving cattle on the Lower East Side for an afternoon, you’ll come back with armfuls of vintage candy (candy cigarettes, licorice pipes, and other sugary ways to encourage smoking in your home; TOPPS trading cards; and chocolate in the likeness of every president since FDR.) 

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After a long day, we decided to head towards home. On our way to the subway station we passed by the new il laboratorio del gelato. New, as in several years old, but this is how often they let me out of my cage.

This ice cream shop reminds me of my friend Irene who brings a few tubs of il laboratorio gelato to Thanksgiving every year. In fact, I probably ate their pumpkin gelato right before I infected everyone with the flu. Good times…..

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That ice cream, not fair. And when it’s Lauren’s turn to travel with me solo to some far off destination…. that will likewise be unfair. My tip to her: bask in the glory of the good days when they come your way and leave the bean counting to the tellers.

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