We often get so caught up in our daily routine to simply exist not realizing that those minutes are like independent strokes of a paintbrush on a canvass.
This prose is my introduction to the inspiration of this post. My father passed away nearly 8 years ago and my mother (God bless her) wanted to handle a matter of the last estate she and dad had together… she asked me and my brothers to travel with her to Queens, New York… the place where life in the United States of America started for my mother and father as a young couple. Oddly, how I can hear my dad’s melodic voice in my head saying, “I love Amerrrica”.
It was as a dream, my mother, myself, and my brothers Frankie, and Edwin together took off to spend 3 days together – just us. The last time that we were “together just us” like that was over 41 years ago… just three children with their mom – we shared each other’s undivided attention – we did not have to share mom with our own children and spouses. We took it back to where it all started – Queens, New York.
We arrived in New York via John F. Kennedy International Airport and stayed at the TWA Hotel, it was as if time stood still and we stepped back in time. Mami said that the original terminal building was the terminal that many of our families came in from the Dominican Republic between 1962 (the year I was born) and the early ’70s.
This JFK terminal was one of several Saarinen projects, it has the shape of a compact bird, embodying a ’60s sense of fantasy and science fiction- reminding me of the cartoon The Jetsons.
Also to add to the “Throw-Back” they had “Connie” the 1958 Constellation airplane turned cocktail lounge parked on its own tarmac… with an old fashion roller rink to boot!
Mom was sharing stories of how the terminal use to be with all the airline ticketing stations, and how they would stand up on the viewing deck to see the airplanes arrive on the tarmac – and back then people would be walking out from the airplane onto the tarmac to enter the airport. I was fascinated with her stories and how she was able to take us back in time.
Enhancing to the nostalgic ambiance were perfectly placed memorabilia through-out the place.
They even had a mega-sized version of Twister. And there I was a nearly 60-year-old woman warped back in time as if I was 11, inviting my brothers to play. Excerpt from the New York Times about the game ‘Twister’: Originally manufactured by Milton Bradley, Twister was introduced in 1966 and has gone on to sell tens of millions of copies. In 1969, Mr. Foley and Mr. Rabens were awarded the United States Patent 3,454,279 for their invention, “Apparatus for Playing a Game Wherein the Players Constitute the Game Pieces.”
and…no, that is not a new yoga move, it’s far from downward dog.
TWA Hotel rooms were very simple and super. Bed and coverings made for a wonderful slumber. The rooms and throughout the hotel displayed some of the best TWA posters from the 1950s and ’60s were created by artist David Klein (1918 – 2005).
I am so grateful for this time spent with my mom and my brothers, we did not need to say anything. We were just three kids with their mom. My cup overflowed.
|capturing a moment in time|
The next day we decided to head out and smell the city… Queens, New York.
|Edwin was mentioning coffee, it’s as if a Starbucks popped out of the ground like a mushroom. Tall is small… small is tall, really?|
|We walked around taking in the New York vibe.|
|We found the cutest little pastry shop and I wanted one of everything.|
Laughter, stories of an era gone by and before we knew it time had slipped us by slowly calling us back to the future.
We took in a sunrise breakfast and swim at the TWA Hotel rooftop… we had the place to ourselves, so it is true – the early bird gets the worm.
Yes, I Love New York… and now it’s time for this girl to wake up from this dream and head back to sunny Florida.