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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Seven Year Itch

Seeing that Zuki's become somewhat of a celebrity lately, a tribute seemed to be in order. He just turned seven years old and this was an "off" year, which meant no big party, just a good time with the family. Well, at least I know how to have a good time - at seven years old - he's on his own.

We asked him what he wanted to do on his special day and he asked for a trip to the Museum of Natural History, which was great because one: it's fun and two: it's one of those fabulous museums that have a "suggested" donation rather than the mandatory $20 dollars admission other museums charge.

I don't know about you, but for $20 dollars a person I expect a cocktail upon entering.

So for a whopping total of four dollars - because that's how we roll - Zuki got his fill of dinosaur bones, fossils, a giant whale and various other nick-knacks whose corresponding theme seems to be "natural". What wasn't so natural was the subway ride. It took three times the usual time to get there because the 7 train was under mysterious construction and I had a serious brain fart when it came to boarding the B train.

Just so you don't make the same mistake - the D train runs express from 5th Avenue. Don't take the D. I knew this and I must've told my husband at least fifty times that we have to take the B train not the D. When the D train arrived, what did I do? I put my family on it.

We whizzed past our stop at 81st Street and all the others in between until we reached 125th Street. Ironically, that was where we were heading for dinner but seeing that our reservation wasn't for another two hours, we made a U-turn and headed back downtown.

When we finally made it inside the museum, all the boys wanted to do was buy something at the gift store. Is it just my kids that think the gift shop is the highlight of a museum? As a kid, I remember thinking gift shop items were for losers. Back then, however, your choices were limited to magnets, pencils and t-shirts designed by the dregs of fashion. These days gift shop items multitask as ugly and somewhat useful. Still, I'm not paying $14.99 for a toy helmet - I don't care that the headlight really works.

Of course, the museum must've had a gift store on every floor. It was like Bloomingdale's only with dinosaurs. Seriously, each specialty shop had a huge sign, "DINO SHOP," "GIFT STORE," and arrows clearly directed the way. And yet, when we tried to find a restroom, every sign was as misleading as the calorie guide at Dunkin' Donuts.

After an hour and change of looking at dinosaur bones, wax wildlife and seafood, we made our way toward Harlem for some real meat. For dinner, we treated our little carnivores to lip-smacking ribs and brisket at "Dinosaur Barbecue."

I could try to describe the awesome food, the convivial atmosphere and the fabulous local beer on tap as well as any foodie but as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, especially when the subject is the guest of honor.

Doing his best impression of "Man vs. Food"

Mauled by a Fossil

Dinosaur eating at Dinosaur


  1. $20 toys and loads of breakable crap. What are they thinking? Museums hate parents.

  2. My favorite guy! :) And again the photo captions just got me.
    When I was in Japan, the receptionists/museum people almost always mistake me for a high-school student ergo the student discounts. I don't really correct them I speak chotto dake nihongo.

  3. Happy Birthday to your boy! Your cocktail comment really crack me up, lady hahaha. Sounds and looks like a fun cool day for all :D

  4. I love that he wanted to go the natural history museum! Smart kid! And, I LOVE the gift shops in those places! Buy him the helmet! :)

  5. -Museums do hate parents because they know we don't budge...but they LOVE grandparents.

    -You get student discounts in Japan...I get Senior coffee at Burger King. So not fair.

    -Honestly, I expect a cocktail all the time.

    -Okay, okay. I'll buy him the friggin' helmet.

  6. Believe it or not, I just rode a bus (not the school kind) for the first time this past year. I think I've ridden on a train a total of three times in my life! So I totally don't get how to read the schedules. WV is too rural to have much in the way of public transportation.