NYC Ballet Day: Cousins!

Yesterday was our ballet day,  an annual spring tradition where I meet my mother at Grand Central Station in New York City and escort her to Lincoln Center where we join her cousin Robert for lunch and a ballet matinee. photo 3-4

Our selfie!

Our selfie!

Robert is seven years younger than my mother yet they grew up together (their mothers were sisters) and lived nearby, seeing each other often. Travels, work and life took them in different directions—my mother to Connecticut and farm life; Robert, an attorney, who lived and worked for many years in Atlanta. They’d get together at family events as schedules allowed.

Robert’s hobbled by illness and requires a walker, and my mother uses a cane to walk in public.   This meet up is truly special. Robert insists on treating us to the day; he purchases tickets well in advance and also books the restaurant.

After a sumptuous lunch at Lincoln, we settled into our seats at the Metropolitan Opera House, awaiting the curtains opening to the American Ballet Theatre’s afternoon performance of three ballets, Les Sylphides, Jardin Aux Lilas, and Rodeo, featuring African American ballerina Misty Copeland.

“Now we escape reality for a few hours,” Robert said. photo-99

Of course, the ballets were wonderful. Music, dance, costumes and sets.

I remembered how my mother used to take me and my sister to the ballet when we were kids. The trip to NYC by train from Connecticut was always an adventure. We’d take the subway and sometimes meet my mother’s Aunt Sylvia (Robert’s mother) at Bonwit Tellers, where she worked. She loved to show us off and we’d take advantage of her discount. While I don’t recall individual performances, I know the applause and copious curtain calls that brought the dancers outside the curtains impressed me.

After the performance, we attempted to hail a taxi. One driver stopped but when he saw that  two passengers required assistance and extra time, he left us at the curb. We finally got a cab and the two cousins sat together in the back seat, talking the entire time as if neither years nor distance had ever separated them. Robert even asked the driver if he’d just drive them around a bit more; alas, it was the end of his shift.

I escorted my mother to the platform and saw her safely onto the train.


About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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16 Responses to NYC Ballet Day: Cousins!

  1. Margaret C says:

    Loved this, Lisa. A pleasure to “see” you enjoying every moment.


  2. susanissima says:

    Delightful retelling, Lisa. How lovely to have this yearly outing with your elders, Lisa!


  3. What a great outing, Lisa! Lovely photos. That first taxi driver didn’t deserve the fare. I’m shocked……but maybe not that shocked, as it was NYC. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so love joining you on these lovely family adventures. You tell it so well, and I always leave a little envious, and totally enthralled! What a wonderful day for you all, Lisa!


  5. I love how this is a long and established tradition in your family Lisa. Glad you all had a good time. ❤
    Diana xo


  6. What a delightful day! The first time I cried in public was at the ballet, when we lived in the Berkshires I adored Jacob’s Pillow. It’s wonderful that you can do this for your Mother and her cousin! We all need to escape reality from time to time.


  7. I do find the ballet moving also– something about putting together all that dance and music without words.


  8. Thank you, Lisa. It was lovely. A nice tradition to keep going. How did you manage to grt such nice pictures of me?


  9. hugmamma says:

    Did you like Misty Copeland? We’ve known of her since she began, my daughter having danced first seen Misty dance during a dance festival in California where she grew up. An amazing back story to a phenomenal dancer. Misty was recently on Sixty Minutes and one of several featured pioneers in their fields in Time Magazine. She gives ballet, and dance, a much needed boost…especially for those of color and womanly physique…like my daughter. hugs for sharing your love of the arts…


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