ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Gift from My Daughter

Updated on May 13, 2012

The Mariott on Broadway - New York -

New York - 1997

I never wanted New York, not in a million years. My daughter gave it to me. She took it in her hands and threw it toward my chest and screamed, "Here, take it, Mom! There’s nothing else like it. You’ll love it.” Not wanting to insult her, I reluctantly held on to the weighty chunk. I nervously unwrapped it and slowly pulled out all the pieces. It has become one of my most cherished gifts.

I’m grateful I can’t afford a hotel room when I visit my daughter. I feel sorry for the Donald Trumps who are forced to experience this chunk of sociology, psychology, and humanity from a tower above and apart or from a table at Tavern on the Green that would feel uncomfortable to a homeless person. I feel sorry for the tourists who stay at the beautiful Marriott on Broadway and can afford tickets to view the pathos and ethos of life merely from a stage.

Everyone should be privileged enough to experience New York from my daughter’s 14th Street apartment above the palm reader’s shop. They should do it in August without an air conditioner, their windows open to an orchestra of more vehicles than they could name and a chorus of more languages than they knew existed. There’s where the real drama is being played out. There’s where the real pathos and ethos is taking place. There’s where the fittest are surviving and, in so doing, tempering genes and mind-sets that will be passed on to their children.

Everyone should have the opportunity to walk into a crumbling hallway of an apartment building owned by a risk-taker from the other side of the globe. They should be priviledged to listen as he explains he’s sending half of his money back to his country each month so the rest of his family can live in an apartment as “nice” as this one. They should have the experience of washing clothes in the Laundromat down the street where an Asian man struggles to keep his floors swept and machines clean as the dirt of the city is washed out in his visual presence on a daily basis. They should be poor enough, or at least not rich enough, to blend in as they ride the subway at one in the morning. It’s at that hour that they could look into the eyes of a man whose face is scarred and twisted and tattooed and ask the questions "how" and "why".

Everyone should have the honor of sitting at a table in Greenwich Village with the twenty-year-olds, the new generation, who have come to New York from Maine and Minnesota and aspire to be the playwrights, the actors, the artists of the next era. They should be privileged enough to listen to them talk of Vaclav Havel and Jane Goodall, to hear their references’ to Gibran’s The Prophet. They should hear them plan for a performance they’ll present that summer to kids on the streets in Harlem and know that the world is being left in good hands.

Someday I’ll be able to take a trip to New York and stay at the glittering Marriott on Broadway. Perhaps I’ll walk over to the St.JamesTheater and sit in the fourth row, center section. Perhaps I’ll be listening to my daughter sing an impassioned rendition of the millworker’s song from Working: “Millwork ain’t easy. Millwork ain’t hard. Millwork most always is a gosh darn awful boring job...” And perhaps I’ll recall the sense memories of the real play I experienced in New York the summer of ‘97. Then I’ll walk over to Lindy’s and order my very own piece of cheesecake without worrying about how much I’m spending. I’ll saunter into one of those fancy shops on 5th Avenue and buy my daughter that garnet and diamond ring she pointed out to me years before. On the flight home, however, I’ll probably have to take out a pen and write an essay on the oppressiveness of wealth; for although I will then have experienced New York with gilded trappings, I will always cherish how my daughter first wrapped the city in a crumpled old newspaper with a tattered bow and threw it into my arms.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)