Urban Granny

A Seasoned View of Urban Life

Archive for June, 2009


It takes a village to raise a grandchild…or does it take a Grandparent…

Max, 15 Months Old

Max, 15 Months Old

So I get a call yesterday from my working daughter.  The youngest of her three children needs to see an urologist immediately because of a possible hernia. Of course, as any grandmother would do, I flew into action finding the “right” doctor and securing an appointment at 6:30 that evening.

I texted my daughter the information about the appointment.  This is the usual way of communicating these days. The text back was, could I take him to the appointment?  She would meet me there from work. Of course! I am a grandmother.

We live downtown and the doctor is at 98th street.   It was rush hour, wouldn’t have it any other way.

So off I went to pick him up, making sure that he had a bag packed with cheerios, water and a diaper.  I rehearsed opening up the stroller and closing it. I was not sure my daughter knew how to do it?

I did splurge and took a cab costing me $25.   I just couldn’t see myself negotiating Max, the stroller and two bags on the number 4 train, changing at 96th to the number 6 and walking to 98th and Fifth.  It was well worth the money, the FDR cooperated and traffic was not too horrendous.

Met my daughter on time and Max was wonderful during the wait and appointment. And yes he would need the surgery.

My journey began at 5:15 and we were finally back at their apartment by 8pm. Kissed them both and headed back home.

I got back to my apartment and finished preparing dinner. My husband is terrific at putting everything out and setting the table. Eating home is a luxury we thoroughly enjoy so no matter how late it was  I was determined to eat in.

I couldn’t help but think that it takes a grandparent to raise a child.

Last night listening to the news I heard that in the US 40% of all grandparents participate in their grandchildren/s childcare. Hmm, I can believe it. It takes a Grandparent to raise a grandchild these days.

Posted under Children, Observations



On my last post I recommended for Father’s Day a Clear Pass.  As another sign of the times, this morning I received the following email informing me of the closing of Clear. I am sorry for any inconvenience or confusion.  I will be back on those airport lines once again.

Sincerely, Urban Granny

Clear to Cease Operations

At 11:00 p.m. PST today, Clear will cease operations. Clear’s parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. has been unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.

After today, Clear lanes will be unavailable.

Sincerely, Clear Customer Support

Posted under Travel

Fabulous Very Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

clear_logoGive a Clear Membership. I have one and love it. Any person who travels a lot will find that a Clear Pass speeds them through security and places them at the very front of the security check lines at most US Airports. Even if you are a priority traveler the individualized service of a Clear Representative cannot be beat.


I also just received my Global Entry verification this week, it allows me to use a special kiosk when entering the US from abroad rather than standing in a passport line. This maybe more difficult a gift but definitely worth try.


Save Kahki

Save Khaki

If you need a gift for a son, son- in -law or father and a one stop shop is the most convenient for last minutes then go to Save Khaki. There are two locations, one in NOHO and one on the LES. There is classic casual clothes at all price ranges with more personality than some of the other choices around.


Happy Father’s Day

Posted under Gifts, Shop, Travel

Mr. Mayor your J train is disgusting

 A few days ago I had the occasion to take my four-year-old grandson, Benjamin Henry, on the J train. I know that New York City is not responsible for the woes of the MTA.  However, one has to ask, doesn’t the Mayor have some kind of civic pride when it comes to the subway system and the stations that are part of this great city, a city he governs?  Especially when it is the City Hall station.

Benjamin and I descended down into the J station under City Hall.  The condition of this station was unspeakable. Ben asked me very quietly, as I felt his grip on my hand grow tighter, who is in charge of the trains? MTA is a concept too difficult for a four year old to grasp so I said the Mayor. He knows his name is Bloomberg, and he began to ask all sorts of questions; what is his first name, is he married, does he have a mother and does he have children? I answered him and he sat quietly as we waited for the train.  Then he said to me that he wanted to write the mayor. I told him we would write a letter together when we got back home later that evening.

I knew he was upset about the station and perhaps the letter would help?

Here is the letter he dictated to me that evening.

Dear Mayor Michael Bloomberg,

I was going with my grandma to the lower eastside to have lunch at Katz’s as a treat and to meet my uncle. I live near City Hall and we walked to the train. It was the J.  There was garbage everywhere and it smelled gross.  I was afraid to walk because there was even throw up on the floor. It was very gross and disgusting.  How can you let the station so close to your work be so terrible? What can we do to stop the people from throwing garbage? It is bad for the environment and the dirt is not healthy for us kids.

The train did not come for a very long time and we hated being down there so grandma took me back up the stairs and we had to find a taxi. We got to lunch late but it was fun to be there.

I am almost four and I have an older sister and a baby brother.

Can you write me back?  Soon. I am Benjamin ——– and I live at —–.




Ben's Letter to Mayor Bloomberg

Ben's Letter to Mayor Bloomberg



As they say, out of the mouths of babes. All Ben wanted to know after that if the mayor was sad without a wife, I told him I didn’t think so.






Posted under Children, Observations