Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…
After our Wicked matinee and dinner, my wife and son were wiped out and done sightseeing for Day Five. I had a bit of energy left and one more errand I wanted to run. Anne was a little uneasy letting me go traipsing alone through the streets of New York City, but I promised I wouldn’t be out all night. My destination was an easy half-mile walk, and gave me an excuse for one last stroll through the electric scenery of Times Square.
Mind you, we weren’t done entirely with NYC yet. Day Six would once again take us far from the hotel, using the subway station at the end of our block to bypass all the usual scenery. On Day Seven our early flight out of LaGuardia left us only a limited window for photography, none of it around the hotel. But I knew I wouldn’t have many more chances to marvel at the lights, glare at the gargantuan ads, and bask in the buzz of those busy Manhattan crowds.
With less than two days left in New York, little hints of everyday life began creeping into our vacation routine. We’d resumed checking emails and social media updates, flipping channels on the hotel TV, and missing our dog Lucky, no doubt running laps around his kennel. As for me, this was a Wednesday, and every Wednesday is New Comic Day. The nearest shop to our hotel was famous Midtown Comics, the same place we visited on our 2011 trip.
For the historical record, and because I still have my note to myself, my must-buys that week included Vision #9, Descender #13, Power Man & Iron Fist #6, and New Super-Man #1, one of the few DC Rebirth titles I’m touching with a ten-foot pole. From their archives I found an issue of Angel & Faith I’d missed, and was thrilled to find a copy of Evan Dorkin’s Eltingville Club hardcover that had been on my want list since before its release four months prior. If I lived here, I’d shop here at least weekly, even though they have the longest comic shop lines I’ve ever seen since “The Death of Superman”.
Curiously, I recognized my cashier as the same guy who waited on me in 2011. I debated the merits of mentioning this trivia to him, but kept quiet because I couldn’t decide if it would be too weird or too meaningless to him. I also didn’t have the heart to tell him I never did track down Brad. Regardless, he spent the intervening years becoming a published author and had copies of his most recent work on sale. That was a neat surprise.
After paper-bagging my purchase, he offered me a plastic bag as well. I thought it was a kind yet redundant gesture. I figured out why when I exited the shop and walked into the first and only rainstorm of our entire week. The drops weren’t heavy, but they dogged me the entire half-mile back to the hotel. That’s what I get for daring to have my own solo adventure, I suppose.
To be continued!
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