Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tuesday Train Day - Cops

This week we visited the New York City Police Museum. I chose this location with a specific goal in mind, which was to settle for you, once and for all, the difference between a taxi cab and a police car. You always confuse the two. I've explained the differences - even though they both have lights on their roofs, taxi cabs are yellow and you have to pay to ride in the backseat.

The Police Museum is in the financial district, which is the only neighborhood in Manhattan where there are no children. Really, the streets were deserted when we got there, around 9:30 in the morning. We passed an empty cafe. The sun was shining so we shared a hot chocolate on a bench and blew steam out of our mouths.

I could tell right off that the Police Museum doesn't get a lot of visitors. There was an excessively friendly man behind the counter who talked us through all the exhibits and circled everything on the map. He spoke fondly of a time last week, when a field trip came through. We were the only people there.

We started in the Junior Officers Discovery Zone, which is a new part of the museum especially for kids. We took our fingerprints and I failed an observation test. You loved the police car and the ESU, and were afraid of the Station House. We went upstairs to see the jail cell, which the museum man had told me was a big hit with kids. You, quite reasonably, refused to go in. It was right next to the weapons room, which you also could care less about. At least you smiled for your mug shot.

You had a snack and I read some of the placards on famous criminals and crimes: about Ruth Brown Snyder, the first woman to die in the electric chair in 1928, and Winston Moseley, whose brutal and noisy murder of Kitty Genovese in the 1960s prompted all those studies on public apathy. I wanted to stay, but you kept tugging on my hand. You wanted to go back on the train. You wanted to go home.

You had been tired and grumpy all day. We left the museum and you immediately wanted me to carry you. The day had turned cold and windy. I put you in the ergo and jaywalked several times to reach the R train. You cheered up considerably when the train came.

Not every Tuesday Train Day can be a success. The very next day, as we drove to the grocery store, you pointed and shouted, "police car!"

You were pointing at a livery cab.

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