Friday, September 21, 2007

Flat Stanley Takes Manhattan

A while back, I received a package in the mail from my much-younger cousin, Edward, who lives in Lake Tahoe. The contents contained a 10-inch tall drawing of a boy, labeled Flat Stanley, and a set of instructions. Edward's class was participating in the nationwide Flat Stanley project, whereby each child creates and mails a Flat Stanley to friends and family around the world for a visit. As the recipient of a Stanley, my job was to show him around town, record our adventures through writing and photographs, and send everything back to Nevada. My cat, Nermal, who is a jealous beast and very protective of his territory, didn't take to our houseguest very well.My home was in Flushing at the time, but I was pretty sure that Edward didn't have a tour of Queens in mind when he chose me as his Flat Stanley escort. So Paul, Flat Stanley, and I piled on the subway and headed into the Big Apple.

I come into the city every weekday for work, but it's nice to view New York from a visitor's eyes (even when said eyes are drawn in by crayons) every now and then. We took Stanley for a spin around town, hitting Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square.

At one point, Stanley, being the piece of paper that he is, almost fell through a subway grate.

But in the end, everyone made it home safely, and I was able to send Stanley, a newly minted lover of New York, back to his quieter life in Lake Tahoe in one piece.