Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This: Madison Square Park and Shake Shack

When things don't go quite as planned

Lest you think that all of my Camp Mom outings go neatly and according to plan, let’s consider a recent trek to Madison Square Park with Vivi and Jack. I had really just engineered this field trip as an excuse to have lunch at Shake Shack. Sure, we have a Shake Shack on the Upper West Side, but somehow, an actual subway ride to Madison Square Park to see a kiddie concert, followed by lunch at Shake Shack, sounded much more legitimate. Downright blog-worthy even. 

Here’s where my fetish for Shack Burgers got me: The new adorable and what I thought were practical sandals I had bought online for Vivi managed to fall off of her feet roughly 18 times before we’d even reached the subway station a block and a half away from our apartment to get to Madison Square Park. This led to many, many tears (Vivi) and many, many admonishments between clenched teeth (me) until we finally managed to get to the park—only to find out that the lawn where they usually have their concerts was closed, but that we were welcome to park ourselves on a postage-stamp-sized, extremely crowded, concrete area. Hooray!

The @#*! shoes

Then it started to rain. (Would it be redundant to interject with another “Hooray!” here?) We bailed on the concert and made our way to Shake Shack, where the burgers, fries, and shakes didn’t disappoint. As soon as we found a table, though, it started to rain harder, as in raining-cats-and-dogs harder. And did I mention the wood chipper whirring nearby that obliterated any possibility of a conversation? (although with a 4 1/2 year old who rarely stops talking about the most random assortment of topics, I might have to reallocate that to the advantage bucket). Jack then proceeded to fall out of his chair and Vivi spilled most of her milkshake (more tears and more admonishments between clenched teeth).

Shake Shack attack!

But then somehow, the day simply righted itself (“Hooray!” she exclaimed without a trace of irony this time). Jack stopped crying long enough for me to shove some French fries into his mouth. Vivi slurped down most of the rest of Jack’s shake, but he blessedly didn’t notice. Pulling on our raincoats and fortified by our Shake Shack repast, we headed over to the Madison Square playground, which was blissfully empty because, well, who really wants to be on the playground when it’s pouring down rain? (Us, that’s who!)

Shoes...who needs 'em?

Vivi kicked off those blasted shoes and she and Jack had a ball in the sprinklers. And we made it through the remainder of our day with no more tears and no more admonishments between clenched teeth.

The water wheel saves the day
Madison Square Park, Broadway & East 23rd Street, New York, New York 10010; www.madisonsquarepark.org; Free kids’ concerts are held in the summer months every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 AM.

Shake Shack, Southeast corner of Madison Square Park, near Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street; Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM; (212) 889-660; www.shakeshack.com.


  1. Even a semi-failed outing can be an interesting blog post. Love the pic of the flamingo girl!

  2. Ahahaha! I love it! The shoes were the best part! :)

  3. So perfect. Motherhood, kids,,,,never quite what we plan.