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Posted Oct 15 2009 10:04pm

My mother is a brave woman. But she is not brave enough to ride the Central Park Carousel with Eliza. Maybe the issue is not bravery, but a reflection that she is far wiser than I am since standing on a moving Merry-Go-Round watching your kid on a pony move up and down for an hour really takes it toll on your vestibular stability. I can't really blame my mother. Eliza is not a one-ride kind of girl. Our carousel routine is pretty simple. Basically I pay the semi-creepy ticket guy who has no sense of humor $20 which gets Eliza a large bucket of rides. Note to tourists: The Central Park Carousel is one of the last bastions of cheapness in the city at $2 a ride.

Eliza's "transition" from the ride is a torturous ordeal requiring me to use the fireman's carry and suffer the onslaught of stares from the crowd. It also involves spending $5 on a blow up animal toy from the vendor who is brilliantly parked 2 feet from the Carousel exit. At these aren't some take and toss toy. No, these blow up animals are a good quality last-for-months kind of toy. This might not be a problem in a large suburban home, but in a tiny Manhattan apartment having a mini-Serengeti game reserve is an issue.

But it is all worth it to hear Eliza tell me it is "windy" and that she wants to "gallop faster."

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