Deep Below Times Square

I was 8 or 9 the first time I ever rode this escalator, which was the longest I’d ever seen. I was with my Grandma who could barely speak English — much less read it — but somehow she knew where we were going. We were probably heading to Chinatown, where she worked for several years in a garment factory with two dozen other old Chinese ladies. While she worked, I’d run around the sweatshop, nap, read Chinese comics, and — best of all — eat lunch with her from the cool metal containers she brought from home.

It was the late 1970s and I can only imagine now how filthy and seedy Times Square and the subway must have been, to say nothing of a Chinatown sweatshop. But all I can remember is how fun it was to spend a day with my Grandma in New York.

(Times Sq Station, Manhattan)