Walking down 14th street yesterday, it was with an almost sense of relief that the atmosphere hadn’t much changed over the years. The discounters were still there hawking goods under wheezing neon signs, buses gorging on passengers at one end and discharging at the other , sidewalks jammed with the chaos of shopping bags, sunglasses, noise and color. It was almost an anachronism in the this city, a street that was bookended by the neighborhoods of the Flatiron District and Chelsea, thick with the young and successful. The city was now divided now more by culture than class and that culture was determined by the street you lived on.

We were wandering the avenue looking for a frozen yogurt store for my Daughter who was still a bit peckish after lunch at the Chat n’ Chew. Not surprised since my wife and I had ordered a couple of thick BLT sandwiches and fries while my daughter had her obligatory salad. I don’t limit myself when I’m out on a road trip and my enjoyment of a meal is directly related to the depth of my guilt over what I’m eating. And eating thick hunks of bacon, tomato, and lettuce on toasted slices of white slathered with sweet mayo can make one feel extremely guilty.

Before lunch we had spent some time at a brief information session at Parsons New School of Design where Daughter was interested in pursuing an associates degree in interior design. The powerpoint slides focused mostly on fashion design and marketing with some spare images and info on the “interior structure”  program offered in a voice that reminded me of a grade school teacher. At a cost of $18,000 per semester and a lifetime of debt, I wanted to know what else this car came with.

I raised my hand at the question session and the presenter up front pointed at a spot slightly above my head. Since there was no one between me and the wall I was leaning against, I responded to the call for action and mentioned that the presentation was thin on interior design information although there was mention of CAD program training.

Her smile dropped a little, half turned to my daughter and said “if you’re not satisfied with the electives we offer then maybe you should look at a BFA program instead.” And then moved on to the next question.

In one short slash of the sword, she had dismissed my question and let my daughter know her father was an idiot.

I didn’t like her answer. And I didn’t like her skinny pink jeans, oversized glasses, and neon colored sneakers either.

So here we were on 14th street with Daughter and The Brunette busy chattering away excitedly with each other about the school. I mumbled something about seeking out other competitive programs but was again dispatched quickly and cleanly.

I pointed out a pinkberry yogurt store and only a few storefronts away, a red mango, both competing brands of high end yogurt dishes. Daughter had just turned away from a YoGo truck, which was a new way of serving meals-on-wheels to newly successful urban millenials.

“I dont like red mango,” she said, “it leaves a bitter aftertaste.”

I loved that she inherited my curmodgeonly gene and unmeetable high expectations of everything foodie.

So we had our snacks, my wife waving off the option having filled up on fried meat and mayo. We headed toward the garage where we had parked, me narrowly getting backhanded by a hipster waving at a taxi on 6th avenue. I sensed it coming since he looked like he was setting up for the vault at the Olympics rather than hailing a cab. And I didn’t like his hat.

Later that night, my daughter returned to her own place several towns away, and my wife and I tried to get a few pages into our books. But barely staying awake, we put the books away and snapped off the lamps on our nightstands.

I waited a few minutes and in the dark I muttered, “I didn’t like that presentation at all today.”

She mumbled something about me being too critical and dug further down into her pillow.

And I didn’t like her skinny jeans either.

But by that time, no one was listening. It was just another ordinary day.

You go, I go, yogo…