Finding/decorating a festive and warm rickshaw/art-car thing in NYC?
February 18, 2015 8:40 PM   Subscribe

My mom just had bunion surgery on her foot. We have joked about carrying her around on a palanquin built for a queen--piled high with cushions, carried by servants feeding her peeled grapes--and I want to make a variation of this happen! This Saturday. I have about 4 friends to help, am already dreaming about props and costumes, and am ready to shell out some dough if needed for an epic surprise. Challenges: it's 25 degrees in NY. A carriage ride seems touristy and not that over-the-top. I want to surprise her and spoil her and make her laugh.
posted by red_rabbit to Society & Culture (5 answers total)
Oh, you rock.

Assuming large open spaces in parks are too snowy, consider/ask whether you know anybody who has off-hours access to large indoor spaces where you could stage this. Seems preferable not just because of weather but also because the last thing you want is for all this to end in a ticket for piloting something non-street-legal or 'blocking' a sidewalk (check laws at any rate)?

Also, your calling it an art car makes me wonder if you're a burner and already on the NYC Burners list -- if you're not, joining strikes me as something to consider because you could at least get expert suggestions from people who've built temporary human-powered art vehicles and possibly leads on indoor spaces, or even volunteers or lent supplies.
posted by kalapierson at 9:26 PM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

If there's snow on the ground in any nearby parks could you rent/acquire a sled or sleigh of some kind and have your strongest friends dress warmly and act as human sled dogs? They get a good 20 minute workout and your mom gets to wrap up in luxurious blankets with a thermos of cocoa and ride around like the goddamn queen of Narnia.
posted by doift at 5:43 PM on February 19, 2015

Awwww, you are a sweetie.
posted by Mom at 6:27 PM on February 21, 2015

Response by poster: (An enormously belated) thanks for the replies! kalapierson, great idea to reach out to the local NYC Burner listserv. (You were right, I am a Burner, and had the same thought!). Unfortunately, it took a surprisingly long time to get approval to post--by the time it went through it was too late to post the query. We also did share your concerns about the feasibility for rolling around in an illegal open art car in the crowded and freezing-cold snowy streets. At the end of the day, we agreed with doift on just how FUN sleigh rides of any sort are, and we decided that a carriage ride WOULD be way fun (tourist-vibe be damned; we've all lived in/close to NYC for years at various points in our lives and none of us had ever done this). We packed up a thermos with coffee and Bailey's, got some treats to nibble on, and borrowed a fancy bit of fur to warm her royal queenliness. As I waited with my best friend/co-conspiritor in the world's longest Brooklyn brunch line, I called the Central Park carriage place, who informed me that they were about to close early, because the snow was falling too heavily. The sleigh-ride was not to be. It was my last day before flying out to make magic happen, so we made the best of it anyway: I went around the restaurant and recruited some brunching strangers to participate in my little scheme. As soon as our table was ready, we crowned her royal highness with a silly sequined crown (aka flapper headband, but you get the idea), wrapped her shoulders with a shining golden cape (aka an actual shining golden cape, my bestie has quite the deep costume closet) and we hoisted her up and carried her through the restaurant to choruses of "ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!!" from all the brunchers, who applauded. Everyone laughed, and some people took iPhone pix, and my mom was momentarily embarrassed and then definitely delighted; she laughed and waved and bowed deeply to her royal subjects. If there were any MeFites in the brunch crowd that day, I thank you all! It was silly and simple and fun and then we got to eat a delicious brunch together. And yes, of course we ate chocolate and drank Bailey's in the cab home; we weren't going to let those go to waste!
posted by red_rabbit at 12:59 PM on March 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Awww, what an adventure :)
posted by kalapierson at 5:39 PM on March 29, 2015

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