Subject-approved photo with "my plane."

It’s been a Good Friday. Calvin and I spent the day first queueing for almost an hour to get on to the Intrepid, an aircraft carrier turned museum that’s permanently anchored off Manhattan’s West Side and right by our old neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen. (Tip: if you buy your ticket online in advance you won’t have to queue.) Then we spent hours on the top deck, sitting on the floor in front of “my jet plane.”

Within minutes of getting topside Calvin identified “my plane” with a level of confidence that was surprising. It was a F3H Demon, a US Navy jet fighter in service until 1964. (Click here to read more about it on Wikipedia.) Sitting in its shadow, he was content to look up at it and have a long conversation with it. We wandered away to watch a brass band play (“They’re playing music just for my plane!”), and to get a snack (“Mama, we can’t stay too long, we have to get back to my plane and give him a snack. He’s hungry.”)

He did not like the neighbouring F8K Crusader plane. It had sharp teeth and an eye painted on the side. “I don’t like that plane, it makes me scared,” he observed. We talked about it and he was fine suggesting, “They should have painted it like a bunny, then it would not be so scary.” I didn’t have the heart to explain that being scary was the point. (Click here to see an excellent photo of the exact plane.)

We kept returning to the Demon like a pair of homing pigeons. He asked me to take photos of him with his plane. When the first batch were not to his liking (“Mama, I’m too small, I can’t see myself!”), I shot them again. Needless to say, he was totally taken with this one.



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