Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Coda

Christmas Day dawned bright and beautiful in New York City. Nary a snowflake was on the horizon. And it was quiet -- hardly any traffic. New Yorkers had packed up and left for states across the Hudson or up the Hudson or south on Amtrak. They were off to places like Pennsylvania or Massachusetts to see the family.

Before starting our own journey to the suburbs on a Metro-North train, Richard and I wanted to find a spot for lunch. Not much was open, so we thought about Katz's -- perhaps share a pastrami sandwich? We ventured up Ludlow Street, but before reaching Katz's, found that The Pink Pony, a long-time Lower East Side bistro, was open.

We dined simply on a spinach omelet and indulged in a glass of Christmas wine.

I loved the pink roses on the table. Our charming waiter was from Benin, and I spoke a bit of French with him. He asked if I was Canadian. Americans don't speak a second language, you know.

The Pink Pony has a charming room in the back where you can have a private party. This portrait of Emily Dickinson, the Belle of Amherst, is on the wall, as is the Matisse-like Blue Woman.

Before the ice is in the pool,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the Snow,

Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon Wonder
Will arrive to me 

Soon it was time to head up to Grand Central Station on 42nd Street to get the train on the Harlem line to my sister Jeanne's house in Westchester. Grand Central was not busy. Not like the mobs on Thanksgiving. Everyone was carrying cakes or flowers as their contribution to Christmas dinner.

The famous Oyster Bar under Grand Central.

This is the place to come for the freshest oysters, and the best selection, in the city.

My sister and her husband live in a wonderful house that is a remodeled barn. This beautiful tree was sparsely decorated to show off each ornament. Some of the ornaments belonged to our mother, Mary, who purchased them at the now defunct, but previously fabulous 5th Avenue department store, B. Altman's.

I made these two ornaments one year.

Jeanne's favorite ornament, a Chic Chien.

If this wooden dog bears any resemblance to the resident, real dog in the household, it is definitely intended. The real dog is a black Lab and is called Fern. P.S., I love her.

Jeanne goes all out to decorate for Christmas and the famous Eggnog Fest on Christmas Eve.

My nephew, Jack, who is studying French. Bravo, Jacques!

Jeanne and my niece, Sarah, asked Siri, the iphone4S Lady, when the next train to Grand Central left. Siri got very flustered and kept giving us bogus answers.

We had a wonderful time enjoying Christmas dinner with our family. We wish the whole family could have been with us, and we missed those who were celebrating with their families elsewhere. At the end of the evening, we joined the retinue of tired New Yorkers leaving Grand Central to return to our cosy apartments in the city.

À Bientôt and HAPPY NEW YEAR

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from the
Lower East Side, Manhattan,
New York City, New York, U.S.A

However you choose to spend your holiday,
 I hope it brings you happiness.