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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas


Yes, I said it. Merry CHRISTMAS.

Christmas Eve we went to the best Christmas party ever, hosted by our friend Karen. It was just a bunch of friends we've come to know as family, which is one of the things that made it so wonderful. Karen had ham with a grapefruit glaze, so yummy, as well as cheese fondue (because it's FUN), one of those tasty salads with mixed greens, cheese, and nuts, and best of all a Yule log from Jacques Torres. Along with the Yule log were some intensely-flavored marzipan roses made by a friend of Torres, who has set up shop across the street from him in DUMBO. I brought my clumsily-made sugar cookies with your standard buttercream frosting and sprinkles along with some spice cookies I make every Christmas.

We did a white elephant exchange and I have to admit that we got better than we gave. Our gift box held four margarita glasses, some Mexican mini-blanket place mats (Twitchell hierlooms), a giant chocolate-filled candy cane, and peppermint extract I bought when I didn't realize I already had some. In exchange I scored this fabulous fur hat from St. Petersburg. For some reason EVERY Park Slope mom seems to have one of those furry hunter's caps and I've been coveting them. Actually, this is a little more Russian epic than Elmer Fudd.

I'm back to not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve in anticipation for the next morning. Only this year it was because I couldn't wait to see Jasper open the presents we got him. Probably the best present he got this year was from my mom. She sent the same Fisher Price village we kids played with over 20 years ago. Jasper loves it.


Alas, Jasper was unwilling (or unable) to play his expected role as Delighted Christmas Morning Child. He woke up cranky and whined all morning. I could barely get him to open any of his presents. I think he was hung over from the party the night before.


After naptime, however, he was back in his usual good spirits. I dressed him in a new outfit from Great-Grandma and the velvet kimono I just made him. I know, Little Lord Fauntleroy meets Last Emperor, but I love it.


We got together with Dave and went to Restaurant 66 for dinner. Back when we first decided to go out for Chinese on Christmas day I was looking mainly at Chinatown restaurants. But then I remembered 66. When it first opened in 2004 it became the whipping boy restaurant of the year on account of its glamour origins (Jean Georges Vongderichten and Richard Meier) and good-but-not-spectacular food. A British writer gave it a scathing review in Vanity Fair. But who cares. It's a fun, elegant setting for what was to me a pretty darn good holiday meal. And the service was warm and attentive.

Are we this jaded and spoiled, New Yorkers, that we have to trash a restaurant like this? Sure, you thought for Jean-Georges it should have been better. For Richard Meier it should have been better. But come on! It's a restaurant, which means one of Meier's assistants designed it. It's Chinese, so Jean-Georges hired out the menu. And yeah, it's way too expensive for what it is. But so is everything else on the island of Manhattan except for Chinatown.

Heck, I'm still enough of a hick to still appreciate any amount of New York City glamour.

After dinner we walked down to Bryan and Stephanie's apartment to wind down the last few hours of Christmas. We got ourselves into a frenzy of excitement because on Tuesday we're all going to Washington DC to visit another branch of our extended Eastern Corridor family. It will be a week of revelry (a 40th birthday and New Year's) and relaxation that we have all earned. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post remotely, but I'll try.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must depart for Siberia in search of Dr. Zhivago.

3 comments:

Janet M. Kincaid said...

And with your leopard coat, you'll be the belle of the winter promenade in Park Slope! Who's turning 40 this year? Not you or Lane, surely?!? I find that impossible, since you both barely look like you've passed 32.

Looking forward to seeing you while you're in D.C.!

Janet

shaunamama said...

I love that hat! It looks and sounds like you had a fabulous holiday...I'm so glad. Sending cyber-hugs to you all.

Lisa Dickey said...

Hey! I could have used that hat on the Russian Chronicles!

Actually, I could have used a velvet kimono like Jasper's, too. But, really, who couldn't?