Well hello sunshine! It is some kind of gorgeous outside this morning, wow – bright green, bright blue, crisp and fresh. We forget that a few times per year, Minnesota is where it’s at. Take that, New York…
Right. I’m kidding, and only attempt the flabby jab because that’s where we were Sunday through yesterday. Oh, New York was definitely cold and soggy – no crisp, no fresh – but it didn’t much matter, because it’s New York, baby, the greatest city in the world, and it can be whatever the hell it wants.
Especially when it’s my experience of New York, ha, the vacation version, completely devoid of reality (per the photo, below, from Sunday’s New York Times; fabulous.). Hassle, hustle, grime, crime? Pshaw! In New York, I do what I never do – completely relinquish control. The bossy (er, real) me goes right out the airplane window, and I get…quiet. New York is not my town – it is John’s, totally and completely. Which, I suspect, is exactly what makes it so damn fun. I’m just along for the cab ride, relaxing in my in-laws’ beautiful apartment, eating the incredible food, strolling through Central Park, watching (and watching and watching) the people… Doing my best to to take it all in. Impossible, of course.
Although this trip I gave ‘er the old college try. Literally! We were in town to celebrate to my sister Etta’s graduation from Barnard College, of which the actual ceremony was yesterday (Tuesday) morning. In 48 hours I had the pleasure of seeing not just John’s family, but my own as well, together in NYC. Way cool.
John and I flew in a bit early, Sunday afternoon, and stole some time to chill with my in-laws Dot and John. Then we all four met John’s brother Tom, his wife Valerie, and their kids Allegra and Cameron for dinner at John’s beloved Chin Chin. It was an embarrassing feast, I think we ordered damn near every dish on the menu, all delicious. Eggplant in garlic sauce, salt-n-pepper shrimp, dry sauteed string beans, spring rolls, steamed dumplings, crispy beef, soft-shell crabs in black bean sauce, on and on and on. Just…outstanding. We rolled out the door and into (hard-shell) cabs and into soft beds. City noises? Never heard ’em. I slept like a baby. An abusively stuffed baby.
Up and at ’em on Monday morning (still full, by the way, definitely a sign of immoderation, ack), first for some hang time – a rare drive! – with Tom, then for the graduation’s opening ceremony… A fabulous cocktail party at (my siblings) David & Etta’s light and airy apartment. Stacey was there, and Dad & Susanna too, and we all got to meet a few of David & Etta’s fun friends and check out their (twenty-something) Scene in the City. Shrimp, quiches, crab cakes, and cheeses (from Whole Foods, I believe) made for yummy nibbles. After a fair amount of wine and chat, just the fam whisked off for dinner at Il Cantinori. We covered homemade pastas, veal chops and scallopini, shrimp…all lovely. More cabs, more soft beds…
And then yesterday, the big day, Barnard College’s graduation ceremony. Despite a little chill and damp (we were thankfully under a tent), it was a beautiful and impressive event. Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered the keynote – relaxed, charming, funny. Thelma Davidson Adair, Billie Jean King, David Remnick, and Mayor Bloomberg all received medals of distinction. And then the money moment – diplomas! Etta was beautiful, of course, in her pale blue cap and gown. And just like that, it was over. Dad & Susanna breathed a sigh of relief – all of their kids are officially through college. Woo hoo! Congratulations Dad & Susanna! And of course, most of all… Congratulations Etta! Well done!
After the ceremony, John and I rushed back to his parents’ to pack and head for La Guardia, pausing only to wolf down a one-handed Zabar’s feast – toasted sesame bagelwith chive cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion, and tomato. The. Friggin’. Kill.
So today, back in the Minnesota sunshine, bagel-less (sniff) but glad nonetheless to be home. My town, Minneapolis. That means…the beyotch is back, feeling her bossy oats. Sorry, man.
Moderate it: the best way I know to moderate in NYC is to get the heck outta there and just come home. No more Chinese, no m
ore bagels, no more slices on the street. Done.