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trading thursday for saturday. and turkey for fish.

one if by land

one if by land bar

one if by land table

one if by land fresh roses

thanksgiving is my favorite, you know?

i'm not entirely sure why. maybe because it's so known. it's always the fourth thursday. it's always a half-week event. maybe because it feels like the beginning--because it ushers in, invites a season of such joy. 

i'm pretty sure it has something to do with the feel of the air, the holiday's hallmark colors, the falling leaves. the lack of expectations or demand of gifts. it is a holiday predicated on giving thanks. on taking the time to sit down, to dinner, as a family. it demands a dressing up of the dining room table and departure from the usual. 

the holiday is a trumpet calling us in from the fields to eat.

the funny thing is my love for it has nothing to do with the food and everything to do with the experience (yes, yes, which the food is a part, of course). but i don't eat turkey (i'm a vegetarian) and even when i did, i didn't care for it. mashed potatoes don't really do it for me, nor does stuffing. but a good acorn squash? heaven help me.

this year i had to work the majority of the day. it was less than ideal but bearable. my parents came over in the morning to my clean apartment and we watched the parade while eating clementines, banana bread, and drinking our respective morning drinks (tea vs. coffee).

my real holiday happened saturday. my parents and i went to the theatre, took in Other Desert Cities-- such a beautiful, arresting play--the very finest of what theatre has to offer (the writing is so damn fine that i've seen it twice). we then sought out one of our very favorite haunts, One if by Land. there we saddled up to the bar and let the live melodies of the piano wash over us. and in a moment of throwing caution to the wind we threw out our original dinner plans to remain there. to sit at a beautifully set table, fresh flowers everywhere, and eat our way through the four-course menu.

people come to new york to see midtown. radio city and times square. the lights, the endless lights. they want to take a carriage ride in central park and see the tree. and i don't blame them for this. i understand the impulse. but i would argue that it is a relatively recent development in new york. i know, i know, it goes back to the fifties and beyond, but this is a city of such history. boston gets all the historical glory, but new york holds its own (just rent Gangs of New York to know the veracity of that--also because Daniel Day Lewis is a genius). 

this is all to say...give me the old new york. the fringe new york. the underground new york. with it's exposed brick and lit candles. it's easy to love a new york that's all glitz and bright lights, but it's so obvious. i want the underbelly, the hidden pockets, the tucked-away-corners.

(One if by Land is in Aaron Burr's old carriage house) and it is everything i love about this city. it may have made for a less than traditional thanksgiving and i certainly missed gathering around the table with so much of my family in colorado, but it was so special, nonetheless.


Ashley and Patrick said...

Beautiful as always. But I must admit that I giggled at the part about how well known this holiday is...because, well, it's not the third Thursday in November.

meg fee said...

eek. you know what i mean! ah, that's so typical of me, though.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i think i'm going to go dust off my copy of GONY right now...maybe followed by TWBB. i haven't had a good DDL movie marathon in far too long. thanks for the reminder!

JacPfef said...

so true! when I have friends visiting from afar, I tend to take them to the holes in the wall over the glitz. "Yes, we can go through Times Square, but I'd like to show you the REAL New York."

Little Tree Vintage said...

could not agree more! New York is so much more than the tree and all of the common visited places.. my favorites are the ones no one knows about! the ones hidden behind store fronts, the awesome dive bars and speak easy bars.. there's so much more!!

Anonymous said...

AMEN to what you said about New York! The tourist version is NOT the real New York...although I must admit it does look so lovely during the holiday season.

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday too

Celeste said...

Pescetarian Thanksgiving is my favorite.

Allie said...

Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

Anonymous said...

"give me the...fringe new york. the underground new york."

Don't you live in Manhattan? ...If you really do want that kind of New York, move the eff out of Manhattan, girl.

meg fee said...

dear anonymous, if you can't find it anywhere in manhattan than i imagine you're lacking in imagination.

but i'm curious, where would you suggest?

Rachel said...

I always shake my head when tourists say "I could NEVER live in New York!!!"...yeah, I couldn't live in Times Square either. The rest is the best! I'm (most likely) returning to my roots in Austin sometime in the near future and I will miss it so much...but at least I will know the areas to go whenever I come to visit!

lizzy said...

i was in the city this past weekend and it was exquisite. i was so happy to discover that autumn still lingered when as a girl from buffalo, snowy thanksgivings are not uncommon. i wished nothing more than to encounter you in the city, standing in line at a coffee shop or kicking up leaves in the park. as i shopped for dinner ingredients at whole foods, i imagined i saw you for there was a tall brunette with a carelessly elegant chignon & a red jacket, with a baguette peeking from her shoulder bag, and a basket full of vegetables. gosh. my imagination. :D

thank you for being you.

maggie said...

i too agree with new york holding its own in beautiful history...and Daniel Day Lewis is currently living across the street from me while filming his newest movie in Richmond, VA! amazing, to say the least.

The Heart of the City said...

my goodness you are really such an incredibly amazing writer. as a writer myself (albeit journalism) i am both very jealous and very much in awe. reading your blog always makes me feel ... transcendent yet even more connected to the world. sounds silly, maybe but those are the best words i have to describe it. thank you for creating this space, it's always such a joy for me to take in.

Mackenzie said...

meg, your photos always have this enchanting quality to them. needless to say, i'm smitten with them. you have a real talent, lady.