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.