Whatever holiday you celebrate, happy, merry, bon, good whatever. But I suppose my posting on Christmas shows my bias.
I don’t have anything exciting to report today, aside from the fact that I’ll probably spend most of it watching the A Christmas Story marathon on TBS, so I’ll share with you a favorite Christmas childhood memory, which happens to take place in New York.
I was about 10 the one and only time we drove into the city for the holidays. We’d go into New York for other reasons, mostly to visit my aunt who lived in Flushing and to shop in the Queens Chinatown, which, to me as a suburban kid, seemed unbelievably weird and dirty. I still think it’s weird and dirty, at least the one in Manhattan, but in a charming way.
We did the routine tourist stuff. Saw the giant snowflake on 57th Street, saw the tree at Rockefeller, visited St. Patrick’s cathedral, where my father at 6’2″ spotted above the crowd’s heads former mayor Ed Koch. We ate cheesecake at Lindy’s, I tried a perfume sample at Sak’s, and my brother and I shared a hot pretzel off the street. (“Not that one!” my mother, the ever-picky shopper, scolded the vendor. “That one.” Why one pretzel was better than another, I still have no idea.)
It must have been horrendously crowded, but unlike now, being smushed in a large group of people didn’t bother me back then. I was just enthralled to be seeing the New York that I had only seen in the movies, so different from the fishy-smelling ethnic enclave I was familiar with.
Yesterday I was able to relive some of the childhood memory, minus the crowds. I saw the big snowflake and St Patrick’s cathedral and the Rockefeller Center tree. While I didn’t eat a pretzel, I saw the guys setting their carts up. I enjoyed Sak’s and other stores from the outside. Seeing Ed Koch would have completed the memory.