Monday, November 28, 2011

A Pasta Thanksgiving

Some traditions are meant to keep, others to be - if not broken - slightly revised. So it was with our Thanksgiving. We kept the tradition of "family" alive by meeting our daughter and son in New York City over the weekend. Holly lives there, Gregg flew in from Chicago. As one cab driver told us, in his melodious mix of Chinese and English, "Thanksgiving is for families, Christmas is for staying home." Not once did he mention "shopping."

Thanks to a friend of Holly's, we watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade, aka Macy's Parade (speaking of shopping), from the 25th-floor rooftop of a condo building on Central Park West. The Tradition continued. Here's what it looked like.

After all, what's Turkey Day without Kermit, Ronald MacDonald and Spiderman? Talk about tradition: there was no Shrek or Buzz Lightyear or even a Twilight-style Vampire. Some lines you just don't cross. This was the first time I'd seen this event in person. Years past, I watch about 10 minutes on TV until the football game starts or I go back to sleep, usually the latter. I much prefer it in person, with my family, from the top of a building, away from the riff-raff, on a mild, sunny day with a Central Park in color transition across the way, the towers of Manhattan stacked to the south, and 3 days ahead of me in The Big Apple or, today, The Big Drumstick.

Well, not really a drumstick. This is where the tradition ends. We gathered for Thanksgiving dinner at a marvelous little Italian restaurant near The Village, picked out by Holly. Pepolino is one of those small, cozy, family-run restaurants that have no ambition to enlarge, add-on, modify, improve. It's perfect as-is. Our waiter did the Italian thing beautifully, heavy accent but clear enough to make out the important words, like "specialty," "delicious," "vino," and "here's your bill."

We all had pasta. Home-made. I remember my veal lasagna; never had anything like it and want it again. You know what? I did not miss my usual turkey leg, dressing, yams, and pumpkin pie. I can always get that at Denny's.

A final note on Thanksgiving: Small's. A small, downstairs jazz club in The Village, which featured a progressive quartet, led by a young bald guy on bass and a balding, older guy on tenor in an unattractive long-sleeve shirt decorated with bass (fish, not instrument), with a mother of a piano player and hard-swinging, tasty drummer. Small's, as in "small world." The owner went to the same high school I did, U. City. Only he graduated three decades later. Some things just happen, right? How did we end up talking about high school in a jazz bar in the Village? That's a story for a different time.

Yes, it was a Thanksgiving for the books, traditions and all. 


  1. Terrific, Gerry. I'm grateful you got to see The Parade from an advantaged perspective, and had another reason to post a Hoser bit. Happiness is just a warm keyboard, it seems. Keep writing.


  2. What a wonderful way to spend the holiday. Glad you got to look down upon Kermit instead of up him. Are you attending the SLWG gala Friday evening? Maybe we'll see you there.