Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Day in New York

Paige Peterson taking pictures of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. That's her in the beige overcoat and red socks.
Monday, November 27, 2015. Yesterday was a fair and sunny Thanksgiving Day in New York. You didn’t need an overcoat, as you have had the need at this time of the month in New York.

The city was quiet – except around the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which began over on Central Park West and 81st Street. The day decrees it. Whatever the day means to an individual, it’s one of those very rare days when we quiet down. And many of us are with family or a family.

The weatherman forecast grey skies, but the Sun was out by noon and it remained a beautiful day. There were children playing in the newly refurbished playground just inside the Park at 72nd Street, behind the statue Samuel F. B. Morse, the 19th century American portrait painter who serendipitously – because he was inventive was founder of modern media.
A quiet Thanksgiving Day scene along the Bridle Path in Central Park.
I was a guest of my friend Joy Ingham at her apartment on Fifth Avenue, so there was a treetop view of forest (of sorts) across the avenue. There were sixteen at two tables, including her daughter, her son and his wife, another couple, friendsof Joy’s daughter – in for the weekend from Phoenix; and seven children ranging in age from 2 to 18. 

The traditional menu: Roast turkey, Mashed potatoes, Stringbeans, Pureed turnip. And stuffing. This was preceded by hors d’oeuvres including the Pigs-inna-blanket, Whitefish salad from Sable’s on Second Avenue.

My hostess accommodated her guest’s personal preference for pumpkin pie. Almost everyone else had the Apple. Everything was excellent except for the stuffing. I can say this because Joy herself did not prepare the dinner. She made the choices, and it was otherwise executed by a caterer.

The table was laid out with plates purchased for the occasion from Pottery Barn or something similar. Green. The dessert plates were Orange and in the shape of a pumpkin. Again, for the occasion. There were also favors at each setting including for the littlest one – the same favor. This was new to me although others around the table were familiar with the custom. Among the items was one of those favors where you pull the string and it pops, and usually there’s a fortune saying or a plastic item inside. The centerpiece comprised vegetables that had been lacquered. Or polished, or something.
Everyone watching the action at the children's table. The brown round object in a plastic bag on the lower left corner is a solid piece of milk chocolate in the form of a rabbit from E.A.T., one of the dinner favors.
Thanksgiving is that tradition based on freedom which was later translated into many other “rights.” Specifically, it is not a religious holiday. There is the religious aspect in terms of “freedom” but it is not a day of worship no matter one’s religion. It is a day to be “thankful” for and even without the historical tradition, being thankful, having gratitude has might in a way that benefits all. There is definitely something holy there also, despite the no-religion. For me it’s been the same since the beginning of my life at my family’s dinner table. The feeling remains the same. Some domestic atmospheres are more desirable than others, but it is always best expressed by families around the table together breaking bread. The stuff of angels, even with us in the room.  It was that way at Joy Ingham’s dinner table yesterday afternoon.

Every Thanksgiving for quite a few now, Paige Peterson
has been contributing to our Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage. It is provided by Paige. She also gives a party the night before for her friends to watch the putting together of the parade on Central Park West on the roadway by her building. And she photographs it all for NYSD.

Today’s Diary is carrying some photos from the party, and some photos of the “floats” coming in covered with protective netting. On Monday we’ll have Paige’s coverage of the parade as it got underway.
Laurie and Jeff Everson with Paige Peterson. Imogen Lloyd Webber and Heidi Paige Geist.
Gretl Claggett, Jalena Jampolsky, Jesse Kornbluth, and Christina Haag.
Jeff Sharp with John Josephson and Carolina Zapf.
Carol Delouvrier and Pat Birch Becker with Jeff Sharp.
The three beauties helping with the party: Kirssy Martinez, Karla Ayala, and Krizia Aguiluz.
Lisa Schutz, Greta Weil Conway, and Richard Conway.
Emma Becker with Pat Birch Becker.
Peter Cary Peterson with his cousin Kylee Geist.
Sebastian Cwilich, Peter Brown, Suzanna Touzet, and Sandy Powers.
Peter Brown, Monie Begley, and Imogen Lloyd Webber.
Nick and Joanie McDonell. Georgia Shreve, Ginger Brown, James Knickman, and Wenke B. Thoman.
David Peterson and Susan Cheever.
Christina Haag and Eric Alterman.
Publisher Peter Mayer and Poet Owen Lewis.
Joe and Kylee Geist with Philippe Delouvrier and Devon Geist.
The Geist and Cwilich gang.
And this was the scene later that night on Central Park West and 81st Street ...
 

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