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Christmas time in the city

December 8, 2013

It is not news that New York is a nice place to be during the holiday season. They know how to do it up right and it’s not too cold, so you can actually get out and enjoy it. I’ve always loved Manhattan at Christmas and am looking forward to a stroll up Fifth Avenue to look at the windows and a visit to Rockefeller Center to see the tree But I also really love Brooklyn at this time of year, not the least of which because I don’t have to get on the subway to get there.

Down the street, the man who put up an elaborately lit Christmas tree made out of wine bottles on the front of his brownstone last year is right this very minute hanging a vintage bicycle out of his second story window, all woven with lights and greenery with patterns of stars in the spokes. When he is done, I will try to take a picture, but right now, he looks as if the very last thing he wants is an audience.

The streets of my neighborhood are a little busier now. People dressed up and heading to parties or out to dinner with friends. Mr. Spy and I wandered around last night after dropping off AJ at a sleepover.

Overheard on the street:
* “It’s so well written. The prose is luscious!”
* “I fucking hate fucking Christmas!”
* “I really can’t handle three women again.”

We all got problems, dude.

There is also a lot of music.

There was a quartet singing Handel in the park near the middle school, good enough for the operatic stage. And absolutely no one was listening. Maybe because there was a stellar jazz trio down the street playing inside the hat shop, where a Prohibition party was in full swing. There was punch and people in Prohibition-era dress and many excellent hats.

We stopped in a cheery looking bar where the red-bearded bartender served us bourbon and pulled pork while the speakers played Fleet Foxes and the Shins and talked about going home to Georgia for Christmas.

At the stationery store, underneath one of the snowflake lights that line the street, I found Christmas crackers where the prizes were all mustaches and listened to Ella Fitzgerald singing Jingle Bells.

We avoided the butcher shop, which was advertising on its chalkboard outside a sale on “Reindeer Steaks.”

The cheese shop was playing Neutral Milk Hotel. I bought aged gouda and very small pickles, made in house.

Today it will snow, but tomorrow it will melt. It’s a good day to stay in and make soup and eat cheese and cornichons. It’s also a good day to go out and find a Christmas tree. It’s a toss up which one will win out.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 9, 2013 3:07 pm

    I think living where you do must be a little like trying to see everything in an art museum in one day. After a couple of rooms full of wonders, you stop gaping and thinking everything is extraordinary–you get a little glazed over and start strolling past masterpiece after masterpiece like you’re used to it–which you kind of are. Thus, the Handel with no listeners you could see.

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