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    November 30. Susan, Christine and I saw two of three new Italian plays at the Cherry Lane theatre. I actually thought I had booked the third offer which was a Pirandello revival but we were all glad that we did not miss “The Journey I Never made” and “Story of Love and Soccer”. Both excellently translated and powerfully acted. The first is a thought provoking and somewhat unsettling portrayal of the current social turmoil and the second is modern thriller about corrupt sport and the triumph of evil over good. We were able to chat with one of the actors about the plays after the show. Before the show we ate lobster and oysters at the  “Fish” restaurant which was only two blocks from the theatre!

     

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Xmas chez moi and a message from Eileen

By a set of curious chances, daughter, Susan, that most traditional of all Christmas family traditionalists, came with Craig to my place to celebrate Noel this year! It has to be more than thirty years since  I hosted a Christmas Dinner, and then, it would have been under the strict tutelage of Dorothy, my late wife (Susan’s mum). But I was not dismayed. Indeed, I relished the opportunity to repay, in small measure, the care and affection they have lavished on me over the years. And, let it be said, to show that I could still manage to innovate,  surprise and show off a little bit.

On Christmas eve, they arrived at the Waterford a little earlier than I had expected, having driven from York, PA.  When they had settled in, we took the crosstown bus to the west side and then the subway down to Washington Square and popped into Caffe Reggio in McDougal Street for coffee before taking an amble around Washington Square. Susan and Craig took a leisurely walk while I sat on a bench and watched the Village world go round. Caffe Reggio, by the way, sports the same moth-eaten furniture and smoke-obscured paintings that it did fifty years ago when we first enjoyed it’s antique atmosphere. But, now, it is a juppy in-place and the prices, food and atmosphere have changed. Walking and people-watching took us to about 3.30 in the afternoon and it was time to wander over to Bleeker Street in the West Village to the “Fish” restaurant where I had arranged an oyster and lobster brunch/dinner for us all. As it turned out, I was the only one that ate raw oysters so Craig and Susan chose substitutes while I relished my half-dozen Blue points, washed down with a glass of the house red! We all tucked into the lobsters with great gusto though. I had thought that we would finish off the evening in one of the high spots in the village, but we were all so tired out by the day’s activities, that Craig insisted upon calling a cab to take us back to the apartment for an early night!

On Christmas morning, I prepared a Champagne breakfast! The Champagne I poured was Pol Roget in honour of Dorothy. It was her favourite (Largely, I think, because it was the bubbly drunk by Winston Churchill, one of her heros). And, while the bubbles were still popping, I cooked-up eggs, bacon, fried tomatoes and whole-wheat toast to order and  afterwards, served  the coup de maitre;  a fruit compote with a glass of Grand Marnier!

Nicely mellowed, we took a bus down Second to 68th Street and walked from there all the way across the park to Lincoln Center, taking a passing look at the newly opened Tavern-on the-Green while we were at it. At Lincoln Center, I unwrapped the Christmas treat I had in store for them, I took them to The  Big Apple Circus!

Click on the pictures for the greatest detail. Many of them were taken by Susan and Craig on their smart-phones and have already been posted on Facebook: 

 

Champagne breakfast . . .

Champagne breakfast is served . . .

 

 . . . . selfie taken by Craig after breakfast

. . . . selfie taken by Craig after breakfast

 

Intrepid adventurers braving the unknowns of the C line

Intrepid adventurers braving the unknowns of the C line

 

Young tourists in Washington Square

Young tourists in Washington Square

 

Buskers in Washington Square being joined ad lib by a passing mouth-organist!

Buskers in Washington Square being joined ad lib by a passing mouth-organist!

 

Caffe Reggio

Caffe Reggio

 

Fish restaurant

“Fish” restaurant . . . . . .

 

. . . . . lobsters galore!

. . . . . lobsters galore!

 

 . . disappearing bluepoints

. . . .. . disappearing blue points

 

 In to the Big-top . . . . .

Into the Big-top . . . . .

 

 . . . . .

. . . . .

 

The main Ring . . .

The main Ring . . .

 

 . . . . .

. . . . .

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

 . . . . .

. . . . .

 

Fiery mount

Fiery mount

 

. . . not so fiery?

. . . not so fiery?

 

Finale

Finale

 

EILEEN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

Eileen now lives in what she calls “The Shack”. It is, I think, a kind of Granny apartment near her daughter, Sheila’s, house. It is still in Perth, Western Australia, but it must be some way out of town because she tells me that she awakes to the sound of the breakers pounding on the shore. And, that the breeze from the ocean helps with the 104 degree weather the Aussies are suffering at the moment. She called me to say that she feels saddened and somewhat guilty in that she has not been up to sending out greetings cards this year and to ask me to post a message from her to all her family and friends.

     To all my family and friends:  I think of you always and wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Love to you all. Eileen

P.S. Eileen is one of the far-flung Thompson’s. She is the widow of my elder brother, Les. She and most of her family emigrated to Western Australia in the early 1960′ or late 1950’s. She used to send out 80 cards at Christmas time she said!

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Love reading about your adventures in the city and elsewhere. Our son, Michael, his wife and Their two teen daughters were here for the week and happily swam and soaked up the warm Florida sun. Larry says Hello. Enjoy a happy and healthy new year.

    Love, Lenore

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Thank you for sharing, feels like I was with you and family. Apple Circus was a very nice treat. I remember taking my young grandchildren, several years ago.
    Ben, Happy New Year. Will see you soon and we can celebrate New Year a little later.
    Fondly,
    Nereida 🌹

  3. Thank you for a wonderful Christmas Papa. Everything went off so smoothly. I think you have started a new Chritmas tradition.
    Love
    Susan

    • Many thanks for the new pictures–I had completely forgotten that we wound up in the pizza place on Christmas Day! Love, ben

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