Chinese New Year
The Year of the Red Fire Dog
Richard J. Garfunkel
January 29, 2007- Sunday
Well the party is over as the poet as said, and so is the big cleanup. Our third annual Chinese New Year Party is now just a gastronomic history. Of course we have gone out for Chinese New Year feasts in past years but this activity for us has become an annual happening. The day was incredibly mild and that climatic pleasantness made things easy for all. Because it was dry and
the parking limitations of Watch Hill were not a critical problem all worked out decently well with our car-pooling guests. We had our outdoor lanterns lit and, more or less, every one was on time with their assigned goodies. So Linda had it planned well. Every one brought an appetizer or a main dish for eight or a beverage of one type or another. This meant that if Jupiter Fluvius had sent us a winter storm, no one would be too stuck with their own dish.
We had real nice mix that included AB Davis High stalwarts from the class of 1963 Warren Adis, and Mike Rosenlum and their wives Mary and Sandy, and Robin Lyons who was also from Davis, class of 1960. Linda had some of her Barnard friends, Abby Kurnit and her husband Jeff, Debbie Rubin (Barnard 1962) and her steady Stuart, and Leslie Marioka. We had Greenburgh political people and friends, the Town Supervisor Paul Feiner with his wife Sherrie, along with Diona and Ron Koerner who are also tennis buddies. The next contingent were tennis friends from our days at County Tennis in Scarsdale, Herb and Marian Schoen, Sol Haber (his wife was in Florida), Mike and Marci Shapiro, Wally and Ronnie Kopelowitz and Dave Tannenbaum with his friend Barbara. Though we had never met Barbara before, Jon had dated her daughter a few years ago.
We missed some regulars that had scheduling or health issues, but I am sure that they will be back next year. But, including ourselves twenty-five people is a lot for our town house. The house was festooned with Chinese symbols and decorations found in our recent search downtown in Chinatown, We had the famous Chinese historical thriller “Hero” with Jet Li and Maggie Cheung, which tells a tale of how a nameless magistrate defeats three assassins employed to murder the ruler Qin playing on our television set, and we had all three CD players playing Chinese folk music. The atmosphere was “pregnant” with the charm and the art of that ancient culture.
As in past years all gathered in our lower level and started with the appetizers that featured egg and spring rolls, vegetable dumplings, chicken wings, scallion pancakes, baby carrots, sugar peas and Rangoon crab. We were well lubricated with a champagne punch that mixed a bottle of Moet, Brute Imperial (that had been sitting in the house for the Kerry victory party), ginger ale, orange juice, strawberries and white grape Jell-O, along with many bottles of Tsingtao Chinese beer contributed by Mike Shapiro, Chinese wine found by Leslie Marioka on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown, and various other wines and sodas. The AB Davis Class of 1963 contingent finished off a bottle of Saki that had been around since last year’s party.
The main dishes included General Tso’s chicken, shrimp and vegetables, chicken and mushrooms, fried rice, vegetable lo mein, bok choi, carrots with sesame seeds, and various salads all contributed by Abby, Mike and Sandy, Debbie, Wally and Ronnie, Diona, and of course Linda. As with almost any successful party almost everything was consumed.
For dessert we finished off with fruit salad, strawberries, oranges, cookies from Robin Lyons, and Chinese green tea, along with decaf coffee (probably from Brazil.)
So the weather cooperated, the parking worked out, the food and drink were consumed, and everyone felt gastronomically satiated. By 11:10 pm everyone was on their way home and we were left to pick up the pieces. After a number of loads of dishes, the garbage was bagged, the floors were vacuumed and by 12:30 am we were upstairs, tucked in, and watching the end of “Shop Around the Corner” with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. At 1:15 am the film ended with the lovers finally together and it was “lights off.”
So alls well that ends well, and we have eliminated the first of 2006’s New Years happenings. Hopefully the rest of the year will work out as well.