Holiday Time in New York


We’re back in the Big Apple and for us Floridians (guess we’ve become that), it’s cold. But so far no snow predicted, only some warm rain over the next few days. We’re eating at old and new restaurants and while the lure of the West Village is strong, we are working to get to know the Carnegie Hill neighborhood where we’re staying.

We haven’t yet been down to see the Rockefeller Center big tree, but are enjoying the Park Avenue mall of lighted Christmas trees, cold winter-white hanging stars and light-wrapped trees on Madison, and holiday-themed store windows.  It’s a magical time to be in this city—made even more so by the presence of two delightful granddaughters.

While some of these movies are playing at home too, we like seeing films in New York.

Call Me by Your Name. This is a beautiful film and a sensitively drawn portrayal of an intense relationship, sexual, between a 17-year old youth and his father’s visiting scholar. It is summer in Italy and life moves at a lethargic pace with time for reading, reflecting, dining al fresco, and swimming in the river. Elio is lost and overwhelmed by his conflicting sexual desires. Oliver is attracted to Elio and makes a subtle overture, but waits for Elio to reveal himself. The film is leisurely in its pacing, and the relationship slowly unfolds as summer reaches its peak. Timothee Chalamet is superb as the youth and Armie Hammer as Oliver also very good.

Many Upper East Side restaurants are traditional Italian or the expected Continental farm to table serving kale salad, organic chicken, avocado toast, and steak frites or braised short ribs. Paola’s on Madison has a buzzy vibe with seating at the bar, near the bar, and along the front windows where it might be a tad quieter. The endive salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola was a tasty rendition of this dish and the agnolotti with veal and spinach in a veal stock reduction with black truffles simply superb. Rigatoni with spicy sausage and porcini mushrooms was equally good. Despite the crowded dining room the night we were there, the service was efficient and done with style.

Note:  All photos ©JWFarrington (some rights reserved).

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