My God, we’re out of gin!
New Years’ Eve is tricky — it seems to be the most-hated holiday, but you have to do something. Kate suggested that we throw a dinner party in my apartment, undaunted by the fact that my houseware consisted of a single steel spoon. She trucked up plates, silver, and glassware from Philadelphia, and arrived in New York after Christmas with a cat and six silver candlesticks. I, meanwhile, had been in training to try and make an acceptable Cosmopolitan. In the days before New Years, we planned, shopped, scanned Cook’s Illustrated for the empirically best menu, and I racked my brain about how we would seat six people on my single chair.
Here are the elements that were assembled for the party:
- Three tables and six chairs — which I ended up borrowing from Pomodoro, the pizza restaurant downstairs.
- A beef tenderloin from Moe Albanese’s butcher shop on Elizabeth street. Moe’s mother is 99 years old and sits in the window across the way. When you want to get some meat, you stand in front of the door and wait for her to summon Moe, using a combination of yelling, hand signals, and messesngers volunteered from Elizabeth street passers-by. Later, my super Gina told me that I’d picked the wrong butcher. Kate thinks that Gina and Moe’s mother are rival block-lords.
- For dessert, a “buche de noel” — a chocolate Yule log from the French bakery next door. The yule log had two small gnomes with axes and saws planted in the top, working away at several meringue mushrooms.
- Party hats from Abracadabra on 21st street, to try and establish a Peter Arno feeling: One fez, one British bobby, one Roman centurion, one German “Hun” spike-top helmet, two crowns and a Cleopatra rig with a gold asp and matching armband.
- (Also from Abracadabra, two confetti cannons which turned out to be pretty cool.)
- Five party guests, one in white tie(!)
The party seemed to go well — we ate dinner at about 10:00, then rang in the new year on the roof (and littered the street below with star-shaped confetti shot from a cardboard tube.) Afterwards, we went out for drinks.
My friend Genevieve took photos: here they are! I’m very grateful to her, especially as she has immortalized Jonathan Stern as the Stunned Moroccan (#63) herself as the Soulful Centurion (#62), and several photos where Francesco and I look like we’re rushing the Drones club. Thanks, GZF!