The Celebration Of New York City Essay

The Celebration Of New York City Essay

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With all the traditions that come with this time of year, there is one in particular that my friends and I have not celebrated since we started having kids and the holidays became all about them (thanks for ruining Christmas, kids). Every year, after the tree in Rockefeller Center went up, we would gather as many of us as we could and we 'd venture into New York City. Some years we had as many as forty people. Friends of friends added to the crowd. Our tradition was to first go down to Greenwich Village for a few drinks then uptown to Rockefeller Center and see the tree, fighting the crowds all the way there. Afterwards we would cross over 5th avenue and go into St. Patrick 's Cathedral for the pageantry that was Christmas.
That was the plan each year. It didn 't always work out that way.
It was December, 1990, and just about five months since the birth of my daughter, Amanda. It was also my wife Arlene 's birthday. She had not been out since the baby was born so this year we had a particularly large group to see the tree. A lot of her friends from work who normally were not part of this ensemble tagged along to celebrate her birthday and her re-emergence to the party scene. She was sorely missed by them, and in a little while you 'll see why.
There is a dive bar in the village called The Grassroots that was always our first stop on these excursions. It is three steps down from the sidewalk and when you walked in you noticed how low the tin-type ceiling was and that there was a phone booth by the entrance straight out of a nineteen-forty film noir. There was a mirror that ran the length of the bar and our doppelgangers marched along side of us as we headed to the back of the room. We quickly filled the place. Shortl...


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...ombie. I guided her over to a spot on the sidewalk and sat her down. Almost immediately a police officer came over and told me, "You can 't leave her there". I admit I hadn 't planned on leaving her there but in hindsight maybe I should have. I 'm sure someone would have found her and given her a happy home.
I pulled Arlene to her feet, but she was useless; her legs were rubber bands. I hoisted her over my shoulder and carried her through the streets. Needless to say we didn 't see the tree that year. The tradition changed after that. Going forward it was 'see the tree ' first then 'haul your drunken spouse on your shoulder ' afterward.
I haven 't been back to see the tree in quite a few years. It doesn 't really matter, though, because I probably don 't have the upper body strength anymore to carry someone through the streets of New York.

Merry Christmas.

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