Today was Easter, a holiday I love actually. I tried to go to hear Gospel music but was thwarted in my attempt by renovations at the church I like to go to. I’m glad the Church is being renovated though, it needs it.
It’s a beautiful historic church in Harlem that I like to go to when I want to hear a sermon. Instead, I made my way to St. John the Divine, another church I am partial to on the West Side. Sometimes when I stand on west 112th street and look west at the rose window on St. John the Divine, I can fantasize that I am having a “gita fuori porta,” a lovely expression for a trip outside of the city, outside of the city walls. The view looks to me like that of a gothic cathedral, like Reims or Rouen.
I love French gothic Cathedrals and have spent many a day looking through them and traveling to see them specifically. To stay with the French theme, a friend and I shared an Easter meal at my local haunt, Picnic. A bistro with delicious but too pricey food. I had a glass of Paul Blanck’s Pinot Blanc. It was bigger and fruitier than I had imagined but delicious nonetheless with lovely acidity and mineral notes. While I stayed in NYC this Easter, these jaunts made me feel like I had been on my own “gita fuori porta.”
I don’t know about you but the last week of the year always seems like summation time. What you’ve done, what you haven’t done, what has changed and what has remained the same. It also tends to bring up all of the Christmases of the past and the memories of those who are no longer with us. I always miss my relatives who are no longer with us but also rejoice with the ones who are. I also marvel at how time flies as my lovely niece and nephew grow bigger and wiser. Soon my beautiful niece will be my fashion consultant to give me a younger look. They are still too young to drink wine though so my adult family members and I get to share whatever we have at the table. We have a family tradition that on Christmas Eve we go to hear Christmas carols at St. John the Divine, a gorgeous cathedral on the West side of New York which cures one’s need to be in Paris, even if only temporarily.
My family always goes to eat at the V&T, a pizza joint in the old fashion sense of the word. Yes, they have other items on their menu but I can’t see eating anything other than pizza at the V&T. My parents have been going there since the 1950s, specially 1955 when my 16 year old Dad went to Columbia University for the first time. Some traditions endure.
So go to the V&T and get the classic Chianti on the menu, Ruffino.
While no longer in a straw basket, it still gives me that same down home feeling. I’m a sucker for tradition and this is one I will be continuing for as long as I can with the family.