Wednesday, December 14, 2011

O Tannenbaum!

A classic New York City—particularly Manhattan—sight is the Christmas tree vendor, filling a good third of the sidewalk with his fragrant green wares. Here is a typical scene, right near my apartment, slightly blocking the entrance to a local Duane Reade. Many of these vendors come down from New England and Canada to do their yuletide business. An unusually warm late autumn or, if you will, early winter doesn't set the trees off as well as do snowy pavements. I remember being in Latin America one Christmas and finding their decorated evergreens (a different style, with droopy branches) somewhat incongruous in the semitropical climate.

A typical bit of Christmas New Yorkiana: When asked what I was doing for the Big Day, I told my Italian hairdresser, "Un natale ebreo" ("a Jewish Christmas"). Hip and au courant person that she is, she countered, "Oh, yeah—a movie and Chinese food!" Perfectly correct, of course. We haven't chosen the movie yet, and the food could possibly be Thai or Korean. Last year it was Thai.

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