Posts Tagged ‘Ruble’

Letter From New York 12 23 14 The Eve of Christmas Eve

December 24, 2014

It is the eve of Christmas Eve and I am freshly back from my friends Lionel and Pierre’s where I had a wonderful Shepherd’s Pie. They will come tomorrow at three for us to exchange presents and then again at 6 for dinner. I am cooking pumpkin soup, a salad of haricot verte, followed by ham, yams, asparagus and other things.

I have spent the whole day shopping for the next three days as I will be cooking for the next three days. I have organized menus and purchased food and prepped as best I can for the Holidaze.

In the background Christmas sounds are playing. I have a couple of presents left to wrap but I’m done. And I’m glad I’m done. It feels good to have organized it all and to have it all [almost all] wrapped and underneath the Christmas tree.

It all feels good. The chatter of all the troubles in the world seems far away.

Who knows the reason the Internet in North Korea went down? Was it a “proportional” response on our part or was it just an accident? I don’t know though I am suspicious.

It might have been the Chinese, who seem to be getting a little annoyed at the North Koreans. Not a good thing – the Chinese are about the only people who actively prop up the North Koreans. Oh, sorry – Putin has invited Kim Jong-un to Russia.

But Putin has his own troubles. The falling price of oil and the collapsing ruble and those pesky sanctions against him are causing a bit of a free fall in the Russian economy.

THE INTERVIEW, the silly movie at the heart of so much controversy, may actually get a limited release in some movie theatres. Something praised by the White House. Congress would like to have some screenings so they can see what all this ruckus is about and they might get it in the New Year.

Outside my window, at the desk where I am writing, Christmas lights burn.

On Friday, I will have a “Boxing Day” party. It’s the day after Christmas and according to some, it was the day the servants got to celebrate in England after having spent the last couple of days dancing on the whims of the Lord and Lady of the Manor.

It was also, according to legend, the day children in England went around with boxes to collect alms for charity.

But, whatever, the day after Christmas is Boxing Day in the Commonwealth countries and I have given many a Boxing Day party and this year will be doing one for about twenty folks, neighbors and friends, a chance to continue the celebration of the Holidays.

I shopped for that too, today. Never in my life has my grocery basket so overflowed! Never have I been so grateful to gather together the elements of celebration. It feels good to be gathering folks to the Cottage for the Holidays.

I love bringing people together at Christmas; it is a natural outgrowth of my upbringing when it seemed that every Christmas our house was full of friends and relatives, celebrating and feasting.

So let us celebrate and feast! Let us sing the songs of Christmas. Let us drink [carefully or take a cab!] and make merry. It is Christmas.

Letter From New York 12 16 14 Life goes on…

December 16, 2014

My life has a certain rhythm these days. I wake. I have coffee. I read the NY Times headlines on my phone. Today, I woke up in the city and did the same.

Last night was a pleasant evening, dinner with my friend Robert at one of our favorite haunts, Thai Market at 107 and Amsterdam. We exchanged Christmas presents. And talked about what was happening in the world.

All day Robert had been wrestling with new computer systems at his office and had not really kept up with what was happening in the world. He knew there was a hostage situation in Sydney but did not know the details and wanted to so I filled him in on what I knew from following events during the day.

We laughed and joked with Cathy, the bartender, who usually only works on Saturday nights now that she is a full time teacher. She is off to Christmas in the Turks and Caicos.

Life goes on, despite any terrible events around us, near at home or far away, we keep on living our lives. As were the people in the Lindt Café in Sydney, just living their lives when Man Haron Morsi came in with a shotgun and held them hostage.

As Robert said last night, you don’t know when something will happen. Life is fragile and tenuous and we are surrounded by a myriad of things that could go fatally wrong on any given day. But we go on living our lives.

While tragedies happened, the State Legislature in New York, made yogurt the “Official State Snack.” I missed that until this morning; it was one of the items in the daily New York briefing that is digitally delivered by the Times. Apparently, it made the State the butt of jokes by David Letterman and others.

Apparently there was a ban on ferrets in New York City. Mayor DeBlasio has taken care of that one.

We have now a law prohibiting people from having their picture taken with big cats. What defines a big cat I wonder?

And I’m delighted to know that sparklers have been legalized in New York State though not in New York City.

While world events were taking place, important laws were being passed here in New York State, including a prohibition on piercing or tattooing your pet. Didn’t even occur to me that anyone would do it but apparently there are those who did. They are now banned.

And while I am sipping my morning coffee in Manhattan, the Taliban has killed over a hundred people, mostly young children, in a raid on a school in Pakistan. The ruble continues to fall, the market is making a bit of a recovery from its swoon over tumbling oil prices, traffic continues to roll through the streets of Manhattan and we’ll have rain this afternoon with temperatures scrapping 50 degrees.

Life moves on.

Rather than hide out in the apartment, I am going to tempt the fates and mosey over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an afternoon in their galleries. Then I will have dinner with my old friend, Mona Tropeano, before rumbling back north to the little cottage on the creek to finish my Christmas cards.

Life goes on.