Just got home from the City. Yes, New York City.
Wait, Raine. I thought you went to Florida for holiday break.
I DID go to Florida for holiday break. But I took a vacation from my vacation.
My mom’s side of the family, the Jewish side of my bloodline, organized my aunt’s funeral and we flew up on Sunday at 7am to get to the funeral that started at 1pm. From the moment we stepped off the plane, we were going nonstop, meeting cousins and cousins and more cousins, borrowing coats, gloves, ear muffs and other objects that I neglected to bring home to FLORIDA for vacation.
Then we were shepherded to Long Island to the cemetery where my grandmother had been buried to lay my aunt to rest. It was a beautiful service and my cousin presided over it. The menfolk buried her and the congregation slowly froze in the cutting New York wind. But we were all glad to be there and as my cousin Ira said, “If one good thing came of this, it’s that we were all brought together.”
It’s true. I never would’ve met these people, never would’ve known I had half of New York City’s Jewish population in my family tree. I have cousins in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan. Long Island, Great Neck and G-d knows where else. According to my sister, Lil’ Raine, I’ve got quite the accent cooking now. It’s hard when your family is the only family that doesn’t have a New York accent of some sort and you have a tendency to unintentionally mimic. (I.E. Me.)
Anywho, after the funeral we went over to my cousin’s place for a reception and chatted. I saw pictures of my mom at 17, creepy cool, and of my passed aunt and all my relatives who I never had had the chance to meet.
Unfortunately, I’d started to come down with something the night before so by the time the reception was two hours old, my cold had a vicious hold on me and my family took me back to the hotel where I passed out at 6pm.
I woke up seventeen hours later at 11am, but not of my own volition. My sister had to forcibly extricate me from the bed and ready me to go into the City. It took me a while to wake up, but once I realized we were going to Ellen’s Stardust Diner, I was quite amenable to being awake. If you don’t know Ellen’s, you will now. It’s the dream job for a Broadway hopeful; well, at least if a Broadway hopeful can’t seem to get on Broadway. Ellen’s has a singing waitstaff. Yes, you heard me. They SING. And if you were MY waitress, you tap danced.
Basically, the waitstaff sings continuously and they serve you while doing it. SO kickass. They sang stuff from Wicked, Aida, Lion King, some pop tunes and then my waitress, upon my request, busted out “I Got Rhythm” complete with improvised tapping down the aisles. She was da bomb.
My great aunt, who is 81 and you’d never know it, joined us for the meal and then spent the rest of the afternoon/evening/night showing us the town, the lights and the places. I got to see all the places that Se-kyung from Cheongdam-dong Alice would’ve killed to see: Prada, Fendi, Gucci, H&M, Coach, etc. So perty. Now if only I had the money – maybe I should marry PSH…
It was nice to hang with her. My great aunt is my mom’s favorite aunt. She’s so cool. When I’m 81, I wanna be JUST LIKE HER. She actually works because she WANTS to and knows all about the arts and stuff.
We went to bed exhausted but happy and woke up today, Christmas Day, to eat a kosher breakfast at a cute place on Long Island with the family. I got to know my cousins, one of whom studies Korean language and is studying there for a semester in February. She even knows K-drama…well. *squee*
Then we got on a plane and came home. I’ve never been so happy to see Miami in all my 27 years. I still haven’t cried over the whole thing although my family has. It’s just been too much for me, I think. In any case, I will eat Chinese food, decorate my Christmas tree (oh the irony), and enjoy my family tonight.
Merry Christmas all!!!