What did we order? My appetizer was sausage and clams in a spicy tomato sauce, an intriguing combination (the chef said it was a Portuguese influence), my brother Michael's appetizer was a pork barbecue strudel -- much much yummier than you might think. Dad's main course was pan roasted chicken braised in a red wine and mushroom sauce. Mom had blackened white tuna. Michael and I had crayfish etouffe. Because of the neighborhood and presumably reasonable rent, these amazing generous entrees of fresh quality expensive ingredients were all about $16 each. Is this the New Jersey in which I grew up?
Well no, because the other night, in New Jersey -- in Newark -- I went to see a production of Evita in which the charming mrdreamjeans was a member of the ensemble. This was an lj outing, organized by bearfuz. After the show I went out with seven handsome bearded men, all with livejournal accounts. I'd met none of the company in the, er, flesh before that night, although most of them were friends of friends, and yet it was a fine and happy time and I hope to see them all again. The evening merits an entry of its own, replete with enticing descriptions of the charms of my companions, but that will wait for another day. Tonight it's my fast summary, with a point of: Is this the New Jersey of my youth? Oh, but I asked that already.
Before heading to Newark for the show I had spent the afternoon with bconn in New York City itself, where neither of us had to get anywhere we couldn't walk (fortunately). At my insistence, we went to the Museum of Folk Art because there was an exhibit on "obsessive art" -- My People! Then we went next door to the Museum of Modern Art where we talked and talked and admired Picasso and saw more than we had time to take in.
After that whirlwind day in the Big Apple I've been resting in New Jersey, where my brother David and his family came down for a day's visit and I played many a game with my nephews Sam and Gideon. We had a party for Sam, who will turn five on Christmas day, and Gideon (not yet two) and I laughed and laughed and laughed and talked about trucks.
Now comes a few Xmas events, then another trip back to NYC, then home to Minnesota.