The most of us, or the fortunate among us, will reemerge from our holiday retreats and pick up where we left off last year. When we do, let’s do so with new eyes, bringing more hope than fear to this new year; not thinking that we made it through, that we endured the last, but that another approaches with unknown potential.
As a child, I passed many of these Eves in Massachusetts with family friends, sledding, ice-skating, and watching the ball drop on a fuzzy black and white TV. When I was twenty, I spent a bone-chilling New Year’s at the one ‘nightclub’ in Longford, Ireland, taken in at night’s end by a kind stranger whom I’d hoped had romance in mind, but who really just wanted to share the novelty of an American visitor with her parents and little sister, all of whom I met in the morning, having slept on the couch. A few years later, I found myself alone, with my bicycle, walking down Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue. When the clock struck twelve, shouts and cries erupted from the surrounding buildings, as I strolled slowly and contentedly home.
For many years now, Julia and I have gathered with our oldest friends, for several days of food, drink, dancing, games, and conversation. This party has moved from Vermont to New Hampshire, Connecticut, and California. It has shrunken and grown, some years with more than twenty at the table, but the gathering always centers on the down time more than the countdown. We dance for ourselves, because it feels good, and for the others, showing off our silliest moves. We laugh a lot, and when the clock strikes twelve, we cue up the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want, our Auld Lang Syne. My hips still feel the flossing I forced on them a fortnight ago, with echoes of Robyn and Carly Rae like sugarplum fairies in my head, and we’ve got another day of lolling away.
Thanks to Daniel, Jessie, Ofri and Brenda for keeping the ship afloat while we recharge, and thank you all for a great 2018 at Oakland Yard. We look forward to an exciting year ahead, and - at the very least - may you all get what you need.
TONIGHT: Thursday Night Flights! BORDEAUX GRAPES: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from France and California - $12 tasting flights from 4 to 8pm.
SATURDAY 1/5: TUSCAN TASTING FLIGHTS - Rosso, Bianco and Rosato - $15 tasting - Flights from 2 to 6pm and wines by the glass until 9pm.
SUNDAY 1/6: FRENCH TASTING FLIGHTS and WINE CLUB PICK UP with special guest TOM SWITZER - $15 tasting: Syrah, Mondeuse, and Jacquere - Flights from 2 to 6 – free tasting for members - and wines by the glass until 8pm.