Thursday, April 28, 2016

Springtime and Passover in NYC

Carl Schurz Park, Yorkville, New York City, tulips above and walkway below.

Every year we gather in New York City for Passover. My parents host our Seder, and we all take turns reading from a haggadah that has more English than Hebrew. Our mixed-faith family is also multinational: American, British, Japanese, Italian Canadian and Mexican American. Only a few of us went to Hebrew School, but we all mumble along with enthusiasm, especially in the Dayenu chorus. The week-long holiday celebrates the Jews' escape from slavery in Egypt. In remembrance, we eat matzah, unleavened bread (English spelling of Hebrew varies). On the run in the desert, there was no time for the dough to rise. All the food is symbolic.

Passover is always in springtime, but the timing shifts due to the Hebrew lunar calendar. In my neighborhood park, the cherry trees were in peak bloom. My husband and our kids had to return for school, but I stayed a couple extra days to catch up with friends and art.

There's a wonderful Munch exhibit at the Neue Gallery, including his pastel Scream. Afterwards my parents treated me to a Viennese lunch at Cafe Sabarsky (above). The museum and cafe are inside a gorgeous 5th Avenue mansion overlooking Central Park.

Meanwhile back in Maine, my husband texted me this photo of our backyard. My flight back home Tuesday was cancelled due to the snowstorm! This was unusual for late April, even in Maine.

Given an extra day, I enjoyed a leisurely walk in Central Park.

For gym class in high school, I used to jog around the reservoir with my friend Cathy, who now runs Main Point Books in Pennsylvania. Another friend of ours is a librarian at a Harlem high school. We love talking books, and they use my recommendations to restock their shelves. My librarian friend was especially grateful for my Gay YA Romances post, since those are the books that go missing. Her students love romances and dystopia so I promised to keep an eye out for diverse YA in those genres.

For my last lunch, I had matzah ball soup at The Mansion, our local diner which has been there longer than my parents can remember. On the windows were both Passover and Easter decorations. I felt right at home.

Now back in Maine, I found my forsythia blooming over melting snow. Locals call spring snow "poor man's fertilizer." This transplanted New Yorker is feeling inspired.


Anonymous said...

Here's to a blossoming!

E Wein said...

We had the same spring snow last night - my forsythia equally assaulted. But it had all melted by morning so I don't have any pictures. Snow in Eastern Scotland is always very wet and slushy!

Sarah Laurence said...

Charlotte, and Cote’s has reopened! Spring has come at last.

Elizabeth, I wouldn’t have guessed that spring would be so similar in Scotland and Maine. Luckily forsythia is a hardy plant. It’s nice to see you back to posting; I’ve missed your blog. I’m looking forward to your next book too!

Haddock said...

I would one day like to have a Viennese lunch in that Cafe. Everything looks so perfect there and time stands still.

A Cuban In London said...

Beautiful post. I have never been to a Passover meal. It's one of those traditions I would like to experience. great photos.

Greetings from London.

Petra Pavlátková said...

Central Park looks great in your photos, Sarah, and the colourful tulips seem so joyful. We also had some unusually late snow here and many frosty mornings.
It's wonderful that your multinational mixed-faith family is willing to gather and celebrate together!

thecuecard said...

Beautiful photos as usual. I hope spring has hit Maine now. Thanks for the tour!

Donna said...

I enjoy reading about your trips to New York. It is one of my favorite cities and I daydream about living there! You're fortunate to have grown up there.

Sarah Laurence said...

Haddock, I'm getting hungry just remembering. It is a timeless place, both in decor and menu.

ACIL, I wish you lived close enough to invite over!

Petra & cue, it's finally warm and springlike in Maine. Maybe it's time to move my skis to the basement.

Donna, yes, NYC is a fun place to call home, or at least, home away from home. I'm more of a Mainer now, but people here think of me as a New Yorker. I walk and talk too fast.