Tuesday, October 10, 2017
excess of seasons
New Yorkers, at least the ones who mattered, or thought they mattered, knew The Season had begun with the staging of Faust at the opera house.
Or so Edith Wharton told us.
If she had taken her refined ways to Melaque, she would have been hard pressed to find a single Mephistopholes or Marguerite. Well, at least, a Marguerite. We may not stage operas, but our Season certainly has started in our little villages. The Northern Tourist Season, that is.
I mentioned in the eye of the storm that Canadian Thanksgiving usually kicks off our social scene.
It is no accident that Canadian Thanksgiving would be the harbinger of things northern. Most northerners here are Canadian. And the first Monday in October is a good indicator when they start arriving.
I have heard estimates that 90 to 80 percent of northern visitors are Canadians. The number seems far too high. But, there is no arguing that the Canadian contingent outnumbers the American.
There were two dueling Canadian Thanksgivings last night. Almost, as if the Roosevelts had taken on the Vanderbilts. One in Barra de Navidad at Señor Froy's. The other at Papa Gallo's on the beach in San Patricio. I was at Papa Gallo's.
I am always impressed with these dinners. Probably because I have created and cooked enough of them to know that results are not always commensurate with effort.
But everything at Papa Gallo's was just right last night. The decorations were understated, and complemented the restaurant's natural setting.
And the food? Pleasant and plenty. What better compliment could a Thanksgiving dinner expect?
Those of you who know me are aware my personality regularly shifts between "pained introvert" and "Hey! Kids! Let's revive French farce." Last night, The Entertainer showed up.
That made the evening quite enjoyable. For me. I cannot build windows into men's funny bones. The rest will have to speak for themselves.
There is something a bit imperialistic, as my friend Doug would say, about these events. Celebrating home holidays on foreign soil. Like celebrating the Queen's Birthday at the British embassy in New Delhi.
But, I suspect, it is just as innocent as trying to take the boy out of his country, only to discover you cannot take the desire to remake the world out of the boy. Even though Rudyard Kipling and Mother Teresa would most likely have felt equally comfortable at our dinner. Which, I guess, is just another way of saying not.
Because I often forget which play I am in and which role I should be playing in life (the very premise that made The Actor's Nightmare such a hit), I started donning my white tie costume yesterday as if I were heading to the opera house.
Good sense prevailed while I was adjusting my waistcoat. Well, good sense and a steady stream of sweat. I switched to far cooler -- in every sense of the word -- apparel.
My white tie is not even accompanying me on my cruise. It will have to wait for Christmas or New Year's Eve dinner to get itself out of the closet.
And that will be the start of a completely different season.