Anything goes in a traditional Central Park West household: a lavish dessert buffet, an overview of giant balloons ready to soar in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade the next morning, hip New Yorkers of all ages. What about a 12-year-old bartender in a coat and tie who confidently knew the difference between Pinot Noir and Zinfandel (I don’t!)?
August H. (don’t want to get him in trouble by using his real name) handed out business cards. He was a sweet, smart kid. “I’ve been doing this since I was 8,” he told us. His twin sister was the coat-check girl. When I met her she was lying on the bed under a pile of coats, probably being helpful matching the right coat to each partygoer. I never did catch her name; maybe it was Cordelia, which would have appropriately matched her brother’s name.
“We live in the building,” Augie said, as he poured a glass of wine, so there was no shortage of party-helper jobs. I was at an annual party held by a grad school friend of Brook’s, an older woman, well, my age. Great people watching: Young people in old jeans sat on the couch laughing. A perfectly buff middle-aged woman kept nodding her head, watching her silver-haired husband expounding to three or four younger women.
Charlotte, my friend since kindergarten, accompanied Brook, Gian and me to the party. She appreciated the NYC tradition, one that I had never heard of. We watched regular New Yorkers walking through the park below. I imagined them oohing and ahhing at the giant Snoopy, Spiderman and Energizer bunny balloons.
Funny thing, revelers in the posh Central Park West apartment were regular folk too. I didn’t feel out of place. In the bathroom I noticed Trader Joe’s citrus body wash, the same inexpensive kind that I use. Yup, it was a good Thanksgiving. I belonged.