Thursday, December 8, 2011

Early Winter Clothes

A last stroll through the streets after closing up my temporary office.  Papers shredded and coffee pot scrubbed clean... a small hillock of sand on the balcony from daily shoe emptying.

I was the fool in the lime green cotton pants and sockless ankles at the baggage claim at Logan Airport, collecting my USDA-inspected-and-stamped luggage. A fast cab ride home and a quick change for an afternoon Christmas party.

The old dames in the grand old house were charming, but let me know with Yankee code words that they had designs on the large ham in the middle of the table in the dining room, and a flicker of the eye made it clear that I was not to stand between them and the carving platter or mustard dish.  How are your grandchildren?  "My family is fine, thank you.  Yes, I saw your husband earlier upstairs at the study bar.  No, I'm not traveling for Christmas.  Cal told me that Chessy had a stroke, I'm sorry to hear it.  Chessy was the beagle?  I'm still sorry to hear it. "

These are the people who throw parties at noon and wear stylish duds until the day they keel over.  The white-haired men in the London bespoke suits that were made before I was born guzzle gin and Scotch, and spend the evening grazing at the candle-lit food table.

A dear old friend in a tweed three-piece spent half an hour decrying the insider trading in Congress and on Wall St. as we stood next to the swinging door to the upstairs wet-pantry where a few caterers were sub-stationed. Just as he said "insider trading" for the 80th time, a young catering server quickly flanked him and whispered "the oysters will be coming up the back stairs in about four minutes."  "Ah... thank you, Courtney" he said and suggested we position ourselves closer to the door from where the platter would likely emerge.   Insider trading indeed.

Pre-dawn breakfast at the only place to get eggs before 6AM on the Boston waterfront.

LL Bean wool sweater in bright red and those warm but crappily made wool socks from Polo.  Back to the reality of winter and hopefully a better shot at the carved ham at tomorrow night's party.  I love this season.


  1. As an outsider who moved to Boston several years ago because of work - with few prior connections in the city - I have been surprisingly unsuccessful at discovering and learning about parties such as you regularly describe on your blog. I suppose I should go strolling up and down Beacon Hill, peeping into lit windows and crashing parties indiscriminately!

  2. I think the operative words in your comment are, "outsider" and "few prior connections" I'm more intrigued by the place to get pre-sunrise eggs.

  3. Best/fastest route is the charity ball circuit, you'll see the same colorful characters from week to week (i.e. well-heeled drunks), and most important they're much easier to crash than a house party (albeit the drinks are more expensive).

    But I agree with Randall, the eggs are the real story here. - JP

  4. The eggs look to be around Haymarket/North End. The first photo has the Holocaust Memorial and the Union Oyster House in it - the second photo, maybe Atlantic Ave with your back to the water?


  5. For pre-6am eggs and toast, I go to Anthony's Waterfront Cafe (on the harbor) or Capital Coffee House on Beacon Hill (across from the state house). Now smoke-free, you'll find them lacking in charm and inexpensive... perfect in my book.

    *Anonymous 7:49: "Clark Rockefeller" tried that already.

    *Randall: Correct.

    *JP: Very true. It is ALWAYS the same stupid cocktail chatter and dumb anecdotes week after week (of which I am perpetually guilty).

    *Patsy: Across from Lewis Wharf... corner of Fleet and Atlantic/Commercial.

  6. Sounds like a great evening among the wobbly wasps. Hope the food was edible!

  7. nice bit of story telling. glad to have you back did you sample the rums of PR while in the Caribbean? or are you strictly a whiskey papa?

  8. *Anon 4:07: Rum? Yes. Enthusiastically! On the rocks or in a Mojito is fine by me. Also, the sangria was in gallon-sized pitchers.


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