Thank God the holidays have not lost their spirit. And, the spirit of Christmas giving while drinking, eating and being entertained is alive and well. With the collapses in the market, the crime on Wall Street and billions and billions of dollars being stolen, not only from individuals, but from non-profit organizations, it is uplifting to see people helping others, being kind, forgiving and generous in the midst of fun parties. Some I made, some I didn't. Regrets, I did not make The Wave Holiday Party, but I was surely there in spirit and wholeheartedly wish them all the best through the holiday season and good health and prosperity through the years to come.
Some of the events in the city I did make were: The reopening of the Gershwin Hotel on East 27 Street off Broadway and Fifth. It is a four star hotel, centrally located in the city and, in these economical times, very reasonable. The rooms are adequate, some accommodating four in a room, some are quite ornate, going back to the days when it was a house of ill repute, (flop house or whore house), so I learned. But, that should have no reflection on what it is today - a legitimate, low price hotel.
At the Boat Show at the Javits Center they had inflatable boats for as little as $600 and some as small as to fit into an apartment closet. Tubes for under $100 and the new Wake Slider ($100) which allows riders to move in and out of wakes. Twiggy, the waterskiing squirrel, performed to the delight of the visitors. New safety devices and the fastest boat on the waters were among the many features.
China ran an elaborate and elegant event at the Grand Hyatt, showing the different regions of China with their spectacular views and interesting history. Air travel is more readily available from New York and California, directly. Hotel rooms are offering reasonable rates.
One of those blustery, rainy nights, Bryant Park was the site of an Alberta, Canada function. (Alberta was one of the favorite TV shows I did.) The people in Canada are so warm and friendly and the Fairmont Hotel is one I highly recommend, not only for its beauty and elegance, but the service is superb. The show was called "Christmas in November" and you can celebrate Christmas a month ahead of time. Go there and see for yourself.
Ever been to the Blue Train Restaurant in Bloomingdales? It is small and intimate, the size of an old train, and has excellent food. Travel Impressions told the agents there that Super Clubs are offering a FREE wedding and all the timings, if a couple books their honeymoon package for seven days.
I don't have much knowledge of Tunisia, but I learned a little about the country at the Tunisia Center where they spoke of the habits and the food and showed us video of their beautiful countryside. Every backyard has Olive trees, and the food is spicy with curries and salads. Coucous is their favorite dish. The country is filled with poverty and in this season of giving they did ask for donations.
The Czech Republic had a lovely party at the Czech Center. The video displayed the beautiful scenery and architecture. Their city of Prague is as vibrant and sparkling as the city of Paris, which is only a two hour flight away.
Right off Times Square is a Senior Center called Woodstock (a residence for the homeless). Cynthia Crane, an award winning cabaret singer, performed for their annual holiday party. During the performance the equipment failed for a few moments, but, after all, it is a Senior Center and sometimes the equipment does not function as it should. But she is a very talented and entertaining singer and we caught her on tape to be aired on TV whenever Dave Fasano, my cameraman, and I finish editing the show. Cynthia was one of the many victims of the Wall Street scandal and just learned she lost her home in NYC that morning. But, the show must go on and she is a true trouper and performed very well. She has a CD of all her holiday songs.
While I was there word got out that Mayor Bloomberg agreed not to shut down the Senior Centers as had been proposed. When you are old and lonely with no monetary means it is nice to see smiling, happy faces this time of year. Thank God for America's kindness and generosity. Hope all your holidays are happy, too, and have a Healthy and Happy New Year. And, I wish my son, James Edouard Matuozzi a Happy Birthday on December 27. With Love.