Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Different From All Other Days

One thing I haven't gotten used to yet about living in Minnesota is how quickly fall comes on. Right now when I look out the window I see leaves covering my yard and many trees past their peak color-wise. The first week of October here looks more like November back home. Halloween looks like Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving looks like Christmas... well, you get the idea.

My daughter's school is in a town with a large Orthodox Jewish community. Yesterday when I was driving her to school I noticed a number of families- well, fathers and sons- all dressed up and walking to synagogue. Hm, I said to myself, glancing at the half naked trees. Must be Sukkot already.

Then I did the seasaonal recalculations, and realized it was too early for Sukkot. It was Yom Kippur. I had almost missed it.

You may not think Irish Catholics would take much notice of the Day of Atonement. But this is not the case, at least not where I come from. Long Islanders of all stripes take Yom Kippur very seriously.

Half of them, of course, head for the synagogue and fast until sundown. The other half take their one chance of the whole year to say, Screw the buses, baby, I'm DRIVING in to the city! And when I get there, I'm gonna park-- ON THE STREET!

We do this all day. We park, and park, and park again. We take pictures of our more spectacular hits, like the choicest midtown spots. It's a wild and crazy day. By the time it's over we are giddy with the sense of victory.

Then the sun goes down and everyone's done atoning and we drive back home . But the thrills aren't over yet. We look up the restaurants we want to try out next year, the ones we bridge-and-tunnel types can never get in to -- except on the one night when no one else is eating. We pick up the phone and make our reservations.

Next year, in The Russian Tearoom!


causa nostra laetitiae said...

I know the feeling! I live on Long Island and didn't go to the city, but I enjoyed the open road in Western Suffolk, where I often get frustrated by traffic. I wished my Jewish friends a good day of atonement, and enjoyed driving on LI.

Anonymous said...

Photos, we need photos. We want to see if you're hot.