Christmas Merrymaking

u.e.s., new york

On Tuesday of last week, I got this invitation in the mail from The Brothers Clark.

The Brothers Clark, who are these fine gentlemen, I wondered?

From the tone of their invite, I imaged a set something like the Mast Brothers, strikingly stylish and certainly suave entertainers. I set my calendar with the inscribed details: a Recession Reception in their finely appointed Upper East Side Apartment; attire of the black tie variety, "though we highly encourage you to explore your own variation of this theme, pocket watches, monocles, power ties, Park Avenue gold digger get ups and anything that says I couldn't care less about my neighbor's foreclosure."

And then it came to me, these are the devilish brothers, Frankie and Johnny, youngest of a brood of Clarks that began with my friend Katie, and worked its way through the Irish name book {Mary Katherine, Kelly Frances, and so on} until all six were birthed and baptised accordingly.

In past years, the Clarks have gathered in a wing of the Waldorf Astoria with Grandfather Clark {aka, Big Al} presiding over the bar, and opened their doors for friends one and all to join their festivities. After a few holiday cocktails, we would ensemble on foot to one of the city's fine steak houses and animate three or four table with raucous Irish cheer. On one such occasion, I found myself at the infamous Sparks, and as I followed my hosts through a doorway made narrow by rows of Paddys, I heard a priest call out every Clark by name, blessing us each in the sign of the cross as we crossed his path.

The Brothers Clark Recession Reception, in their post-collegiately appointed east midtown apartment, was a different variety of family fun {no 22-ounce steaks, creamed spinach or mashed poetaytoes, as ordered by the family patriarch; no blessings from the family priest} marking our time and age as our own. But as any clever hosts knows, when one is serving merriment with whit and charm, one needn't pomp and circumstance.


1 comment:

Stacey said...

David has been taking 1930's Depression pre-code movies out from the library. For attire suggestions I highly recommend Goldiggers of 1933. The opening dresses (made of coins!) would be a hit =)

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Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.