Os Mutantes, Sandy, White House Christmas Party and.... where to spend Christmas?

So many firsts happening this year - saw Madonna a few weeks ago,  Nets vs. Knicks game this week at Barclays Center, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular with my nieces this coming weekend!  While all these things are fantastic, then there are those things which you don't get to see.  I am bummed right now because I am not seeing Os Mutantes and they are playing at Le Poisson Rouge which is only a few subway stops away.  New York has just way too much going on to keep up with.  For those of you who don't live here, I know it sounds like I am rubbing it in your face, but at any point on any given day, some awesome event is happening in NYC that only you would love and dream of doing but will have no knowledge at all it is happening.  Not because you aren't hip or happening, but because it takes too much time to figure it all out.   I find out about things too late or too far in advance and then there are things such as costs and time which of course limit the amount of entertainment I get to see.  I hate feeling like I've missed out, but it is an every day ocurrence here in NYC.  

I have to say that I only recently started listening to Os Mutantes, which is way late in the game since they are a group that started in the 1960's.  Thanks to my friend's toddler daughter (at age 3, I realized she had the best taste in music), some of my hipster music friends, Beck and Jay-Z,  I started paying attention to their Brazilian psychedelic brand of rock n' roll last year.  I know, so not cool. I should have known earlier.  So in case you are behind the times, here is a link to a French TV show performance in the 1960's and a song called A Minha Menina.   Os Mutantes combines sounds of  Spanish dance music, electronica, Ventures style surf guitars, mariachi, bossa nova,  Beatles pop harmonies, American soul music, and random strange pychedelic sounds adding a texture of suspense and surprise at all times.  oooh...see!  Moving on....


Since I wrote last, the NYC area was hit hard by Super Storn Sandy.  I live only a few blocks away from the South Street Seaport which was devastated by the storm and feel very lucky that I got away with only losing power for a week and heat for two weeks.  The internet is still down right now (over 6 weeks now).  So as you know, it was a tale of two cities on the island of Manhattan.  All the lights were out below 34th for an entire week and those above 34th from what I hear were completely unaffected.  The lower part of the city where I live, became almost completely deserted.  At least it seemed that way. I rode my bike uptown on empty streets many days to eat w friends who were charging phones at various charging stations in areas where power existed.   With traffic lights and subways down, it was surreal to ride my bike back home through the complete darkness.  Seriously, I would look to my right and the West Village was pitch black.  I would look to my left and the East Village was pitch black.  In many ways I embraced the moment as one that I perhaps would never experience again.  I am certain that although most New Yorkers were prepared for the storm, we had no idea as to what level of devastation Sandy could bring.  We saw our city paralyzed.  Everyone was frozen.  And although it was beyond awful for so many people, in a positive sense it forced people to stop and perhaps to think about how complex our lives are, how delicate the infrastructure that provides for our communties is,  how rare it is that we spend time together with friends or family,   or perhaps to not think at all.  Obviously there are folks in this area that will feel the effects of Sandy for years to come - Staten Island, Breezy Point, Rockaway Beach, and Coney Island are just some of the areas that were hit extra hard.  The relief effort will be ongoing throughout the year. It is easy to volunteer through NY Cares if you are so inclined. I recommend it. Here is a pic of my friend Hyemi and I as we were helping the American Red Cross the week after the storm hit us.  
                 

(INTERRUPT THE FLOW OF BLOG ENTRY HERE) I fell asleep last night while writing this and woke up this morning to get not one or two but three texts/emails regarding how amazing the Os Mutantes show was last night!  Jeez!  Okay, I am sick now.  (FLOW CONTINUES HERE)

Well, the holiday season is upon us and I am booked for a number of holiday parties within the next two weeks.  I'm not bragging, it's just the NY way of life.  Ooh, that sounded so pretentious.... I guess I am bragging.  Sheesh.   I attended my first holiday party of the year last week.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to join my sister at her Christmas Office Party.  I of course said yes, albeit I would have to ride the Vamoose bus to DC to attend.  My sister is the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the White House and Special Assistant to the President.  I rarely get to go on about her, because she likes it that way. She is humble and keeps a low profile.  But she is without a doubt a badass; a smart, generous, talented, super hard working woman, mother of two, who is beyond deserving of all the successes that have come to her.  I wrote a short post regarding the party on my friend Jason Lam's food blog, Me So Hungry with more details.  The stunning decorations, portrait paintings, food, and champagne were way beyond my expectations.  The best part of the party was that I 
got to spend a wonderful afternoon with my sister, meet her many friends and share in their excitement of working at the White House.  Also the icing on the cake was that I was able to shake the First Lady (only words that came from me were "You're so gorgeous!") and the President's hands at the end of the evening.  I am certain that this will be the most memorable Office Christmas Party that I will have ever attended, however - there was the one a few years back that may be in contention,  yeah friends, you remember the one at Bayard's?!......whew  - you know who you are...we'll leave it at that.   

  

Not sure where I am spending Christmas as of yet.  I have spent almost every Christmas in Nashville, TN, my hometown, but this year Los Angeles, CA is in contention along with NYC.  We'll see!   I hope you all have the happiest of holidays.  

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