The other day while walking my dogs in New York City, I passed a building on 72nd Street where a restaurant used to be. It is gone now. The memories remain.
La Bourgogne was on the first floor of an apartment building. It was a charming French restaurant of the old school. White linens table clothes and napkins, candles, delicate china, flowers and heavy silver. Carpet on the floor, conversations hushed, the waiters in uniform. It was luxurious and expensive but we, my children and I, celebrated there for many years, a Christmas eve treat and tradition.
Following the usual holiday rush, last minute shopping, present wrapping, we breathed a collective sigh, took a shower and dressed to enjoy a late supper before midnight mass. I remember the warmth and subdued elegance of the room. Our mood was enhanced by the promise of Christmas day and our family dined quietly together. The food was delicious, the tempo relaxed, the day was over and we were at peace. What better way to move into the holiday?
Susie Clayton has a distinct memory of place. Her’s is the Red Rooster on Route 22, a familiar sight to any of us who drive to New York. For the few who do not know, this roadside joint serves burgers, fries and the most delicious milkshakes.
Many years ago Susie commuted to New York, her young daughter in tow, for her cancer treatments at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. The Rooster is where they stopped to eat en route. Susie returns there with her family on special occasions for the food perhaps but more as a testament to their shared adventure and the eventual success of her treatments.
Kathryn Boughton planned to celebrate her 50th anniversary and was drawn to the restaurant where she had celebrated post wedding so many years ago. The bride and groom left the wedding reception at her family home with all the usual fanfare, with cans behind the car. Instead of leaving for their honeymoon, the couple wanted to connect with younger family and friends, many of whom had traveled miles to attend the ceremony.
After a quiet cup of coffee together at a diner, the couple joined their guests at a ski resort lounge at the base of a mountain in Hillsdale NY (now the Swiss Hutte). There they visited until closing at 1AM. It made perfect sense that she would return on her signature anniversary, return to the Swiss Hutte where her married life began.
Memories are powerful. Places rest gently in our mind. Memories and place together seem to stamp themselves indelibly in our consciousness.
We at BerkshireStyle have shared some memories of place. Now what is your most cherished?