Dear Travellati friends,
I hope you had an enjoyable New Year’s Eve and wish you all the best for 2017!
New Year’s is celebrated with different traditions around the world. My friend Eric in France went for a nice little dip in the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day, followed by hot wine and brioches. Apparently the first bathe of the year is a ritual for people of all ages who live near the sea. He also hosted a Réveillon dinner on New Year’s Eve which consisted of such delicacies as oysters, foie gras, lobster, champagne, and a 1943 Bordeaux!
In New York City, there is of course the dropping of the ball at Times Square but even after 45 years in the area, I have never attended it – I’m not crazy about crowds. Instead, I went to a private themed party, of which there are many in New York. This one had “Parisian Follies” as a theme, so we were encouraged to dress in the style of the 1890s to the 1920s. It was held in an appropriately rococo wedding palace in Brooklyn.
My friend Ulrike in Berlin reports that on New Year’s Eve, people go to “Silvester” parties to dance and sing, have punch, sparkling wine or even maybe champagne. There are fireworks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the only two days of the year when it is allowed, but in 2016 there was some public discussion on whether this money could be better spent on other projects for the public good.
Marzipan or chocolate goodies shaped like chimneysweeps, pigs, four-leaf clovers, and dice are used to decorate the home to bring luck. And on the morning of January 1, they have a big sweet pretzel for breakfast, also said to bring luck – or perhaps it’s a hangover cure?
And now it’s time to look forward to a great 2017 and make our travel plans to new exotic destinations or comforting familiar ones. It’s your choice! Looking forward to a trip is half the fun of it, say psychologists, but I knew that already. So now's the time to start planning your 2017 escape or escapade.
To help you along, please join us on Saturday, January 28, at the New York Times Travel Show, where I will be answering questions about Hemingway’s Paris and Bowie’s Berlin from 1:00-1:45. Contact me for discount tickets and we can plan to meet up in person!
Reserve your room now for our Papa’s Paris Tour, set to start on June 17 from our lovely hotel in the heart of Paris’s ancient and romantic Latin Quarter, right across from Hemingway’s former apartment. We will take a leisurely week-long stroll back in time as we encounter Papa himself, Gertrude Stein, and the F. Scott Fitzgeralds. Have something to look forward to during these long winter nights!
Happy New Year!