Save One Event for “Speciale”

The NYC “automat”

When I was a kid, each year on my birthday, my father packed us all in the car and drove us to NYC for lunch at the “automat”. It was a magical event, with little food displays that I had never seen before. While at home we always ate things like escarole and beans, homemade pasta with tomato sauce that had simmered all day, la minestra, braciole, peaches in wine, zucchini flours, steak appizzaiola, at the automat we could eat “American food” and feel part of the masses! I know what you are saying, and you would be right. What we ate at home was truly  wonderful— today even  considered chic when you order those dishes in a restaurant. . But oh….the yearly trip to the AUTOMAT!

My eyes would buldge as I peaked into the little glass windows, deciding where I should insert my coins. Would it be the mac and cheese? the baked bean casserole? Or what about the open faced roast beef sandwhich with gravy? Would we also get dessert and a beverage? The anticipation  of going to the Automat would build the whole year long. Why? Because it wasnt’ something we ordinarily did, so to me and my sister, it became like another Christmas or Easter, or Thanksgiving. My birthday was magical because I could choose “foreign” foods of my choice, drink in the sights and sounds of the big American city, then talk about it all the way home. That roast beef sandwhich on two slices of spongy white bread seemed like heaven!

If you don’t have an anual event in your life that you can look forward to, now is the time to CREATE ONE!  It might be a long drive to a quaint tourist town, or a visit to a museum that only frequent once per year, or a day at a lake in the far corner of your state. Whatever it is, make sure that you dont’ overdo it, so when you do go, you will appreciate it all the more.

Anticipating a positive event is good for the soul. Don’t wait for the calendar holidays to dictate when your anual special events should be. Invent one that is uniquely yours, and keep your date “same time next year”!


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