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ChrisHanuKwanSolstice Day dawned clear and dry here on the shores of the Long Island Sound. A good day to make our annual pilgrimmage to the south shore of the Sound, and say our thanks to the great DoG for this wonderful Season of Light.

We drove to our favorite spot on the North Shore of Long Island, about five miles from the manse.

(I called the guy who owns this building, a marble import buisness on a busy main road here on the North Shore of Long Island, the next day. I asked him about this bit of graffitti.)

(“Do you know what that means?” I asked him; “Forgiver Forgetter?” His exact words were, “I haven’t gotten to the bottom of that yet”.)

We arrived on our sweet beach around a quarter to four. Top Cat opened a bottle of champagne, and I tossed bits of pretzel into the air for the sea gulls.

This is a close up of that gull (above), with something in his beak. It’s not one of my pretzels — the gulls here pick up shell fish from the beach,  and fly high so they can drop it onto the rocks and break open [whatever shelled morsel he's trying to eat]:

My pretzels were a minor sensation. they didn’t cause the feeding frenzy that the same tid bits would have caused in Atlantic City. Those gulls are verysavvy about hand outs. All they need is the merest whiff of opportunity, and they dive bomb en masse. And they say animals don’t have culture.

Our Long Island gulls seemed pensive, basking in the rosy glow of the fading daylight. 

They also seemed to enjoy spreading their wings to gather up the heavy golden motes of light that were glowing everywhere.

I know the feeling.

And then we had to contemplate diner. 

Top Cat refused to go to a diner for a nice grilled cheese sandwich. Nope. No way.

Top Cat comes from a long line of Long Islanders for whom nothing but the traditional Chinese dinnerwould do on December 25th, ChrisHanuKwanSolstice Day.

We went to the Jade Garden, a brand new [to us] place within walking distance from our house. I liked the menorah at the bar.  (Fun fact: most people call it a “menorah”, but that just what you call an ordinary candelabra in Hebrew. The one used at Hanukkah has an extra light and is called, in Israel, a” Hanu-kiah”.)

The place was jam packed, as is to be expected on ChrisHanuKwanSolstice. And it was early! Only 5:30! We had to wait 25 minutes for a table. I was OK with that, as I enjoyed the carp etchings on the panes of glass dividing the bar from the dining room.

The giant Santa Sock and the banner that says “Happy Hanukkah”, the lights and the Chinese symbol for — really put me in the ChirsHanuKwanSolstice mood.  

Have a Great New Year’s Eve Weekend, everybody. Thank you all for hanging out with me this past year as I lurched through the final stretch of getting the Damn France Book Le Road Trip ready for the rest of the world. On next Friday’s post I’ll have some new info about the progress of my traveler’s journal of love and France..but for now, Yhese Pictures Make Me Happy.

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