Thank God we only do this once a year.
On New Year’s Day my sister and I battled our way into Wing Hing, a fabulous Chinese restaurant on Avenue U, to order our holiday dinner.
The place was packed as people lined up for a table or crowded around the front desk to order takeout.
And just when you think the joint couldn’t possibly hold any more bodies, the front door swings open and a family of five comes plowing through.
It’s like Armageddon with dumplings.
My sister bravely made it to the counter while I did my best not to get trampled. Jesus, if I wanted this kind of lunacy I would’ve gone to Times Square a few hours earlier.
This place would make a hell of a reality show and I feel like we should be given t-shirts that say “I Survived New Year’s Day at Wing Hing.”
You need the right attitude to get through this ordeal. I felt my nerves starting to jangle as the body count kept rising, but I did my best to stay calm and polite.
I held the door open for people, wished everyone I met a Happy New Year, and they all wished me the same.
There’s part of me that wonders why we suffer like this, why we put up with the jostling and the aggravation. And then I taste the food…
Wing Hing is the opposite of the chichi Manhattan dining experience, where the painfully hip and the terminally cool line up to consume mediocre food at exorbitant prices. This is great eats at reasonable rates.
And to be honest, I don’t think I’d enjoy the meal as much if it didn’t come with the insanity. It’s all part of being Catholic where you can’t appreciate anything unless it’s accompanied by some pretty serious suffering.
As to what we ate, well, it might be easier ask what we didn’t eat because it feels like we handed over the menu and said “let it ride!”
So another New Year’s Day is in the record books and now the real work begins. I thought the Wing Hing leftovers would last for days but there’s not much left in my refrigerator except a few containers of rice and some asparagus.
See you next year.