Monday, April 13, 2009

In Your Easter Bonnet, With All The Frills Upon It

A little bit of our Easter decor!

How was everyone's Easter weekend? We had a wonderful time. Our Easter observance really began on Thursday with Maundy Thursday service, then Good Friday service on Friday. We've been going to a Lutheran church not too far from our apartment, right along Central Park West. The Good Friday tenebrae service is always one of my top two favorite church services of the year, and this year didn't disappoint. It was really beautiful. The hymn "Were You There" gets me every time.

And after church both days, Eric and I went out to dinner together. It's not like us to eat out two nights in a row, but we were just enjoying being out of the house together so much we didn't want to go right back home after church. We tried two new local places, one Italian and one Mexican, and both were tasty. We almost had a disaster at the Mexican restaurant though - the paper lining the basket for our chips (and salsa) caught fire in the little candle on the table! It went up in flames and I dumped my whole glass of water on it to put it out. We ended up needing Eric's water on it too. Then we had a soggy table. Embarrassing and messy! Such adventures.

Anyway, I digress. Our Easter celebration continued on Saturday night. We watched a good bit of "The Ten Commandments" on TV, and then put in "Jesus Christ Superstar," one of my favorites. We dyed our Easter eggs while we watched that. They turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself!

Hard at work

Handsome husband. I love that he dyes eggs with me!

Achilles helping. He's not one to ever be left out of any fun, if he can help it.

Ta-da! Fancy, yes?

For Easter Sunday, we had a very average Easter day planned: church in the morning, then dinner together. Nothing out of the ordinary. So, we got up and went to church. I was grumbling the whole time I was getting ready about the weather. It was finally sunny, but the temperature was still in the low 40s and it was VERY windy, so it felt like it was in the 30s. That meant no cute little Easter dress for me, and I LOVE Easter dresses. So, bummer.

Our Eastery family

The church service was lovely, and the church was decorated beautifully. I love the celebration of the Easter Sunday service - the lillies, horns, the hymns, the "He is Risen! Christ is Risen, indeed!" exchanges. I know I've discussed this before, but that always makes me think of my Pastor grandfather getting the congregation all fired up on Easter Sunday. He was great at it!

Our church: Trinity Lutheran

The inside of the church decorated for Easter. Isn't it beautiful?

After church we decided to walk over towards the East side. When Eric was walking to work last week, he saw that they were planting all kinds of spring flowers on the Promenade at Rockefeller Center, and we wanted to make our way over there to take some pictures. We decided to cut through Central Park on our way to see some of the blossoming trees. I wouldn't have minded if the weather was a little warmer for our walk, but it was still beautiful!

Easter bunny bush in front of Tavern on the Green

I spy cherry blossoms!

Fun with blossoms

Pretty trees, with NYC skyline behind them. Central Park is so cool.

Eric and the City

Pulitzer Fountain, in front of the Plaza Hotel at the SE corner of the Park

When we made it out of the Park and onto Fifth Avenue, we realized that we had stumbled upon a long-standing New York Easter tradition that we had not known about: the New York Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival. Now, we tend to try to stay on top of the NY goings-on, and it's not often that something like this slips by under our radar. I'm not sure how it happened this time, but needless to say I'm so glad we decided to walk over to Rockefeller Center because otherwise we would have missed some Easter bonnet craziness.

Apparently the Easter Parade dates back to the 1800s, when the New York City social elite would attend church at one Fifth Avenue churches, then parade down Fifth afterwards to show off their Easter finery. The less well-to-do folks would come to see what the latest fashions were. This tradition even inspired a song by Irving Berlin entitled "Easter Pardade," the lyrics of which provided me with my post title today. If you are interested in watching Judy Garland and Fred Astaire sing this song, click here.

A photo of the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, from around 1900

These days, the parade isn't so much a chance to show off your legitimate fashion sense as much as it is a springtime Halloween. The parade isn't really much of a parade at all - rather, they just block off about 8 blocks along Fifth Avenue and people mill about during the day. Some people wear outrageous hats and outfits, and others (like us!) just stop by to gawk and take photos. The hats were so amazing! I can't even describe them. I just kept thinking to myself, "Wow! Even EASTER is New Yorky in New York!" Hopefully the pictures below will give you an idea of the madness.

Sea of people on Fifth Avenue

Quite the Easter bonnets!

A walking cake

A crazily-costumed man, who is carrying a dog with pastel-dyed fur

One of several Easter bunnies we saw

Political statement bonnets

The Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building (complete with King Kong at the top), and Chrysler Building bonnets, all made out of subway cards!

An interesting couple in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral

You might wonder, which crazy Easter person was my favorite? Well, let me show you. It was Bunny Shrub Man:

Yes, that's a real person in there, under all that leafy bunny-ness. See? Here is walking down the street with his flower pot friend:

I know I posted a photo of a bunny shrub from Tavern on the Green earlier, and I was afraid all these bunny bushes might get confusing. So I made this handy diagram so there's no confusion:

And yes, next year I do plan to have a hat. I think I will make it myself and it will be throwing up spring all over itself. I can hardly wait. And I plan to bring Achilles with me, in his Easter bunny ears. It will be a sensation!

We did finally make it over to Rockefeller Center, which was beautiful, although very crowded, as one might expect. We took a few pictures then made our way home. Our nice Easter morning walk had been so much more than we had expected!

Looking down the Promenade towards Rockefeller Center

Gorgeous flowers


Easter lily

When we got home we started the afternoon off by torturing the dog. You all saw last year's picture of him in his bunny ears, but we decided to take a 2009 version. HE HATED IT. Poor thing, it really was torture. Don't feel too bad for him, though. He was treated to an Einstein Brothers doggie bagel (his favorite treat) afterwards, so life was good in his eyes.

I'm cracking up in this picture, obviously. But pay no attention to me - please look at the dog's face. He's so WIDE-EYED! Poor thing. We've never seen him make that face before!

This is one of the reasons I'm cracking up in the previous picture. As you may have noticed, Achilles' REAL ears are rather large as it is, so when you cover them with bunny ears, the real ears have to go somewhere. And they're so big they stick out the bottom of the hat!

He is plotting our demise, and wishing you a Happy easter all at the same time.

Was it all worth it for this doggie bagel?

For dinner we made a pork tenderloin (a first for me), hash brown potato casserole (a classic favorite), and peas, with dark chocolate cake for dessert. Everything was delicious!

Making the potato casserole

Eric making the cake

Dinner is served!

We spent the rest of the afternoon making phone calls to family, relaxing, and watching a movie together. A nice, quiet end to a wonderful weekend!

The usual Holiday Empire State Building shot - it was yellow, pink and green for Easter!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well!


Mrs. R said...

happy easter. i loved your easter outfit. very cute.

Lucia said...

The Easter Parade looks even more fun than I thought it would be! I love that movie...I own it on DVD of course :)

And I love the song Were You There as well.

Achilles is too cute!