Lessons in Civility, at the Grand Tier Restaurant in Manhattan
When Karen and I were working on content for this month’s theme, I immediately thought of my mom. She taught me the value of buying items that were well made so that they would last. High quality also meant that whatever we bought would do what it was expected to do: the tool would work properly, the furniture would withstand repeated use and the dress would hang gracefully in all the right places. Growing up, we didn’t have extra money to spend on luxuries but my mom was always aspirational.
When I was in high school, my mom took me to New York City a few times and we would get standing-room-only tickets to Broadway musicals. These were the least expensive and meant you’d stand for the entire show. Not very civilized but we were both a lot younger and were just happy to be there. Now, my mother and I meet in New York City every year to attend the American Ballet Theatre’s Opening Gala. And we do it in style.
It’s a very posh event and from the start, my mother decided we would treat ourselves accordingly. Instead of rushing through dinner at an overcrowded, overpriced nearby greasy spoon, we have a leisurely, elegant and luxurious dinner right there at the Met, sitting in the refined but stunning setting of the Grand Tier Restaurant, beneath an enormous original painting by Marc Chagall.
There’s no rushing to get to the theatre. There are no subways to ride or even cabs to hail. Our feet aren’t killing us from running through the city streets in heels. Instead, we’re seated by the large windows where you can see the Lincoln Center fountain, relaxing with champagne and savoring our meal.
For even more civility, we place our coffee and desert order after dinner so that it’s ready for us at intermission. No haggling for a spot at the small bar in the lobby and gulping your drink down before you go back into the theater. It’s an annual treat that I look forward to and feel immensely lucky to experience. And thanks to my mom, at least once I year I feel we are being "Oh So Civilized!"
What’s the most luxurious tradition you have where you feel extremely civilized, taking you out of the everyday, run-around-rut? We’d love to hear about it!