new years traditions, and dyker heights

January 2, 2015 |  Category:   holidays life nyc



I’ve always liked New Years Day. What’s not to like? The start of the new, a clean slate, all that stuff. I was blindsided by how tough the holidays were this year. I didn’t really expect it to be that hard and I’m relieved it’s over. As the day wore on yesterday, I felt a weight being lifted after feeling depressed for weeks. So strange! But if that’s how holidays are going to be from now on, at least I know and I’ll brace myself for next year.


This New Year’s Day we made sure to make rice cake soup, a tradition for good luck in the coming year. I admit to being superstitious enough that I feel out of sorts if I don’t have it on New Year’s Day, and I didn’t want to jinx myself this year, superstitions aside. I also realized that upon reflection of last year (which is really hard not to do, despite the desire to look forward and not behind), I felt isolated and lonely. Some of this was circumstantial and of my own doing as a way to cope and grieve, and I don’t know if some of my relationships will ever be the same, but I’m hoping to climb out of this. Despite it all, I woke up this morning feeling pretty okay. Isn’t this what New Year’s Day is for?
We ended our day (and holiday season) with a drive to Dyker Heights to see the crazy Christmas houses. I’ll confess that it was my first time. If we’re in the mood for a show of crazy decorations, we usually go to Queens – less famous for the lights maybe, but equally mind-boggling. I think I was more intrigued by the houses though, since it was my first time in the neighborhood. I walked around with my jaws dropped pretty much the whole time. Clearly the bigger mcMansion-style homes with Roman columns, landscaped yards and outdoor fountains (apparently, if you have money in Dyker Heights, your house has a fountain) are newer than the typical brick rowhouses that define so much of Brooklyn and Queens. These newer homes looked so odd nestled between these semi-attached houses and older turn of the century mansions. It was fascinating; I didn’t feel like I was in Brooklyn at all.
P.S. There’s a new year’s sale on our site.






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  • Sora January 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    So great to see you made dduk guk for the family. I hope it does bring a “fresh slate” and prosperity (not only wealth but good experiences) in the new year. I made some for my kids but only one of them really liked it — oh well, one out of two. Wishing the best for you and your family this year!

    • Jenna January 10, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      I can’t take the credit – Mark made it! Happy new year to you Sora.

  • Diane January 11, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I’m fascinated that there are suburban style houses interspersed between what I think of as classic Brooklyn architecture!
    Happy New Year- I hope that you find this new year brings more relief and healing. I really enjoy your writing and photographs.