Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Well, it's finally spring in New York City! Columbia University put in all their new spring plantings over the weekend, so our block is looking a little greener than before. Everything is so grey in this city to begin with, so every little bit of flora makes a big difference. There are lots of things I miss about not living in a big city (dark nights, quiet, stars, fresh air, etc.) and one of the major things is nature. Not that I want to roll around in the dirt for hours on end, but I miss being able to walk directly outside on grass. Somehow cement and asphalt just don't make me as happy as fresh green grass (even if I have to mow it) and nice flowers. Anyway, here's the view from the corner of 116th and Morningside Drive - this building is lucky to have a "front lawn" of sorts and it is quite nice!
But as I mentioned, today is Easter Sunday. Having now spent many, many years living away from home I've come to conclude that religious holidays are mostly for:
1. People who have family nearby
2. People who have kids
3. People who attend church regularly

Brandon and I fall into none of those categories, sadly. Of course we don't have any kids, so there is no real reason to dye a ton of eggs, and it would be kind of weird for us to hide eggs from each other. Both of our families are thousands of miles away, so we don't have an option of attending brunch with them or eating an Easter ham. Could we go to Easter brunch on our own or make an Easter ham on our own? Of course we could. But those sorts of things are really about sharing the time with your extended family. Not that Brandon and I can't share in the time together too, but seriously... we have no kids, no full-time jobs, and we live in a 400 square foot apartment. We spend plenty of quality time together on a regular basis.

We also don't attend church regularly, and while I was tempted to attend some sort of service this morning, it just didn't feel right. I spent a lot of my childhood secretly loathing the people who came to church just on Easter and Christmas Eve. Plus Brandon and I have never really found a church we liked in New York City (although admittedly we haven't tried that hard). The churches here are a little strange to me. There isn't a Lutheran church in walking distance, and a few of the churches I've tried are influenced by the Baptist tradition which means there is lots of clapping and yelling during the sermon and my proper Calvinist genes can't handle that kind of stuff. Of course there is the beautiful cathedral down the street from us, but it's almost impossible to hear the sermon or to sing together in that large space, and I find it strange that tourists wander about inside during the service. Lastly, there is a cute little Catholic church down the street from us, the Church of Notre Dame.
Yeah, it doesn't really look like a church, does it? More like a government building. And the interior is very interesting. It's made to look like the grotto where somebody saw a vision of Mary or something like that. We've also been to this church, and the priest is from... ummm... somewhere in Europe, maybe Eastern Europe. He's very difficult to understand. Also because I'm not Catholic but the Catholic liturgy is very similar to the ELCA Lutheran liturgy, I tend to get quite confused when we're there and say all the wrong things at the wrong time and cross myself when I don't need to. Also... the kneeling! What's up with the kneeling?!?! And how in the world am I supposed to know when to kneel and how long to kneel? And where do you LOOK when you kneel? It really adds another layer of confusion.
And so Easter Sunday is just another Sunday in April for us. Does it make me sad that we let so many holidays pass by us without even a glance in their direction? Yes. Not because I care particularly about the holidays themselves, but because I know it's largely a product of us being so far from home and lacking the impetus to celebrate these things ourselves. Of course, in fifteen years when I'm sick to death of family brunches and don't want to deal with Brandon Junior getting egg dye all over his sister the day before Easter I'm sure I'll look back on these days with great fondness and think to myself, "If only I could spend Easter Sunday in bed watching Meerkat Manor and eating chocolate." And that's probably what I'm going to do right now. Future Casey approves.


  1. lol, I really wanted to dye eggs this year, but then it was Easter before I realized it (I literally exclaimed to E, "oh hey, today is Easter, isn't it?" like three times yesterday) and I didn't get around to it.

    also, I think it would be AWESOME if you and B hid from each other :D

  2. haha, the last line of that comment should read "hid EGGS from each other," not "hid from each other." that would just be sad ... and kind of difficult in you little apartment!