Keeping The Tradition Alive

There’s a Jewish tradition so over-the-top even we make fun of it. The traditional Jewish Christmas is to see a movie and eat Chinese food. Like most traditions there’s a reason. Movies and Chinese restaurants were the only businesses open on Christmas Day.

Some time in the late 50s or early 60s my dad nearly ran out gas heading to Brooklyn over the Kosciusko Bridge. There were no open gas stations in our little village of New York City, NY!

Everything has changed as more-and-more businesses have become part of larger corporations. Don’t get me started. This does irk me.

We headed to Tustin and the AMC Theater in “The District.¹” where “La La Land” is playing. We’d never been to this theater but I was impressed. The concession stand was modern and appealing. There was also a full bar removed from where kids would be standing. Inside, the screen was large, the seats comfortable.

Alas “La La Land” was much less impressive. It’s pretty awful to read rave reviews and then see a movie that’s a dog. Helaine, Stef and I give it a thumbs down.

It’s a tough to follow, disjointed, love story musical. I liked Ryan Gosling as Seb, the jazz obsessed male love interest. He learned piano for this role! They say no hand doubles were used for his playing. Commitment!

I was less impressed with Emma Stone as Nia. She had no spark. There was no magic. I’m a fan, but not this time.

At some point both my child and wife briefly snoozed. Someone likes this movie. Its ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes are high. We don’t understand why.

After the movie it was Chef Chen’s in a shopping plaza with at least ten other Asian restaurants.

We used to have this meal in North Haven, CT. The place would be loaded with other Jewish families. See what’s been hidden from you!

This being Irvine tonight’s Chinese restaurant was mainly filled with Chinese-American families. They can’t find any other place on Christmas Day either.

Even though the movie sucked it was nice to get out with my family and keep tradition alive. Hopefully we’ll do it again next year.

¹ The movie theater complex is in the foreground of the photo. The two immense buildings in the background are WWII era blimp hangars at what was the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. Hangar No. 2 (Building 29) measures 1,072 feet long by 292 feet wide by 192 feet tall. The are constructed of Douglas Fir. It’s tough to overstate how huge they are.

5 thoughts on “Keeping The Tradition Alive”

  1. Go to Norm’s Restaurant on Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach, just off the 405 freeway. They have great food reasonably priced. Maybe open 24 hours. kind of like a Diner, but a bit more upscale than a Diner.

  2. My wife and I were there in that shopping complex a few years ago after her mom died. It was a cold night in early December. She bought a scarf in one of the stores. Outside in the mall there was a huge bonfire. It was a sad time but the warm fire made it a tad less sad.

    Best to you, Geoff!

  3. Smiling to read your post…I’m so glad you were able to go (even if the movie
    was less than awesome). Wishing you a blessed New Year with only good things
    in your future!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *