It’s no secret I love the movies “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Autumn in New York”. So when my bunco group set the yearly schedule for hosting, I chose October with the dual theme.
My group has twelve players; we each host just once a year. We play for prizes, and contribute to a Loser Basket: each player contributes a minor prize based on that month’s theme and the player with the most losses that night wins.
For dinner, I decided to serve a Hot Dog Bar, complete with plastic serving baskets and condiment bottles. I offered up Ball Park All Beef franks and Johnsonville Brats.
And since not everyone enjoys eating the same dog, there were plenty of toppings to choose from, so no two dogs would be the same: chili, cheese, saurkraut, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, onion, dill relish, sweet relish, pickle slices, mayo, Miracle Whip… and two kinds of buns.
It was fun to decorate the house in a way that incorporated Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Autumn, and New York City. My spare room has a Woodsy-Park feel to it which made it the natural choice to be themed as Central Park, complete with old speakers playing instrumental hits such as The Golden Strings’ “Autumn Leaves”. I had “Central Park Pralines” fragrance in the air (a great Scentsy product from my friend/consultant Ella!).
The coffee table in the living room became “Times Square” with the lights turned up and the computer music blaring. To the side, my breakfast nook was fashioned after Broadway with another speaker. (I had wanted to place old LP album covers around, but didn’t get to that task).
Each table was covered with an autumn-leaf plastic table cloth I found at a local party goods store. The snacks were, of course, Cracker Jacks (remember the scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when Paul found the ring in the snack box?). And a little yellow taxi-cab themed pen helped with the score sheets. My daughter designed the score sheets, and we printed them out on blue paper to mimic the beauty of Tiffany’s.
We sat at the tables, enjoying the company and ambiance. This is the one time each month the 12 of us get together. My friend Amber substituted for Julie, who couldn’t make it (her son Ethan was at hockey practice… he’s gonna be a star someday!).
Dinner was a hit! The dogs in their baskets with choice upon choice of condiments and toppings. Autumn Leaves coffee (a light cinnamon-y yet almost earthy taste, quite mild and delicious!); iced tea; and a plethora of sodas. I bought a large box of assorted Frito-Lay chips so the players could have their pick.
The gaming traffic flowed efficiently enough, and soon we were dancing our way from one part of “New York” to another, singing on Broadway, strolling through Central Park, or just taking it all in at Times Square.
At the end of the 24 rounds, everyone had the chance to play with almost everyone… except for Cynthia and Cheryl, who dominated the Lead Table for most of the night. Those who didn’t play together, shouted to each other. It’s the most fun we can have in three hours or less.
When the game was over, everyone congregated in
the living roomTimes Square to “shop” at Tiffany’s.
I had selected the prizes, and was thrilled they were accepted with as much excitement as I had when I bought them. My folding table was set up and covered with blue and white napkins. I had the prizes neatly arranged, along with boxes of Cracker Jacks (specially ordered; since most stores only sell the bags now). I also had little treat bags for everyone, since you can’t go to New York and not come home with souvenirs and snacks! The final touch was 12 brand new bottles of NYC nail polish. Each person (winners first) had the chance to pick out their own color and take it home with them.
The prizes included books, calendars, coffee mugs, Audrey Hepburn-styled tote bags, an apple candle, and more. The contributions to the Loser Basket were just as diverse: another book, candle, autumn decor, bracelets… Stacie really loaded up on the “souvenirs” for this month!
And when the “shopping” was done, it was time for dessert. What’s a trip to NYC without a stop at Junior’s for some authentic cheesecake? I’d heard of them for years but never tasted and wasn’t sure what flavor to go with. So when I ordered it (direct from New York, how much more authentic is that?!), I chose the 10-inch Sampler: Chocolate Ganasch, Strawberry Swirl, Chocolate Swirl, and of course, original. Each quarter was easily cut into three or four pieces, and since not everyone had a piece there’s plenty left over. … or at least, there was. My daughter’s a huge fan of cheesecake, so as I write this, I should prob’ly inventory the remains.
When almost everyone had left, Hannah and her two friends Elisa and Baylee had a photo shoot in Times Square. The girls always dress up for the theme of the month, and this was no exception. Stacie and I enjoyed watching them pose and get into the character of Holly Golightly. What a trio of beauty.
All in all, it was a pretty successful evening. Good food, good fun, good company… and souvenirs.
But I think next time I go to New York, it will be the Real Deal. Just sayin’…