We used to have killer parties when I was little. I mean apartments overstuffed with drunk adults (some of which owned and/or worked at the local bodegas) and rowdy kids, louder than loud music and FOOOOOODDDDDDD and ALCOHOL for days and days and days. These parties are where I learned how to dance, which relatives were true alcoholics, that Heineken is truly bitter and gross, and Mami is the hostess with the mostest.
In all the years that she hosted get-togethers in our apartment(s) at 572 Greene Avenue (between Marcy and Tompkins, BITCHES!) no one ever left hungry or unpleased, and Mami was never visibly intoxicated. We may have stressed beyond belief to get the place clean and cook everything just right, but all of our parties were a success. Honestly, this is an inherently Dominican thing. The capias, trays of roast pork, yellow rice, potato salad and refrescos.
-¿Y quien hizo el bizcocho?
It didn't really matter because we ate that cake like it was the last cake to ever hit the bottom of our bellies- mostly frosting, heavy and filled with pineapple with a scoop of generic vanilla ice cream on the side.
I don't really know what parties were like on the Island; in Brooklyn, though, us Dominicans partied like it was 1999 all the damn time. The conversations were great and gossipy; someone always fell asleep long before it was over; the movements on the dance floor was borderline inappropriate- I can name a few uncles that made me want to hide in my room- and you could always count on Grandma and Papi cutting a rug at least once, Grandma with her hands in the air like she don't care and everyone cheering her on. Sometimes Mari's dad and godfather would grab maracas and the cheese grater from the kitchen (to use as a guira) and belt out a few tunes. Us kids would roll our eyes like it was embarrassing but really it made the party that much more fun. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who dreamed of the day I could host parties like Mami.
Do me a favor: invite 50 to 60 of your closest friends to your place. Serve them mounds of yummies that will clog their arteries and libations that will kill their evil livers. Order a cake from Valencia Bakery in the Bronx and then put together a music playlist similar to this one for the night of the festivities:
It might give you a small taste of what it was like to have grown up like me.
Wonderful, beautiful, Dominican me.
*besos...realizing what an amazing childhood I had*
really, though, no one had more fun than we did. no one. our parties were legendary!