thin man at homeA new year – a clean slate or a mere flip of the calendar page?

For some, it’s about making sure they’re at the right party, with the right person, and the right drink in their hand.

For others, it’s a time to reflect on the past and look to a future yet to be written.

These past few years, my wife and I have developed our own New Year’s Eve tradition, which doesn’t include a ball drop, but does include a couple of timeless boozehounds solving a murder or two.

A few years ago we unknowingly began what has become this New Year’s Eve tradition of ordering (yes, we know how unhealthy it is for us) Chinese food and watching a movie from “The Thin Man” series.

the thin man powell loyFor the uninitiated, “The Thin Man” was a series of films starring the great on-screen duo of William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a married couple with sharp tongues, sharp wits, and a love of alcohol that they often put to use as they solved crimes across 1940s American night life.

The second film even takes place on New Year’s Eve, with a brilliant performance by a young James Stewart in a supporting role. Chinese restaurants also play a role in that film, which added the food portion of our tradition and has carried over ever since.

This year, we’re on film #4, “Shadow of the Thin Man” from 1941.

These films encompass so much of what we love about that era – the style, the architecture, the atmosphere. The time when a man wore his suit and hat even to travel to the market, and when a vacation was just a train ride away.

charles familyAs the film series went on, Nick and Nora became parents and their son, Nicky Jr, would begin going along with his parents on their adventures. So, it’s even more appropriate that as our tradition has carried on each year, our own family has grown along with the Charles’.

Our little guy enjoyed some oatmeal and apples before going to bed (and falling asleep relatively quickly for a change) and mommy and daddy enjoyed ringing in the New Year with classic Hollywood at its finest.

It may not sound too exciting to some, but for us, it’s like re-visiting old, classy friends as we leave another year in the books and begin writing our own adventure for the next.

Happy New Year to you all. Whatever your traditions, resolutions, whatever, enjoy them.

nick and nora drink

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