We have been spending a few weeks during summer in upstate New York with the same family friends for the past 4 years. As a mother, it is far from a relaxing vacation. There are always dramas, chaos and hungry kids, but we learn a lot from our conflicts. Nothing can beat the fresh air and the gorgeous land with fun folks.
Mike Nogami's annual Japanese style New Year's Party, 新年会 (shin nen kai) was held at Shige's loft in Union Square. The tradition here includes eating Ozoni soup with grilled mochi rice cakes, drinking lots of Sake, 書き初め（kakizome, literally means "first writing" is to write a new year's resolution /personal messages in in calligraphy), かるた (karuta, card game), watching 紅白歌合戦 (Kouhaku, an annual music show on New year's eve, produced by NHK national broadcast), and etc. It's a fun and homey way to start an upcoming year.
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