If you've been reading my blog for the past few years, you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Austria and Hungary. My maternal grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary. We still have many relatives living in Austria, but in 2011 I discovered that my great-grandfather was born in Hövej, Hungary. Being a needleworker, Hövej is especially significant to me because the most beautiful lace is made by the women in Hövej. More on that later.
Yesterday morning, bright and early, I flew to New York. I took a cab from the airport to the Hungarian House on 82nd Street in New York where they were celebrating the Hungarian Heritage Festival.
The street in front of the Magyar Haz was closed from one end of the block to the other and vendors set up their wares. There was food, drink, sweets, and items for purchase.
Look at all the cookies! I think the ones in front are called a Linzer Cookie. There is jam sandwiched between the two parts of the cookie. It was delicious!
Below is my lunch. Their portion sizes were gigantic, so I asked them to make a special plate for me with smaller portions. Top left is a sausage, to the right, a cabbage roll, then some spaetzeles with gravy from the Chicken Paprika (I passed on the chicken - portions were ginormous!) and then red cabbage. There were some interesting paprika potatoes and pork that I also passed on. Too much food, but oh so delicious.
Inside the Magyar Haz there was a display of various forms of Hungarian art. From weaving...
To needleart, pottery, and decorated eggs...
And other miscellaneous Hungarian art and culture.
This event was for families; there were many activities for children. The one that was of most interest to me, was the egg decorating. Hungarians decorate their eggs very similar to the Ukrainian Pysanky eggs.
One young girl let me take a picture of her work.
One thing that amazed me were the number of people speaking Hungarian,especially the children. There were little ones who were easily transitioning between English and Hungarian!
I was at the festival for about five hours. My primary reason for visiting though was not the festival, but this lady:
Mrs. Szigethy and her daughter were here from Hungary! They've been in the U.S. For two weeks displaying Mrs. Szigethy's beautiful lace at various events and this was one of them.
Mrs. Szigethy did not know I was coming. Mrs. Szigethy's daughter and their host, Karolina, knew, but they did not tell Mrs. Szigethy so that it would be a surprise. Was she ever surprised when I walked into the room! I got a big hug from her and she was all smiles. We have not seen each other since my visit to Hungary back in 2012.
Tune in again tomorrow and I will share with you pictures of the lace exhibit. Until then, here's another snapshot of this special lady and me.