Oct 26, 2012 – On a lovely and relatively mild weathered Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending (for the second time) ILICA’s annual Cultural Event & Gala dinner. When I walked down the entrance of the Lighthouse restaurant, I was greeted warmly by Vincenzo and Susy Marra and then met up with Diana, Chris and several AsianinNY friends and guests.
What a difference one year makes! At this year’s event I was more at ease with myself. I delighted in the Italian appetizers while sipping on champagne and meeting and mingling with guests. I was also challenged to bring my Italian language skills to the table: we were briefly interviewed with NTDTV and I advised Jennifer and Daisy the best I could for their short Italian speeches for the first part of the program. Thankfully, I didn’t have to take the stage.
The program was quite impressive and I was both enlightened by the insightful speakers, the performance of a talented child pianist, and also some humorous thank you speeches during the awards segment. I laughed a lot during dinner with Jennifer and Daisy! They were great company and had some awesome stories about their time in Siena and travels throughout Italy. I was envious that they had such a good time together, and their stories roused up fond memories of my own trip from last year.
As the night came to a close, everyone got cozy with their desserts and refreshments. The pistacchio
gelato was swoon-worthy and my favorite. Jennifer and I didn’t have to decide on which drink to take as a nightcap, we had both and they were great! Although I’m still not a heavy coffee drinker after coming back from Italy, I relished the cappuccino. Desert was all the more sweeter since all the food was imported from Italy and I felt like I was transported back! As a guest with AsianinNY, I enjoyed myself immensely during the event.
P.S. There were a raffle drawing during the night and raffle participants had a chance to win fine Italian wine, cheese, olive oil, and a huge cut of prosciutto! I was tickled to see Diana and Chris pick up prizes!
(All photographs were taken by Vincent Shihchieh Wei)