Photos by Emmanuel Ardouin & Claude Degraff.
Narration by Frankie Morone.
On Saturday May 30th.2009, a group of very close friends gathered at Patrick & Luce Lilavois' home in beautiful Westbury, Long Island to celebrate a major milestone: Patrick & Maxo Lilavois' birthday & Patrick Junior's completion of his post graduate studies at SUNY Downstate in medical informatique.
Now think of this this way: I will not dare tell you how old Pat & Maxo are but I will tell you when they were born there was no Internet, no cellular phone, no BlackBerries, no flat screen TVs and of course no Pikliz to bring you these gatherings etc. They have accomplished a lot for the few years they have been living and undoubtedly have achieved quite a few good deeds.
Friends came from all over for this magnificent event; Patrick Jr's were so lovely; what I personally enjoyed the most, was listening to some of them speaking French with some old timers in their beautiful American accent.
It was such a charming party. Guests were sitting at the richly and nicely decorated tables in such an attractive and lovely back yard adorned with beautiful flowers and a manicured lawn. Not too far, there was the bar with all sort of liquors, from a Rhum Barbancourt (Réseve Spéciale) to a Courvoisier; a few yards from the bar, one could contemplate and enjoy those tasty finger licking appetizers, crudities, artistically cut fresh fruits etc.
As everyone were chatting, laughing and enjoying each others' company, Ady Desir was making sure that the sound was appropriate. Depending on the mood of the people, he knew what tune to play; occasionally he would whisper to someone: "Sonin bien.com". Well Ady, I have tried so many times to log on but....Patrick tirelessly was going to nearly each and everyone to make them feel at home. Needless to say he was a great host.
Manny Ardrouin, impeccably dressed for that occasion, had his eyes focused on everyone. Armed with his up to date digital camera he was taking the shots.That's one of the things he does best.
Around 10:00 PM, Luce (she is the greatest hostess I have ever met) made the call by ringing the bell: "La table est servie".There was several chaffing dishes filled with mouth watering Haitian food seasoned to perfection: griots - ragout & riz blanc,riz colé, poulet créole, du poisson, macaroni au gratin, Russian salad etc.There was plenty for seconds too.
At midnight, Luce Lilavois exited the kitchen holding in her hands this beautifully decorated cake with (only) a few lit candles. Everyone were singing concurrently with a song that Ady played for that very special occasion:Happy Birthday. After singing that traditional theme, the older crowd took over by singing the French version: "Bonne anniversaire" Accolades,handshakes,kisses were exchanged by so many.
People danced on a beautiful brick patio. The lighting was perfect and the weather was ideal and the stars were twinkling in the sky. Luce invited the guess to go inside one more time for "les succulents desserts".
You won't believe it: on the dining room table, covered with this gorgeous "nappe brodée", there was the traditional birthday cake, an upside down pineapple-raisins and cherries cake, a chocolate mousse cake, un blanc manger, another cake and a "pinpatate". Can you imagine. "Cela faisait le delice des palais les plus délicats. Regarder cette table faisait simplement venir l'eau à la bouche."(et puis grossir aussi).
I know everyone had a great time. The pictures are living proof. Enjoy looking at them.
Pikliz seizes this opportunity to wish a very very Happy Birthday to Patrick, Maxo and much success to Pat Jr. in his future endeavors.
The week-end ended at Carolle and Phillip Guibert's residence for a very private gathering.