I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and share some of the wonderful sights that my family experienced during our annual Christmas visit to Manhattan.
We were blessed this year with balmy weather — in the low fifties. Makes for great walking weather in a city that is made to be walked.
We always start by taking the train into the city. So much easier and more environmentally friendly than the car during holiday season. Plus, you never know what you will run into on the train. One year, we were on a train filled with Santas who were headed to the annual Santa parade (didn’t even know there was such a thing!)
The store windows are always our first stops and here’s one of my favorites from the animated display at Lord & Taylor (more photos are in the album below).
As a kid, the windows and walk up Fifth was all we would do with my parents. My dad worked at B. Altman’s, one of the old venerable stores on Fifth which has long since closed. Fifth Avenue was always such a delight with all the holiday decorations and finery. It still is quite a spectacle, even though there are those stores I’m dubbing Scrooge stores who are not decorating so as to not offend.
I don’t usually get on soapboxes, but if acknowledging a major religious holiday is offensive, I guess I won’t offend by bringing my butt into one of these stores! Honestly, I believe in respecting all religions and I love seeing the differences, whether it’s my neighbors’ Christmas lights, Menorahs or the recent lights of Diwali. So, peace to all, but Bah Humbug to the Scrooge Stores.
Let’s get back into the holiday spirit!
We always stop by the research library on 42nd Street. It’s a step back into the glamour of old New York and the renovated Bill Blass Reading Room is something to behold. Behind the library is Bryant Park and in recent years, they’ve set up a skating rink and shops. In the summer, it’s a great place to go hang out at lunch.
After the library, we keep on walking up Fifth until we reach St. Patrick’s and Rockefeller Center. The tree is immense and the area around the tree is always mobbed. Still, it’s nice to be amidst so many people who are in the holiday spirit.
From the tree, we resume our walk and go to Central Park. Even as a New Yorker, Central Park always amazes me. It’s filled with so many interesting things, like the Wollman Rink, Children’s Zoo, Delacorte Clock and Tavern on the Green. Plus, it’s huge. If you look on a map, you will realize just how much real estate is blessedly devoted to the park.
After, it’s just a short walk up to Columbus Circle and then onward to Lincoln Center and our annual viewing of the Nutcracker. It’s a great ballet and you get to people watch as well. We’ve been seated near celebrities like Caroline Kennedy and her family. This year my daughter and husband insisted Chelsea Clinton was seated behind us, but I’m not sure it was her.
If you aren’t going to get into New York for the holiday season, but want to see this seasonal ballet, there’s a DVD that was made about ten years back which is a wonderful recording of the New York City Ballet doing the Nutcracker together with McCauley Caulkin.
After the ballet, it’s normally time to grab a bite only this year my daughter has to work, so we’ll have to do the special holiday dinner some other time.
So, may you all have peace, health and happiness during the upcoming holidays and in 2007!
I hope you enjoy the rest of the pictures of our Christmas trip to Manhattan in the album below.
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