Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time in NYC: Various

Christmas time in New York City--what could be more festive?!

Bryant Park (42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues) has an ice skating rink outdoors (see above) surrounded by pop up shops that include fabulous kettle corn, a pickle shop, and a place mimicking an outdoor porch in the Southwest (see right) complete with heat lamps and swing benches.  The shops that line the passage ways also have lots of shops that sell items for great gifts like one of a kind metal sculptures, artisan jewelry, and stocking stuffers like ear muffs and scarves.

Then there is Rockefeller Center (50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues), with its ice skating rink and huge Christmas tree (which was first lit by President Obama--yes, he was back clogging up traffic again).  I was there the day before the tree was fully assembled (did you know it comes in parts and gets screwed in together?) (see left) as well as a few days after it was completed (see below right).  Generally I try to stay away from the masses of tourists and frenzied shoppers, but I had my own holiday shopping to do, which led me unavoidably through this area.

If you can't get your fill of Christmas trees, there is also a pretty one in the courtyard of the Palace Hotel (50th Street and Madison--the place the Pope stays whenever he comes to NYC), which is flanked by two men dressed as toy soldiers (great for photo opportunities). 

If you'd like a more sophisticated looking tree, then I think there is nothing as striking as the tree in the courtyard by the famous Le Cirque restaurant (59th Street between 3rd Avenue and Lexington) (see below).  With its white lights and the white Moravian-style lighted ornaments, it really is beautiful--plus, you can get some shopping done nearby at the newly opened CB2 or Home Depot (my secretly favorite store).

Finally, as always, NYC has its share of spectacular outdoor sculptures and exhibits, and the holidays bring out the best.  As an example, on 6th Avenue just around the corner from Rockefeller Center, there are huge ornaments along the east side of the street (see below).  

There are innumerable holiday sights to take in around New York City.  Not least of all, the famous Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall (6th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets) with the Rockettes (tickets are still available).  So if you happen to be in the City during this wintertime, I hope you have a chance to enjoy all that the City has to offer.  

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