Christmas in New York (2010)

10 Dec

Liberty Plaza. Photo by DMT.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I have always wanted to spend Christmas in New York City. Everything about the season seems like it would be bigger, bolder, and more beautiful in the city with all of the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the softly falling snow flakes, and the twinkling store windows.  I’m sure that native New Yorkers probably find these things irritating and annoying since they’ve had years to experience the “magic of the season” and now just want to escape the crowds, dry off the snow, and avoid the tourists who clog up the sidewalks as the gawk at windows the residents see every day.

I can’t help it, though, I believe in the magic.  I believe that Christmas in New York would fill me with awe and wonder at every turn.

So, in the spirit of my fantasy Christmas in New York, I’ve created a list of the things that would make my holiday season joyful.

2009 Bergdorf Goodman window. Photo by Dan Cross.

1. The Christmas Windows Walking Tour: This map provides visitors with a route that takes them past the decorated windows at Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales.  The site recommends dressing warmly, wearing comfortable shoes, and keeping a close eye [or hand] on one’s belongings since the sidewalks in front of the stores are quite packed and provide the perfect opportunity for pickpocketing.

The Pond at Bryant Park. Photo by Bryant

2. Ice Skating at Bryant Park: The Pond [as it’s referred to] is open to anyone who wants to skate, and does not charge admission.  Skates can be rented for $13.00 a pair, however.  I know I would spend my time on the ice clinging to the wall, but it would be worth it to skate on the rink where Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack finally meet in “Serendipity.” [Correction: As my friend and trusted NYC fact checker, D. points out in his comments, the rink they meet on is actually in Central Park, but I like the image of them meeting at the Bryant Park Pond better, so I’m not editing out my mistake].

3. Radio City Music Hall: It may be cheesy and commercial, but who in the world doesn’t want to see the Radio City Rockettes performing their perfectly choreographed high kicks in matching holiday costumes?  Seriously.

St. Patrick's Cathedral. Photo by Wiki Commons.

5. Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: While I jokingly refer to myself as a “recovering Catholic,” I find that when I think about Christmas in New York, it always includes a trip to St. Patrick’s for midnight mass.  I’ll have to make a note to myself for Christmas 2012 because midnight mass at the cathedral requires reserved seating.  [Does God know about this Catholic version of Ticketmaster?]

6. New York Philharmonic – Handel’s Messiah: Click on the link and listen to a recorded portion of the performance.  The recording sends chills down my spine, so I can’t imagine the experience of actually sitting in Avery Fisher Hall listening to the choir build on each “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

Brooklyn Bridge at NYBG. Photo by Heather Cross.

7. The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens: The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens features model trains traveling around the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory amongst over 140 replicas of New York City landmarks. The replicas are created by award-winning designer Paul Busse using only plants.

8. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: A Norway Spruce lit with 30,000 lights and topped with a Swarovski crystal star?  That’s the ticket!

9. Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche: From November 30 to January 6, the Metropolitan Museum of Art offers “A vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene—embellished with a profuse array of diminutive, lifelike attendant figures and silk-robed angels hovering above—adorns the candlelit spruce.”

The Met Christmas Tree. Photo by the Met.

10. Santa at Macy’s: I’m not sure that I have a burning desire to sit on the jolly old elf’s lap, but the little kid in me definitely wants to see Santa Claus in all his glory – preferably before the crumb snatchers arrive.

Is Christmas in New York better than Christmas anywhere else?  I can’t answer that question, but I can say that, for me, the beauty of the season lies in love, hope, wonder, and my optimistic faith that magic and miracles are entirely possible – if we chose to believe in them.

Here’s to Christmas 2012 in New York City!  I believe!

(UPDATE: If you are interested in this year’s Christmas events in NYC, check out my 2011 Christmas List!)

One Year to Move soundtrack


4 Responses to “Christmas in New York (2010)”

  1. DMT December 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I can assure you that, for me anyway, that magical Christmas feeling in New York never dissipates. There is still nowhere else I’d rather be during the holidays.

    As for ice skating, I’m sorry to say that John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale did not meet at the rink at Bryant Park. That would be the Wollman Rink in Central Park, which is another beautiful place to go for a few laps around the ice. Yet another is the rink at Rockefeller Center, where you can skate under the huge Christmas tree and under the watchful eye of Prometheus, not to mention about a million tourists.


    • Mary December 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

      Good! I’m glad to know that hardcore New Yorkers can maintain the Christmas spirit!

      As for the movie, thanks for the fact check!! The sentiment is still the same, even if the rink isn’t!!


  2. DMT December 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Oh, and one more thing… what the f&%k does “wassle” mean?!


    • Mary December 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

      *laughs* Perhaps a little of what you’ve been doing this evening, my friend? [see definition #2].

      was·sail [wos-uh l, -eyl, was-, wo-seyl]
      1. a salutation wishing health to a person, used in England in early times when presenting a cup of drink or when drinking to the person.
      2. a festivity or revel with drinking of healths.
      3. liquor for drinking and wishing health to others on festive occasions, especially spiced ale, as on Christmas Eve and Twelfth-night.
      4. Archaic. a song sung in wassailing.
      -verb (used without object)
      5. to revel with drinking.
      -verb (used with object)
      6. to drink to the health or success of; toast.


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