Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things I Love About New York: The Holiday Season

After nearly two weeks of being sick with a cold, I'm 99% well (still blowing my nose, however). and finally able to enjoy the Holidays in NYC to the hilt. After five years of living in the City, I'm still in love with the way the city transforms itself between Turkey Day and New Year's Day. This year, I'm feeling particularly infused with the holiday spirit and hope to share it with you.

So here is my list of things that make up the quintessential NYC Christmas. Click on the headers for related blog posts:
  • Tree Lightings--Yes, I had to watch them on TV this year, but even after they're lit, they're worth visiting and gawking at like a five-year old. Rock Center, Wall Street, Bryant Park...
  • Buying Your Own Tree -- non-New Yorkers often ask me how we New Yorkers get our trees. There aren't Christmas tree lots here, not the way you get in CA, but there are Christmas tree sidewalk vendors. No joke. Photos and details of our tree shopping trip here.
  • Holiday Markets -- They're cropping up everywhere. NYMag has a great compilation of markets around town. I've already stopped into both the Bowling Green market and Columbus Circle market for my Gingerbread people fix (from Breezy Hill Orchards)
  • Ice Skating -- Rock Center and Wollman & Lasker Rinks in Central Park are old standbys; Bryant Park's The Pond is free, but the skates aren't very comfortable (for my flat feet, at least); I have yet to check out the new rinks at South Street Seaport and the Natural History Museum. Once I do, I'll report back.
  • Department Store Windows & Displays -- my favorite by far is Saks' Snowflake spectacular - words cannot describe, so here's a video but Bergdorf's, Barney's, Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Lord & Taylor all put on great displays.
  • Tickets to a Holiday Show -- In the past, I have really enjoyed the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and recommend you go at least once. This year, I'm in the mood for the Nutcracker Ballet. They're also doing Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" at the Marquis Theater.
  • Shopping!!!! - last but not least, what's Christmas in NYC without the amazing end-of-year sales. This year especially. I always start out shopping for others and end up buying stuff for myself. Do you?
Ho ho ho!

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