Friday, November 24, 2006
Christmas in NY
The holidays are here and guess what. I LOVE IT. I do, i love it all. I love the sights, the smells, the songs, the spirit of Christmas and even sometimes the snow. And Christmas in New York is especially magical. I'm not sure why. It may be that all of the 1.5 million Christmas movies set in New York have been ingrained on my brain and make it so I can live them all every day of the holiday season. Miracle on 34th Street? Why, I had a miracle on 34th street today! Ok, so there wasn't a miracle, but i was on 34th street and Macy's was absolutely decked out, head to toe, in sparkling gold and red. Maybe the miracle was that i walked 4 blocks packed with 50,000 people and no one got trampled. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York? Hello, i get lost in New York all the time, including around Christmastime. Elf: Um... sometimes i like to pretend I'm a Christmas elf in the big city. Er... anyway, i'm at a total loss for christmas movies set in NY but my point is, it's so fun here. One thing though is here, you run the risk of getting caught up in the commercialism of Christmas. I mean, all the shops just go all out. I was on 5th avenue the other day and Cartier (jewelry) had put up this big lit up, sparkling red "ribbon" around two facades of the building and had giant red "velvet" jewelry boxes tumbling down the side. Absolutely over the top but really just a cool sight. At one venue there were huge giant ornaments on the ground. Big red balls. I mean, huge. And of course there's Rockefeller Center with the giant tree and the skating rink that has a camio in probably every NY Christmas movie ever made (none of which i can think of right now, amazingly. Can anyone help me out??) Anyway, back to commercialism. Boy, the city is good at what it does: Making you want to buy, buy, buy. Fortunately I have some self control and am mostly content to just look. And, one thing that comes with Christmas in New York is all the Salvation Army donation pots with bell-ringing santas on every corner. You can't ignore the bell and pretty soon, your goodness (or your ever-increasing guilt) is going to compel you to donate some cash. There are light/music shows all over. Also at Rockefeller Center they put up giant snowflake lights on the facade of a building and do a light show to Carol of the Bells. Go to St. Patrick's Cathedral and you might hear the choir rehearsing for the Christmas program which is absolutely amazing. You just cannot beat cathedral acoustics. Being here makes you want to bundle up in fuzzy gloves and scarves (maybe just one scarf), drink hot chocolate outside and carry around shopping bags. You could probably just carry empty bags and it would be just as fun. Around the holidays, the general cold demeanor of NYers melts a bit and we are nicer to each other. I might not flip off and curse at the cab that nearly runs me over, for instance, but instead only give a minor fist shake, but then smile, wave him off, and say "Shucks. You have a merry Christmas." Ah yes... it's a magical time. A magical time indeed.