With the holidays fast approaching and Thanksgiving just a few days away I must admit that I am happy to reside in NYC this time of year. I am always so proud and in awe of how spirited this city becomes during the holiday season. It transforms into a plethora of holiday cheer from block to block, building to building. The stores are decorated from top to bottom in red, green and gold. The big shot stores reveal their annual holiday windows. Christmas lights are put up and lit throughout the city on balconies, inside apartments (that’s us!), restaurant fronts and buildings galore. Christmas trees go on sale and line the streets - big and small – ready for their temporary home in the tiniest of apartment corners or the grandest of penthouse living rooms. Menorahs are placed on window sills and sat out next to the tree in apartment lobbies from the Hudson across to the East River.
At night, the Empire State building even lights up in blue and white for the first night of Hanukkah and proudly wears the red and green for Christmas. The above picture represents what it looks like when both holidays overlap. Check out this cool website that tells you what color the building will be and why for the month. And of course we cannot forget about the most iconic tree of all that makes it’s appearance year after year – the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! If it didn’t…well Christmas in NYC just wouldn’t be the same.
Fun secret: a few years ago I actually saw the tree being transported down Broadway avenue from the Upper West Side. I kid you not. It lays flat, is netted up and secured safely on the back of a ginormous truck as it cruises downtown to make its annual debut. It actually stands in it’s coveted spot for a few days with no lights and then every year NYC has the infamous Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony with celebrities and the whole shebang. Well the year I saw the tree getting transported I felt it was important to be there for it’s lighting. I had developed a one-sided connection to it and wanted to be there. So I sweetly dragged Mr. Dr. along with me. We stood right outside amid the crowd, watched the huge projector screens that air the concert for the public and then got to feel a sense of wow it’s really Christmastime as the tree was lit for the first time that season. It was a great way to kick it off.
And I know this may seem strange but I even think New Yorkers tend to be a bit more pleasant than usual during this time of year. The kind deeds happen more, if you get bumped on the street you might actually get an apology and taxi drivers might even entertain a conversation with you in their cab instead of the typical blue tooth phone call with their family member in another country. It’s really hard to be a Scrooge when you are walking around here during the holiday season. So Grinch….back off buddy because NYC has got you beat.
Happy kick-off to the holiday season!