The holiday season in New York City can get a little nuts. Despite being a secular Christmas-celebrating atheist half-Jew (or perhaps because of it), I do my best to succumb to the madness at least a little bit. I’ve been working in Rockefeller Center for 13 years now, and I figured out a long time ago that this is not the time of year of cynicism on the streets of New York. You kind of just have to accept it until you eventually love it. Or at least tolerate it and kind of like it. But you can’t hate it, because that will just make you crazy and angry.
I got out a little early from work today, so I walked from 48th Street up 5th Avenue up to Columbus Circle. Despite it not even being Thanksgiving yet, Christmas spirit is already in full force.
That tree doesn’t light itself, you know. The amount of work that goes into preparing the Rockefeller Center tree is amazing. Scaffolding everywhere! They drill holes into the trunk in areas that are a little bare and stick in branches from other trees to fill it out so it looks perfect from all angles, and then they string up 30,000 lights on five MILES of wire! Craziness!
Can you believe I’ve never gone ice skating in Rockefeller Center? It’s just one of the many New York activities (including riding in a pedicab, taking a double-decker bus tour, attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square) I’ve never partaken in. One of these days.
I love when stores go all out for Christmas. The Cartier store is wrapped up in a big bow. It looks incredible at night, all lit-up and sparkly. A few years ago they had ginormous diamond panthers climbing up the side of the building, too, but I guess the panthers are on hiatus.
Okay, I’m sorry, I know this is depressing. Takashimaya, one of the most incredibly beautiful (and incredibly expensive) department stores in the world, closed over the summer after 50 years in business in NYC. What’s opened in its place? That’s right—Forever 21. It’s probably temporary, but still. Requiescat in pace, Takashimaya. I’ll miss your restaurant most of all.
I don’t care about what’s inside, but I love the façade of the Louis Vuitton store. The original structure was built in 1930, and the layered glass panels were applied to the corner in 2004 by Japanese architect Aoki Jun.
New York doesn’t usually get all up in arms about old-meets-new the way some smaller historic cities do, and I’m glad. Progress + Respect = Modernism.
Yes, I am a HUGE dork, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!! My sister Lisa showed me this trick outside of Bergdorf Goodman about 30 years ago (I think my grandmother showed her), and I’ve never stopped getting a kick out of it. Usually I just hold my hand up and giggle a little, but today I felt the need to actually capture the DORFMAN and take it home with me.
Dorfmans of the world, unite and take over!
A lot of the shop windows were either still under construction or totally mobbed with tourists, so I’ll have to go back one night next week and check them out under better conditions.
At the end of my walk today, I made the terrible mistake of going to the grocery store to pick up some vegan ice cream for tomorrow. Now, the Columbus Circle Whole Foods is a total nightmare even on the best of days, so I’m not exactly sure why I was compelled to go in there on the day before Thanksgiving. It was a pretty traumatic experience. Thank goodness for the Salvation Army Santa outside incessantly ringing her bell in time to Olivia Newton John’s “Let Me Be There” on repeat, because that really took the edge off, let me tell you.
Thanksgiving travel for us this year amounts to taking an 8-minute subway ride to my dad’s apartment. What a relief! There’s nothing left to do except avoid temptation for another 24 hours—I baked a vegan pecan pie tonight, and it looks (and smells) sooooo good.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
—Anna & Evan & Bruno & Fritz
+ Let’s pretend we’re tourists, #1.
+ Let’s pretend we’re tourists, #2.