Tuesday, December 20, 2016

City Sidewalks Dressed in Holiday Style

🎶 City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style....🎶

For all that I love the woods and wild lands of upstate New York, there is nothing quite like a visit to New York City at Christmas.  As I write this, Christmas is just a few days away, so I'm taking the easy way and sharing my photos with only brief commentary.  I hope you enjoy these visions of my December day in Midtown with Meredith. 

From Penn Station, we began our Christmas tour with Macy's windows.  I loved this one where Santa reads from the pile of authentic children's letters sent over many decades through Macy's Christmas Mailbox.

Macy's still has their "Yes, Virginia" windows, but we had fun with these interactive windows on the other side of the building.  Meredith put her hand on the heat-sensitive square to find out if she is naughty or nice --  "naughty" for sure.  As a twist on the theme, my hand indicated that I was "merry."  I'll go for that!

Inside Macy's, glittering ceiling arrangements drew our eyes upward. 

And rotating dioramas were interspersed across the ceiling, each illustrating a Christmas theme.

Lord & Taylor did a beautiful job of decorating the scaffolding around their building.  Pedestrians became part of this sparkling green forest.

Just days before this trip, my mother and I had gathered greens in the woods and cut red winterberries in a nearby swamp, where I soaked my boots.  Meredith said with a grin, "This is how city people get their greens." 

No poinsettias and holly this year. White, green, and glittering snow was clearly the indoor decorating theme in the big department stores.  Take a look at the ceiling of Saks!  It doesn't get more beautiful than this.

In her travels as a music therapist and city resident, Meredith finds lots of interesting places.  She took me inside the old Charles Scribner Building, now a Sephora store. Employees appeared well-acquainted with tourists coming in to see this perfectly preserved Beaux Arts architecture.

Speaking of architecture, St. Patrick's Cathedral's cleaning inside and out is finally complete. The stone is pristine and the stained-glass brilliant.

And this large nativity, set up near the altar, awaits the baby's arrival.

Just behind St. Patrick's on Madison Avenue is the Villard Mansion, built in 1884.  We walked through the gate, past the decorated tree, and right into the old mansion.

Imagine this as your private home!  Again, we appreciated that this building, now the lobby and offices of the New York Palace Hotel, has been meticulously preserved.

I couldn't miss the police presence at Trump Tower.  Fencing, tape, and at least 30 policemen cordoned off the block of Trump Tower and the two adjacent blocks.  No wonder Mayor di Blasio is worrying about his budget.

Just as the Cratchits were merrier from "the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with," we returned to the innocence of childhood at Christmas after having put Trump behind us.

Meredith planned our walk to include lunch in the Food Hall of the Plaza Hotel, and you can't go to the Plaza without finding Eloise.  The Food Hall has created a perfect event space for little girls' tea parties with their Eloise dolls and books.

All those colored pieces, of what appear to be fabric on a rack, are actually pasta -- how beautiful!  While the Food Hall offers many options, we knew that we would go Italian for lunch, and chose Ora di Pasta.

This is one reason that Meredith and I get along so well -- variations on pasta with pesto -- Yummm.

What a surprise that Meredith scheduled the Radio City Christmas Spectacular into our day!  Fearing that we might have rain, she had looked for indoor options and came across seats with "limited view" at a very reasonable price.

It turned out that we had our own row right up next to the stage.  We had all the space in the world with no one next to us and a view up-close-and-personal of the Rockettes at our end of the stage!  And bah-humbug on the limited view -- we could see almost everything.  What fun!

Our Midtown Christmas visit was coming to a close. On the way back to Penn, we checked out the Christmas markets at Bryant Park, where I had a nutritious snack of thick dark hot chocolate with a large homemade marshmallow, and an authentic Belgian waffle. 

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to all of my blog readers!