I took the day off and went into the city today to play tourist. People say that there is no place like NY at Christmas and those people are right. It is amazing. People everywhere were bundled up (it was very cold today---20's, but perfectly sunny) and it seemed like every 5th person I saw was a tourist. The pace was the same as it always is there--hectic, but today it seemed not as stressful of a hectic rush. My goal today was to wander around toward Central Park and to stop and see all the Department Store windows decorated for the holidays. I saw Macy's, Lord and Taylor's, Barney's, Bergdorfs and Saks. Each had full blocks (NY city blocks are much longer than "regular" blocks) of windows decorated with different themes. Bergdorfs had a Green theme, L & T had the "5 senses of Christmas", SAKS had multiple snowman windows, but my favorite was Macy's. Each window was focused on Santa and his journey throughout the world. Old school TV monitors were set up that broadcast the window watchers periodically and flashed if they were 'naughty or nice'. Each window at most of the stores was fully animated and so fun to watch.
After, during and before I experienced the windows, I witnessed all of the other decorations around the city. Its hard to avoid-- the decorations are everywhere! I loaded some in the photos tab if you want to take a look.
I did a little art shopping today too at Bryant Park. They have an ice skating rink with better views of the city than at Rockefeller and a large Holiday Market with many shops. We are buying some paintings and photos of NY scenes mainly. I also bought a very cool stocking hat (or as Tom would call it, a 'Toque' (Canadian is still a new language to me) :-)) and a NY skyline ornament for our tree.
It was a great day. I would have loved for Tom or one of my friends or family to be there with me... but I do enjoy wandering the city alone. I think I could go everyday and never run out of things to see.
pics: skating at Bryant Park, window (above view) of Rockefeller Center, santa decoration, window at Macy's