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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #60: Holidays in The Big Apple

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2013 10:06am | Post a Comment
Being such a popular tourist destination, especially at this time of the year with hotels booked to capacity and airbnb reservations close behind, not surprisingly New York City goes all out for the holiday season with extravagant Christmas / holiday displays and  exhibits all around town where it's been snowing a lot this past week - something that only enhances that December holiday vibe.

Festive destinations for tourists and New Yorkers alike include  Rockefeller Center (photo left taken earlier this week) where in addition to the usual all year round attractions, such as going up to the Top Of The Rock (one of the best aerial views of the Big Apple), there is the big brightly lit Christmas / holiday tree and the Center's famous ice rink plus a tapestry of large scale colorful holiday statues and lights for the one square block around the Center.

Being that NBC's main television studios are right there at 30 Rock, in addition to earlier this month broadcasting the lighting of the tree ceremony accompanied by performances from such musical guests as Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and the Goo Goo Dolls, the TV network has been featuring the hella holiday themed area over the past couple of weeks on such NBC shows as Saturday Night Live and the Today Show. Very closeby Rockefeller Center is the big Saks Fifth Avenue department store where, in addition to their extravagant holiday themed window displays, they also have a  large scale 3D light show, complete with booming music system blasting "Carol Of The Bells," that plays in repeat mode on the front of the block long Fifth Avenue building between 48th and 49th streets every night between 5pm to 10pm for the duration of this holiday season (scroll down to see video of this nightly display).

Not too far away in the midtown area of Manhattan, down on 42nd Street, is another impressive big laser light show (albeit indoors so warmer to watch) at Grand Central Terminal entitled the Centennial Holiday Light Show that incorporates a kaleidoscope of optical effects projecting such images as snowflakes, sugarplum fairies, and carousels  up onto the already majestic walls and ceiling of the historic transit hub. Running through December 26th the music and light show is free and happens daily between 5pm and 11pm in the main concourse area of the Terminal. More info here. Up at Columbus Circle there is the Time Warner Center’s state-of-the-art holiday light display entitled Holiday Under The Stars where there is (surprise) also lots of shopping destinations. All over New York City there are holiday shopping areas set up for the remaining shopping week, many with covered stalls in outdoor areas that include at Bryant Park on 42nd at Sixth, and Union Square between 14th and 18th near Park Ave.

Other holiday events and shows in NYC include a presentation of the The Nutcracker by the American Ballet Theatre at BAM in Fort Greene in Brooklyn through December 22nd with tickets ranging in cost from $25 to $115, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular that runs through December 30th with up to four shows daily each day (starting at 11am) with tickets ranging in price from $39 up to $300+ depending on show date/time. Tix and more info here.

In the Christian tradition of Christmas church services include the ones at the Baptist Atlah World Missionary Church up in Harlem on Lenox Ave. and 123rd streets -  a Christian church and ministry where on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the following Sunday (Dec 28th) there are services. See photo left (snapped during last Saturday night's snowstorm) for times.

As well as ice skating at the aforementioned Rockefeller Center there are also skating rinks at Bryant Park, Woolman Rink in Central Park, Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, and the - just opened last month -  new ice skating rink at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn that is open from 11am through 10pm daily. Admission $8 or $5 for students and $4 for kids. Skates $5 a pair. More info here. In addition to that Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday 3D Light Show video, I leave you with a video of the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl doing "Fairytale of New York." Happy Holidays from New York City!


      


      

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