Going to NYC during Christmas has been on my bucket list as long I can remember. After moving to the East Coast nearly two years ago, it was bumped to the top of list, but I didn’t make it last year. While I wanted to venture to the city on my own I hadn’t been brave enough to do so. That is until a few weekends ago! Much to my surprise, friends from Texas made plans to visit NYC during the holidays. One in particular was my friend who encouraged me to start blogging about my experiences living on the east coast.
I’m not sure what I was more excited about: seeing my friends, seeing Christmas in New York or the fact that I was finally going into the city alone. I did feel a little like Buddy the Elf. While it wasn’t my first trip there, it would be my first trip to travel there alone. And would certainly be a new adventure as is every time I go there!
Once I arrived, I made my way to Times Square. Standing in the midst of such an iconic place all on my own was exhilarating. After taking a moment to soak it all in, I headed towards where my friends were. It was pretty surreal to see my friends from Texas in NYC. Not something I ever expected to do. Our first stop was the Hard Rock Café, which is a must-see. We started sightseeing, but decided to put that on hold to have a late lunch at The Counter Times Square, where we all had burgers and split a spiked red velvet milkshake.
The sightseeing continued with a stop at Toys R Us and then on to the Public Library. I gasped when I saw the lions out front adorned with wreaths and snow and then seeing an enormous Christmas tree as we entered. But what captured my attention the most was the “A Writer’s Christmas” exhibit. I perused every piece in the collection with awe and adoration. Loved the “Christmas Tree” poem by E.E. Cummings and a Christmas card from James Joyce. But my favorite was the prompt copy of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I could have stared at that book for hours reading his hand-written notations. I really wanted to touch it and hold it in my hands. Connect with a writer from the past through his work.
As we left the library, the sun was setting, which made it the perfect time to start strolling down the streets and look at all of the window displays. Lord & Taylor was bright and magical, but certainly paled in comparison to Saks Fifth Avenue’s “Once upon a Holiday” displays and light show. It all centered on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Each window featured a different scene and a designer’s interpretation. Each creation was just as fantasy infused as it was beautiful.
In the midst of walking past the windows at Saks is when I had my first glimpse of the tree at Rockefeller Center. It looked tinier than I expected, but breathtaking nevertheless. I was also startled by how large the crowd was. My initial thought was that must be the line to see the tree, which made me doubt that I’d ever get up close to see it, but later discovered that it was people watching the light show on the building.
After looking at every window display, we moved closer to the tree and in doing so was able to watch the castle-themed light show from the side without having to fight the crowds. It was spectacular!
The tree really was ginormous and as beautiful as could be imagined. And just like that I finally saw the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center! From the tree we were able to have a different view of the light show.
One thing I wish I had done this year was see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, but at least we did pass by it. That gives me something to look forward to for next year.
We walked through Times Square as we headed for our last stop which was Macy’s. I had no idea it was so big! It was totally fitting that we were on 34th Street since I felt like it was truly a Miracle on the 34th St that I was able to see Christmas in NYC.