The fall was marked by several sunny mornings and it was at its colorful best at Central Park. There was such glamor in the colors that the eyes forget to blink; the crisp cool air made the fallen leaves rustle to a synchronous rhythm.
As a few weeks passed by, it was time for the flora to hibernate after their glorious spring bloom and the spectacular fall shedding of leaves. One form of beauty gave way to another with another beautiful season between, as fall began to make way for winter – the holiday season, baby!
Tourists and flashy lights are nothing new to New York City’s ever-vibrant holiday season. Watching the city that never sleeps during the holidays is delightful. Pathways and sidewalks dotted with lighted Christmas trees, holiday window displays conveying little Christmas tales across Fifth Avenue made even the long walks under freezing temperatures a pleasurable experience.
A snowless December on the East coast was probably not great for many ski lovers and ski resorts who are still looking forward to the first flakes of the winter. But those who were affected by the fury of last winter would appreciate a few extra snowless days, which have been gifted so far. The tourists certainly enjoyed the sun and shopping in the holiday markets that were set up in every other corner of the city – Union Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central were among the big ones.
Bryant Park in mid-Manhattan morphed into a major holiday market with its ice skating rink at one end and the Celsius restaurant overlooking the rink on the other, not to mention the beautiful Christmas tree that made the visit to the park ever so bright. Another must-see was the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. A tree like this brightly lit 74-footer has been put up every year since 1933. Walking closer to the tree braving the crowds is always a challenge, but worth the adventure.
The Grand Central holiday train show was a beautiful depiction of the city with all its major landmarks and meticulously built train tracks, simulated stations and tunnels, and toy trains running across multiple tracks flanked by toy construction work zones. The city looked so gorgeous even in the toy-ish depiction. The uniqueness of the city is appreciable in any form and size.
Time Warner Center hosted the “Holiday Under the Stars” show amidst the crowded shopping area, and it was a real treat for the eyes. The icing on the cake was the Citibank lounge offering hot chocolate to all its customers that day.
A whopping 100,000 holiday lights sparkling at the Winter Garden’s Grand Atrium at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan made for a stunning sight.
Days go crazy in Manhattan during the holidays with the city’s overflowing shops and long waits to be seated in restaurants. A quiet getaway from this was a visit to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. Popularly known as Dyker Lights, it’s a rather calm suburban neighborhood where every house is decorated with lights and giant Santas like you can only imagine.
As the holidays draw to a close, it’s time to welcome the New Year, and with it new hopes. Happy New Year, everyone!