It has been on my Bucket List for several years to “do New York City at Christmastime.” This was not a foodie trip, although we found some great food. This was not a shopping trip — but time for browsing holiday markets and window shopping did happen. This trip was a collection of experiences.
We flew in on a Friday and flew back home the following Tuesday. We lucked out on great weather. It was cold but not freezing, and it rained only on one day. During our 3 1/2 days in the Big Apple, we managed to fit in these activities:
- We strolled through Times Square and Rockefeller Center, including the new F.A.O. Schwartz Toy Store, the big tree, and the astounding music/light display at Sak’s 5th Avenue.
- We took in a Broadway play. For this visit, we saw “My Fair Lady,” one of my all-time favorites. I know every song and most of the dialogue. For this one, we took the subway to Lincoln Center and saw it in the Vivian Beaumont Theater. It was done superbly — every note, every set change, all the costumes fabulous.
- We visited the new World Trade Center and the 9-11 Memorial. Sobering. Such a testament to the resilience of the citizens of NY to rise from those ashes.
- We attended a service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. (More about that in next Friday’s post).
- We browsed the holiday markets at Grand Central Station and at Columbus Circle.
- We gazed at the elaborate window displays along 5th Avenue.
- We had Afternoon Tea at The Plaza — so delicious and elegant. This was my Christmas gift from Steve. I LOVED it!
- We saw the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall featuring the Rockettes. We had seen the Rockettes in Nashville in years past, but I’m so glad we saw them in their home setting. The lighting, staging and special effects were SO MUCH BETTER in NYC.
- We survived several taxi rides with Middle Eastern taxi drivers. 🙂 Actually, they were very friendly and did a good job of navigating the traffic.
- We figured out which way was Downtown and which was Uptown — very important when using the subway system.
- We tried real Manhattan Clam Chowder — and liked it a lot.
- We averaged over 10,000 steps a day.
- We were there for the first two nights of Hanukkah and saw the World’s Largest Menorah.
- We stayed at the Marriott Marquis in the heart of Times Square for 2 nights and then enjoyed our biggest splurge by staying at The Plaza for the last 2 nights. Trust me. The Plaza deserves a blog post all its own. It was everything I had hoped and more.
Now, for a few photos that might tempt you to start planning your Christmas visit to NYC.