A few days ago after a leisurely brunch I took the self-guided quintessential New York at Christmas tour. I did not take a prescribed route but rather served as guide to one of my coworkers, Natalie, who is from Germany by way of London and this is her first Christmas in New York. Thus, we took a tour of the sites from Park to Avenue of the America’s crossing the high 40’s and low 50’s. There you have dozens of hotels, Rockefeller Center, Saks, the famous tree, St. Patrick’s, and dozens of more festive sites decked out for the holidays.We began with these giant nutcrackers on Park:
After taking a few photos we zig-zagged through the neighborhood and I stopped to take dozens of photos. In my opinion one of the best things about New York at Christmas is how lavishly decorated the hotels get. Here are some of my favorite shots from our afternoon of playing tourist.
We made a slight two-block detour and had a very Gossip Girl moment at the Lotte New York Palace. You may remember the Villard Mansion in some key Blair / Serena / Chuck scenes and we had a great time posing with their massive and beautifully decorated tree.
From 50th and Madison we headed East to 5th Avenue and I made sure to get a picture of the Atlas statue before heading to one place I make sure to visit every year at Christmas, St. Patricks Cathedral.
One you exit the church the steps of St. Patrick’s lead you right to the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue whose Christmas windows are always on point. From there we crossed the street and you can not miss the tree at Rockerfeller Center – it is part of the true New York at Christmas experience. There happened to be a band concert on the rink that afternoon so we were not able to see people skating but we knew they were there!
After the tree it was on to 6th Avenue and walking up and down the few blocks famous for their oversized Christmas decorations. I have seen the massive ornaments before around this time of year but the lights were new to me. And the answer to a question I am sure I will get, yes, the temperature on the marquee was correct – 64 degrees on December 13th!
After that I had been bumped by enough tourists for the day and bee-lined out of Christmas central and headed back to the Upper East Side happy having got my fill of holiday cheer!
Have you ever been to New York at Christmas?