December in New York: A Few Favorites

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When I was apartment hunting back in September, I joked to my family and friends that I only had one criterion: I needed an apartment with enough space to display – and store – a Christmas tree.

The thing is, though, that it wasn’t really a joke – anyone who knows me well knows that I looooove Christmastime. Given that, my first December in New York was something I was really looking forward to; visions of holiday markets, sparkling Christmas trees, elaborate window displays, and pop-up skating rinks were dancing in my head. Despite a packed work schedule, I managed to see a lot of the city’s Christmas highlights – though, of course, there are plenty left to tackle next year.

One priority for this month were the various Christmas markets that pop up around the city – I wanted to see them all. While I didn’t quite manage that feat, I did manage to see several. My favorite was probably the market at Columbus Circle, which I had fun browsing despite the fact that I visited in the rain. Here, I scored a beautiful New York skyline ornament.

I work near the Bryant Park markets, so I stopped by those one day at lunch (also, unfortunately, while it was raining). While I didn’t find much to buy at Bryant Park, it was still worth a visit to admire the gorgeous tree and the skating rink.

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Luckily, when I visited the market at Union Square, the sunshine was out in full force. I didn’t buy anything here either, save for some seriously delicious hot chocolate from No Chewing Allowed, a store that specializes in melt-in-your-mouth truffles (hence the name). I enjoyed my hot chocolate in the park with some rather aggressive squirrels – seriously, I was afraid one of these guys was going to pounce on me.

(Doesn’t he look ready to attack?!?)

Elsewhere, I paid a visit to another holiday staple: the Macy’s Christmas Windows. I have to say that, truthfully, my heart belongs to the more stunning Bergdorf’s windows (which I visited in November). Still, the displays here were none too shabby.

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Macy's

After work one day, I also decided to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. As you make your way up Sixth Avenue towards the tree, there are tons of cool, gigantic Christmas displays outside various buildings.

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And when you turn the corner onto 49th Street, well, that’s when the true madness begins. I went fairly late at night, assuming that the chaos might have died down by then. Nope. Not even a little bit – the crowds were wall-to-wall and I didn’t get anywhere close to the tree. It was pretty cool to see it all lit up, but I have to say that I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

And in even more Christmas-related happenings (if you can believe it), I admired the lights at the Time Warner Center:

Smiled every time I spotted a corner Christmas tree stand:

And people-watched at the Central Park skating rink:

I also made my way to Brooklyn to see the Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (which was fantastic):

In non-holiday news, I saw the a capella group Straight No Chaser in concert at the Beacon Theater – they were hilarious and so, so talented:

And I also watched Hedwig on the Angry Inch on Broadway. It was quite different from other Broadway shows I’ve seen, but really entertaining – and Michael C. Hall flat-out kills this role.

I also spent time in one of my favorite Manhattan neighborhoods – the West Village. After a delicious breakfast at Café Cluny, I passed a morning wandering from street to street, poking into shops and ogling the beautiful brownstones.

And the month ended on the highest note of all: celebrating New Year’s Eve with my best friends. We went to a Flapper-themed party in the Financial District and the night was an absolute blast.

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So cheers to December, but even bigger cheers to 2015!


And in you missed it: November in review

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