Before we moved to the Philippines in 1982, every Christmas season my parents, my sister, and I would pile into our massive landbarge of a car and drive into Manhattan. We would slowly cruise up 5th Avenue, staring through frost-tinted cars windows, oohing and ahhing at the lavish, elaborate window displays.
At least, that’s what they tell me. To be honest I don’t really remember much of it. Though I’m sure it was lovely.
Last night, a buddy and I hung out in midtown to take in the sights and get a few photos. We basically wandered from Macy’s in Herald Square, up Broadway, stopping by Rockefeller center to check out the tree, the displays, St Patrick’s .. you know, tourist stuff.
I think Christmas is one of those times of the year where residents are allowed to wander around the city, gawking like tourists. Perhaps because everything is so new and shiny and different. And I have to admit, it was shiny. I’ve spent Christmas in a lot of different cities across two countries, and I can honestly say that none of them come even remotely close to New York in terms of sheer magic in the air.
I suppose that’s what happens when you take a city that’s open (and brightly lit) 24 hours a day and combine it with a holiday that looks its prettiest at night. Not to mention the fact that Christmas has become a holiday of iconography, showiness/oneupmanship, and commercialism. And New York is pretty much the world capitol for all three of those things.
Whatever the reason, though, I’m just happy for the end result. Lots of big, bright, pretty lights everywhere you turn. I could travel the world, spending each Christmas season in a different country, and I’m sure I’d never find one that compares to New York.
God bless us, every one.