Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Christmas Time in the City", New York

I spent the day in NYC with the main goal being to sight see and view the Christmas decorations, especially the massive and impressive Rockefeller Center Tree. It was a blustery 30 degree day so ducking into numerous buildings to warm up offered some relief.

The "Top of the Rock" observation level on the 67th-69th floors in the GE building was a perfect activity for a crystal clear afternoon. The brief 1 minute elevator ride features a glass top and light and video show on the ceiling on the way to the top floor. I thought it might be frigid but the decks are surrounded by 8 foot high plexi-glass windows which offered a wind block at least. The upper-most deck is smaller and offers no glass walls, virtually no weather protection, but more importantly no obstructions to 360 degree views.

At dusk, the Rockefeller Center was just mobbed by thousands of tourists, many were shuffling to the best photo spots of the impressive "Tree" and angels that run the length of the promenade. Saks had crowds 6-deep trying to look into their decorative windows. The front of Saks was decorated with enormous light-up snowflakes that were synced to songs that boomed over their speakers.

Some other highlights of the day were Times Square, Apple Store, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the decorated Plaza, Trump Plaza and all the great sunlit and electronic street scenes. I looked carefully for the "Cash Cab" to ride, but we ended up riding in a regular sedan.

Needless to say, everything was crowded and foot travel was slower then normal due to massive amounts of people. People were full of the holiday spirit and very cordial in spite of the crowds. Bustling should be expected when going to NYC during the Christmas Season, but it is truly fun and motivational.

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