I’ve lived in central New Jersey for nearly 13 years now and, until last night, had never been to New York during the week before Christmas. I’ve always had this angst about driving through traffic, walking around in freezing temperatures and pushing through a massive crowd of tourists during the most materialistic time of the year. But, when a friend called on a whim yesterday to see if I wanted to drive in with her for a look at the tree and a walk around Rockefeller Plaza (on a school night!), I decided to be spontaneous and go for it.
From the crowded subways to the crowded streets, I was reminded of one of the many reasons that I love living where I do, just about an hour’s drive from the PATH station in Hoboken. New York is a magical place when it’s not the holiday season, but on a cold, crisp December night the week before Christmas and Hanukah, it is truly something out of a dream! It’s filled to the brim with tourists talking and laughing in every language and snapping pictures, steeped in the good smells of food wafting from the street vendors and restaurants, twinkling like the Milky Way with billions of colored lights hanging from every tree and every shop window, and overflowing with holiday cheer.
This year, Saks Fifth Avenue put on another spectacular 3D Projection show and it is really a sight to behold. After a delicious dinner in one of NY’s many little Italian restaurants, we approached the Plaza to see a crowd of people looking up at Saks where a series of projected gears turned on the wall of the building and a clock ticked down the minutes and seconds… to what? We waited to see and discovered that, every thirteen minutes, you can stand on the street and take in a magical, two-minute musical and cinematic extravaganza. Watch it this morning, if you have the time. It is pure fun.
We stayed until after 10:00. Our toes and fingers were cold, we were tired and ready to be back home in our beds, and the subway going back was bursting with people as we laughed, trying to keep each other from falling over as the train lurched toward New Jersey. We didn’t buy a single present and everything we saw was free but the memories are priceless.
I hope your days are full of magic, too. Happy Holidays, everyone!