looking festive, nyc

all dressed up for the holidays

New York City really goes all in for the holidays. As someone who spent a majority of her life living in sunny southern California where the best you can hope for is a string light-wrapped palm tree, I don’t take festive holiday spirit for granted. There’s some intangible magic within the wreaths and ribbons that transform even the most jaded city dwellers into joyous spirits. It transforms the city streets from a chaotic, uncomfortable mess to, well, a chaotic, merry mess.

Something about the spruce trimmed façades and shiny bauble adorned windows make shopping along 5th Avenue a cheery experience, enough to compel me to actually go to midtown for the sake of going to midtown. The ostentatious decorations work: consumerism at its best. Holiday shopping season is overwhelming by nature, so I suppose it is fitting that it happens in an overwhelming atmosphere that hits on all senses.

New York City is iconic during the holidays, the minute it transforms from the fall shit of October to full seasons greetings November 1. From giant ornamented trees to winter villages and holiday markets, the city is its best self during the holidays, timeless. Photogenic as hell. Postcard perfect, even when teeming with tourists.

the golden age of the department store seems long past, but the holidays breathe life into them, the glory days when this was the center of culture, of retail, of lifestyle and fashion in the city, where windows capture fantastical scenes that inspire nostalgic dreams of new traditions

and then there’s the opulent hotels, classic architecture, old guard luxury, romanticized version of the city, made even more special in holiday mode

5th Ave doesn’t really make for a pleasant walk. it’s a means to an end, the end being the shopping errands you need to run. the convenience of the central commercial zone makes up for the inconvenience of weaving through the crowded sidewalks. “better than soho” you say to yourself.

5th Ave during the holidays though, is a different scene entirely. the luxury storefronts go all out, wrapped up like a gift, a luxury for all to enjoy, even from the sidewalks.

and then there’s the tree. the icon. the famous, regal tree, all dressed up in colorful lights, that people flock to see, a symbol that Christmas is upon us, glittering, towering over the crowds below

30 rock still rocks after all these years

winter village at bryant park

there are several holiday markets that take over parks this time of year, but bryant park is a particularly good one, a refuge surrounded by skyscrapers, pretty as can be

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