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2011 NYC Holiday visit

Every Holiday season, we make a trip to NYC to check out the window displays of the major department stores (Macy’s, Saks, Bloomingdale’s, etc…) Without fail, we always seem to like Macy’s the best. This year was no exception. Since Macy’s is a corner store, it always has two different sets of window displays. While the windows on the Broadway side was extremely cool, our favorite this year were the ones on the 34th St.

The theme was  “Yes, Virginia”, which was inspired by the true story of little 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun in 1897, asking if there really was a Santa Claus. The answer to this question recently generated some very passionate discussions. More than a 100 years later, a NYC second grade teacher answered the question differently than that of the Sun’s editor Francis Church (“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …”) and instantly found herself in the middle of a fire storm. We support the teacher, but maybe she should have just gone with the tried and true classic answer… just sayin’.

While Macy’s displays were great, Lord & Taylor’s (151 W. 34 St.) was also quite amazing. The theme for their windows is “What is Christmas Made Of?” Children in Women In Need shelters and local schools were asked to draw their answers to that question. The windows and 125 of the drawings which inspired them are on display now. Many of scenes and figures are mechanically animated. The effect is quite mesmerizing.

Of course, all of New York City is pretty magical this time of the year. After the window displays, Rockefeller Center is probably the next on the list of “must-see” for out-of-towners visiting the Big Apple. The giant Christmas tree, the ice skating rink, and the festive decorations surround the area will put anyone into the Holiday mood.

Once you are in the “giving” frame of mind, there are no shortage of ways one can spend in the city. A king’s ransom in jewels and treasures are on display in most of the windows and the storefronts along 5th Avenue.

If you don’t want to risk your sweety-pie to accidentally see the price of the shiny sparkly bauble you got for her in a display, then best get off the main drag and stroll along the side streets. There are just as many decorations, just fewer windows.

We strolled for hours and had a great time. There are just too many other places (FAO SchwartzNew York Public Libraryetc…) to mention, but if you can find the time to look at the displays in Macy’s windows and visit Rockefeller Center, you have done the two most festive things you can do this time of the year in NYC. Happy Holidays!!!

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