[Kelly’s Newspaper Column]
There’s something about New York City in December. I love it. The sights, the sounds, smells. The sidewalks are jam-packed with tourists from all around the world, yet no one is rude. Everyone is caught up in the lively festive air of shopping, shows, and surprise delights.
We did some touristy jaunts to see the holiday window displays at Macy’s, Saks, and Bloomingdales. Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store directly across from the promenade of angels and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a treat in itself.
The light show projected onto the façade of the store is reminiscent of a Disney World production complete with music and changing dancing theatrical scenes. The show only takes a few minutes but does the trick to get you feeling all warm inside.
Which is a good thing. It’s cold in New York in December. Past trips have spoiled me. I have walked around Central Park with my coat unzipped in Decembers past. This time we were stung by the wind and my gloves were not enough. A stop in to Macy’s to buy warm mittens was in order.
As was a stop to see Serendipity, the ice cream shop near Bloomingdale’s made famous by the John Cusack movie of the same name. I loved that chick flick from 2001 and I am not alone. We ventured in to the tiny place to shop. A table for a nosh was a nearly two-hour wait. No thanks. I’m too old and too cranky when I’m hungry to wait that long.
Interesting, isn’t it, how simply because a place was in a movie, people now want to go there. The little Serendipity shop would be just as charming if no camera crews ever were there. But now, all these years later, the fame endures and the line for a table never ends.
This trip we also visited the New York Public Library. The entire place is swoon worthy. The building itself is grand architecture flanked with two large marble lions, named Patience and Fortitude. The library is a fascinating place. It’s still a library that people use the old-fashioned way by checking out books and coming to read and study. The main reading room conjures images of Hogwarts.
The NYPL also houses archives that are a goldmine for scholars and researchers. The NYPL is also like a museum with curated collections. At the time of our trip, I was delighted to behold a copy of The Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens’ notes. That won’t be there forever, but one room (the Berg collection) houses Dickens’ writing desk along with manuscripts and notes from countless authors. Be still my heart.
That’s the thrill of New York City. There is something for everyone. Maybe you want to go up in the Empire State Building. Or take in a taping of a show at 30 Rock. Or go to a play or musical. Or visit a museum. Or eat, drink, and be merry.
Sometimes I cram too much into a trip. In our four days, we went to Ingrid Michaelson concert, New York Pops with Megan Hilty, Meteor Shower (play) written by Steve Martin and starring Amy Schumer, and Kinky Boots (musical) starring Tony winner Billy Porter. Plus shopping, eating, drinking, strolling, a lovely visit with a friend, and gawking at Bruce Springsteen. Our hotel was across the street from the theater he is playing at. Bruce exits every night to a small crowd of fans. He smiles, waves, and signs autographs. We happened upon him two nights in a row.
Fleeting meetings with fame are fun. New York City is fun. As Huey Lewis sang, where else can you do a half a million things all at quarter to three? Frank Sinatra was right too, New York is the city that never sleeps. But now I’m home, and need a nap. New York, see you next time.