If I had to choose one city in the world to spend Christmas every single year, it would definitely be New York City. I wanted to visit the American metropolis during the winter holidays since I was a child, from the first viewing of the film “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” where Kevin McCallister introduced us to the warm atmosphere of the city and made us dream of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, and the winter landscapes of Central Park.
Last year I had my Christmas in New York marked off my wish list, which you can see here. In this article I will show you a list of 10 things to see or do in the Big Apple, as follows:
Christmas in New York City – what to add on your bucket list
Admire the giant decorations on 5th and 6th Avenue
The big red Christmas globes, placed on the reflective pool and the giant installations on the 5th and 6th Avenue will make you feel like a dwarf in the Giants country or like Alice in Wonderland. In New York City, Christmas decorations are superlative. It’s very pleasant to walk on the busy streets, filled with curious tourists and to hear the carols in the speakers, installed near the Rockefeller Center. Even if are not lucky enough to catch a white Christmas in Manhattan, you can fill the lack of snow with the lights and colors.
Visit The Charging Bull on Wall Street
The 3 tons bronze statue, sculpted by Arturo Di Modica, an artist of Italian origin, has become a symbol of the Financial District, representing wealth and power. The bull is also decorated with festive fir wreath. If you want to have some luck, then it’s a must to come to Wall Street, and shoot the bull by the horns, nose and … testicles. It’s one of the most photographed tourist attractions in New York, and you will have to sit in a queue to get a picture with the famous statue, especially during the festive season.
Explore the neighborhoods of Manhattan to see how the new yorkers are decorating their houses
We all like to have our homes decorated for Christmas, no matter what part of the world we live in. Residents of New York, however, they bring the decorations to a higher level. In fact, Americans across the country are obsessed with adorning houses and their neighborhoods shine very nice during the holidays. To understand how it feels here the magic of Christmas, you really need to walk New York and admire the houses in the Upper East Side, or even in Brooklyn. I promise you will not be disappointed at all, and you’ll feel as if you are on a movie set of American film production. Let your imagination run wild and think that you turned into Carrie from Sex and The City or Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.
World Trade Center Memorial
Be better at Christmas! We all hear this urge in this period, and it has become so common that we seem to forget the deep meaning of it. However, if we were to think about the true meaning of this holiday, we realize that indeed we should try to be better in Christmas, more tolerant and less selfish than in the rest of the year when we are assaulted by problems and everyday stress. For this reason, last year I chose to visit the memorial dedicated to the victims of 11 September 2001 and to remember that the lives of those people ended in a very tragic and sudden way and that they can not be present for the holidays anymore, next to their loved ones. Therefore, we should learn to cherish these moments more and be grateful for what we have.
Although I had already seen it in pictures, I was very impressed by the design of the structure, which was selected from a list of no less than 5200 proposals from 63 countries. The architects are Michael Arad and Peter Walker, and the project had assigned a suggestive name, Reflecting Absence. The artificial waterfalls were constructed with the intention to blur the noise of the city and allow us to contemplate the tragic event, followed by 2983 names inscribed on the black walls.
Go to Rockefeller Center and see one of the most famous Christmas trees in the world
For more than seven decades, people all over the world come to admire the most lighted tree Manhattan has to offer, the one next to the Rockefeller Center. Specifically, about half a million people come to admire the towering tree, located above the rink, and the bronze Prometheus statue, daily. The Christmas tree is decorated with about 50 000 LEDs in all colors and a proudly placed Swarovski star, on the top.
Feel the holidays right in the heart of Manhattan, Times Square
Obviously, no visit to New York would be complete without at least a brief shift to the busiest intersection in Manhattan, namely, Times Square. Although it is a must to come here in Christmas, Times Square has more importance in the New Years Eve. Then, a million people gather in the street and one billion in front of the TV, to watch the live countdown, preceded by the fall of the ball and the fireworks. All of these are taking place right here.
Skate on Wollman Rink in Central Park
Probably the favorite activity of New Yorkers, also became an enshrined tradition, is skating. Nor would it be surprising, given that New York benefits from some of the most famous and beautiful rinks in the world, whether we are talking about Wollman Rink in Central Park, Rockefeller Center rink or Citipond of Bryant’s Park. The largest and the one with the greatest view of Manhattan’s skyline is the rink in Central Park so that one pulled the winning ticket in our case. Certainly, the rink had appeared in many famous movie productions that have had it as a film studio. Among them, you can find Serendipity, Love Story, Home Alone 2 and My Sassy Girl. The rink was first opened in 1950 and now belongs to the businessman and future President of the United States, Donald Trump. Don’t forget to bring your Starbucks coffee with you 😀
Take a picture of the famous LOVE letters
I don’t know exactly where the love letters are located at this moment, but last year, for Christmas, they were located somewhere on 6th Avenue. You may find them in the same place. They have become a symbol of the city, so if you are on a romantic getaway, do not hesitate to take a picture with your boyfriend, perfect to post it on Instagram 🙂
Visit one of the Christmas markets
Like any big city that respects itself, New York has no shortage of Christmas markets. More than that, it will actually be quite a difficult task to choose because there are many and very beautiful. We chose a smaller Christmas market, near Battery Park because it was in our way. If you wish to visit one the largest and most famous, you can opt for the Union Square, Columbus Circle or Bryant Park.
Enjoy a pretzel or a hot dog
Another thing I really appreciate, especially when it comes to New York, is street food. Street vendors will capture your gaze with bagels with poppy or sesame seeds, hot dogs, shawarma and other very tasty foods from the fast food variety, especially fresh and hot. Prices are more than acceptable, but it is likely to have to wait in a long queue. Don’t worry, things are moving very quickly and as quick as you say Yummy, the bagel will be in your hand, ready to gobble up. : D