A Different Discussion of Christmas Part 2

Santa & I 2011
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
December 22, 2015 11:08am CST
The last time I was in New York City was in September 1985 and the last time I lived in New York City was 1969. I don't see myself ever going back but there are certain times, certain memories I have of life in the city that will never go away and they all revolve around Christmas time, the week before, the day of and the week after. No where in any city of the world is there the combination of magic in New York City especially if there are snow flurries or, maybe, an inch of snow blanketing the city and turning the lights into diamonds in the evening. I still feel the cold nipping at my ears, my nose being red and my being on my butt more than on my feet, not to mention my mittens NOT keeping my hands warm but the wonder of ice skating in the Rockefeller Center, in the middle of Manhattan, under the glow and warmth of one of the tallest decorated Christmas (not holiday!!) trees standing in the shadow of one of New York's most impressive buildings not to forget on the opposite side rows and rows of uncountable poinsettia plants. You are surrounded by people looking down at you from atop the perimeter of the rink plus all the people eating and drinking inside the restaurant that the rink is in the middle of and which you can't wait to get a table, have a hot chocolate and look at the skaters falling on their butts and/or those gracefully doing spin after spin and all enjoying themselves as much as you did. There is the afternoon you wait on line with thousands of other people to get into the cavernous and awe inspiring Radio City Music Hall where you not only saw a movie like Doris Day in "I'll See You In My Dreams" but an even more awe inspiring stage show where there is the Christmas pageant featuring live camels, the Wise Men, a live reenactment of the Nativity that doesn't fail to affect people of all religions or none at all. That is then followed by the amazing Rockettes who go from being wooden play soldiers to rocking to Jingle Bells and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus. There is so much to do so what do you do next? Maybe buy a bag of roasted chestnuts and walk along Fifth Avenue looking in the store windows all decorated with to die for fashions and jewels? Oh, I know, I remember, walk down to Herald Square (I was able to walk in those days) where Macy's and Bloomingdale's try to outdo each other with season decorations and you relive "The Miracle on 34th Street" or wait, wouldn't it be better to walk along Lexington and Madison avenues where you can buy flowers from outside stalls and look at the Christmas trees for sale while the cold goes through you and you stop for another hot chocolate? Hey we can go to the New Hampshire bar on 57th Street and watch a 'Northeasterner' recreated behind the bar and stop by Carnegie Hall and see what/who is playing. It's early evening and it is still light enough to walk in Central Park where the snow covers the din of the city and makes everything feel pure, soft and, yes, Christmas like. It's magic time in a city that at times can be cruel, unfeeling and devoid of magic but for two weeks in late December it is as if Tinkerbell cast her spell and fairy dust over the city and its people. It is two weeks that EVERYONE should experience at least once in their lifetime and I was lucky to experience it many times as I reached adult hood. Don't even get me started about experiencing falling in love for the first time during Christmas in New York---oh, get me started--let's talk about going to the Plaza for a drink, having dinner in the middle of Central Park, taking a carriage ride--let's talk about it in Part 3.
32 people like this
27 responses
@jaboUK (54336)
• United Kingdom
22 Dec 15
I'm absolutely enthralled with New York, thanks to you Martin, you've made it sound magical. I can't believe that I'm your only reader, I'll suggest it to a few people.
6 people like this
@MALUSE (41155)
• Germany
22 Dec 15
Thanks for suggesting this post. @GreatMartin It's really very good!
2 people like this
@pgntwo (21734)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
22 Dec 15
The roasted chestnuts sound interesting. Thanks for suggesting, @JaboUK.
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
Don't go this year--they are having a very warm spell--wait until next year instead of Spain !! LOL
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@LadyDuck (162740)
• Switzerland
22 Dec 15
I have to thank @jaboUK if I came to your post. Great memories, New York it's a magic city during the holidays, I was so lucky to be there one year during the Christmas time.
6 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
I can't imagine Christmas theer this year with temps in the 70s!! Will they import snow and ice!!??
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (162740)
• Switzerland
23 Dec 15
@GreatMartin I do not know, but this year is pretty unusual, we do not have snow even here in Switzerland.
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@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
@GreatMartin What those temperatures in New York? Or where you are ?
@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
22 Dec 15
I have such a vision of what you have seen and it is wonderful if you like that type of thing.
4 people like this
@Rosekitty (19441)
• San Marcos, Texas
22 Dec 15
@Marcyaz I too enjoyed them
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
What is there not to like?
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@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
23 Dec 15
@GreatMartin I do not like feeling hemmed in by all the tall buildings.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118518)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Dec 15
Thank you for sharing this look into life in NYC for the holidays. I've never been and probably never will.
4 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
It should be on everyone's 'bucket list' :O)
2 people like this
@celticeagle (118518)
• Boise, Idaho
23 Dec 15
@GreatMartin ...So many things are further up though.
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
@GreatMartin You have certainly painted a great word picture of a time and place. Thank you
@IreneVincent (16025)
• United States
22 Dec 15
Sounds like you certainly enjoyed that trip to NYC. We went to Radio City Music Hall when we visited NYC too. Saw the Rocketts. It was a long time ago though. We rode the subway too to Coney Island and went to the top of the Empire State Building. I'm like you though. I doubt if I will ever go back to NYC. I don't travel much anymore.
4 people like this
@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
22 Dec 15
I never have been to NYC but I have been to Buffalo. I did not like the buildings that left the sun out and it just felt to closed in with all the people. @IreneVincent
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
I was born and raised in New York city and spent the first 16 years of my life year--now at 80 I know it isn't teh New York I knew! :O)
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
@GreatMartin Maybe you should write some more social history type pieces , you painted such a vivid word picture
@bluesa (13477)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
23 Dec 15
@GreatMartin .That all sounds such a truly marvellous time! And the tree, snow and lights sound magical! Here we have sunshine and barbecues. Thank you for suggesting this discussion @jaboUK .:-)
4 people like this
@jaboUK (54336)
• United Kingdom
23 Dec 15
@bluesa You are welcome
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
It was!!
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@amadeo (67521)
• United States
22 Dec 15
thanks for the memory.
4 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
Did you ever have a Christmas week in New York?
1 person likes this
@Rosekitty (19441)
• San Marcos, Texas
22 Dec 15
Guess i need to go back and see part 1..Loved reading all the details you posted of places i have never been to but feel like i was there..thanks for that!
3 people like this
@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
22 Dec 15
Excellent memories weren't they @Rosekitty
3 people like this
@Rosekitty (19441)
• San Marcos, Texas
22 Dec 15
@Marcyaz fantastic memories..i have some of mine but not as clear as his
3 people like this
@Marcyaz (35651)
• United States
22 Dec 15
@Rosekitty Mine are definitely not as clear as Martins.
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@WorDazza (10103)
• Manchester, England
22 Dec 15
New York isn't really somewhere I've thought of visiting but it sounds like it may be a great place to spend Christmas. Maybe you should be working for the New York Tourist Board
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
It is definitely something to experience at least once in your lifetime. If I work for them I would have to live there--been there, done that! Not again! :O)
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10103)
• Manchester, England
23 Dec 15
@GreatMartin Maybe you could be a tele-commuting tourist board worker. Maybe not! Probably not much of an advert for a place if its tourist board workers don't want to live there
3 people like this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
@Wordazza I had thought to ask GreatMartin whether he was in the travel writing business. And if not he surely could be. If I were him I would pitch this to the new York Chamber of Commerce or the like !!
3 people like this
@BelleStarr (38918)
• United States
22 Dec 15
New York is magical at Christmas time, I love looking in the store windows and just people watching.
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
Yes and to think some people don't know what they are missing!! :O)
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@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
@BelleStarr I have heard that the window displays are works of art in themselves. Though if the mannequins are as skinny and malnourished looking as the waifs who stalk the catwalks and pose in the fashion magazines, then I would not enjoy the fashion centre
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (38918)
• United States
24 Dec 15
@Auntylou Since they are not fashion windows you would enjoy them they are magical.
1 person likes this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
23 Dec 15
This post was magical in itself! I have never really wanted to visit New York City, it always looks so cold and unfriendly. However, the way you describe it in your post makes me want to visit during Christmas and experience all these magical places and sites! This is a wonderful piece of writing!
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
Thank you! This year it is too warm--wait until next year--and start saving your money now--it is very expensive, especially around Christmas/New Year's time but while you are there might as well experience New Year's Eve in Times Square!!
2 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
24 Dec 15
@GreatMartin I think that would be a great idea! I would love to see New Year's Eve in Time Square too!
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
25 Dec 15
@sgbrown You better like mobs!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (125418)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Dec 15
What a lovely word-picture. I can imagine how magical it must have been. Thanks @jaboUK.
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
It's great but true memories are like that!
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@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
@JudyEv you are so right to thank the other Janet. It is a good thing for us to have her here lots picking out gems
2 people like this
@JudyEv (125418)
• Bunbury, Australia
27 Dec 15
@Auntylou I hope we don't all get too lazy! However it is easy to miss some great posts.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41916)
• El Paso, Texas
22 Dec 15
You are definately a city boy ... er man ... and I suppose during Christmas there's nothing quite like a big city like NYC. Still, I'd rather read about it than live it, I love the open wild spaces in the country of which there are so few these days.
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
You wouldn't give a week of your life to experience something you won't experience any where else???? To me that's sad but I've spent time in wide open spaces in Texas just to experience it!!
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41916)
• El Paso, Texas
23 Dec 15
I'm afraid I hate cities @GreatMartin I love Mother Nature so for me it's far better to live where there is lots of open spaces and as for visiting cities, not for me, I'd rather visit the forests of Canada or north America than any city you could name.
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
@rebelann Fort Lauderdale where you can experience Mother Nature at her best with the Everglades, Atlantic Ocean, etc. All open spaces--don't judge cities by what you think they are. :O)
1 person likes this
@simone10 (21655)
• Louisville, Kentucky
23 Dec 15
I visited New York once about 10 years ago and had such a good time. I wish I had moved there and lived for a while when I was young. Now I am too old for the hustle and bustle.
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
I agree about that last sentence!!
2 people like this
@simone10 (21655)
• Louisville, Kentucky
28 Dec 15
@GreatMartin I still want my brother and I to visit there at least once during the time the Christmas decorations are up. It is just so pretty and it does get you in the holiday spirit.
@Namelesss (1388)
• United States
23 Dec 15
Wonderful magical tale of Christmas in New York. Never been but have no real desire to go. However I LOVED sharing in your memories. :)
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
It is something EVERYONE should experience!! :O)
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
If New York now were perhaps like it was those many years ago i would have considered it, There would not be room for everyone@GreatMartin, or the city would sink!!
@garymarsh6 (14263)
• United Kingdom
22 Dec 15
New York is certainly a magical city. It gives a real buzz and you have certainly caught it in your post!
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
Though I would never go back there I have many good memories of the first 16 years of my life spent there!
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
I have never been but it is not impossible. though after flying to jamaica I vowed that I would not fly long distance again unless I could afford first class and I really don't see that happening for a good stretch still
@Traceyjayne (1114)
• United Kingdom
23 Dec 15
I have never been to New York. Maybe in the future....
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
When? Next Christmas? A decade from now? Seriously, make plans for this once in a lifetime trip and stay for New Year's Eve in Times Square BUT it will be expensive so start a New York savings fund!!
@jstory07 (68146)
• Roseburg, Oregon
23 Dec 15
I have not been to new York in a lot of years.I would love to go back there.
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
23 Dec 15
I have heard it has changed so much I wouldn't know the New York I knew! :O)
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
Thank you @Jabo for this recommendation. I have not been here much and would have missed this wonderful piece of writing were it not for you. Merry Christmas time for one and all
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54336)
• United Kingdom
24 Dec 15
@Auntylou - This is how the 'suggest' button should work - bringing people to see something they would otherwise have missed.
2 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
@jaboUK I have to get use to that suggestion button!!
2 people like this
@jaboUK (54336)
• United Kingdom
24 Dec 15
@GreatMartin It's a lovely way of bringing good posts to our friends' attention. Just try to make sure you don't suggest them to someone who's already commented on that post I don't do it often - that way my friends know that if I suggest something it IS good.
1 person likes this
@bookbar (1612)
• Sudbury, England
23 Dec 15
City life will always have advantages,especially around Xmas, but if it weren't for the disadvantages, more of us would probably visit, I have to say that I can't wait to get out of the cities after a visit and back to quiet, unstressed country living.....
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
24 Dec 15
I lived in London for a while but didn't like it. I prefer a smaller scale and to live in a neighbourly place. Nice to visit though
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
24 Dec 15
I live in Fort Lauderdale but in an area you are away from the lights and noise of a big city and am surrounded by water and Mother Nature!!
2 people like this
@bookbar (1612)
• Sudbury, England
24 Dec 15
@GreatMartin Sounds good to me Merry Xmas!
1 person likes this