If I am not at home for Christmas, then there is only one place I would rather be and that, my festive friends, is New York City.
Actually, who am I kidding? The truth is that I could (and do) proclaim the same any time of year, regardless of whether spring daffodils pepper my garden or whether the sturdy heel of my oh-so-unglamorous-but-ultra-comfy black boots trample the auburn fall foliage beneath with crispy aplomb.
Empire State of Christmas
Many of you may already be familiar with that (my love for New York I mean, not my ugly boots), since I have attested to it before many a time on this blog; but I myself remain puzzled as to where I acquired such an innate affection for a city I have never lived in and have been to just three times (four if you count a trip as a toddler).
New York Public Library
One can’t help but postulate whether in some former life, perhaps New York City was home, maybe it was the scene of an epic romance that I was privy to or perhaps the universe has plans to transport me there more permanently one day in this life… (wishful thinking but a girl can dream!)
Christmas Light Displays in NYC
When I eventually win that Euro Millions jackpot or when NYC hotels come even within sniffing range of the term “affordable”, then I will make it an annual ritual to hop on board that trans-Atlantic flight. (For a great little Manhattan boutique hotel, check out my review of Cassa Times Square)
Cassa Hotel Times Square
Until then though, I cherish the sporadic visits I make every few years, each time arriving on the streets of Manhattan with the kind of fresh-faced, enchanted glint in my eyes that would convince you I had never travelled outside my own house, let alone to the bright lights of the Big Apple.
New York City at Christmas Time
My previous visits to New York have always fallen in summer or autumn months and last year, just before we headed on board a Caribbean cruise in December, we took advantage of the timing to experience NYC at Christmas time. The Pogues & Kirsty McColl’s Fairytale in New York has long been my favourite Christmas song (and not because it has New York in the title!) but I could never understand how a song that sounds so uplifting when it blares from the radio speakers could be filled with such grumpy undertones and words like “scumbag…maggot…cheap lousy…”
At Christmas time though, the fairy tale of New York becomes a most apparent reality. The already heavily illuminated city becomes over-charged with shimmering shop displays and towering Christmas trees; ice rinks with picture-perfect backdrops that we know and love from countless Hollywood movies open up, where couples glide along hand in hand and children lurking beneath bobbled-woolly hats cart ahead of the parents tentatively grabbing the rails.
Bryant Park Ice Rink
Markets are brimming with jovial tradesman, who serve belly-warming snacks in quintessentially American-sized portions to keep visitors well-fuelled for the Arctic temperatures of a New York winter – or at least, that’s what normally happens but we lucked out by arriving during one of the warmest winter week’s in New York history!
Bryant Park Winter Village
There are thousands of attractions in NYC even for the repeat visitor and 3 adult trips to NYC later, I have barely scratched the neon surface but for today’s post, I wanted to show you the sights and locations where I felt most festive and where the spirit of Christmas in New York City came most alive. I must thank Carolann and Cass, for the helpful insider tips they gave me before I went.