Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas in New York

I think the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is one image everyone thinks of when they think of Christmas in New York.

This is the 2008 tree!

There is an interesting story behind this year's tree. It was located on the grounds of the Tree King nursery in Hamilton, New Jersey, owned by the Varanyak family. Bill Varanyak told New York's WNBC-TV the 77-year-old tree was planted after his parent's used it as their first Christmas tree in 1931.
He says they call it "the miracle tree" because his late mother always said it would one day be on display at Rockefeller Center.

If you'd like, you can watch a video of the last few seconds of tree lighting ceremony that took place on December3, from a link here.

This year a beautiful big Swarovski Crystal star that weighs 550 pounds and is almost 10 feet in diameter, was placed on top of the tree!

A close up:

There was a replica of the star for view on the ground level plaza near the tree:

Underneath Rockefeller Center there is an underground concourse which is an interconnected series of pedestrian passages that stretch from 47th Street to 51st Street, and from 5th Avenue to 7th Avenue. It contains stores, coffee shops, restaurants and the entrance to the subway.
The pretty live poinsettia tree formations in the photo below were located in an area there.

This was the view of the ice skating rink that is located at the base of the tree in Rockefeller Center. The line to pay for ice skating was not too long on a Monday afternoon this early in December, but on weekends, and closer to Christmas, be prepared to wait a long time on a long line if you wish to ice skate! It is a memorable treat and fun day or night!

Here is a close up iconic statue of Prometheus that floats above the skating pond.
You can read an interesting story about the man who posed for this statue in 1933 in this New York Times article.

Another view of the ice skate rink:

A view of the tree from the sidewalk entrance off 5 Th Avenue in the photo below. There are professional photographers waiting to take your portrait standing at different angles near the tree if you wish, for a fee . There are also many interesting little stores located on the ground level on either side of this concourse.

A view of the tree and the Rockefeller Center building from the other side of 5 Ave, in front of the Saks Fifth Avenue Department store. I couldn't really get both the "Top Of The Rock" as the top of the building is called, and the tree in the photo!
The "Top Of The Rock" is a wonderful place to visit (for a fee) to get a high, panoramic view of New York City, and it's lines are sometimes less crowded than The Empire State Building and some feel the view is better too!

The Saks Fifth Avenue Department store ( photo below) is worth a visit to see both the decorated windows outside and the decorations inside. They also use the most wonderful gift boxes and shopping bags during the Christmas season.
For a treat go to the Charbonnel Chocolate Cafe on the 8 floor of Saks for some hot chocolate, coffee or tea and a chocolate dessert! Check the link to see a photo of the revolving dessert counter!

Many of the store and business buildings along 6th Avenue have holiday decorations outside too!

Radio City Music Hall is another attraction that is associated with New York City especially at Christmas, as the Christmas Spectacular show stars the world famous Radio City Rockettes. Click on the link to see some short videos of the show including the beautiful living Nativity scene, the dancing Santas and the high kicking Rockettes!

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrates its 76 year in 2008!

Aren't these giant red ornaments wonderful? They are located outside a building across the street from Radio City Music Hall.

New York City is such a special place at Christmas time!
It is full of the hustle and bustle of shoppers and tourists, and also the quiet reverence of the celebration of Christ's birth in Nativity scenes inside most of its churches. I'll show the beautiful one in St. Patrick's Cathedral next blog post.

And you never know .................................................. just might run into.................

.................................... Santa Claus walking down the street!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
* Grandbaby update: We are still awaiting our little grandson. My daughter-in-law is feeling well and her doctor said everything is normal, so it will happen soon!
I'll certainly post the news as soon as I can. Thanks for all your continued support and prayers.


Judy said...

Oh...New York at Christmas looks wonderful! I've seen many of these scenes on TV at different times...but how nice to see them from a friend's perspective.

(I await the news with you...and will share in your joy!)

Susie Q said...

These images just put a huge smile in my heart. Hpw I love NYC and to be there at Christmas time is a dream. Thank you for all of this.

I keep thinking about that sweet grandbaby...he will be here soon! And what a wonderful Christmas gift!


Susie Q said...

These images just put a huge smile in my heart. Hpw I love NYC and to be there at Christmas time is a dream. Thank you for all of this.

I keep thinking about that sweet grandbaby...he will be here soon! And what a wonderful Christmas gift!


Willow said...

Still waiting? We're waiting with you!

New York/Manhattan looks just like I imagined it during Christmas!

steviewren said...

A trip to New York at Christmas time would be magic. I am so glad that you are willing to be the guide for all of us who don't have the opportunity to do so.

...waiting patiently...what else can you do?

Anonymous said...

What nice memories you created for me today! Thanks so much for continuing to post these wonderful photos! Merry Christmas xox

Vee said...

Glad to know that all is well with your daughter-in-law. Still praying.

I've been here forever...listening to your playlist and looking over past posts and showing John things.

My favorite building is the one with the snowflakes on the outside. I bet it's gorgeous at night.

Marg said...

Oh, Just like I remember it a few years ago. We were right down town at the Marriott and we saw all those wonderful sights at the end of November. So beautiful.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Maybe baby boy needs a cup of coffee? :-) This is going to be the best Christmas ever for you. And how nice it will be that some day, thanks to the internet, you'll be able to share your anticipation leading up to his arrival with him!

I was going to head over to Rock Center on my way out work (since it's, like, 60 degrees out!) but it's rainy and yucky so your lovely photos will more than satisfy my need for a "tree fix." :-)

hugs, Laura

Rue said...

Thank you Pat :)

My life is insane right now LOL

I just love Christmas in NY! It brings back a ton of memories :)

Oh and My mom had to make a decision on whether or not to move with us to Ohio or to go to Arizona by my brother. You know where she is, right? I'm not mad at all, because she was able to live by me while my kids were growing up for the most part and now she gets to enjoy my nephew.

So follow your heart and do what you think is best for everyone, but mostly for you and your husband :)

(((hugs right back)))

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat, yes I rec'd your message. I should have responded. I'm glad they arrived safe. You're welcome and enjoy. I enjoyed doing the give-a-way very much.

Thank you for the wonderful Christmas tour of the city. I have only been there once for a week with my sisters and loved the New York experience so much. I hope I can go again sometime. The Huge Christmas balls were amazing. It is all beautiful.

Thinking of you baby wait. Wishing everyone the best.

I am showing the rest of Simple Elegance tomorrow. Come over Pat. It is a beautiful tour. Not expensive either.

Christmas Hugs.

Strider said...

You always do such a nice job with your posts. I enjoyed the usual. Thanks again for bringing a litte bit of Christmas Spirit to Washington State today. Have a great rest of the week. Strider

Bo said...

Oh Pat, thank you again for showing me the Christmas in New York I'll probably never get to grandson is going there this year so I'll tell him about all of the wonderful things he should see... :-) Bo

Unknown said...

Oh Pat, it's very Christmas-sy over here, everywhere there's Xmas songs and decor..but I dont think it's quite the same to be in New York. To see, feel and smell that big Xmas tree and go skating (well..not that I can) but to really experience the magical of playing with snow..I really want to try day, soon hopefully. Big hugs always :D

Tara said...


The nest time I am at Saks I am trying the hot chocolate! I did not know about the Rockerfeller statue, very interesting...and I live here!


PS---maybe your grandchild will come this weekend!

Southern Lady said...

Pat, I loved seeing "Christmas in New York" through your eyes (and your camera's lens) ... it looks like a magical place to be during the holidays.

And I love the sweet story about the majestic "miracle tree." I'm so glad it was honored by being chosen as the Rockefeller Center tree this year.

Best wishes to you and your family as you look forward to welcoming your sweet grandbaby. What a wonderful time of the year for him to be born.



Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Pat, you always show us such incredible pictures of NYC. Our governor's mansion here in Georgia has those big red ornaments. They are so neat. I keep thinking of your little grandbaby. He will come out when he's ready. tee hee.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

What a lovely post! I have enjoyed 2 visits to NYC, but never at Christmastime. I think that would be wonderful!! Thanks for sharing your city. I love your new header picture, too.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You have made me want to be in New York! Such wonderful holiday decorations! It does look like so much fun!

Betsy Brock said...

I always love to hear about the history of the Rockefeller tree! How neat that it was a couple's Christmas tree back in 1931. What a long life..and wonderful honor this Christmas!

Unknown said...

I always enjoy your posts so much! We just had a group from here get back from NYC on Sunday. I bet they saw lots of the stuff in your pictures!

It just looks so exciting! I look forward to coming up there soon...maybe you'll be in town and can meet us.

Hang in there with the grandbaby....It won't be long!

Wendy said...

What a great story about this year's tree. Haven't been to that part of town yet.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, Pat! What a treat! I've been chained to decorating all day, and to see this was just what the doctor ordered. I'm determined to one day get to NYC at Christmas. My husband has been, but I haven't. Seeing this wonderful pictures makes me really anxious to go. Loved all of it! From the skaters to the tree to the fountains to the nutcrackers to the poinsetta trees... all! Thanks so much for sharing this!



Sue said...

Oh how I miss being in the city at Christmas...My daughter's office is at Rockefeller Center, she used to live on 50th. at 2nd....yes, right next door to where the crane collasped....We always stayed at the Waldorf for Christmas and one year on Christmas Eve as we were leaving the daughter's apartment just as we walked out the front door it started to snow....I'll never forget that, it was wonderful....Thank you for all the wonderful pictures...

Anonymous said...

I have been getting NYC Marriot rewards promotions for days(I think we stayed in a Marriot in St. Louis and they love to fill my e-mail with tempting travel treats now!) and I have been forwarding them to the two buddies who went with me to NYC several years ago to celebrate my BD---anyway, with Marriot travel temptations and your AMAZING photos of Christmas in NY--well, I can hardly STAND it!!! I honestly think that in a former life I was a Rockette or someone coming to the USA via Ellis Island! I feel such a connection and love for that spot! Thank you for letting me see it during the HOlidays!
Keeping you in my thoughts as you await the arrival of your little gr. boy! Dana
PS- So looking forward to St. Pat's Cathedral! I was in awe of it on a warm Aug. day--I can't imagine its beauty in December!

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

You have really been busy! What a great place to celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve. I went on a girl trip to NYC one time and we had a blast, saw all the neat sites.

Melissa Miller said...




Joanne Kennedy said...

I'm so happy to hear that mommy and baby are doing well and thrilled to think you and your family will have a wonderful new addition this year for Christmas!

New York is beautiful any time but it has a certain lovely feel in the air at Christmas time. I would give anything to be there durning this time of year.

I have always wanted to see the windows at Christmas. Also to see the Macy's Santa.

Do you have any idea how lucky you are to live there!


Kathy said...

Pat NYC looks so wonderful all dressed up for xmas, I love the giant nutcrackers, I collect them, I have one for each year we have been in the USA. (I was lucky enough to get Mr Gunther Ulbricht to sign my latest purchase only today).

Your little grandson is staying in the warm Pat, even here in CA it was almost freezing and there was snow in Texas!, looking forward to hearing as soon as he arrives, hugs, Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you so much, Pat, for giving us NYC!!

The tree is magnificent. All the photos are glorious! I love this post!!

We were so very fortunate to see the Rockettes, twice, when they were performing at the Grand Palace, in Branson Missouri. The last time we saw them was the last Christmas they were there. Sadly, that theatre is closed.

We absolutely loved the show and will never forget it.

I guess you already know, the Rockettes originated in St Louis. I think there will be a performance at the fabulous Fox, this year. I saw something about it the other day. Would be great to see them again!

Anonymous said...

Awesome, awesome photos, Pat! I was there last year. My photos of the tree did not come out well at all. Ugh! Perhaps, I'll stop by again this year. I love how you've captured the spirit of the place. Thanks always for sharing with us.

Paz (sending good thoughts to you and the family!) XOXO

Tracy said...

New York is beautiful in her Christmas glow and glory! That Swarovski star is a stunner! Such a fun post...And thanks for the update. I came over hoping for news--LOL! Glad all is well though. He will be here soon...a healthy baby and happy delivery are all that matter. Thinking of you all as you wait...and sharing in the joy! Happy Days to you all ((HUGS))

Lorrie said...

Hi Pat, I'm dropping in to visit from a link on another blog. I am a transplanted New Yorker living in North Carolina now. I grew up in Queens, then in Rockville Centre, then went to college in Albany where I lived for many years before moving to NC.

Ijust love NYC at Christmas! I have such wonderful memories of the tree in Rockefeller Center, ice skating and going to Radio City with my grandma to see the Rockettes in the Christmas show. Afterwards we would eat at the Automat at Horn and Hardarts, which I just loved as a child.

Thanks for all the wonderful memories!

Anonymous said...

Hia Pat, good to hear that all is ok with daughter-in-law.

What a lovely story with that tree. I wonder if the man wrote a letter saying "you've got to have this tree- my wife has had to be right about everything since 1931 so this can't be the exception." LOL :-) Seriously though what a wonderful act of faith for so many years.

I remember FAO Schwartz feeling like Christmas even though it was only October when I was last in NY. I couldn't stop smiling in there.

Thanks for sharing Pat. Our nearest rink is up in Blackpool where we went last weekend. I am relieved that I can still skate.

Linda Lou said...

I used to work about 2 blocks away from Rockefeller Center, and couldn't wait till the tree lighting and all the great decorations that went up every year, no place better to be for the Holidays!

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Thanks for sharing the city at Christmas...everything looks so pretty! I love the tree story:)

Nihal said...

Pat carissima,
How nice looking post this one:) Holiday decorations everywhere in my favorite City. Giant red ornaments are really wonderful because of my red passion, smile:)
Spending the Winter holidays in New York is... but especially decorations and snow that really make New York City special during this time of the year.

Darla said...

How I love your photo's. DH is a native but I've only had to chance to spend one Christmas actually in The City. What a wonderful time it was.


vincibene said...

Wonderful pictures! I know that Christmas tree from some movies. It is very interesting to see the environment of this tree.
I like the giant red ornaments!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I miss seeing the city at Christmas time. It is especially magical when there is a light coating of snow.
♥, Susan

Deb said...

Christmas in New York looks absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful photos Pat. What an exciting time for you awaiting your new grandbaby! Congratulations.

Gina said...

Wonderful tour Pat..looks incredible! Think my favourite would have to be the poinsettia trees..amazing!

I just saw your update on Tara's post..wishing your DIL all the very best..thinking of you and cannot wait to hear about your dear little grandson! Take Care Gxox

Donna said...

Pat, you live in the most exciting city ever... What a wonder to behold at Christmastime!!! Loved all your photos - you made me feel like I was there!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage