Its easy to forget how other people perceive this city, especially the ones who visit to take in all it has to offer. Why would I spend a day wandering the city, looking at the beautiful decorations in a department store, looking at a giant Christmas tree when I can just go another time? But the thing is, I never go another time. In the whirl of holiday parties, work, going out with friends, that other part of New York goes unnoticed and I'm always left wishing I had partaken in some of the traditions that make New York at Christmas so magical.
On Saturday I woke up, had my tea, and headed into Manhattan as a visitor. I'll admit it was difficult to let myself relax, battling crowds is a particular hell that I reserve for workdays and the non-commuter set on the train practically gave me an eye twitch (the woman in front of me, loudly and in detail was describing the lingerie her roommates boyfriend bought for her). Eventually I blocked it out and sat looking out the window with my head on Rich's shoulder.Our first stop after getting a hotdog for lunch was Macy's Department Store. Macy's at Herald Square at any other time of the year is gross, but at Christmas its pure magic. The regal decorations give shopping there a sense of occasion: riding up the original wooden escalators past gorgeous displays of sweaters, cookware, and Santa's Workshop, glittering ornaments and pine garland bring back childhood memories of special holiday trips to Macy's. If you can't visit this Christmas, watch the original Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood for a better idea of what I mean.After wandering through Macy's trying on cardigans and silly ties we walked up 6th Avenue past the bead stores and MJ Trimming Co. I'd never gone in to any of these shops because I kept pushing it off but I'm so glad I finally did because now I have some cue projects to work on. We made a detour at Crumbs Bakery for a red velvet cupcake and sat in Bryant Park near the ice skating rink soaking up some winter sun. Once the cupcake was gone it was time to head up to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. We walked past Radio City Music Hall and over the 5th Avenue taking the long way around and seeing gorgeous decorations and St. Patricks Cathedral. The tree was beautiful at 30 Rock, but the ice skating rink wasn't open yet and it was getting cold so we didn't stay long.The insanity of the crowds on 5th Avenue had finally pushed me over the edge and I was cranky, hungry, and tired so we stopped in a cozy deli to warm up and have sandwiches. When we were done it had gotten dark outside so we wandered over to the west side, Rich showed me his office building and we caught a subway downtown. Its so fun to see the buildings where my friends work, though in a few years we probably won't even care, but its our first jobs and its still exciting. Also, since this is a fashion blog, I'm going to point out how much I like Rich's look with the button down under a thermal shirt with a similarly colored hoodie. Boy layers:excellent.In Soho I showed Rich where I work, and we wandered around cute stores, including Pearl River Mart where I bought some cute little goodies, and we wandered through Chinatown and Little Italy. We stopped in a tiny store that sells nothing but jerky, and if you know me, you know I love beef jerky! It wasn't exactly the kind I'm used to from a plastic bag (and typically eaten while waiting on a supermarket line), it was more like thin grilled and seasoned pieces of meat. Finally I had to stop to use a bathroom, and I found the universal bathroom stop (Starbucks) and got on line while Rich went to get us a Gingerbread Spiced Latte. The man in front of me let his two friends cut the line while everyone else waited and I nearly lost my mind due to a full bladder and serious indignation. I made it really clear that it was unacceptable to cut a bathroom line and they gave me a dirty look when I left but hopefully these 50 year old men realize that what they did was pretty rude. After that I realized that I had been pretty cranky and turned it around while walking around Evolution and looking at all the taxidermy, fossils, and crystals. We window shopped and walked over the cobblestone streets, and I even saw a cute "Meow!" sign outside Creatures of Comfort, but exhaustion finally overtook us and we headed home for a long nap and drinks at the pub. Overall it was pretty fun to be a tourist in New York City, but I think I've had enough for one year.