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Holiday season in New York City

I am starting to dislike Manhattan just a bit again. The main reason is this:

Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza, New York

The damn thing stands practically in front of the building where I work, and is surrounded by so many gawkers that it makes it a challenge to get through, especially at the end of day. And overall, during the winter holidays, New York City is too overrun by tourists for my taste. Hooray for being able to occasionally telecommute!

On the plus side, we could see the whole tree lighting show from our office windows last week. It made for a nice little office party, attended by several families. Brian has a photo report on what we saw.


  1. Nathan

    BWAHAHAHAHA! What’s that? Six months to make you a jaded New Yorker?

    (And Neurondoc wanted to know why I expected to get paid to show up in Times Square.)

  2. WendyB_09

    Oh, but it’s so romantic!! A few years back my best friend decided he was going to propose to the love of his life. They had a Christmas trip to NYC coming up a couple weeks later and she was in love with that tree. I suggested that if he could get his act together and get a ring in time for the trip, he should propose under the tree.

    He did get the ring (family heirloom) and did propose under the tree. It was snowing a little and I’m sure it was just beautiful. They’ve been married 5 years now and have their annual Christmas party on the second Saturday in December to commemorate the engagement. He even managed to find her a Rockefeller Center Tree purse the next year!

    So, while it may be a few minutes of annoyance out of your day, that tree has a lot of meanings for a lot of people. And if you see a romantic couple trying to get pictures by the tree, stop and offer to take a photo with both of them in it.

    (and before you say it, yes I know what it is to live in the middle of a tourist mecca…think 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. We had 100+F temps to deal with as well! Did several years in Orlando as well…)

    Nathan – Last time I went to a major New Year’s Eve event, it was because I could be 18 stories ABOVE the mob at Underground Atlanta for the Peach Drop! We could hear the music, see the big-assed peach drop, watch the fireworks, then watch the crowd dispurse and THEN we went home! Times Square…no thanks!

  3. neurondoc

    Wendy — I met up with Nathan in Times Square (not MY choice either, mind you) in late March. He’s just whining. And we cabbed it out of there after about 3 minutes.

    I went to Times Square for NYE when I was in college. That’s a “once and done” type of thing…

    Christmas tree = pretty.

  4. Ilya

    Nathan, it’s only been 4+. But then, I’ve studied and worked in NYC for 15 years in the past. This isn’t a new feeling for me.

    Wendy, if a romantic couple is brave enough to disregard my scowl and asks me to take their picture, I will do my damnedest charming best to oblige. But otherwise, unless I am engaged in the occasional pursuit of people-watching, I tend not to distinguish people on the street from one another – every one is an obstacle on my way, after all 🙂

    On a serious note, I do realize a bit of an absurdity in complaining about tourist crowds, given that I myself enjoy being a tourist – somewhere else, of course! – more than practically anything. Perspective changes everything, I’m afraid…

  5. Brian Greenberg

    OK, first of all, I’ve gotta say it’s kind of funny that to take the above picture, Ilya had to become one of those people he’s complaining about, photographing the tree in the midst of the crowd.

    As for tourists, I’ve always thought of the city as my “home away from home,” and during the holidays, we have several million guests. Some of them are a bit over bearing, yes, but I tolerate them because I know they only get to see the city for a short while, and we get to enjoy it all year. My suggestion: use the 51st Street exit and walk down to 7th or 8th Avenue before proceeding downtown. That way, you avoid the tree, the Radio City entrance, Times Square, and most of the holiday crowds…

  6. Ilya

    I actually took seven shots, to compensate for my pocketcam shortcomings in taking nighttime pictures. I doubt most of the tourists take that many nearly identical shots of a single landmark…

  7. WendyB_09

    You have to understand I did part of my growing up just north of NYC, and the city was a frequent trip. All our school field trips were to various edumacational sites, including the Lincoln Center, the MET, various Broadway shows, museums, the list goes on.

    But since then I’ve had a couple bouts with panic attacks triggered by crowded places. Times Square on New Year’s Eve most certainly qualifies as a bit crowded!!

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