During Xmas time, there are only few destinations around the world that attract travelers like moths are attracted by the light. And one of them, by far, is New York City. But even if the Big Apple surely is one of the most stressful pre-holiday shopping paradises, it offers some of the most extraordinary Xmas decorations around. And those will transfer even the grumpiest grinches into this merry and mellow Xmas spirit that makes this time of year so special.
With a morning view like this one, how could I not be full of energy for a day of discovery while enjoying my first coffee of the day in my hotel room. I actually like not staying in downtown Manhattan anymore as this gives a more peaceful (and by far less noisy) touch to a layover in the Big Apple.
A wonderful place to take a daytime or evening stroll while gazing at the partially outrageous christmas decorations and lights is the elaborate neighborhood of Dyker Heights in the South of Brooklyn. Take the R Line all the way to 86th/4th Ave (about 25 minutes from Cortlandt Street station). From here, it is a few minutes walk and you can even combine it with a bit of shopping on the way back on the busy 86th Street. The most extraordinary estates are located within 11th and 13th Avenue and 83rd to 86th Street. Unfortunately, I was not able to experience this in illumination, but even during the day I found it absolute fun to explore the neighborhood in search of the most glamorous and colorful estate.
Next, let´s head over to Gramercy Park in Manhattan where surely one of the most eye-popping Christmas lights decoration awaits at German restaurant Rolf´s (3rd Ave/22nd Street). The interiors are stuffed with blinking stars, icicles and other winterly details that waiting in line to get in for a warm glass of Glühwein must be taken into account for this hotspot!
While everyone speaks of Fifth Avenue, why not enjoy the christmassy feeling along the classy Park Avenue? By far a less crowded and stressful alternative with some of the most spectacular street views in Manhattan.
A classic such as the ice rink and the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center should not be missed on any tour through New York. Just try to avoid coming here on weekends. This is where even the bravest people will feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable within the masses!
Just across the street, check out some of the world´s most glamorous and stylish window decorations at Saks Fifth Avenue. One of New York´s most exclusive department stores unveils year by year a standard setting inspirational high fashion scenery that people actually stand in line for to get a glimpse of this award-winning fashion show. On the day of unveiling, even traffic on Fifth Avenue comes to a halt.
Radio City Music Hall is also one of my favorite photo locations just around the corner. While the beautiful Art Deco skyscraper is every year complemented with a glittering LED tree, most New Yorkers head over to experience the Christmas Spectacular Show starring The Radio CityRockettes®. A one-of-a-kind celebration that brings together family, friends and loved ones.
Do not miss out on the massive Pop Art Christmas balls and light strings just off Radio City Music Hall. These decors are world-renown and pimp every architectural photo!
And as Times Square lies only a short walk away, take a moment and soak up the shiny and busy atmosphere at one of the city´s most hectic intersections.
Even not so famous for Christmas lights, no New York visit is complete without a snapshot of the one-of-a-kind Flatiron Building and a coffee-to-go at Madison Square Park.
And if you are keen, take the PATH over to Newport, New Jersey and enjoy skyline views from River Drive Park all lightened up. A few blocks north, a small ice rink awaits you to try out your skating skills!
But whatever you choose to do while soaking up the Xmas feeling, make sure to stay safe and sound! I hope you enjoyed these favorites of mine and whatever you plan to do yourself this Christmas, have wonderful, merry and happy holidays and don´t forget what Christmas is all about: Love and friendship! Be safe!!! xxx