Friday, 21 December 2018

Christmas in New York

Last week, I blogged about what we got up to in New York.

This week's post will focus specifically on all the beautiful Christmas decorations the city has to offer. After all, there are only 4 days to go until the big day!

The Rockefeller Christmas tree

How could I start with anything else? As I've said numerous times on all my social media channels, I've wanted to see this iconic Christmas tree ever since I saw Home Alone 2. We saw the tree from the back on our first night as we couldn't get anywhere near the front, and even that view made me well up. It was more spectacular than I could ever have imagined.

We visited the Rockefeller Center many times during our trip and managed to see the tree from every angle possible, during the day and the night. Thankfully it wasn't quite as busy as it was on our first night for the rest of the holiday!

The 72ft tree is the focal point of the Rockefeller decorations, and rightly so, but the whole area around the Rockefeller Center is charmingly festive. This includes the famous ice rink and the mesmerising decorations in the Channel Gardens. Every detail was absolutely perfect and I could have stared at it all forever.

Fifth Avenue 

Fifth Avenue was filled with an absolute wealth of decadent Christmas decorations. The extravaganza started with the giant UNICEF crystal snowflake just after clearing Central Park, and everything else just snowballed from that point (see what I did there?).

Lots of the high-end designer shops along Fifth Avenue had beautiful large-scale displays on their storefronts, as well as inventive window displays. It was a pretty impressive sight during the day, let alone at night when everything was all lit up and twinkly.

Saks Fifth Avenue is the avenue's centrepiece during the festive season, and a very impressive one at that. Every night, the store would put on a spectacular lights show with accompanying music which made us feel super Christmassy. As an extra bonus, Saks is situated directly opposite the Rockefeller tree which meant we could spin around and experience both at once. Slightly surreal, but completely magical. 


We only went to Macy's once on our previous trip to New York due to a lack of time, but we became a little obsessed with it this time. It was only a ten minute walk away from our hotel and the store's Christmas decorations, both inside and outside, were out of this world. The decorations on the ground floor were particularly impressive and I couldn't get enough of their giant suspended baubles. They all rotated very slowly which meant it sometimes took about 20 seconds to get a decent shot, but it was completely worth it.

As for the exterior, I honestly felt as if I was an extra in Miracle on 34th Street whenever I walked past. Macy's is an absolutely massive store and they certainly make sure passers-by are swept up in the infectious spirit of Christmas with their beautiful window displays and outdoor decorations. I just wish there was a Macy's in Cardiff! 

Radio City Music Hall

I loved Radio City Music Hall's Christmas display. It was pretty minimal compared to some of the decorations I've raved about already, but something about it just caught my eye whenever we walked past.

The displays in the surrounding area were also really eye catching. I'd seen a lot of them on Instagram before we arrived so I was very excited when we came across them on our first night. Radio City is pretty close to Rockefeller Center so we made sure we saw these decorations several times during our trip. Unfortunately, it was impossible to capture the sheer scale of these displays with a simple photo!

Central Park 

We made a conscious effort to spend quite a bit of time in Central Park during this holiday. On our last day, we wandered to the Wollman Rink... not to ice skate, but for me to take a nice photo. It looked so perfect against the beautiful city backdrop and the blue sky. I know this doesn't strictly fit in with the Christmas decorations theme, but it looks like an idyllic Christmas card so I figured it was fine to include it in this post.

As well as all these notable sights, there were beautiful Christmas trees and decorations in hotel lobbies, shops, apartment entrances and restaurants all over the city. If I'd have had my way, I'd have blagged my way in and taken photos of all of them.

New York City is pretty special whenever you visit, but it was truly magical during the festive season. I'm so glad I was able to experience it and to tick such a big dream off my bucket list.

In the meantime... 'Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!'

Friday, 14 December 2018

New York in 15 photos

Last week was better than average... I spent it in New York.

I've wanted to go to New York to see the Christmas lights since the first time I saw Home Alone 2 many moons ago, and it was absolutely everything I dreamed it would be.

We went for six nights and managed to fit in a highly impressive amount. As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to share one photo from each of the sights and attractions we visited. I took 777 photos in total so this was quite a difficult challenge, to put it mildly.

A separate post will follow next week about New York's Christmas decorations, including the spectacular Rockefeller Tree, so don't be alarmed at its omission from this post!

Empire State Building

Top of the Rock

One World Observatory 

9/11 memorial and museum 

Best of NYC Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise 

Central Park 

Times Square 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Madame Tussauds 

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum 

The High Line 

Grand Central Station 

St Patrick's Cathedral 

Mickey The True Original exhibition 

The Friends apartment building 

My Fitbit informs me that we walked 175,000 steps and 134km in total... this isn't surprising when I look back at all the places we visited and take into account the fact that we walked everywhere and didn't use any public transport! 

Look out for more blog posts about New York over the next few weeks, including the aforementioned Christmassy bonanza next Friday.