Christmas in NYC

Flower bouquets in buckets

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Many of my favourite holiday movies have taken place in NYC (Home Alone 2, Elf, Scrooged) so a late-December trip to the Big Apple was high on my list. Snowy walks through Central Park! Warming up with apple cider! Admiring the lights of the Rockefeller Center tree on a cold winter’s night! Steve and I decided on a quick trip just prior to Christmas to soak up some festive spirit; we arrived to above-freezing temperatures, faint drizzle and lots of green foliage. Hat tip to global warming for deciding that no one needed a white Christmas this year, apparently.

Lack of snow aside, we had a marvelous blow-through-the-city. New York City is a magical place, a feeling only enhanced at this time of year. And despite tensions that have been prevalent on the news, we found the atmosphere of New Yorkers to be the same as always – resilient, positive and welcoming.

We had an action-packed itinerary (because one of us is a bit of a planner, *coughs*), with lots of favourites:

  • Chelsea Market. Part flea market, part food market, part artisan crafty goodness. How have I never been to this market?! We stumbled across it quite by accident after wandering the High Line and popped in to warm up for a few moments. Definitely worth a stop.
  • Union Square Christmas Market. Sensing a theme? I love markets! This one was bonkers, packed with artisan vendors, delicious food and the cutest little farmers’ market. I stopped to gaze at some beautiful bouquets of flowers and picked up the best apples I’ve ever eaten.
  • Eataly. We couldn’t figure out how one would ever get a table, so opted for sandwiches to go which was probably one of the better decisions I made this year. Heirloom tomatoes, basil-infused olive oil, freshly made mozzarella and arugula on a fresh-baked baguette. See you in my dreams, sandwich. XO.
  •  Fishs Eddy. Do you like quirky things? Is your home missing a serving tray featuring Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate? If you answered yes to either of these questions (and I hope you did), check out this fun little spot for all the serving items you didn’t know you needed.
  • Cabaret. It’s a testament to how stellar this musical is that I would see it twice in the span of two months, and fork over the amount we did for tickets (twice). I was a much, much bigger fan of Emma Stone in the iconic role of Sally Bowles; Michelle Williams played it a tad…manic for my taste, and her singing and dancing was a titch awkward. Stone was much more comfortable and entertaining to watch. Both times I scored seats in the balcony (aka the “hi poor people” section) which still offered great sight lines. Slightly cramped in terms of leg room – if  you’re taller than 6 ft, you may find it uncomfortable. Otherwise, great value.
  • Bushwick Collective. Wander several streets around Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Brooklyn and you’ll spot colourful street art murals and drawings helping to transform a neighbourhood. Curated by Joe Ficalora and featuring artists from around the world, it’s a beautiful opportunity to see the power of art. Take the L to Jefferson Street and wander.
  • “Somebody Come and Play”. If you watched Sesame Street as a kid, or have small people now, this free exhibit at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is a must-visit. Did you know they did a Black Swan spoof?? Because when I think of child-appropriate movies, that’s the first title that comes to mind. At any rate, seeing Snuffy in a tutu and learning about the logistics of hoisting him into the air to twirl was pretty cool. On until January 31st.
  • Breakfast at Deletica. I have to give a shout-out to this lovely spot which was just around the corner from our hotel. Fresh ingredients, delicious coffee and a cozy vibe.

If I had told myself last December 31st that I’d visit this city three times this year, I would have laughed. But 2014 has been full of changes and opportunities I would never have envisioned 365 days ago. I look forward to the adventures in store for all of us in 2015. Best wishes to you.

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