Monday, December 3, 2012

A Touristy NY Christmas

In case you didn't know, I love Christmas. No, I don't think you get it. I. love. Christmas. I love it more than anything pumpkin, which, if you know me, that is a big statement. There is just something about the holidays: the decorations, the music, the holiday movies, everyone's cheerfulness, Advent and the overwhelming spirit at church, I love it all.

Now, I've also been to New York City many times. It's to the point where a lot of the typical touristy things I've already done, so since now I'm usually going to go just to visit my friend Laura, we do more non-mainstream things (which I like). However, the one thing I haven't done is Christmas in New York and all those fun touristy activities. So when I planned my visit to see Laura for December, I got the idea of being super touristy (especially since she doesn't do those types of things either)!

We started Saturday by attempting to go and get tickets for a matinee show on Sunday at the TKTS booth in Brooklyn. Mega fail on our part because the tickets ended up being waaaay more than we wanted to pay, so we decided to pass on that, but at least we did see this pretty tree in the MetroTech Center!

Up next was a holiday market in Union Square!

There were all sorts of cool items, from hats made with alpaca hair, lots of hand crafted jewelry, different types of chocolate, and even an irish gifts booth (I had to resist like crazy there). We pretty much just window shopped, but seeing all the different and fun things was great. 

Since it starts to get dark early, we decided to head to Central Park for some ice skating fun! Now, I've actually done this about ten years ago, but it was mid-March and the ice was starting to melt, so it wasn't holiday-y and NYC wintery. There's always ice skating in Rockefeller, but seeing as how I'm not a fan of painfully large crowds, I much preferred the idea of Central Park. Plus the setting is absolutely perfect. 

We didn't fall once! And weren't the people holding onto the wall! All in all, a success. Even though the little kids embarrassed us by being way better than we were. And of course, it wouldn't be a super touristy Christmas if we didn't see a couple get engaged on the rink...and we did! Adorable.

One thing that I've always heard about and seen stories on are the windows in department stores on Fifth. The themes of the windows change every year, but they're always elaborate displays that are way better than the typical advertising windows. We didn't see every store, but we did see Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, and Macy's. All spectacular! Lord and Taylor's windows were probably my favorite.

Bergdorf Goodman:

Lord & Taylor:


Other buildings were all covered and lights and other holiday things, but I really think that every store, department store or not, should totally do their windows like this.

Of course, it wouldn't be a touristy Christmas trip if we didn't see the tree in Rockefeller Center! For someone who doesn't like crowds, I was surprisingly eager to see it. I mean, it's a HUGE Christmas tree covered in pretty lights! My love of Christmas outweighs my distaste for crowds.

Now that I've done this once, I don't need to do it again because holy crowd. The fact that we were able to weave our way through the crowd and get a decent picture with the tree in the background had to be a Christmas miracle or something. It was super pretty though, so I'm glad we went!

We ended the awesome Christmasy day with an amaaaaaaaaaazing sushi dinner at Taro Sushi. Pretty sure the best tuna I have ever had. We also hit up the Brooklyn Museum for Target First Saturday where we saw a dance troupe, an awesome collection by Brooklyn artists, and just walked around to check out some of the displays.

Oh. And we also saw a guy with these light up pants:

We had a pretty easy Sunday, starting with going to church at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I love going to church during the Christmas/Advent season, so I wanted to go to the Brooklyn Tabernacle because they have an amazing choir and I was hoping to hear some Christmas music and a great message. Well. The choir was fantastic. But not Christmasy. Bummer. And the service overall was way more evangelical than I was expecting. I loved the diversity of the church and all, but not really my style. (Side note: makes me realize how perfect where I go now is. It's kind of nice when something like that happens)

Following church, we hit up Cheryl's Global Soul for brunch. Oh. Em. Gee. I love brunch, and this was a win.
The people who worked there were awesome and omgggg that hot cocoa. And the food was incredible. I will definitely want to go back there again.

We needed a walk after brunch, so we went the three miles around Prospect Park.

Prospect Park definitely looks like a place I'd want to hang out. It's calm but busy with activity at the same time. I got to see parts of Brooklyn that I hadn't seen yet too. Also, it appears that they have a problem with people falling through the ice in the winters because there are ladders everywhere to fish people out.

I ended my time in NYC by trying Indian food for the first time and watching a Bollywood movie with Laura and some of her friends!

I've always been nervous about Indian food because of how spicy food sets my mouth on fire, but trying it with people who know what they're doing, made it easier. And it was way delicious! The movie we watched was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which is super adorable and I highly suggest it (it's on Netflix, but be warned, like most Bollywood movies, they are loooooooong).

All in all, it was a great trip to New York, filled with lots of new experiences (but most importantly time spent with one of my best friends)!

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