Featured New York City

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in NYC

December 19, 2017

The holiday season is in full swing since Thanksgiving and there’s NO escape from it. Every corner store, even the smallest ones, have some kind of decorations. NYC during Christmas is an overkill, a season of overindulgence and a display of lavish decorations and consumption. The days are short but the lights keep the streets bright. This is not the place if you’re looking for a quiet Christmas getaway: One of the busiest cities in the world gets even busier! People and more people squeeze their ways through the malls, markets and subway. However if you’re open to the hustle and bustle this can be quite a unique experience! Here is what Christmas in NYC makes it so special:

1. Exploring the Christmas markets

Some of the most popular parks in the city turn into a magical Winter Wonderland for the season and Christmas markets are big hit like almost anywhere. My personal favourites are the Winter Village in Bryant Park and the Union Square Holiday Market because both offer a great variety of shops and food. Bryant Park also has a beautiful ice skating rink!

2. Admiring the decorations

Lights on! This is probably the most impressive part of NYC during Christmas time! There’s certainly no lack in pompous decorations like this one at Radio City…

… or this rather humble tree at Madison Square Park.

A real surprise was the Christmas Tree at the New York Stock Exchange! It’s one of the largest and brightest I’ve seen but there was very little people to admire it – a rare sight in NYC!

I really liked the giant stars inside the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle. They constantly changed colours and were beautiful to look at!

This list would be incomplete without the Rockefeller Center, right? Another ten of thousands of people think the same. So if you can put up with the insane crowd, you probably might find something enjoyable looking at the most famous Christmas Tree in the world. Yes, it’s impressive and should be seen at least once when you’re in the city around this time of the year. However patience is the key. I quite don’t understand the hype about that ice skate rink though… Why would I line up for hours to skate in a tiny, crowded rink? (Yes I’m spoiled because we have a huge skating rink in front of the city hall in Vienna ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I can’t tell you how long it actually took to get this clear shot of the tree ๐Ÿ˜‰

3. Seeing the window displays

Even if you’re trying to get away from all the shopping madness (like me), a look at the window displays of some of the famous department stores like Macy’s and along 5th Avenue won’t hurt ๐Ÿ˜‰ Some of them make a big deal of these displays and I couldn’t quite understand that until I actually saw them. They come up with new ideas every year and are made with amazing details and precision (e.g. all the figures in the photo below were moving).

4. Riding the holiday vintage train

As much as New Yorkers like to complain about the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority who runs basically all public transportation in NYC), the holiday train has become a popular attraction. Every Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day the MTA and the New York Transit Museum pull out some of their original trains from the 1930is to 70ies to not only show them to the public but actually ride them! For the price of a normal subway ride (USD 2.75) you can travel back in time and wonder about the old ads in the cars. There’s music from the past and real train and vintage geeks come all dressed up – so it’s quite a sight and shouldn’t be missed in my opinion! You can find the routes and dates of the vintage trains here.

5. Looking for the brightest decorated houses

There’s probably quite a few things you could say about America(ns) but one thing for sure, they aren’t humble! Especially when it comes to Christmas decoration, they don’t play. I don’t speak of the already generously illuminated public buildings and parks but the private homes in the residential neighbourhoods. Especially a cluster of houses in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, made a name for “competing” each other who has the brightest, craziest, most impressive decorations! Between 11th and 13th Avenue and 83rd and 86th Street you’ll find anything from tasteless-tacky to glamorous-festive and anything in-between. And again, this proofs: There are no limits in imagination!

Snow really sparks up the holiday spirit, so whenever it snows while you’re in NYC, get out and take a walk through your neighbourhood – you won’t regret it!

In this sense I’m wishing you and your loved ones Merry Christmas! What are your favourite things about the holiday season?

Also head over to these articles if you liked this one ๐Ÿ™‚

Wiener Weihnachten – Viennese Christmas

Street Art in Manhattan and Brooklyn

3 Tips for summer in NYC

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18 Comments

  • Reply Paleica December 20, 2017 at 2:17 am

    absolut verrรผckt. als weihnachtsfan werde ich mir das iiiirgendwann einmal live geben ๐Ÿ™‚ obwohl mich die menschenmassen halt schon arg abschrecken. das fand ich in paris schon gruselig und in NYC hat man das wohl noch zur potenz. aber die ubahn ist ja genial! und ich liebe das foto von dir vor dem christbaumbokeh <3

    • Reply sileas December 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Dankeschรถn ๐Ÿ™‚ Wenn man weiรŸ was auf einen zukommt, kann man sich auf die Menschenmassen schon irgendwie einstellen. Frรผher oder spรคter gewรถhnt man sich sowieso daran ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Reply Paleica January 8, 2018 at 2:02 am

        muss man wohl ๐Ÿ˜‰ aber ich weiรŸ noch, dass ich das in paris schon echt schlimm gefunden habe und ich geh davon aus, dass NY nochmal ne nummer grรถรŸer ist was das betrifft ^.^

  • Reply SueTๅ” ๆขฆ ็‡ December 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Oh my goodness those displays on those houses are incredible. Merry Christmas Julia. I am in Africa and and spending the Christmas period here. Itโ€™s fabulous.

    • Reply sileas December 28, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Merry belated Christmas Sue! Africa sounds amazing! Can’t wait to read about it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply The Wayfarer December 20, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Hahaha, we for sure aren’t humble ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply sileas December 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      To me it’s quite entertaining ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply PinaySkattebasse December 22, 2017 at 4:50 am

    OMG the houses! It’s same thing back home. ๐Ÿ™‚ All those trees and decorations in NY no wonder people travel far just to go there.

    • Reply sileas December 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      They really love their decorations here ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply Christina December 27, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    oh NYC looks wonderful during the festive season! and the hunt for the brightest decorated house is great ๐Ÿ˜€ there’s one house on the countryside near my parents’ and it is gradually turning into one of those American-style decorated house during Christmas. so year after year the decoration becomes more lavishly and I guess it will look like one of the houses above ๐Ÿ˜€ it’s so fun to see it but it’s also so out of place ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve always been wondering if they have a special connection to the US or if they just like this way of decorating the house ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Reply sileas December 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      That’s funny! It’s definitely becoming a thing in Europe too! It feels like the decorations become more and more each year. In the US it’s very competitive, which actually isn’t a very Christmas-like attitude :/

      • Reply Christina December 31, 2017 at 8:46 am

        yes I think so too. seems like everything’s coming to Europe – just look at valentine’s day! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply Sanne December 29, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    A belated Merry Christmas dear Julia! So many things to do in NYC at this time of the year, and I feel like I’ve only done half of them. The stars look really pretty, they’re on my to-do list for Christmas 2018:)

    • Reply sileas January 6, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      Sorry for my late reply! I have the feeling that Christmas 2018 is coming very fast ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Best of travel 2017 via Instagram - sweet/escapes December 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    […] Featured New York City […]

  • Reply Jessica @ Boarding Pass January 1, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more, the holidays are such a wonderful time to be in such a wonderful city. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply sileas January 6, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      NYC is wonderful year-round and even more so during the holiday season ๐Ÿ˜‰

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