The Magic of New York City at Christmastime & a White Birthday
I turned 30 this year. Do you know it can be hard to turn 30? It was for me. It's the first time I went kicking and screaming into a birthday and I dreaded it up until about a week or so beforehand; even then I would've kept a wary distance if the time-train I was on wasn't throttling ahead, full steam.
I suppose God knew I needed an extra special gift, so he took NYC at Christmas time and turned it into a magic snow globe. Inside the snow globe were waves of buildings stretching as far as the eye can see, and on one street strung with lights at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, I, with the very best 'Race of Joseph' stood nearly crying with joy over the snow that slanted over our wondering sight.
A WHITE BIRTHDAY
We had been on the Staten Island ferry, which was our cheap way of seeing the Statue of Liberty (despite the best effort of the poor salesman on the corner who did not see our stubborn frugality coming) when the first flakes came. Wasn't that a merciless sentence? But you see, as much as we'd hoped - and I'd thrown a few wishes toward the heavens - we still didn't expect it to snow. We were in NYC at holiday time, wasn't that enough?
Andrew, our friend at Beck & Stone, had kindly shown us around his beautiful office space earlier and then recommended a pizza bar close by called Adrienne's for lunch. It turned out to be the spot that marked the beginning of that magical afternoon. The restaurant was homely enough, but we got a seat close to the garlanded, lighted window with a view of the cobblestone street and the snow driving by. It's hard to describe it well enough to give you the cozy, tucked up feeling one gets from watching snow blowing outside, while dining upon wonderful Italian foods.
This is how the street looked as we went in to Adrienne's.
This sauce was basically the lyrics to a warming song sung by endless processions of really happy Italians.
As we sat there, it dawned on us the small snow shower half-heartedly predicted had already overstayed its bounds, and delight reigned.
We felt like we were in a Christmas Dickens scene.
Though, if Dickens had owned the snow globe dated 12.15.2017 he would've been shocked to see how females dashed about in the future. But we were ecstatic that the snow continued to fall and could not contain the happiness!
A photo to commemorate the feeling of the moment.
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE & THE ROCKEFELLER CHRISTMAS TREE
If there is a birthplace of holiday magic in NYC it is likely found around Saks Fifth Avenue at Christmas time, in the snow. This year they had around 12-15 windows with detailed window displays with Snow White's story. There were many people there, but to us this basically meant there were so many more people to be happy with, and ooh over the store windows. The artistry was brilliant, perhaps even more so than the lights Saks had choreographed to Christmas music.
St. Patricks, just around the corner from the Rockefeller Center, and next to Saks.
Imagine music that filled every street corner in the near block, and lights dancing on the castle Saks had become. Imagine us standing there, once again almost crying with wonder. You know, I've always prided myself on not being the weepy type, but after this trip I'll have to hand in that card.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, BROADWAY
The show was at 8, so we lined up with the other throngs at around 7:30 since they don't let you sit down until more like 7:45. One doesn't know what to expect with these types of things when it's a first broadway show, so it felt just like any other concert or production.
When the lights dim and the first scene of the Phantom of the Opera begins in the dilapidated opera house, it lulls one into a sense of complacency. But there is nothing complacent about music that crashes through the theater a few minutes later! The majestic chandelier swings in a high arc up above the temporarily blinded audience and for a moment the music overwhelms.
Then for two hours the splendor of the story and music feels like Heaven.
It was an epoch in my life. I know I sound like a kid, but that was the magic of the weekend: feeling like a child with the understanding of an adult. It was like being surprised by joy, and finding that the wonder hasn't gone out of life, at 30.
This next decade is going to be good.