“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Christmas in New York

At this time of year, my friend Jeanie and I are usually getting from our holiday girlfriend trip to New York City.  Unfortunately, the pandemic stopped us from going this year.  I’ve been thinking a lot of melancholy thoughts about missing NYC at Christmas time.  So, I decided to share some memories about the fun and joy this trip has always given us.

We always meet in the city on the Thursday after Thanksgiving, the day after the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting.  We’ve learned over the years (20 to be exact) that if we want to see the tree without being crushed by the crowds we have to go the first night we are there.  The tree towers above us as ice skaters glide around it. With its myriad bright lights in primary red and blue and green, the tree is breathtaking. A line of gigantic lighted angels amid bare branches and evergreen shrubs sound their triumphant horns, while a vivid light show dances across the façade of an adjacent building. The scene never fails to delight.


Another thing on our “must-do” list is a food tour.  The food tour gives us an opportunity to sample dishes from 5 or 6 different restaurants of a borough and learn some of the history of that area.  Among my favorite tours have been Greenwich Village, Chelsea Market, and Brooklyn.  Of course, eating in NYC is always a treat and we make sure to get our fill of Italian food and pizza, and never fail to go to a Brazilian restaurant while we’re there.  When the mood strikes us, we stop at one of NYC’s excellent delicatessens to pick up cheese, sausages and crackers and nosh on that in our hotel room.  That’s especially good on a really cold night.  Oh!  Did I mention that the first stop we make is always for bottles of wine?

Most years we go to a Broadway show because—New York!.  We’re in line at the TKTS ticket booth at South Seaport when it opens to get the shows we want.  Tickets are about half price the day of and there are usually pretty good seats left for most shows.  Not all shows are available so we go with a list, prioritized by our favorites.

And what would a trip to NYC be without shopping?  We shop a little each day while enjoying that day’s activities, but we save the main shopping for the weekend.  We always hit Macy’s as soon as they open on Saturday.  We take a spin around the windows to admire the creative and beautiful decorations and they never fail to enchant.  I always feel like a kid again when I see them.  We shop until about noon and then it’s way too crowded for us so we head back to the hotel to drop off our treasures and get some lunch.  We used to go to Lord & Taylor on Sunday, but, alas, it’s closed now.  Such a classy store!  They had a coat check and a lovely café that always made me feel like I was out for lunch with my Mom and Ginny Skaggs.  We’ll really miss that.

Missing our trip to NYC this year makes me sad.  It’s just such a tradition for Jeanie and me.  But I know a lot of traditions haven’t been observed in this year of the pandemic.  Next year–Oh I can’t wait!