It's Christmastime in the City

Walking around New York City attractions during the holidays is, to use a phrase from The Fantastic Mr. Fox, a bit of a clustercuss. Consider Times Square. Even during the rest of the year, for people who live here, the pedestrian traffic frustrations alone make it a place to be avoided at all costs. On the one hand, you have visitors to this great city, looking up that the giant electronic billboards and lights that are, admittedly, quite impressive. On the other, you have the office worker trying to cross the street without colliding with said tourist, another person inviting them to see a comedy show, and at least one Elmo.

The holiday sights and decorations around the city take this scene and multiply it in some form or another in more locations. Grand Central Terminal, always a bustling place, has a larger number of visitors than usual, staring up into the great ceiling during rush hour, like anchors in the floor as waves of commuters rush around them. The main thoroughfare of Rockefeller Center is now a channel filled with humans taking pictures in both directions- East, towards the Saks Fifth Avenue light show, and West, towards the great big tree.

As with many things about this city, it's easy to get jaded. I've never been a big fan of crowds, and it often seems preferable to stay clear of the city's holiday scenes altogether. But after running  around town the past two weeks snapping photos, I'm reminded just why it is that these attractions draw visitors in the first place. Grand Central Terminal celebrates with traditional wreaths, garlands and lights, adding holiday cheer and warmth to an already breathtaking space.

The Time Warner Center's 'Holiday Under the Stars' display is quite a bit flashier, but has a beauty all its own. These are certainly giant stars, with internal lighting and music, but in its essence, there's something simple, too- twelve hanging stars, reflected into 24 by way of the glass facade overlooking Central Park South.

My family often visited Rockefeller Center at Christmas when I was a kid, and though I'm sure bits and pieces of it have changed, the heralding angels, the tree and the skating rink all still evoke that same feeling in me- that, upon seeing this place, it is officially, bigly and publicly, Christmastime.

A few days into this project, I realized that I'm not familiar enough with the rights and usage rules regarding these attractions to feel 100% confident that I can put them up for sale. So unfortunately, I'll need to postpone my plan of making these available for ordering prints. I'll hopefully have this figured out one way or another in time for next year's holiday season. I hope you enjoy these photos nonetheless, and I wish you a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Following my every-other-week schedule, my next post will be Monday, December 21st. I'm not sure if I'll have more holiday photos to share then, but I've accumulated a small handful of street photography shots between the Central Park series and this one, so I may be able to put those together into a post by then.

- Rob

Window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue

Light wrapped trees on 58th Street

Lights in the trees at 50th Street and Sixth Avenue

The Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle