Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Windows 2013

Generally speaking, I don't like crowds too much. Black Thursday? No thank you! Times Square on New Year's Eve?  Good heck, you couldn't PAY me enough to be there. But there some things for which I will make an exception, and one of them is my annual trip with my friend Mandy to go see the holiday windows. I can't remember how or when we started doing this but we got to be friends when we were working together at NatWest Markets back in the 90's, so I think that by now this counts as a tradition!

That's not Mandy with the pups, btw. That's a picture I took for my friend Gracie, who started taking pictures of dogs doing what dogs do in NYC and posting them on Facebook, just for fun and as a way to keep her page active for her friends (I enjoy it!). Eventually she started putting them up on a blog, Dogs Of New York. Couldn't resist grabbing a shot of this society lady taking the fluffies for a walk in their little coats for her!

She's passing in front of Bergdorf Goodman, which was where we started this year. Last year we were a bit disappointed - in the past, we've always sort of saved Bergdorf's for last because their window have alway been these spectacularly detailed surrealist fantasies (think, oh, life-sized polar bears covered in fringe and crystals, entire scenes covered in intricately cut paper or tile and glass, absolutely gorgeous with a mindboggling amount of work in the planning and execution), but last year they pretty much just had female mannequins in clothing they had for sale, set in fairly simple scenes with male mannequins dressed as waiters, ushers, etc., only with animal heads.

This year they didn't have as many of the fantasy windows as they have in the past but at least they were back to the elaborate and bizarre scenes. This year's theme was Holiday on Ice.  

Valentine's Day

Arbor Day

Next stop was the Plaza. 
I don't think I've actually ever set foot in here but we walked up to look at the fountain that the Fitzgeralds so famously frolicked in (full of evergreens and lights this time of year) and decided to walk in and see if they were serving tea. They were, and although our dining plans this year involved post-window steak, we're now toying with the idea of working in high tea with our window excursion sometime, just for fun.

Next stop, heading south on Fifth Avenue - Tiffany's!
We always love the Tiffany's windows - they are small ones, designed as showcases for Tiffany's jewelry (same as Holly Golightly loved so much in Breakfast at Tiffany's), and for their holiday displays they build these amazing miniature sets. The last couple of years they've started expanding the window themes outside of the windows - last year or maybe the year before they had a carousel theme with carousel canopies built out over the windows. This year they'd done an elaborate design of windows with silhouettes in them on the building's facade - 

and then in the windows they'd built miniature NY street scenes - 

with tiny silhouettes in the windows. 

We always love the details they get into these models - look at the chimneys and skylights and water tanks, perfect NY roofscape in our older neighborhoods!

Mandy with a present! :D

Across the street, Bulgari's has adorned their building with a gigantic "diamond" snake armlet. I think this is fairly new, don't recall seeing it before the last year or so. Goes nicely with the giant snowflake that hangs over the intersection.

Henri Bendel is not one of our usual stops but Hirschfeld's dinner party grabbed our attention this year.

The artist at work -

The dinner table

And speaking of Holly Golightly - there she is, gazing uptown towards her beloved Tiffany's. Whoopi Goldberg in the background, of course. 

Continuing south - St. Patrick's Cathedral, under renovation

Next stop, Rockefeller Center

Just a few people here!

But we'll brave the crowds for one of our favorite windows - Teuscher Chocolates! Always the same every year, but we can't resist their chocolate!

Rockefeller Center Tree

Back on 5th Avenue. Empire State Building. With the new LED's, the red and white spire does a barber-pole effect.

Tabi! Mandy asked for a quick stop at the Bryant Park gift fair for a calendar she likes. 

Back out on 5th Avenue in front of the library. Patience (unless it's Fortitude, I assume they're named left to right as you face them but I'm not sure) decked out for the holidays!

Last stop before steak, Lord and Taylor. They also traditionally do miniature scenes, not quite on the tiny scale of Tiffany's, but animated, and with music.

This year they did something a little new, adding vintage advertising photos to the usual animated miniatures - it made for a very different effect, we liked it. 

And that was it for our holiday window viewing, 2013 edition - sometimes we've gone on down to Macy's but they tend to only do one new window each year (the rest, they switch back and forth between Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Clause and Miracle on 34th St.) and since it was getting on towards dinnertime by the time we hit Lord and Taylor, we decided we would call that the end of the window tour for 2013. 

Back to kayaking soon - looking forward to the annual Sebago Frostbite Regatta. Looks like it's going to be a particulary frosty one this year!


Bursledon Blogger said...

I'm a bit the same about London, not that I go window shopping but it's nice to walk through Covent Garden or Oxford Street in the run up to Christmas.

Daughter Katy is in New York with her boyfriend for new year so guess they will be joining the crowds in Time square!

O Docker said...

Just when those of us who have abandoned the city's crowds, chaos, traffic, graffiti, noise, smells, and perils are certain that we have made the only sane choice, retreating to the bland safety of the burbs, and that nothing could make the daily sacrifices of urban living worth it, you go and post something like this.

bonnie said...

It is fun, despite the crowds. I'd sort of hoped that going the day after Christmas would mean smaller crowds but that did not happen!

Good luck Katy - I hope she sends pictures and a bit of a description - that would be something different to read about on the Bursledon Blog.

I have to say that our favorite year so far was the year we ended up picking a particularly icy cold day to go - that really discouraged a lot of people and getting around was much, much easier. But we do enjoy this even when there are crowds - always neat to see what the designers come up with.

PeconicPuffin said...

okay okay the Plaza, you never went to Trader Vics? No Pina Coladas or Zombies? No rubbing elbows with a werewolf?

Meanwhile I'm hoping to windsurf tomorrow if I can talk a few fools into joining me. Why else did god create drysuits?

bonnie said...

I think Trader Vic's closed a year or two before I moved to NY. Really too bad because the first long-term job I had in NY was in the Ticket Operations division at Carnegie Hall. That's one of the only places I've worked where going out for a drink after work was pretty normal - our usual hangout was a dive called Ye Olde Tripple Inn but recalling that crowd, I am pretty sure that if there had still been a tiki bar in the Plaza, we would have splurged at least a few times!