Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Windows, Part 2: Daylight Hours

Sneak preview of Part 3. Happy Honu-days!

We made a little bit of a change to our usual holiday-window-viewing routine this year. I think we usually go after work, or later in the day if we go on a weekend. We were trying to remember how we settled on that and we think it's because when we went on a weekend day once and the crowds were just too much. There are always too many people out there, that's just part of the deal, but there are degrees of crowdedness and apparently our one daytime outing featured a degree or ten more than we could handle.

Mandy was interested in some holiday music this year, though, and a couple of weeks ago it hit me that the Brick Presbyterian Church has a lovely carol service. I sang with the choir there years ago and Keith Toth, who was and still is the music director at the church, always picked interesting and beautiful carols and hymns for the choir to perform, combined with a few old favorites for the congregation to sing. That was at 4. Mandy picked Jane, a restaurant on Houston Street, for brunch; they turned out to be pretty popular*, with no reservations between 10:15 and 4, so we decided to take the 10:15 reservation, eat, go see windows until it was time to go to church, and then finish off whatever we'd missed afterwards (the service wasn't that long).

That worked out really nicely; the weather was spectacular, the crowds were surprisingly not as horrendous as we'd expected (plenty of people certainly but we've seen worse), the carol service was splendid (I almost can't believe I used to sing with that choir, they're really really beautiful), and since we started downtown and headed uptown, that left our favorite windows for last (and also for after dark, which is when they really show to the best advantage. Plus that put us at the Rockefeller Center Teuscher shop well before their closing time of 6:00 - treating ourselves to Teuscher is an integral part of our holiday ritual and we were absolutely crushed the first time we got there after closing time!

I took a LOT of pictures, as usual, so I decided to split it into 2 sets - click here for the afternoon set, I'll post the evening pix next.

Crystal honu above was actually from a high-speed preview of the Bergdorf Goodman windows Mandy and I took a couple of weeks ago - we'd gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and swung by Carnegie Hall to see if we could get Mandy registered there for the NYC ID program (free admission in 2016 to 33 cultural institutions, but you actually had to appear in person at each one to register - I didn't even try but Mandy has been doing this amazing cultural marathon through the fall getting herself set up, which was fun for her friends as we took turns joining her) so we were in the neighborhood and couldn't resist taking a quick look. I think this was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the designers were literally putting on the finishing touches, which was fun to see. See the designer here? 

What a cool job that must be. The Bergdorf windows are always pretty spectacular but this year they were sponsored by Swarovski, so extra extra sparkly. 

Tomorrow - Holiday Windows Part 2: After dark! 

*Brunch was actually a little bit complicated - first we thought we would hit the Popover Cafe, which we went to once and enjoyed very much, but I asked that we reserve that for days when we had other uptown plans because the subway trip was a bit on the long side for just brunch - Brick Church counts as uptown, crosstown buses work pretty well, but I went to look at the menu or hours or something and discovered that they'd closed last year. Bummer bummer bummer! My  
. My next idea was Sarabeth's, which was even MORE popular than Jane - reservations there were going to be at 8:15 am or 5 pm, nothing in between. Whoa. We'll save that for sometime when we're planning a little more in advance - with Mandy signed up with the NYC ID thingy at the Met I'm sure we'll get back up there sometime next year, plus getting back up to my old neighborhood reminded me that used to love visiting Cooper Hewitt, the Museum of the City of NY, and the formal garden in Central Park that are all up there, all of which Mandy would love, so we are multiple excuses for returns to that neighborhood). Boy, am I ever spoiled by Courtelyou Road - I don't think I've ever made brunch reservations in my neighborhood!


Katy Jackson said...

I am super jealous. My daughter is at school in New York and now I'm really sorry I didn't invent a chance to go see her so I could do some holiday sightseeing. Your pictures are lovely.

Rena McDaniel said...

I would love to spend Christmas in New York City one time, although I'm sure the crowds would make me crazy too. Happy Holidays!