Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bah Humbug #1

Today is the official Christmas season kickoff in NYC.  Tonight is the over produced, over pre-taped, over the top lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree.  It is the time of year when traffic in midtown virtually crawls and then stops and then crawls some more.  It is the time of year that I scratch my head wondering why everyone is so fascinated by the tree. Everyone has seen a Christmas tree in their own towns, own homes, the movies, on television, and yet, Rockefeller Center year in and year out is the mecca for Christmas tree viewing.  Now, granted, it is a beautiful tree, but is it worth fighting the masses of people, the traffic, and the cold to see it?  Clearly, it is for most; I am in the minority.  I steer clear of midtown as much as possible from now until January 2nd.  

I came to New York City for the first time during the Christmas season.  I fell in love with this city during that vacation.  The Big Apple rises to the occasion with all the lighted trees down all the Avenues, bows, spectacular department store windows, and the general "goodwill to all men."  I moved here nine months later.  I don't think any other city does this time of the year better.  Everything glistens and sparkles. It's just turning cold and crisp.  Perfect weather for this time of year.  But, in the thirty one years since, everything has gotten more, more more. More crowded, more done up, more shopping hours, more pushing, more lines, more money, more everything. 

When they used to light the tree, it was a sweet event.  Live event.  Short and sweet. If you blinked, you missed the moment when the switch was flipped and the tree was aglow for the first time. Now, it is a two hour extravaganza with largely pre-taped songs and skating.  If you blink, you can see the replay over and over again.  So clearly, I have mixed feelings about this time of year.  It is a love/hate relationship.  I do adore the beauty that pops up all over the city. I hate the traffic and crowds.

Oh, and speaking of traffic.  Can anyone tell me why the DNC didn't know today was the date for the tree lighting?  President Obama is coming to town for 3 fundraisers today.  Really?  Couldn't they have done this yesterday?  The city will come to a literal stand still, even before the Presidential motorcade. If fundraisers don't annoy me enough, this tops it all.  Did I mention that 2 billion dollars will be spent on the Presidential election?  How can anyone not think that we need campaign finance reform when you hear that? 

I digress. If you are lucky enough to be in New York City, use your feet to get around or take the subway.  It is the only chance you have to enjoy your time here.  Bah Humbug.

Feel free to re-post and forward to friends.


  1. right as rain. ah, but I remember some 25ish years ago when I was lucky enough to watch the tree-lighting out the window from some high up room in Rock Center. It was awe-inspiring. And no one does Christmas better than NYC. But I can't imagine anything worse than being there, in a car, trying to get someplace. And Obama? omg, what are they thinking?? That is almost a slap in the face. wtf??? Ridiculous. From start to finish. Anyway, I'll have to be satisfied looking at the photos of the star and all the lights and decorations that I love so much. Maybe next year. . .

  2. NYC is a beautiful place during the holidays!