Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A tree grows in Manhattan

Fully lit
Last week the great tree at Rockefeller Center
was lit. First erected by construction workers
in 1931, it now requires a lot of pomp and
circumstance to celebrate it's arrival, erection,
decoration, and the final flipping of the switch.
Frankly I stay far from the climactic festivities.
I find nothing orgasmic about standing elbow
to elbow with thousands of folks from Kansas.
That said I do enjoy my daily stroll past as it
soars high above. Somehow it makes me happy.

Frozen in time
Some things never change. Anyone can skate
below the great tree on the ice at Rockefeller
Center. For years my father dragged me out on
that very ice as he attempted to teach me how
to skate. Finally, he gave up and I never fully
mastered the art of frozen liquid (except sipping
it). In my youth an ancient Sonia Henie look
alike skated on the rink daily in full regalia.
Haven't seen her for years. Maybe the eskimos
finally put her on an ice floe to glide away...

Really big show
When I was a kid Radio City was still a movie theater. While everyone knows of the Rockettes, few realize that they used to be the lead act before the big event. Every Christmas and Easter there was an extravaganza that played BEFORE the movie. By the seventies it was a little tired at best. Even a fan of Bubsy Berkeley struggled through the march of the wooden soldiers. Today the show continues without a flick and while I haven't been, most of the midwest now seems to enjoy it.

Underneath it all
I can't wax eloquently about beloved Christmas traditions and not mention Saks. Perched across the street from Rock Center, for as long as I can remember the main floor was a winter wonderland. While some think it's rather tired, strolling under those boughs truly puts me into the Christmas spirit. Few things are certain. All I know is that old bags have been carrying shopping bags since the beginning of time. This holiday I plan to shop till I drop. Another tradition that I hope will never end!