2012 Christmas in New York Past and Present
Article & Photos By: Len Rapoport – Editor-In-Chief
My wife and I continue to visit New York City during the Christmas Holiday each year. Living in New Jersey and being a journalist makes it relatively easy to get into the city for many of the holiday celebrations and events we cover for IPA and IMPress Magazine. In this article I wanted to write about this years lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and about the most memorable year we had in New York during Christmas 2007.
Christmas is not Christmas if you are not invited to a party and in 2007 we were invited to a Christmas party by the Czech Tourism agency. Our publication is on many media lists so we decided to cover the party and the city for a wonderful night in New York.
At the party they asked each guest to deposit their business card for a drawing they would have later in the evening. I never win anything every but that night was special and I won two round trip business class airline tickets to the Czech Replublic courtesy of Airtours, Czech Airlines , a 3 night stay for two at a five star hotel in Prague the 6th most visited city in Europe, a city tour, spa treatments and of course all transfers to and from the airport. What a great Christmas Gift for us that we will never forget.
I know some will argue that the Spring time is one of the most beautiful times of the year in New York, but I can’t imagine anyone denying that Christmas is in fact the most exciting and beautiful time to visit New York. We decided to head for New York for the Tree Lighting ceremony and understood it would be sheer insanity trying to get into the city, fight the crowds and media all there to capture this huge event.
So we made th effort, couldn’t get close enough to really get any worth while shots and decided to head back the next day. So forgive me for not having all those great shots of Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, the Rockettes and other celebs at the event, I still didn’t have my NYP Press ID, so it was too difficult to be part of the event that night.
Now our IPA press ID was sufficient to gain some access and get in front of some of the crowds so we were still able to cover Christmas in New York as you will see in our photo gallery below.
[box_light]The 80th Annual Tree Lighting 2012[/box_light]
The 80′ tall 10 ton spruce which measured 22 feet tall in 1973 was now 50 feet in diameter. It survived Hurricane Sandy was donated by Joe Balku a 76 year old man from Flanders, New Jersey so others could enjoy it during this special season. On Nov 28th 2012 the tree was lit with the flick of a switch by Mayor Bloomberg and the festivities began. The tree lighting signals the start of the holiday season and has been a tradition since 1933.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the tree lighting ceremony are the two biggest holiday events in New York and hundreds of thousands of people come from all parts of the world to New York to take part in this wonderful season. The hotels are full and very expensive and the streets are lined with shoulder to shoulder shoppers. The holiday spirit is intense and one feels that all is well in the world.
Part of our tradition of course is to visit the city, drive down 5th Avenue, stop at the Lord & Taylor windows to see their beautiful Christmas windows. Of course all the stores on 5th Avenue are adorned with Christmas themes as you can see in this photo gallery. When our children were younger we would also include Radio City Music Hall in our plans and the wonderful Christmas Show. As a child growing up in Coney Island in the 1950’s I can still remember my parents taking us to the Christmas Show as RCMH but in those days you would see a major motion picture like the Ten Commandments on their giant screen and then the full Christmas Show. Memories like these somehow stay with us forever.
Hopefully next year will be the year we actually go to the tree lighting ceremony, we have not given up hope and will continue to try to use our contacts to see if we can get a spot at the 81st Tree Lighting Ceremony. Check back and visit us again to see if we succeed.
Have a happy holiday to all of our readers and fans.