So there may be some time travelling going on here... I didn't have time to post this with all the holiday madness and my trip to Bermuda but here's a quick post about what I got up to before Christmas.
New York is amazing at Christmas. The light show at Sak's Fifth Avenue, the Rockerfeller tree lit up, the window displays at the big department stores (Macy's, Bergdorf's and the like) make Midtown Manhattan a magical (if crowded) place. The decorations are put up sometimes even before Thanksgiving. I even saw Christmas trees being put in the windows of a shop near work not long after I arrived in August! It really goes to show that it is a huge celebration. Not only is everywhere lit up but there are so many events that go on in the weeks leading up to the holidays, here's a couple of things I got up to.
1. Seeing the Radio City Rockettes!
The Rockettes are a "troupe of precision dancers" who perform at Radio City Music Hall from November through to January. I was lucky enough to get tickets through my work/study programme and went with a friend to see the "spectactular". All I can say is that I absolutely loved it. There was an overall theme but lots of individual parts such as sketches from the Nutcracker (my favourite), shopping in New York, toy soldiers and other dances. If you are in New York around Thanksgiving or Christmas I would highly recommend seeing this - especially with children!
2. Christmas markets in Bryant Park and Union Square
Another fun Christmas tradition. There are lots of Christmas markets around New York thanks I suppose to the large numbers of German immigrants in the 1850s who would've brought the tradition with them. My favourites though were Union Square and Bryant Park. Bryant Park is usually a lot busier but it does have the added benefit of a large ice rink to skate in. Union Square has the benefit of the park so you can take your mulled cider (all non-alcoholic due to open container laws - bah humbug), and people watch from one of the benches in the park.
3. Christmas parties
No year would be complete without the annual office Christmas party! Sadly I was off sick on the day of my office Christmas party but Americans love to celebrate so thankfully I was able to take part in the building party and also had organised a meal with my team to celebrate. As a poor intern/student I happily tucked in to the free food and drink on offer.
4. My first ice hockey game
More to come in another post. I was able to get tickets through work to a Rangers game at Madison Square Gardens. It was great fun and has become my favourite American sport. As a winter sport it was great to catch a game while the season was in full swing so it was a very exciting game.