Monday, December 11, 2006

christmas in new york

Tinsel wreaths and red felt stockings hang cock-eyed on deli bodega windows by strips of Scotch tape. 'HoHoHo' spray painted on Duane Reade display fronts. Colossal snowflakes are strung from street lamp to street lamp creating an overpass over Fifth Avenue. Lamp posts are red twined. Steam clouds entice the crowd at Farmer's market, chowder and chilli brew in slowcookers on top of poker tables. Apple cider is stirred and served from a bent up silver vat by a lady in fingerless gloves, 'one dalla.' Bundled and jittery, lines are snaked in front of the Saks window, Rockerfeller Tree and TKTS window. Seasonal fairs at Union Square and Bryant Park, hand milled soaps, talking stockings and crochet pot holders are bought. Three ice rinks to chose from: skate center stage at Rock Center, pay nothing at Bryant Park or be Serendipity adjacent at Wollman's Rink. Frozen hot chocolate. Puppeteers, lions and Nathan Lane dominate Broadway not Scrooge, Tiny Tim or the NutCracker.

Cablenet, argyle, frayed scarves adorn the city. Bing Crosby tunes are carried over diners and boutiques. Strollers sealed in plastic, dogs jangling from their leash, curious where it's coming from, and SALE signs trim the sidewalks. Coffee beans are grounded by the pound and loose tea leaves are sniffed. Three feet synthetic trees with metallic ornaments sit on studio windowsills, looking out fire escapes. Red and green specs sprinkled on Magnolia's, Billy's and Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes...banana pudding from Magnolia's to go. Snow Angel, literally, on top of the snow-filled fountain in Central Park overseeing canoes on the frozen lake and children clumping snow for throw. Nannies 'borrowing' children's sleds for quick rides down the hill. Company Christmas parties where spouses meet other spouses. Longchamp and Herve Leger overnighters tote through Penn Station and Grand Central. Cordials and chess, Glenlevit and checkmate. 'Neighborly' competition of blinking lights and front lawn stages of the Three Wise Men in Queens. JCrew, LLBean, LandsEnd catalogs.

Cookie Swaps. Misletoes, Santa pins, mini candy cane filled stocklets, proceeds go to City Harvest. Wishlists are emailed. Hovering over kitchen islands to puree pumpkins, cream spinach and bake fruits. Pears, aged cheddar and chocolate covered everything from Harry and David. Flakes feather down, snow concealing curbs of sidewalks, a blanket of quiet covers the city. Cabs make slow turns and faces are mummy wrapped in cashmere. Early museum hours, late shopping hours. Tweed baguettes, shearling trimmed boots, fox stoles. Egg nog, chestnuts, rum soaked cakes. Missing gloves all over the city. Red velvet carriage buggy rides with city guests wrapped in red fleece throws.

T'is the city...
One horse open sleigh.