The Christmas Tree

I said I can go home when I have seen the lighted Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It was lighted on Wednesday and I hadn’t seen it yet due to inconvenient weather conditions. So today I had to see it – otherwise I could not go home.

My last day was blessed with blue sky and sunshine. It was cold but there was no icy breeze. I wanted to see the tree and the Christmas decorations along 5th Avenue. As the weather was so splendid I started my tour in Central Park and walked to Wollman Rink. A lot of people were skating, others were strolling around. The only signs of winter were the missing leaves and the busy rink.
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At the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street the world’s largest Chanukah Menorah has been set up.
I started walking south on 5th Avenue. The big stores with the big names there indeed have impressive decorations.
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A huge star is hanging high above 5th Avenue.
The closer I came to Rockefeller Center, the denser the crowd became. At Rockefeller Center moving was not possible any more.
Everybody wanted to see the tree today. And of course everybody needed to be photographed with the tree. The tree itself was disappointing. It is not spectacular at all. Just little lights in different colors and a star on top.
At the edge of the chaos the Salvation Army was rocking like everywhere in the city these days.
In the morning I had still thought it would be a great day for Top of the Rock. Maybe it would have been but I didn’t see a chance to get there at all.
I walked further south, to the library. The lions are carrying wreaths now.
In Astor Hall a tree has been set up as well. In the library shop I easily found some still needed gifts and got a red library tote bag. In the Deli on 40th Street I had my last sandwich, grilled Reuben on rye.
At the windows of Lord and Taylor lines had been formed to walk by and take pictures.
I left 5th Avenue at 34th Street and walked over to Macy’s to see Santa. But traffic at Macy’s was very similar to traffic at Rockefeller Center. I decided not to see Santa. It would have cost me the rest of the afternoon.
Instead I took the train to Union Square to buy the bag I had seen on 14th Street yesterday. When I arrived at Union Square I decided to check the other direction first. There might be more bag shops between 5th and 6th Avenue. I was right and easily found a cheap carry-on size trolley backpack there and avoided the detour to the east side. As it started to get dark I decided to stop at Rockefeller Center again on my way home to see the tree illuminated. But first I had my last Pumpkin Spice Latte – not from Starbucks.
To get to Rockefeller Center I needed the F train which of course was not coming. I guess it is the most unreliable train in New York’s subway system. When I finally got there the chaos was the same as earlier in the afternoon. But the tree was lit now.
On my way home I found an arrangement of Christmas baubles at Chase on 6th Avenue.

At home I started packing before I went for my last dinner. I took the bus down Columbus to eat at Isabella’s, an Italian restaurant on Columbus and 77th Street. It was packed however. I walked up Columbus and down Amsterdam in search of an alternative. There are lots of restaurants on both streets but I was in the mood for Italian food tonight. Finally I found La Vela on Amsterdam. A little place with red and white checkered tablecloths. I went in and got a table although it was very busy. I had salsicchia on grilled polenta and Ravioli filled with wild mushrooms. It was good but not extraordinary. But the place is very sweet.

What I learned today:
A sunny Saturday is not the best day to see the Christmas tree.

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