This past Wednesday, my friend Jennie, her daughter-in-law Lauren, Lauren's mom Marge, and I were among the more than 700,000 people who pass through Rockefeller Center every day during the holiday season to see the magnificent Christmas tree.
Like most tourists, I took a picture with my iPhone, which of course doesn't do justice to the tree.
According to an article published in Business Week, the 80-year-old Norway spruce weighs about 10 tons and stands 80 feet tall. It’s wrapped in about five miles of LED lights with 45,000 bulbs, topped with a 550-pound, LED-powered Swarovski star studded with 25,000 crystals, and it has no other ornaments. This year's tree survived Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey, and when it's taken down, its lumber will be milled for use in constructing a Habitat for Humanity House.
We also visited Central Park, where we watched some very young hockey players in training--the four- and five-year-olds spent more time with their butts on the ice than they did with their blades.
After Central park, we checked out the Plaza Hotel, which was already famous but became even more iconic thanks to Macauley Culkin. We had already eaten lunch, but we drooled over the food market downstairs, with all of its beautiful fresh produce, layered cakes, jewel-box-like petit fours, rich multi-grain breads, and cookies that look like works of art:
Jennie and I posed in front of a wreath on the front of the hotel, just to show how big it was:
We also went into Bergdorf Goodman, where we saw actress Andie McDowell making a purchase. But I was more impressed with the wreath-on-every-window exterior of the building than I was with the bling and celebrities inside:
At night, we made our way to Bryant Park, which features a series of small glassed-in huts, each one specializing in a particular line of merchandise--socks, scarves and hats, candy, Christmas merchandise....
Yes, that last one was the one that got me. And yes, even though I'm the person who said we don't have room for any more Santas--except maybe an ornament or two--I succumbed to purchasing a grilling Santa for Doug. He looks pretty cute next to the miniature tree on our kitchen table:
Merry Christmas three weeks early, honey.