Manhattan: Rockefeller Center

For the first time in my life, I’ve made it to Manhattan for the late fall and early winter holiday season.

If you’ve never been to New York City in the wintertime, during the holiday season specifically… well, it’s probably not for everyone.  The scenery is what it is, but it’s almost written as a suggestion that you should go at least once to try it out.  It’s magical.  It’s not Disney World magical, but it’s magical in its own right.  Take into consideration the shows and movies you’ve seen and that have taken place during the month of December.

It’s that typical.  It’s that crowded, hectic.

This has never been experienced firsthand, and anticipation flowed through me, head-to-toe.  My wallet was in my coat pocket to adhere to safety protocol, but my hands took turns clasping my phone, my body ready to react to taking pictures—not like a boss, but a tourist.

There is love in the air.  It’s the holiday season, and stores are crazy.  There was a lot of wind that night, blustery cold.  Families posed for pictures, free and to be paid for.  Couples kissed–love was in the air–under the looming Christmas tree as if it were a large piece of mistletoe.  People skated while others adhered to the sides of the skating rink; I would be classified in the latter group.  Being partially an introvert and anxious around large groups of people, the intimidation was never felt and I felt at peace.  Smiling could not be ceased.  There was that reassurance of being able to fit in.

Finally, I had made it to Manhattan in December!  I’ve made it to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, the ice rink, and to enjoy the atmosphere.  The time was spent perfectly with one of my best friends and her daughter.

This isn’t a woe-is-me moment, but there was some regret of not sharing the moment with someone.  Becky and Claire are special to me.  But then again, I never did go ice skating.  It wasn’t the time to.  You need another or others to do so.  I’m not going to lie in the middle of the rink like John Cusack either (as much as I have thought about it).  There will be plenty of firsts with relationships, making moments to share between you and your significant other.  This was a personal moment, and it was needed.  Seeing the families, friends, couples, and kids was comforting and convincing:  a reassurance that this is what I anticipate.  There is no fear of not wanting to eventually be married, there is no fear of hanging out and spending time with kids–I’m great at it–and there was an invisible pat on the back to say that all systems are officially GO.  In it to win it, as they say.

And then, later in the evening and after a strong beverage, you realize that your crush, a writer or photographer or artist or whoever in that sea of people swimming in New York City, a woman you admire with that schoolboy type of crush, had taken a picture of a large and decadent Christmas tree just feet from where you took yours.  It’s a high, and bouts of over-thought and creativity wonderment swirl together into an incomprehensible grandeur.  Adoration yields love, which yields stupidity; it’s a good stupidity, the kind you can laugh at yourself about while questioning the reasoning behind feeling such a way.


We went Wednesday night—Becky, Claire, and myself.  Cole took Carter home; hopefully I’ll get to spend more time with Cole and continue bonding.  There is lagging.  Whenever we hang out, the in-between wells up with water to flood away what is constantly being built, and the following moment is more along the lines of wanting to spend more time together.  We’re the close friends who aren’t as close as we should be due to time and distance.  Granted, if (when, possibly) I lived in the city, we’d be both working and he and Becky have the kids.  At least there is the reassurance that we’d be a couple subway stops away.

There are many stories in your life, especially love stories.  Cole and Becky are in my Top Three love stories, and the story is up there with Cliff and Leanna’s.  There are no numbers, because you cannot designate a number to these kinds of things, but they can be grouped.

We grabbed a quick bite at Christie’s Jamaican Patties, and the beef patty was opted for.  It was a pocket filled with beef and spices, which added to an equation of deliciousness cradled in coco bread.  The light bread wasn’t too filling, which meant one thing:  more room for more food.  The spices prickled, danced upon my lips as the sandwich satisfied my rumbling stomach.

Beef Patty from Christie's Jamaican Patties, Brooklyn
Beef Patty from Christie’s Jamaican Patties, Brooklyn

We headed to Rockefeller Center for the Christmas Tree and the skating rink that I have yet to skate at.  Cupcakes (my red velvet and Claire’s double chocolate) were picked up, and a hot cocoa was consumed from Magnolia Bakery.  A picture of the red velvet cupcake was never taken, because it was consumed it too quickly.  It was aesthetically pleasing as it was delicious.  The hot cocoa proved absolutely fitting, and didn’t weigh my stomach down too much; there was food to be eaten still (should some be stumbled upon).

Claire and I
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center Skating Rink

A trip into the Lego store and Toys R Us happened.  The trip was capped off with a visit to Times Square.

It wasn’t a bad evening.

The Lego store was everything  imagined and so much more; although, I’ve been there before, going during the holiday season seemed much more rewarding and sentimental.  My inner child was brought out only appropriately, and my inner geek shined valiantly.  The section dedicated to the comics, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings could not have made me any more elated.

Looking upon Lego City, there was much to look at:  random croissants (which are a third of the size of a Lego Being, Lego Sapien), three Darth Vaders (which Vader is the real one?!?), Batman and several others from the DC universe, a bride standing on the ledge of a building, just the torso of a Lego Sapien, but there was no Waldo.  What the hell?  

Lego City
Lego City

My nightcap was spending guy time with Scott, who I can now call a fellow improviser, and my improv partner’s cousin.  He was and still is a part of Syracuse Improv Collective.  We went to Bearded Lady on Washington, a classy venue with specialty booze drinks.  I opted for Beckett’s Fall, simply because of Samuel Beckett being an Irish playwright, and since a sketch of him hung on the wall of a pub I went into the night before.  The drink didn’t look appealing written out, because I’m not a specialty drink consumer; I’ll have the whiskey, scotch, Bourbon on the rocks when it comes to be fancy, but even that’s simply standard.  Beckett’s Fall is made up of gin, apple brandy, apple cider vinegar, sage syrup, and muddled apple.  The Fall was actually really good, and it went down smoothly.

A picture can be found on the bar’s Facebook page:

Beckett's Fall at Bearded Lady, Brooklyn
Beckett’s Fall at Bearded Lady, Brooklyn

The pretentious thing about Brooklyn is many businesses not taking credit cards.  It can be understood why places don’t take credit cards, but sometimes it’s a bit ridiculous (for the customer).  There are benefits to not having to pay those fees.  The only place I’ve really gone to in Syracuse that doesn’t take cards is The Blarney Stone, and that place is far from pretentious.

Needless to say, I owe Scott a drink, which I’m completely cool with.  He threw spooning out into the deal as well, which I’m refusing, but played along with.  However, we both do improv; we have to yes, and everything.  Guess I’m screwed… no, wait… spooned.

3 thoughts on “Manhattan: Rockefeller Center

  1. Well, you got to Manhattan in the holiday season, Chris. You will indeed get to the other places in life that you wish for so dearly. Thanks for sharing the sights and your thoughts today.

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