I MISS NY: BIG CITY, BRIGHT LIGHTS

Even though I usually avoid shopping centers, especially around the holidays (crowds, lines, loud music, obnoxious SALE signs, scent overload  and messy racks give me anxiety), there was one NYC mall that I cannot resist at Christmastime: The Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.

From mid-November through New Year’s the main hall features an amazing lights display: Holiday Under the Stars. The lights show is choreographed to carols, jingles and other Christmas-themed music, and it is absolutely breathtaking.

Let the show begin.

Let the show begin.

My favorite part comes when Carol of the Bells starts playing: it is my ultimate American Christmas song, and I have associated it with this holiday ever since I watched Home Alone for the very first time ages ago:

One year I got a mocha at Starbucks and sat cross-legged on the floor of the 3rd-floor indoor balcony of the Time Warner Center for an hour, waiting for Carol of the Bells to come on. When the stars started doing their dance of light, I think I actually clapped.

Some more holiday lights magic from all around New York City:

The dinosaur topiary outside of the Museum of Natural History.

The dinosaur topiary outside of the American Museum of Natural History.

Louis Vuitton's Murakami logos get REALLY festive.

Louis Vuitton’s Murakami logos get REALLY festive.

Christmas comes to Wall Street.

Christmas comes to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.

Angels guard the city's most famous Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.

Angels guard the city’s most famous Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.

The courtyard at the Palace Hotel (where I once had drinks next to Andrew Lloyd Webber, and also re-enacted a scene from Gossip Girl).

The courtyard at the Palace Hotel (where I once had drinks next to Andrew Lloyd Webber, and also re-enacted a scene from Gossip Girl. At the hotel. Not in the courtyard).

For more of New York City during the Holidays, take a look at Bergdorf’s Windows.

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32 thoughts on “I MISS NY: BIG CITY, BRIGHT LIGHTS

  1. I’ve never been to the Time Warner Center, so I’m definitely adding this to my list.
    My trip to Manhattan was a whirlwind yesterday. 4am wakeup call, snowy drive to airport for a 6:30 am flight. Delayed to de-ice the plane. Twice. Finally arrived at Newark at 8:20. Decided to take the Air Train to Penn Station. And then… [big smile]… got to walk outside for 5 1/2 blocks from Penn Stn to the building my meetings were at. God I miss that city so much.
    Meetings went very well, so when the time came for me to leave at 2:15 to get back to Newark for a 4:15 flight, the executives asked if I would allow them to change my flight to something later that evening so I could meet a few others and then stop by their Christmas party. I said yes.
    Got to walk outside for a mere block before ducking into subway and riding up to 72nd for the party venue. (I desperately wanted to skip the hour I would be spending at the party to, instead, just soak in the city. I’ve missed it so much!).
    I got a text from the car service that he was outside and waiting to take me to Newark, so I made my way outside. Got to the airport in plenty of time for my 9:00 pm flight. A flight that didn’t depart until 11:00 pm.
    Long ass day, but the thing I regret most is that I didn’t get to spend more time in that magical city. 😦
    In the words of Arnold, I’ll be back.

    • Wow, that seems like an insanely intense day! Especially with the weather – I’ve been hearing complaints! There’s always next time… (what’d you have for lunch?)

  2. Ummm, it’s always been a toss up of favorites: dinosaurs or Christmas lights? And you have now given me a photo that shows these two can coexist in peace and perfection. Thank you for that 😉 Also– love Carol of the Bells! 2nd favorite Christmas song!

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