Christmas in the City
If I can’t go home for Christmas this year, there’s no where else I’d rather be than Manhattan.
There’s something about the smell of roasted chestnuts from the street vender on 3rd Avenue, the Christmas trees and wreaths for sale on every corner, the ice skating at Central Park, the winter village in Bryant Park, and the coziness of businesses selling their winter wares, warming food, and holiday cheer that bring memories of all the best parts of Christmas to the top of my mind.
Due to COVID-19, many of us aren’t traveling home for Christmas. Many of our traditions will look a little different this year. And, we may be missing some people who were lost during this unprecedented pandemic. Our hearts are going out to all of you – our readers – we have also lost family…we have also felt sorrow…but, we are lucky. We are okay. We’re so sorry for those who are struggling.
The city of New York has been through a really tough year. In the spring, COVID struck harder here and left a bigger death count than anywhere else in the United States. Businesses have gone bankrupt. People have lost their jobs. People have lost their homes. It’s heartbreaking.
But, because of all of this sadness, I think that the people here are anxious to spread cheer with some extra warmth this year. Here are some places that we’ve found the Christmas spirit and a bit of Santa bringing joy.
We were cold….we were hungry….we were feeling a little under the weather. There’s nothing that brings warmth like some Matzo Ball soup. We’re fortunate to live only a couple of blocks from Sarge’s Delicatessen.
I placed an order online for some soup and salad for me and one of their world-famous pastrami sandwiches for Noah. When I went to pick it up, they were swirling around the counter and hustling to get orders fulfilled. Mine had been lost. But, not to fear, they had it ready within five minutes.
As I was waiting, because it was so cold, they offered us a couple of complimentary pieces of cake to take home with our meal. OMG – it was the best!!! Thank you Santa…ahem…Sarge’s!!!
I was so elated to see them busy with orders in the midst of more dining shutdowns. And, what’s more, through it all, they still offered us a gift for being loyal customers. Small acts of kindness are not unnoticed. We appreciate our neighborhood businesses!
The Plaza Hotel courtyard, pop-up light installations, and ice skating reign supreme this time of year in Midtown. South of Central Park, the lights fill me with holiday cheer and sparkle. Even in the darkest of nights, this light-up opulence brings hope that this is still “La Dolce Vita.”
I’ve heard people from New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions wax poetic about missing Christmas snow when they moved to California. Coming from the Midwest, that was never a thought I had about snow. I dreaded driving on black ice, slipping on the sidewalks, and feeling consistently wet.
However, snow here is different than in the midwest. I’m lucky enough to not have to drive in it! There are people clearing sidewalks and roads consistently through the storm. And, the snow is powdery, fluffy, and fun! Noah even made a tiny snowman on our balcony! It’s a time to feel like a kid again, and just enjoy the day for play.
The New York Public Library and Bryant Park Winter Village
The snow is falling, but I can weather the storm. I’ve got my love to keep me warm!
New York is a great place to be in love. And, it’s a great place to find yourself wrapped up in a real-life love story going on around you. People watching, hearing conversations on the street, and witnessing major events for other people are a way of life here.
One such instance happened this winter season, when we walked up on a wedding at the New York Public Library by Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Once the ceremony finished, the happy couple hopped into an old-fashioned yellow cab right next to us. I was reminded of my own beautiful wedding, my luck in love with Noah, and hope for all of our futures. It was a beautiful and unplanned moment of life in the city.
Take a stroll in any direction around Manhattan, and you will likely stumble upon holiday cheer through Christmas trees, decorations, lights, and displays. These are just some of what can be found in Midtown from 40th to 57th Street and from 3rd Avenue to 6th Avenue. What will you find on your holiday hunting?
La Bonne Soupe
We had the most amazing meal last weekend. We were holiday hunting down 6th Avenue, just past Radio City Music Hall. We were feeling hungry, so we turned down 55th street toward 5th Avenue. We were hoping to find somewhere still offering purely outdoor dining – even in the cold. There were several offerings! We decided on La Bonne Soupe, and I’m so glad we did! Nothing takes away winter chill like a bowl of French Onion Soup, Profiteroles and mulled wine! Their winter warming menu offered us a safe respite from the winter chills – even it is was outdoor dining!
No Place Like Home for the Holidays
As COVID-19 rages on and the world worries about health, finances, the economy, and day-to-day life, sometimes there’s nothing better than snuggling up with your immediate family and appreciating what you have today. Knowing that none of this lasts forever, it’s best to enjoy this moment – right now.
Here’s our cozy abode. Filled with light, filled with life, filled with good food, warmth, and love.
This holiday season, wherever you are around the world, we wish the same for you and yours.
Other NYC Ideas!
Check out our previous posts for other NYC neighborhoods to check-out!
- Long Island City, Queens
- North Fork, Long Island
- Red Hook
- Rockaway Beach
- Murray Hill and Midtown East
- Central Park
- Discover the Best NYC Landmark and Lookout – Just For You!
- Spookiest Spots in NYC
- Sleepy Hollow
- New York Botanical Garden
- Tea Tasting in Soho and LES
- Toasting Holiday Spirit in NYC!
- New York City Zoos
More coming each week!
And…it’s 2020…So, here’s my weekly reminder.
Should I Come to New York in 2020?
If you are living outside the Northeast, the answer is still, sadly, no. For more on this, check out our other posts on 3 Months of New York City, Riding the Second Wave, Wandering and Wondering in NYC, and New York: Awakening from COVID-19 Slumber. Our numbers are sky-rocketing once again…The government is doing its best to make sure it stays below a certain percentage. Because, with so many people living in such a close proximity, pandemics are especially lethal here.
***UPDATE*** Starting on November 4th, the mandatory 14-day quarantine has ended! New York is moving to a test-based travel restriction. You have to show a negative COVID-19 test result from the past 72 hours upon arrival, then, three days after arrival (and quarantine), you have to receive another test here. If it’s negative, you’re good to go. If it’s positive, you must continue to quarantine. So, this means shorter quarantines (yay!), but two tests… Stay home if you can…If you can’t, you’ve been warned!
Wait this one out…New York will still be here when the dust settles.
As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!
Stay in your region this year, stay safe, stay distant, and be like the NYC statues – wear your masks! We’ll see you on the other side.
Noah and Majhon
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