Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Mom's Visit Part 2: Holiday Windows

After knocking out the Rockefeller Center Tree and the Rockettes on Night #1, the second day of my mom's visit could be devoted to...well, everything else. (Okay, maybe not everything else, because this is our fourth Christmas in NYC and I'm pretty sure we still haven't seen everything, but you know what I mean.)

We started our day at 34th Street to check out Macy's. We first admired the "Yes, Virginia" store windows on the 34th Street side, then went inside and up a million billion escalators to the holiday shop on the top floor. Then we returned to the street to check out the "Make A Wish" windows on the Broadway side. The last window was interactive and you can create your own digital ornament to be displayed in the window. We didn't fight the crowds to do that with my mom, but Eric did give it a shot one night when he was late coming home from work and had some fun with it.

One of the Macy's "Make a Wish" windows

From there we continued north to Lord & Taylor, which had some of my favorite windows last year. They were quite nice again this year, with the theme "What is Christmas Made Of?" The window scenes were inspired by the artwork of NYC area children in response to that question, and their artwork was featured in the windows, as well.

Eric and my mom at Lord & Taylor

"Happy Everything" drawing by a NYC area child, featured in the Lord & Taylor windows

A portion of one of the holiday scenes

Detail on one of the holiday scenes

A window depicting a family hard at work baking Christmas cookies. My favorite part is the beagle!

The child's drawing that inspired the above window scene!

We then made our way northwest for a pass through Bryant Park. We wandered through the shops and took advantage of free samples (primarily of chocolate) when we could. Then we went across the street to Hale & Hearty for some soup before heading back out on our way.

We walked up Fifth Avenue from there, pausing at any windows that struck our fancy. We checked out the Saks windows, which again, I did not think were their best work. The windows this year tied into the "Bubbles and Snowflakes" light show they have on the exterior of the building, and we already discussed my feelings about that yesterday. I miss the old snowflake light show, and the adorable windows from our first couple of years here, including Mike, the first original snowflake. I guess bubbles just aren't my style.

We also paused at the Tiffany's windows, which were much more elaborate this year than they have been in years past, if memory serves. They featured a carousel theme, and the windows were all framed to look like they were a part of a merry-go-round. The displays themselves were tiny but incredibly elegant. Well done, Tiffany's. 

Windows at Tiffany's

Having some fun with the little mirrors on the window frames

One of the displays...oh, you want to give me that little blue box tied with a red ribbon for Christmas? Hey, who am I to argue?

Close-up of another Tiffany's window, featuring a miniature of their store and a large blue gem wrapped in a diamond bow.

Of course, we also saw some of my other Fifth Avenue holiday favorites, including the big lighted bow on the exterior of Cartier, and the UNICEF snowflake suspended above the street.

I love that snowflake.

We also spent a good bit of time admiring the window displays at Bergdorf Goodman. They are also just so intricate and frankly, spectacular. This year's theme was "Carnival of the Animals."

Two of Bergdorf's windows

This window display was made entirely of paper. On the left is a more general shot, on the right is a close-up of one of the paper animals. Incredible!

We then made our way east to Barney's, which was a must-see for me. Their windows this year were entitled "Gaga's Workshop," and Lady Gaga herself contributed to their design. They were everything you might expect from windows designed by Gaga, including one called "Gaga's Boudoir," in which everything in the display was made out of hair. Nothing says "Happy Holidays" quite like a room covered in hair, am I right?

Store entrance to Gaga's Workshop at Barney's

Gaga's boudoir, made of hair

Close-up of a stool made of hair in Gaga's boudoir

Another Gaga window

We then stopped at Bloomingdale's, whose windows this year were inspired by their iconic shopping bags. They also had stations where you could stop and have your photo taken to be uploaded to their Facebook page. We did take our photo, but never did find it on Facebook!

I have always wanted to take my mom to Serendipity for some frozen hot chocolate, and we were right in the neighborhood and ready for a snack at that point. So, we stopped over to check out the wait time, which was THREE TO FOUR HOURS. Holy cow. So, we skipped Serendipity. Goodness!

Instead of sipping frozen hot chocolate, we hopped on the subway and went down to the Washington Square Park area, where we stopped for cupcakes at Molly's Cupcakes (that place Eric and I discovered on a recent date night). The cupcakes were so good. We might have to make that place a regular stop.

My mom and me sitting on the swings at the bar at Molly's Cupcakes

My Ron Bennington Cupcake. Heavenly.

Feeling refreshed from our cupcake break, we walked over to Washington Square Park to check out the Christmas tree there. Unfortunately, it wasn't lit yet, but my mom had never seen that park so it was a nice stop anyway. While we were there, a young man started playing the piano right there in the park. It was beautiful, and just one of those "man, this is a really cool city" kinds of moments.

You can see the (unlit) Christmas tree and Empire State Building through the arch

Pianist in Washington Square Park

VIDEO: Pianist in Washington Square Park

We were about ready to call it a night at that point (holy long day, Batman), but on our way back to the PATH train we made sure to take my mom past the Friends apartment building. Hey, we have to cram in all the sights we possibly can!

When we got home, we went out to pick up some wine (for Eric and my mom, of course) and ordered in a pizza. We spent the rest of the night relaxing and playing Rock Band. Good times!

Achilles was happy to have us all home, especially my mom. He adores her!

Isn't Christmas in NYC great? There's just so much to see!

Coming up tomorrow: Less Christmas, more sightseeing, including the 9/11 Memorial, the Stock Exchange (okay, that's Christmas-y) and Hoboken. Stay tuned!


moderndaywife said...

Love all the festive window displays! That cupcake looks sooo good too yum :-)

Jessica said...

OK if I ever convince the Hubs to go back to NYC at Christmas time, you're definitely our tour guide!!!

Jessica Renee said...

Again, really great pictures! I especially love the one of you and hubby in the Tiffany's mirror display. Oh and the one with your mom and Achilles :) Cute!