Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas in NYC

It's Christmas time here in Manhattan and the tourists abound. The tree is up at Rockefeller Center up and crowds are flocking to see it. People are lined up to see the Macy's and Sak's widow displays. Cartier has it's traditional big bow around the building. The Empire State Building is lit with holiday-themed lights. No doubt about it, it's a joyous time of year. Of course, when you've seen it as many times as most New Yorkers have, you tend to become a little jaded about the tourist attractions and you find yourself more enamored of the little things that tend to slip below people's radars. Here are this year's top five, along with a bonus entry.

Starbuck's Cups
The festive red, white, and green holiday Starbuck's cups that sit atop every overflowing garbage can and line the streets.

On a side note, as you know Starbuck's is very concerned about the environment. Do you ever wonder if their definition of recycling is paying people go around to collect the cups so that they can re-use them? I'll try not to think about that the next time I order a grande no water chai latte.

Holiday Exercise
Working off the extra pounds put on by eating holiday treats by running to obstacle course of shopping bags added to the already crushing mass of bodies as you fight to get into or out of the subway car before the doors close.

Greeting Tourists
The cheery greeting of "F***ing tourists" that reverberates around Fifth Avenue as people who are desperately trying to get to work are forced to dodge tourists who insist on stopping to point out every bow, tree, wreath, light, and window display.

By the way folks, the things in the middle of the street aren't holiday decorations, they're traffic lights.

Adorable Tourists
The annual contest to see who can come up with the most annoying holiday exchange. This year's front runner, overheard in Rockefeller Center:

Dad: "Look at the giant tree!"
Mom: "Hey Timmy, do you think that would fit in our living room?"
Timmy: "I don't know Mom, but Santa would have to bring a lot of presents to fit under a tree that big."
Awwww......how adorable. Can you please go back to Kansas now?

By the way, last year's winner, overheard at 9:30 p.m., was "Wow, this really is the city that never sleeps."

Diversity Santas
The amazing ethnic and gender diversity of the Santas that are strategically placed on benches around the city. Wait a minute....those are homeless people?

Bonus Item - Bootleg Shopping
Doing all of your shopping without ever going indoors. I sure hope Grandma likes the bootleg copies of "Blade: Trinity" and "Jay-Z / Linkin Park Mash Up" that I just picked up for her.