Windows into Winter Wonder

It has been a good long while since I shared with you, but there is never a better time to share than the holidays. This year my family asked me to send them photos of New York at Christmas time, particularly of the window displays that the department stores are known for here.

Bergdorf’s lavish windows put all other displays on 5th Avenue to shame, year after year. Animals are a common theme in their windows all year round, and their holiday displays really let the entire menagerie out.

Lovely ladies adorned in shimmering outfits posed up and down the windows on the block, bedecked in jewels and surrounded by animal companions of many a species.

The air was crisp and cool on Christmas eve, and though there were more people around me than I enjoyed, the mood was so light, I hardly noticed the crowd with my holiday playlist on—thanks to Spotify.

I walked over to Rockefeller Center to take photos of The Tree just in time before a crowd of people exited the ice rink. The Tree seemed a bit taller this year, than the one from last year, and as usual it smiled proudly above the statue of Prometheus. Lee Lawrie’s art deco sculptures are to Rockefeller what the sphinxes are to Egypt.

Especially Atlas, who holds up the heavenly spheres, and who faces St. Patrick’s Cathedral directly across 5th Avenue. Something makes this particular statue seem as if Atlas could walk off with the world on his shoulders at any moment.

I ventured across to St. Patrick’s just in time for a late service, and found myself in quite the crowd underneath the vaulted ceilings. As expected, the music sounded more funerary than celebratory, and clashed with the bright mood people came in with.

From there, I headed down to Herald Square to see how Macy’s windows compared to Bergdorf’s. I had passed them once about a week ago, and caught a glimpse of them, but the tourists made me think twice about stopping. On this occasion though, I stayed a while and was really taken by the intricate puppets that twirled, danced, and glowed in the lights.

There wasn’t anything especially commercial about most of the displays, which was reassuring, and there seemed to be a high level of craftsmanship that went into everything from cogs, baubles, and puppets galore.

Having shot the stuffed animals at the American Museum of Natural History before made taking pictures of the window displays simple. No flashes. Longer exposures. Steady hands. Patience.

No Christmas in New York is complete without a photo of the Empire State Building.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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