Monday, December 22, 2008

Reasons To Love New York (especially right now.)

New York Magazine dedicates their last issue each year to reasons why we love New York. And I, obviously, love it. It is Christmastime in New York City and before I head home to the Heartland for the holidays, I thought I'd reflect a little and post my own list. Because, yes, Virginia, I do love this city.

1) It finally snowed.
Just as we were all getting a little Grinchy at the Art in America offices on Broadway (myself included), quarter-sized snowflakes started slowly dropping from the sky. If you live here, you remember them. I kept hearing the word 'snowglobe' said around Soho, no joke. Because it absolutely looked like one. A cheesy Christmastime New York snowglobe. And we ate it up.

2. Rockefeller Center still uses colorful Christmas lights.
I don't know about you, but I get really sick of all-white lights. They look nice in certain situations, like in Aspen year round, but at Christmastime I wanna see some big bright C9 bulbs like my dad always used. Rock center, Christmas central, does not disappoint.

3. The Anthropologie Christmas Windows
Better than Macy's and better than Bloomingdales and better than Bergdorf's. The three main themes this year: tinsel, big C9 lights, and paperchains. You can see why I was struck... It looked like my apartment.

4. This snowman on Gates Avenue
And that a dude was standing on top of his car kicking off the snow on the next car over. New Yorkers don't really know how to handle snow that well. They kind of panic, lets just be honest.

5. The "The Economy Sucks but We Don't" sales
Alison and I Christmas shopped all day on Saturday and encountered the best sales we've ever seen. Bloomberg got on the news to encourage Christmas shopping and to remind us that we are all in this together and that businesses really do need us this year. The mood was nothing but merry on 5th Ave, and the employees so very helpful. The later was definitely a Christmas miracle.

6. The homeless subway entertainers have switched to Christmas Carols.
And they probably get more money that way, so its a good thing all around! (I'm dying for an entire train car to join in one of these days, but this is still New York, after all. And even though it is Christmastime, we are usually still pissed off on the train. Its tradition.)

7. Because Robert Moses would have a coronary if he were to see our streets now.
(Yeah, I stole this from the NY Mag list but it is deserving.) New York is reverting back to a pedestrian city. Strips of street have been painted tan, flanked with planters and benches. Bikers, walkers, and observers have taken over traffic and everyone seems to be okay with it. If there is one reason I love New York right now, this is it... and Jane Jacobs would be oh-so-proud.

8. Because New Yorkers still understand the concept of a lazy Sunday.
I had this discussion with friends today... only in New York will people drop all of their plans to sit in a cozy apartment or bar with a fireplace and a glass of wine for the entire day without a second thought. In the summer, Sundays are spent doing as much as we can, hopping from one Brooklyn activity to the next. But in the wintertime, we sit around and talk all day and never go outside because its just too cold. That's exactly how I spent my day today. An older coworker of mine once hinted at this and told me to enjoy it while I am single and young... 'there is simply nothing more decedent than drinking all day on a winter afternoon,' she said. I completely agree.

9. Because people actually stop working between Christmas and New Years.
Well... maybe just in the art world.

10. Because when you are single and 25 and working a 9-5 job in New York City, you can do whatever the hell you want from 5pm to 9am.
I totally stole this from last year's list, but I've been thinking about it for the entire year. The point is that there is so much to do in New York--anytime, all of the time-- but especially at Christmas. And people actually get out there are do it! That's the major difference between New York and middle America... people share in community activities and aren't dead set on being at home. Perhaps small apartments might have something to do with it, but whatever the reason, New Yorkers absolutely take advantage of all that the city has to offer. People get excited, parties are thrown, everything is holiday themed. I haven't been home after work in months. I find myself with plans every single night, usually multiple engagements to choose between. And while my laundry has suffered, my spirit is all the better for it.

Happy Christmas, everyone :)


Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm the first! (Being an early bird is finally paying off) I have spent more time in NYC in the last year then my whole life. Lare, my husband, going to school there, made visiting both a necessity and a joy! We both miss it so much. The collage of people create the most endless pattern of life, love and color. You can't help but notice things you never saw before or find a face you SWEAR you know from home..waterfalls, people dancing on the subway, people walkng odd little dogs and TONS of tattoos! I LOVE New York too! Deanna

Alison said...

I LOVE that in New York you can say "Happy Christmas" and no one will give you weird looks.

Alison said...

oh, and that there are plenty of dreaded Africans to choose from in New York - unlike anywhere else.

Leah said...

I love that in New York all holiday shopping can be done without ever setting foot in a mall!

Lizzie said...

I love the first snowfall of the season and i especially love it in NYC. When it first hits it is the prettiest thing ever! And when it gets gross and slushy, it provides NYers with a common thing to compain about and analyze (something we all love to do). What I love most of all is the nice homeless man who offered me a hand as i stepped precariously over the icy mess by the train station!

Jen Pasko said...

Sarah you are oh so right....As as a fellow girl from the heartland....I find that I am constantly wanting more...I yearn for a city that embraces my love for walking and public transportation, style, burning the midnight oil, and lets be honest C9 multicolored bulbs in fabulous store windows like Anthropology.... This city is the quintessential aphrodisiac for any holiday blues..Cheers!

David Henly said...

Sarah - this piece inspired me to give myself a xmas present. Did you know it only costs $19.95 to subscribe to New York magazine for a whole year! - a deal. And i like David Edelstein's movie reviews as well. Did Katie tell you she gave me your magazine for my christmas present from her. Lucky me. - Later, David

Sarah Butler said...

thank you for all of the comments!!!

Deanna, i completely agree on the people watching! everyone looks familiar and i swear i know half of them. thanks for reading!

alison, you crack me up with the dread obsession.

leah, I AGREE. fifth ave was amazing and so merry to shop on... no food courts and no parking garages!

lizzie, it needs to snow again.

jennifer, come to new york next december, we'll do a big new york city christmas up right :) so serious.

david, you will not be disappointed, NY Mag is one of my favorite things. its a very smart magazine, and i like David Edelstein as well. enjoy Art in America (or did she give you Interview?)... happy reading.

B Butler said...

Sarah: I read your blog about Christmas lights and I still use the C9 strings.Maybe I was too sensitive about the past tense,( my dad used) They are all down and packed away for the year, but they will be back. Dad