As many of you who follow us know, we are currently home based in Connecticut. We are roughly 2 hours or so from New York City. Although there are many things to see throughout Connecticut (like the Niantic Parade and the Mr. Paul Tudor Jones light show) and the New England States, there are a few things in New York City that are considered a “must see.” So, on the 20th, The Nomads hit the road to do a NYC Christmas Walk.
We had a plan going in. There were some things we wanted to see that did not pertain to Christmas and others that did. Because some things were better seen in daylight and others at dark, we devised our plan around that.
We left the parking structure (of which there are dozens and dozens to choose from) and headed towards the Rockefeller Tree at Rockefeller Center. We wanted to see it in the daytime so we could get a good look at the tree itself. Along the way, we passed the giant string of Christmas Lights, the giant red ornaments in front of the Chase Building and Radio City Music Hall.
From there we headed to Central Park. We got there by walking up 5th Avenue, where we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral and saw all of the window displays of the famous clothing and jewelry stores. We noticed that Saks seemed to have an elaborate lighted display on the outside of the building, so we will return to that at night-time.
We got into Central Park and headed for the Central Park Mall. This is a walkway filled with statues of famous, historical literary people. At the end of the walkway is a somewhat famous location called Bethesda Terrace and Bethesda Fountain. Dozens and dozens of movies have used this place as a location, from The Avengers to Elf. As we approached, there was a symphony of music and song emanating from under the bridge. It sounded wonderful.
After taking that in, Mama Nomad really wanted to continue onto the Alice in Wonderland statue, by 5th Ave and 75th Street. So, we went up and down hills, zig zagged between bushes and, at the head of the Conservatory Water, we came upon the statue. We did not spend much time there as parents were letting their kids climb all over it.
We left the East Side of the park and headed Westward. We stopped off for a few hot dogs and pretzels from a street side vendor. It is NYC and it was a cheat day, so we indulged. We were headed to the Imagine Memorial next to Strawberry Fields. Mama Nomad is a big Beatles fan. We lingered in the area for a while and then decided to head out of the park. We exited on the West Side of Central Park onto Central Park West and 72nd Street, where the Dakota is. This is where John Lennon lived.
We turned Southward, next stop…Broadway. We walked down Central Park West until we hit Columbus Circle, where Trump International Hotel and Tower and CNN are. We walked around the circle and headed on down the Famous Broadway Ave where we saw the buildings for The Late Show, Broadway Theater, School of Rock and many more plays.
Broadway Ave took us straight down to Times Square. There was just so many lights and people, that it is hard to describe. Good thing I grabbed a little bit of video footage. We noticed that they already had the ball ready for the 2015 ball drop on New Years Eve. By this time, it was starting to get dark. It was time to head back to Rockefeller Center. As we left, we came across Time Square’s well-known Naked Cowboy. Sooo funny!
On the way, we got hungry. After all, the only thing we had all day was some eggs at 8am and a hot dog around 1pm or so. I fired up Yelp and looked for a place to grab a bite. Keeping in the theme of us being in NYC, we decided on some New York Style Pizza. I found a little hole in the wall called Patzeria Perfect Pizza at 231 W 46th St. It had 4 stars and over 800 reviews. We stopped in and got a slice each. Food was quick, delicious and reasonable. It hit the spot and we were on our way.
We headed towards Rockefeller Center. I really wanted to see the Rockefeller Tree all lit up at night-time. Let me tell you, we fought through oceans and oceans of people to get to the area. There must have been a thousand people on each side of the street on each city block. I grabbed a Nomad, they grabbed another and we formed a daisy chain. I bulldozed my way through until I found a clearing not far from the corner where Saks 5th Avenue and the Rockefeller Tree were (5th Avenue and 49th Street).
We were able to see the fantastic light show that Saks put on. It had music, lights, castle designs and more. It went on for a while and it was very entertaining. After that, I grabbed Ethan and Trevor (Mandy and Noah wanted to stay put) and we headed to the Rockefeller Tree. We twisted, turned and pushed our way to the front of the pack to grab a picture that is truly a sight to behold. After snapping a few photos, we stood there and took it all in without the filter of a digital lens. Then we locked hands, maneuvered through the crowds and regrouped with our other two Nomads.
By this time, we had been walking for over 6 hours and we were tired. We headed to the parking garage, grabbed Ebony and we were homeward bound. The day was phenomenal. At times it was a little trying dealing with the crowds. And I am not accustomed to having to carry cash, which is needed in many places. But the enjoyment of Central Park, Broadway, Times Square, the storefronts on 5th Avenue and the Rockefeller Tree outweighed it all. It was truly an enjoyable time and something to put on your bucket list. Merry Christmas and Safe Travels.