A Trip To New York At Christmas Time

Okay, so I’m a day late in wishing everyone a proper MERRY CHRISTMAS! Here’s the card I created but ever got around to printing. Thankfully I made it though the night without being eaten alive after taken these photos!

holiday card from I HAVE CAT  2014Thought it would be neat to share some of the sights and sounds of the Holiday Season in NYC with a bit of history thanks to a range of online resources (mostly Wikipedia I must admit!).

Let’s start with an iconic symbol of the start of the holiday season in NYC, the very impressive Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller Center Tree 2014 The first “official” tree was erected at Rockefeller Center in 1933 (though in 1931 construction workers did put up a 20-foot tree in the midst of construction). The tree is lit on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving and normally up through the “epiphany” (January 6th). However, this year, the 85-foot Norway spruce from Bloominsburg, PA, will be lit-up through 8pm January 7th (my Birthday – yay!).

The trees are donated not purchased and usually from the United States though it seems there was once a tree from Ottawa, Canada that sneaked in there, though it’s unclear how!
The trees are in fact recycled, one was donated to Habitat for Humanity and the others to various organizations like the Boys Scouts.- it’s unclear, however, how they made use of such a large amount of wood.

Madison Square Park (left) and Gramercy Park (right)

Madison Square Park (left) and Gramercy Park (right)

Above left, the tree at Madison Square Park, a park that had fallen into disrepair and was reborn in the late 1990s. It’s situation opposite the Flatiron Building. On the right, the Christmas Tree in Gramercy Park, the only private park in Manhattan (requiring a key held by a select member of area tenants for entry).

Below, the prettiest tree in my opinion, the one at my folks’ place!  They keep threatening it’s the last year they’ll put one up. Lucky for me they put another one up this year!

Our family christmas tree 2014As anyone who reads this blog knows my love affair with the Empire State Building. I have a wonderful view from Madison Square Park, near where I live.

Around the holidays and during other special occasions it changes colors. The building holds a special place in my heart. Whenever I crossed the corner of 23rd & 5th Avenue before September 11, 2001, I always took a moment to stop and take a look to the at the Empire State Building, and to my left, the Twin Towers….

Empire State Building

A now a little short trip down 5th Avenue.

The very whimsical lobby at Henri Bendel. When I first moved to New York City it was a complete department store with clothing and make-up. Today it sells only accessories – scarves, gloves, candles, jewelry and bags.

henri bendel during Christmas The Harry Winston store (below), the same Harry who donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian – not quite sure how he got it in the first place however! I love how it’s all decked out in jewels!

Never been in, but I wouldn’t mind getting dressed up and going in one of these days!

Harry Winston The building below look familiar? It’s Tiffany & Co, and American luxury jeweler founded in 1837. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, but you can’t really have breakfast there. I love how the lights look like broaches.

Tiffany ny ny The Salvation Army collectors this year were very festive and giving it their all. Just seeing this guy put a big smile of my face and made me realize why I love this city so much!

Below, the tree at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on the Upper West Side. I’m unsure of the significance of the cranes…..does anyone know? The cathedral is the fourth largest Christian church in the world. Construction began in 1892 and has yet to be completed!

Cathedral of Saint JohnsI attended a special holiday show there a few weeks ago where they illuimated the church and ceiling – it was quite stunning…

St John The Devine in December Below, a photo of Chelsea Market, originally built in 1898  for the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco). The building is wonderful, they’ve maintained the original building and it’s now full of small gourmet restaurants, shops and boutiques.

Chelsea Market ny ny Below, Grand Central Terminal (not to be confused with Grand Central Station which is a post office) on the day I commuted home from the city of December 22nd for Christmas.

Grand Central December 23, 2014A walk along the former railroad tracks in the Hudson Valley with the family. Time to digest all the holiday food!

Hudson Valley walkway Hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip! Video to follow of the super-creative windows from Lord & Taylor! Stay tuned!

But while you’re here, don’t forget to enter ALL THREE of our current super fun giveaways (for you and kitty)!

  1. Catification by Jackson Galaxy (book) – ending soon!
  2. Whiskerslist by Angie Bailey (calendar) – ending soon!


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  • The Cranes are an international project at our Episcopal Cathedral also – done with love and hand written by over 4000 people around the world with messages of love and healing. You can read more about the project here http://www.rainbowfund.org/tree/tree-lighting.html

    • Tamar

      Wow thanks for “learning” me! Sorry we didn’t get to see each other when you were in town! =^^=

  • Hi Tamar, Thanks so much for sharing this amazing tour of New York City at Christmas time. Wow!!! So beautiful; just a feast for the eyes.

    • Tamar

      So happy you enjoyed and took the time out to let me know! Thank you – it means so much! =^^=

  • My human wants to spend Christmas in New York one year! She does not know how or who with (since she has no family there and really, no reason to be there for the holidays other than her own whim), but she is determined! And she is hoping to bring me along too.

    • Tamar

      She can always crash with me as long as she doesn’t mind the sofa and cats! As for your…that’s harder b/c i’m not sure how my cats would behave. NY manners and all…esp Haddie, she’s used to being the baby!

  • Susan


    • Tamar

      thx! =^^=

  • Thank you for sharing it with us ! It’s very impressive, we’re not used to see so many decorations, so big ornaments, so big trees, so many lights ! Purrs

    • Tamar

      I’m so glad you visited, enjoyed and took the time to let me know! THANK YOU!

  • Merry Christmas Tamar! It was very nice seeing you at the Chelsea Market’s Etsy pop up shop. Wishing you and your cats all the best in the New Year!

    • Tamar

      Agreed – what a lovely surprise! Ihave yet to post the pics i took – haven’t forgotten! Would swoon if you starred one of my babies! =^^= My FB is yours! As is my Instagram account also @ihavecat.com http://www.instagram.com/ihavecat

  • I love Christmas in NY!

  • Thank you for sharing these! I missed being able to get up to NYC this holiday season so I have to live vicariously through you!

    Your parents’ tree is gorgeous – love the Santa hat tree topper.

    • Tamar

      Awww thanks Ingrid! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Yes, they’ve gone commercial and totally given up on the ghetto style burlap angel we used to have! LOLOL!

  • Wish you a Merry New York Christmas. When TW was younger, she used to take the grand tour every year but now she’s old and doesn’t care. She used to take pictures of all the windows, the origami tree, FAO Schwartz, Tiffany’s and the big Christmas balls by the Time Life Building. This year all she did was go to the Market at Grand Central Terminal. Did I mention she’s old?

    • Tamar

      awwww that’s still so sweet! do you ever come visit her!?! what a nice granny!

  • jmuhj

    Thank you for sharing these magical pictures with us, Tamar! I LOVE your holiday card. 😉 Hope your holiday season is a happy one, and wishing you a very happy birthday coming up!

    • Tamar

      awww thank you so very much – and you have such a good memory!!! =^^=

  • pilch92

    Your card is adorable. Thanks for the NYC tour, I haven’t been in 2 years and wanted to go so badly to see alll the Christmas decorations.

    • Tamar

      awwww thank you!!! i’ll post more i promise!! =^^=

  • NYC sure does know how to decorate for the holiday

  • Wow what a special day. Ow Salvation Army peeps wusn’t nearly dat festive. MOL And da cwanes awe owigami and eever filled wiff wishes or blessings handwritten on them afur they get put on da twee. Da Christmas twee of Hope contains fousands of them every year. Glad yous had a gweat holiday. Happy New year.

    Lluv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  • Just lovely…oh, Coco says she’d love something from Tiffanys! Mike surprised me one year with a Christmas trip to NYC and it’s one of my fondest memories of our time together!