New York is a surprisingly friendly city, and never more so than during the holidays. In fact when she's all dressed up for Christmas New York feels like one big glittering X mas tree giving a lift to the spirit and putting a song in your heart!
One of my most magical memories of the Big Apple during the Holiday season was when The Nylons ended up grounded in a blizzard during a tour of the East Coast. The planes weren't flying so suddenly we had cancelled shows and plenty of time on our hands while the entire city lay sleeping under a beautiful blanket of soft white. It was a delicious to wander through the city see old friends and feel the magic of the season; we were only able to jump back into the tour when the train tracks to Boston were cleared! A delicious memory of a snow globe white x mas, (not likely to happen this year is it?)
Another lovely memory was about 10 years ago when my family decided to "do" New York at Christmas, renting a friends apt on the upper East Side for a week and armed with an awesome plan for the week. Our Mom Lilly would decide on the museum expedition, Brother Daniel would choose the Jazz club and I was in charge of choosing the Broadway show. Of course I almost lost everybody in the Macy's Boxing Day sale! Our plan of action really worked out great, and we all trusted each other and went on the adventure including with a long walk in central park, delicious jewish food and a great family holiday that we will remember for years to come.
But I think my favourite X mas in New York was more recent, just a few years ago when my partner and I hosted the family up on Lenox Avenue where we were living at the time. Harlem is perhaps the friendliest place I have ever lived, with folks pulling chairs out to sit on the curb and visit, everyone saying hello and lots of easy going vibes. My partner being on Broadway at the time meant very little time off, (8 shows a week plus holiday matinee's!) but we managed to squeeze a lot of holiday fun including delicious home cooked meals and baking in! We took everybody to Amy Ruth's where the locals go for soul food, and of course did the windows of 5th Avenue downtown. Lilly and I finally got to The Met to see Madame Butterfly but forgot to check the show time and found ourselves suddenly galloping through a windy rain storm to make the 7.30 pm curtain. Bejewelled but a little bedraggled we enjoyed our Opera and laughed to see all the crashed and abandoned umbrellas on our way home.
Something about being able to head uptown for a home cooked meal after the hustle and bustle of the city made New York feel like the best place in the entire world to us! No wonder I ended up staying to write "New York Stories!
For those of you who have never been have a peek at my special video guide to Christmas in New York City !