New York City Moments

AllNY.com's log of uniquely NYC moments written by New Yorkers for New Yorkers and serious New York tourists.


Christmas with the Italian New Yorkers

Photo: wirednewyork.com

I spent Christmas 2011 with my very Italian New York family. My Grandparents (in their late 70s), my parents, and my boyfriend all hustled out into the city bundled from head to toe. It wasn’t snowing, but it was still the typical New York cold! We joined the non-natives in Rockefeller Center and admired the tree, then sent pictures of it by cell-phone to the other relatives in far off states. Everyone from our family has lived in New York at least once, and we got quick messages back of “wish we could be there” and general pinings to be in New York City once again.

The younger members of our group tried our luck at ice skating, but were soon pushed out of the rink by one of those massive blue and white ice resurfacers, so we just returned our skates. Our Christmas lunch was a patchwork of food bought from concession stands around Rockefeller Center and included the most random of items from cans of soda to Italian ice to pretzels and powdered dough. The entire time, my Grandmother amused us all by insisting how much better her home made Italian meals were. Better than the Rockefeller concession stands and better even than the pretzels!

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Christmas in Brooklyn

Photo: nychristmasgifts.com


I moved to NYC in September of 2009 because I didn’t know where else to go. I had graduated from college and spent the summer living out of a duffel bag. I fell in love with the city instantly. I stayed for three years, and loved every minute of it.

My second Christmas in NYC was in Bed-Stuy, in Brooklyn. I had finally gotten that awesome apartment I had dreamed of – 3 bedrooms for a mere 1500 a month! Magical! We had little to no furniture. One day my roommate came home with her boyfriend dragging a tree. The tree was the only thing in our barren living room. Its scent permeated the house. We wrapped knick knacks and put them under the tree. Slowly the room filled with furniture as we acquired it from Goodwill, but the tree remained the centerpiece. On Christmas eve, I came home to an impromptu party in my living room. My roommates’ work was having a training week, and many of the people who came from out of town needed a place to stay. She had assumed that no one would mind them at our house.

So I spent that Christmas eve (I left for New Orleans to visit a friend the next morning) with a dozen strangers, drinking egg nog and singing carols. We stayed up all night and talked, laughed, and drank.

The next morning was icy, freezing cold as I stood on the platform waiting for the J train to take me to JFK. It was snowing lightly. The moon still hung in the sky. My face was numb, and it was beautiful.

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A Christmas Story in the Big Apple

Photo: onedreamtravel.com


Christmas in New York is/was a fabulous time. One year we, my family and I, went into Manhattan on Christmas Eve and walked around Times Square only to find the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Times Square Museum. It was a lot of fun and a great time to think about God and Jesus. After we left the Museum we made our way to look into the Macy’s windows to look at the Christmas exhibit they put on that year. I never thought standing in front of a dozen window displays would be so intriguing and stimulating. It really was icing on the cake. Once we made it home we rested well for what would have been one of the most memorable Christmas days I have ever experienced.

After waking early in the morning we exchanged a few gifts. Our family is not huge on gifts but values the time spent with one another as a higher priority. After sitting in the warm living room sipping hot chocolate, we decided to go and eat a traditional Christmas lunch. Where else to find such a thing in New York City other than Chinatown!

As we sat near many men and women from China it was a great time to discuss the importance of the season with one another and with those around us. The food we had was extraordinary and really helped make the day. After spending more time in Manhattan, strolling in the beautiful chill that is NY weather, we made our way back home to spend time playing board games, reading different books, and just loving the season we had in New York.

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Tracing Serendipity

I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. My girlfriend and I had traveled to New York City for the holidays, and as it was our first time there, we wanted to explore Manhattan a bit. What we didn’t know was that, entirely by accident, we came upon Serendipity III. It only took a few seconds for us to realize the irony of it all, but we ran inside and spoke to the host who told us the wait would be roughly two hours. Without skipping a beat, we put our names down, and went outside to travel the path of the movie to the best of our ability. Not too far away is the Bloomingdale’s Department store, which we then rushed into, laughing the entire time as we went.

Photo: nycphoto.smugmug.com


It didn’t take long until we made our way to Central Park, and we walked down some of the meandering paths, hand in hand, thinking the whole time that maybe it was the city itself that was a magical place. Here we were, in one of the most prestigious and bustling cities on Earth, and not a soul could be seen as we stole a kiss from one another.

The whole trip over that Christmas made me realize that it doesn’t take much to start to see the magic and wonder around you, but sometimes it takes a special place like New York City to bring it out and allow it all to be appreciated.

Written by guest blogger: Andrew Koeling

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Big Festivities in the Big City

Christmas 2009 was not only my first year living in the Big Apple, it was my first year living in a big city – and wondrously, it was the first and only year where Christmas was celebrated with festivities instead of presents. There can be nothing more exciting for a rural kid to find himself relocated to the big city and its towering forests of steel and construct, its winding pathways of busy streets and the quintessential atmosphere of cars, life and lights. It was the first time in my life I saw a whole city raised with lights and decorations and festivals of its own. On Christmas Eve I went out with my four best friends to celebrate Christmas alongside those festivities for an experience unlike any to this day.

Photo: www.zimbio.com/


The Rockefeller center was the highlight. I have never craned my neck so high to look upon a tree so covered in tradition. And much to my amusement, the famed Rockefeller ice skating rink was a relatively small and relatively pricey novelty rink smaller than those in my home town – but that made the majesty of the tree all the merrier. We dined, we drank (responsibly), and we celebrated the holidays with the eight + million other New Yorkers. It was a magical experience out on the ‘town’ – figuratively speaking!

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A Christmas Visit

In December 2001, my friends and I – a fast-talking Yankee from Maine, a homesick Dutch woman, and me, a small-town Pennsylvanian girl – were desperately trying to pass our first exams as college freshmen. It had been a rough fall with the 9/11 attacks and everything, and NYC was very much on our minds. Once our last exam was done, Kim suggested “Why don’t we go to NYC and see the holiday decorations?”

Photo: newyorkguest.com


So we did, even as broke as we were. We took the four hour train ride to the City sharing chocolate and candy canes along the way. Then, we spent the day wandering around the city, seeing the tree at Rockefeller and the window displays at Macy’s. None of us had ever been to NYC before and it was incredible – the lights, the crowds, the sounds. And even with everything that had happened, it still felt like Christmas in the biting chilly air and in the twinkle of lights as we strolled through Times Square in the early evening. We split a real NY style pizza that evening and swapped our small presents among ourselves. I remember I got a coffee mug with a polar bear on it, one of my favorite animals, with a hot chocolate mix to accompany it. Afterwards we raced across town to catch the last train of the evening back. We went home laughing, relaxed and feeling that little bit better about Christmas that year.

Written by guest blogger “Kelv”.

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My New York Christmas

Christmas of 2009 was a very special Christmas for me. I had the chance to spend Christmas in New York City. A trip from Florida to New York City is always a special occurrence but this one was particular special since I got to spend time with my younger brother, whom I haven’t seen since our mother passed two years ago.

Photo: dreamstime.com

While In New York I got to experience many of the finer things that New York has to offer. My uncle and his then fiancĂ© treated me to an exquisite meal at Waters Edge followed by a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. I also enjoyed shopping at places like Dylan’s Candy Bar and the many shops in Times Square. The store front window decorations at Macy’s were unlike anything I had seen before.

When the idea was initially suggested I had not planned on going, but my daughter and son insisted that I go and enjoy myself. My daughter even purchased the plane ticket for me.
While I was in New York I attended several parties at my soon to be sister-in-laws parents’ house. This was a very lavish party with foods I had only seen on Food Network. I also received several gifts while I was there; a vintage bottle of wine, yellow diamond earrings, and new luggage. What a surprise! This was easily one of my best Christmases ever.

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The Last Field Trip: A Christmas Venture to the WTC

My daughter was going on a seventh grade field trip to New York City just before Christmas. There was a need for chaperons and I volunteered to accompany the class on one of the buses. We arrived in New York City in the morning and the class was split up into small groups. I was the leader of the group that my daughter was a member. We first toured Rockefeller Center with its gift shop and theater for Saturday Night Live. In the skating rink there was a huge grandstand surrounded by a dozen cameras. Almost all of the staff of NBC were standing on it and singing a commercial for television. They must have sung “And we need a little Christmas” over a dozen times.

Photo: countrygirltheatregeek.blogspot.com


We had lunch at McDonalds before touring NASDAQ and then headed over to the World Trade Center. It was getting dark by that time and it took us awhile to get to the top. It was quite a view with the whole city lit up from the height of the North Tower. There was a photographer taking photos of tourists and I insisted that the group have their picture taken with the backdrop of the World Trade Center. In nine months both towers were gone but I will always remember being there at Christmas.

Written by a Guest Blogger

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NYC Christmas Blizzard

One Christmas I bought my wife tickets to see the Rockettes. Our tickets were for 9:00 AM and when we got up, there had been a blizzard through the night. We were never going to make it. We called Radio City and the gentleman told us not to worry, get there when we get there and we will have a seat. Well, we got there in time for the 11:00 show. The man at the window took our tickets (for the cheap seats) and handed us tickets near the front center section.

Photo: jaehakim.com


We were overwhelmed. He explained that there were a lot of extra tickets due to the snow, but to have an upgrade was outstanding. After the show, we strolled through the big apple for hours as if we were in a souvenir snow globe. The entire Manhattan area was decorated both by people and with snow. It was like a postcard. We skated at Rockfeller center and ate in Times Square while we watched all the lights. We probably would not have gone downtown that day except for the tickets, we were really treated by the snow and the lack of crowds everywhere, the subway, the restaurants. We about froze walking around, but it was the best outing we ever had.

Written by guest blogger: Charlie Bove

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My First & Last Christmas With Dad in NYC

Photo: visualphotos.com

I spent Christmas in NYC in 2000. My family flew up there and met my dad and his family. It was the first time I had seen him in 21 years. I am a small town Kentucky boy who was amazed at the sights of the City. It was cold and everything was decorated for Christmas. We went to his house and had a big family meal. On the ride there I was amazed at all the traffic and how busy things were. Where we came from they roll the sidewalks up on Christmas day. They had a beautiful tree. We exchanged gifts. That night I got time to talk to my dad. He told me he was sorry for not seeing me all those years and he regretted it. Being the christian man I am, I forgave him. We stayed up the rest of the night and looked at the lights of the Christmas tree and talked. We got to know all about each other and our families. I have to say that it was the best Christmas I ever had.

The day after Christmas we all went looking around. Everything was so Christmas like. It was truly a big city big time Christmas that this country boy had never seen before. Even though it only lasted 2 days before we had to return to our home, it was still a great experience. When we left we all said our good byes and agreed to keep in touch. Ill never know what caused my dad to reach out for me that Christmas. I was glad that we did meet, because on September 11, 2001 my dad was working on the 103 floor of the south tower and was never found. So that makes the one Christmas I had with him special.

Written by guest blogger: John Dunning

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