Sunday, December 27, 2015

Angels and Lights

During the holidays, an avenue of angels and poinsettias leads to Rockefeller Center's skating rink. I waited there with the rest of the crowd for the start of best show in town. Every ten minutes, the venerable facade of Saks Fifth Avenue becomes the canvas for a choreographed extravaganza of music and lights. The crowd lost interest in the skaters and the giant tree. We all turned to watch the colors move and change while the angels in front of us silently trumpeted towards the night sky. Now that's a real "Christmas In New York" experience. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Stained Glass Windows At The Cloisters

The Cloisters sits on a hill in Fort Tryon Park, near the northern tip of Manhattan. Its collection of medieval art from all over the world encourages a mood of quiet contemplation. These German window panels are 700 years old. Although most people were illiterate in 1300, they could all easily "read" the windows: the Annunciation at the bottom and the Adoration of the Magi at the top. Some of the vitreous paint has changed color over the years, leaving the figures with a wide range of skin tones. This seems appropriate to notice and celebrate as we approach the day when we mark the birth of He who came to try and make this world a kinder, gentler, more peaceful place. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Elf Crossing

Last Thursday, I saw a woman in red and green striped tights and a black wool mini skirt.  A young boy's Christmas-print pajama bottoms were topped by his everyday jacket and a red scarf. This passes for normal attire in the weeks leading up to Christmas. So, while standing at the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th street,  it took me a minute to realize that I was in the midst of a crowd of people dressed in elf costumes. Most of them were pushing strollers. The babies and toddlers were not dressed like elves but some strollers sported holiday decorations. Where were they going? Why were they dressed like that? I'll never know but they gave me one more unique Christmas memory. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fading Leaves

Some leaves flame out in a glorious explosion of color. Under the branches of gold and vermillion, others end their lives in a more modest manner. Edges take on a darker hue. Greens become paler or turn into half-hearted greeny-yellows. Speckles spread in interesting formations. It's a much subtler transformation, but not without its own beauty. As you walk under the last of those brilliant autumn trees, don’t forget to look down and enjoy the quieter, more subtle show closer to the ground.