A Holiday Tradition Expanded!

It has been much too long since I have been here.  It all started with Diwali in October, Thanksgiving in November and now December is almost over.  Every spare December moment (and spare muscle), in our household is dedicated to a cookie or two.  Baking and eating.  It all starts with a few cookies to send out as gifts and ends up dozens beyond count….both as gifts (the good part) and as conversion of muscle to fat (the bad part).  In all this baking, I lost sight of shooting until two recent short day events.  We make our annual pilgrimage to NYC to check out the Rockefeller tree and the store windows.  I claim it is for the kids but secretly I am more excited than they are…more about that later but first…

This year we added another unplanned holiday event to our list, The reenactment of Washington’s Christmas Day Crossing of the Delaware.  Every year the friends of Washington Crossing reenact the event on Christmas day with a dress rehearsal a few weeks before.  December 12th, sunny and 50F, what else can one ask for?  Into the car we go…
This was the 44th crossing for this elderly gentleman
Washington Crossing Park was converted into a mini 1700s village.  Kids as young as 7 and men as old as 70 were dressed in full regalia for the reenactment.  We did not see the actual crossing since the water flow was twice the safe level.  If the actual crossing is important for you to see, call before you make a hike out there and shell out $8 a pop.  On the other hand, if you only care for the crossing and not the other festivities, just stay on the Jersey side and save the $8 for a hot dog.  I heard from one of the display groups that the Jersey side has a nice little museum that has the largest collection of the colonial war memorabilia.

General Washington Linin Up the Troops

Now about the more common holiday outing in our family, the annual homage to the Rockefeller tree.  This year the annual outing had the usual troupe of our family and another family as well as two more visitors, my niece from Chicago and a friend from India. In true desi style, we managed to fit all 10 of us in a mini van and parked in our favorite garage right outside Lincoln tunnel (upon exiting it puts you straight into the tunnel and is a mere $28 per day, nothing is cheaper in NYC).  Our first stop, the windows at Macys.  This years theme is “Yes Virginia” on 33rd side windows.  What a way to kick off the holiday season.  At the Herald Square corner there is even an make your own electronic ornament kiosk.

Next stop – the Kati Roll company a few blocks away.  This is the ever so popular joint (my friends and family make late night trips across the tunnel just for this, I personally dont think the time and gas money are justified but it was a good snack just the same), all decorated with Bollywood movie posters from a bygone era when it was referred to as “Hindi Cinema”. With our feet warm and bellies full we start ambling towards Rockefeller center.  As we pass the NY Public Library, I realized the kids had never been there.  What a great break in the walk.  The kids enjoyed the beautiful architecture, the lovely murals and art exhibits and the books galore.  

I could have spent the entire day just taking pictures in here but hey…..the key attraction had to be addressed… so off we went.  As we approached 48th on 5th Avenue, the crowds intensified and we implemented the buddy system.  Between 48th and 49th, it was beyond the usual holding of hands and we were desperately tugging at each others jackets and hoods in order to stay together and my friends daughter got her arm twisted in the sea of masses.  Enough!, we turned around and crossed the street mid block, circled around 48th, Madison and down 50th to check out the windows at Saks.  What a disappointment!  By this time all the excitement and spirit is lost and I steer everyone to another popular joint (momofuku milkbar) with a promise of a FAMOUS cookie.  The Famous Compost cookie was vetoed ever so quickly (in fact my friend said he preferred the cookie from the mall in iowa city (Mrs Fields)) and so we ended up at Tangs for dinner (a great little chinese joint, good food and affordable).  The first choice was the Gyro guy outside the Hilton but no one wanted to stand in line and eat outside in that cold weather.  Now everyone is back in the tree spirit so we approached it from the back side.  After the usual picture taking we head into the GE building and on to the second floor for a cup of Red Mango (If you havent figured it out yet, I better come clean, this trip revolved entirely around food and the tree was secondary).  

The tree looked the same as it did last year so who knows, this may end up being the last tree visit for a while…..  
Wishing all my readers Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!


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