I blinked and it’s somehow already December….. Seriously! Just like that, it went from Halloween to the Holidays!
Though different this year than in years past, we will make everything merry + bright with an outlook of brighter days ahead. This has nothing to do with organizing and everything to do with being grateful.
If you know me, you know I love a good tradition. As a New Yorker, I have so many amazing experiences right at my fingertips! Though we’re benching the majority of our typical holiday festivities until sounder times, we’re going to make sure to sneak in some holiday lights and winter merriment.
In years past, we’ve kicked off the holiday season with the Macy’s Day Parade! We had the most special view — watching from offices right above 6th Avenue! To say I was like a kid in a candy store would be an understatement. I grew up watching the Macy’s Day Parade, so to experience it in person and to grasp the sheer size of those ginormous, joy-inducing balloons + larger than life floats with all the exhilarating performers, well… it just screams festive!
In normal times, my family can barely scrape the surface of all that NYC has to offer around the holidays. There are so many amazing culturally diverse celebrations + performances to indulge in! In our home, it always begins with the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, followed by the obligatory Rockefeller Christmas tree and icerink visit. (I can’t wait to go this year, #rockefellerchristmastree + #rockefellerowl!)
This very stretch of midtown used to be my commute on the daily, but there is something magical about NYC at the holidays! I mean, think Home Alone 2: Lost in NYC. Beautiful lights, twinkling in the crisp, cold winter sky; garlands festooning doorways and entries; windows aglow with sashays; buildings literally wrapped as gifts for the holidays. I love NYC for the holidays. Love, love, love it!
We started visiting Santa at World Financial Center before it became the bustling shopping mecca, Brookfield Place. We would all meet post work and hop in line to visit Santa and grab dinner at P.J. Clarke’s — a long standing NYC institution.
Our family loves visiting Dyker Heights in Brooklyn for some seriously Mr. Christmas worthy displays of pure holiday happiness. This part is always more fun with friends and a hearty meal at Skinflints — trust me. It’s an American restaurant with an old school vibe and GREAT burgers.
The New York Botanical Gardens Train Show is always a good outing full of nostalgia and craftsmanship, especially great for the littles — be sure to check for special programming!
In past years, we’ve enjoyed countless holiday cocktail parties and dinners at the galaxy of restaurants and bars in NYC. Each with its own special experience, vibe, cuisine and heart! I certainly will miss those experiences this year, but I’m not going anywhere. NYC is vibrant and strong. This year, I can’t express how important it is to shop small and continue to support your favorite local, small + bipoc businesses.
In the hustle and bustle of e-learning and taking time to enjoy this crazy end of year, don’t forget to be grateful! Treat yourself to take-out, purchase gift cards, and if you’re into winter outdoor dining, there are certainly amazing little outdoor experiences that remind me of Paris! Just be sure to layer up. If you’re not quite sure how to make it fashion, check out my fellow founder Aliya at Elevated Style By Aliya - New York City Personal Stylist. I love her weekly tips, and she recently helped me find my perfect jean!
I’m tempted to list every single spot along 5th + 7th Aves that I’ve shopped from in my meager 10 years as a Park Sloper… but quite frankly, there are simply too many for one little ‘ol blog post!
Simply put, I’m grateful for the city I live in and the borough of Brooklyn that I call home! All of the privileges bestowed upon myself and my family, that we get to have such rich experiences in such an amazing city, is truly a gift.
And this year, my wish for you is a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season. With much gratitude!
If you need somewhere to give to this holiday season, here are a few places to start...
If you’re local to me, here are some of my favorite Park Slope (ish) spots...
And I know I’m missing so many... so shout them out in the comments! Save this little gem for future use when you have guests in town or friends from out of town ask for recommendations… or hey, check them out for yourself if you haven’t already.