Dork for New York: Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

Yesterday I offered a map highlighting some of NYC’s free (like really free) landmarks and attractions in Manhattan’s Midtown (and surrounding area).

Today: Lower Manhattan. When I had visited NYC prior to moving here, I had never really spent that much time in Lower Manhattan, beyond “Oh cool, that street sign says ‘Wall Street’” and “Why is that bull significant again?”

File:Charging Bull statue.jpg

I have since learned the Bull's significance (click on the pic to learn for yourself).

But beyond the brief walk through I’d done, along with knowing that this area was home to the New York Stock Exchange, Ground Zero, and a pretty respectable view of the Statue of Liberty, that was about all I could say for Lower Manhattan.  However, once Josh started working in Lower Manhattan (and not as an occupier OR a Wall Street Suit, by the way), he got to know the area very well, as did I.
It’s no secret that NYC is an oooold city; it was once our nation’s capital, after all.  And Lower Manhattan is a neighborhood teeming with some of the most interesting… old stuff (which translates to major cool points for a super history dork like me).  So with the help of my husband (that’s GPP web designer/social media guru/everything-else-I-can’t-wrap-my-head-around-fella/”no, he still doesn’t have a proper title” guy), we created a walking map of some of the more interesting landmarks, some with huge plaques next to them, others that you’d miss if you blinked twice (no blinking allowed).

This is by no means an exhaustive Lower Manhattan tour; there are still plenty of museums and landmarks that we haven’t seen and aren’t included in this map.  However, if you have a free afternoon and you’re trying to cram as much as you can into a three day trip, this is a good way to do it!

Hope you enjoy!

lower manhattan walking tour map

Lower Manhattan Walking Tour Map

And here’s a printable MS Word doc version:  Lower Manhattan walking tour DOC

And… here’s a more detailed itinerary, because sometimes the buildings don’t speak for themselves.

(Letters below correspond to the map above.)

A.  Sphere Sculpture:  For years, this sculpture was by the World Trade Center Twin Towers.  As a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, this sculpture was damaged.  However, it was not completely destroyed, and the ruins of it were re-located to Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park as an interim memorial.  On the one year anniversary of the attacks, an eternal flame was lit in memory of those who lost their lives on this day.  To see what the Sphere looked like before it was damaged and to read more about its significance, check out this Wikipedia article (there’s also a plaque by the actual sculpture that explains some of this).

the sphere nyc sculpture

The Sphere sculpture in Battery Park, NYC. You can see the eternal flame in the lower left hand corner of the picture, as well as the soon-to-be Freedom Tower (still under construction) in the upper left hand corner.

B.  Castle Clinton:  Currently a national monument, this sandstone fort has served as a beer garden, theatre, aquarium, and exhibition hall, as well as America’s first immigration station (yes, even before nearby Ellis Island!).  Because of its geographic position, it is also a departure point for those visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (and you can get some pretty good views of both of those landmarks from here).

Battery Park is also home to the East Coast Memorial, an area of eight 19-ft. tall granite pylons commemorating the WWII U.S. servicemen who lost their lives in the western Atlantic Ocean.

C.  Museum of the American Indian (housed in the U.S. Customs House):  While we have never been in the museum, the building itself is a work of art in the Beaux-Arts style, and the nearby informational signs offer some interesting tidbits about the building and its original site.

us customs house

U.S. Customs House, now home to the Museum of the American Indian

D.  The Charging Bull statue:  This bronze statue, an iconic image of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, was originally a guerrilla art installation.  When artist Arturo Di Modica placed the statue beneath the Broad St. Christmas tree in 1989, police seized it and placed it in an impound lot.  Due to public outcry, The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation installed it two blocks south of the NYSE in Bowling Green Park. (Where did I learn this?  Right here.)

E.  Federal Hall National Monument:  Perhaps my favorite part of the Lower Manhattan tour, this is where George Washington was inaugurated as our first president!  Did you know that?  I guessed if I’d thought of it, I could have figured it out, but this was a cool surprise to me when I read this sign in front of it:

federal hall

F.  New York Stock Exchange:  Maybe you’ve heard of it?  Often considered the financial center of the world, it is the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization (Source).  Not to mention, it’s a lovely building with some intense high relief going on in the building’s pediment and a colonnade of Corinthian columns that’ll bring out the architecture nerd in anyone (or at least, me).

G.  Trinity Church:  An ooolllddd church, and by “ooolllddd” I mean founded in 1696.  (However, it has suffered a few fires and some rebuilding, but still… it’s ooolllddd.)  Take a free stroll through the church, as well as its museum in the back.  You can also check out the cemetery which is the final resting place for many historical figures, including John Jacob Astor (the business guy), Robert Fulton (the steam engine guy), and Alexander Hamilton (the first Secretary of Treasury/ten dollar bill/died-in-a-famous-duel guy).


H.  Zuccotti Park:  This park — famous or infamous, depending on your ideological views — was the campground of the Occupy Wall Street protesters (and still sort of is, though they mostly just protest during the day as of this writing).

WTC Memorial:  Continue down Trinity Place (northwest) and you’ll begin to see signs pointing you in the direction of the WTC Memorial.  While the memorial is a free attraction, you must reserve passes to see it (check out this website).

Brooklyn Bridge:  To access this famous NYC landmark by foot, you can enter the promenade at Centre Street by City Hall (easily found on a Google map, just type in “Avenue of the Finest and Centre Street, NY, NY”).

(Subscribe!)

You might also enjoy:

Dyker Heights Lights

Midtown Walking Tour

NYC Holiday Windows

 

Dork for New York: Dyker Heights Lights

Yes, the title is rhyme-tastic, but this is appropriate as I just recently returned from…

ANOTHER FREE HOLIDAY ACTIVITY!!! WOO!  (and you know I like free.)

Dyker Heights Lights: It sounds curiously like a prime time television drama, but I assure you, it’s not.  It’s actually a renowned holiday event in Dyker Heights, an affluent Brooklyn nabe, where the residents take their Christmas lights decorating VERY seriously.  In fact, they have developed such a reputation for their extravagance, that you can find NYC residents and tourists alike doing the slow drive by (or walk by) on every night during the holiday season.

I first heard of this ongoing event after Googling “free Christmas things to do in NYC,” where I found a link to an About.com article (this one).  Through this article, I learned that the participating homeowners in this neighborhood take their reputation so seriously that they often hire professional, um… Christmas-lights-decorating-folk in an attempt to outdo their neighbors.  And it shows.

Well, you know me… I see the words “free holiday activity” and I pounce.  Not to mention, the prospect of sharing all of this with you via blog post!  So, with Josh as the pilot, me as the navigator, and our friends Mark and Maria as enthusiastic company in the back seat, we set out on our journey.   As it turns out, Dyker Heights is only 4.5 miles from our home.  (This seems really close, but in NYC context, it’s not as everything is really close in miles, but mostly just accessible by mass transit or foot.)  We rarely drive in the city, but we decided to for this particular occasion and it took us ten minutes to get there.  It would have taken less time, but we weren’t the only ones driving to Dyker Heights to see the lights!

Of course, I got some pics, as did Maria on her iPhone.  Without further ado, here is Dyker Heights Lights in all of its sometimes-classy-sometimes-tacky glory:

Dyker Heights Lights

This display was actually at one of the nearby apartment buildings that we passed on our way to the big show.  However, the majority of the light displays are found at single family residences.  But you know… Christmas lights decorating is contagious, so we found a lot of it going on in the fringes of the neighborhood.

Dyker Heights Lights

The same row of apartment buildings, but this is a view down the street.  Just to show you how far the contagion has spread.

Dyker Heights Lights

More contagion…

Dyker Heights Lights

Aw…. how sweet.  But tame in comparison to its neighbors.  Perhaps this would be deemed the underachiever house.  You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Dyker Heights Lights

Another tame display.  But lovely all the same.

Dyker Heights Lights

Pretty…  It’s hard to tell from this picture, but so many of these houses, i.e., those things under the high wattage of electricty, are pretty incredible.  Mansion is usually the best descriptor.  Driving in this neighborhood, I would swear I was anywhere but Brooklyn, NY, if not based on the sheer size of the real estate alone.

Dyker Heights Lights

Another pretty one…

Dyker Heights Lights

The big guns.  This was the house.  And as you can see, they did not limit their decor to just lights and wreaths with bows…. oh no.  Also, note the other people who stopped to take pictures — they do not live  in this neighborhood.  Like I said, it’s sort of an area attraction.

Dyker Heights Lights

The house again.  There was a lot going on here, and my camera didn’t capture even half of it.

Dyker Heights Lights

Maria got some things on her iPhone that I’m just now seeing for the first time.

Dyker Heights Lights

The house again.  And there’s the star that the wise men followed on the left (just kidding).  I’m not really sure what a big balloon has to do with Christmas, but I’m no over-achieving Dyker Heights homeowner, so what do I know?

Dyker Heights Lights

They’ve got Santa, they’ve got balloons, they’ve got Jesus, they’ve got gingerbread houses, they’ve got carolers…. They’ve got ALL of their bases covered.

Dyker Heights Lights

At The House they were asking for donations to help serve children with special needs.  I only know this because I just read that sign.  I’m not exactly sure how that worked as we never got out of the car, but I guess it’s good that a noble cause is being served through all of this house’s tackiness decorations.  :)

Dyker Heights Lights

Moving on from the house, we have attained a sense of calm once again.  In most any other neighborhood in the country, this would be “that pretty house with the lights.”  However, here in Dyker Heights, it’s almost yawn-worthy by comparison.

Dyker Heights Lights

Take away the scary Santa, and I’m all about it.  Oh, and in case you’re all “What? He’s not that scary!”  here’s a close-up:

Dyker Heights Lights

See what I mean?  No thanks.

Dyker Heights Lights

Whoa…

Dyker Heights Lights

Less tacky, more lovely.  Not the norm here, but I like it!

Dyker Heights Lights

Hark!  The herald angels sing.

No really, they are (in this picture).  Very elegant!  Especially the English Tudor house behind the decoartions.

Dyker Heights Lights

“Less is more” means nothing to these people.

(And hey, history buffs, I bet you didn’t know that there were Victorian carolers at the birth of Jesus?!)

Dyker Heights Lights

Very nice.

Dyker Heights Lights

Yep, more is more.  And I like it.

Hope you enjoyed that mini tour of Dyker Heights Lights!  For every picture here, there are probably five houses that we didn’t take pictures of, so yeah… pretty crazy.  Crazy awesome that is.

And how many dollars did said awesome adventure cost?  Zero!

Here’s a handy dandy map outlining the Dyker Heights neighborhood to give you an idea of where to find the best displays:

(click on image for a link to this location in Google maps):

However, like I said, the Christmas spirit — along with the need to express it in electrical and blow-up-snowman form — is contagious, so you will see light displays on the outskirts of this nabe as well as within it.

So, if you plan on visiting NYC any time between the day after Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I highly recommend this hour-ish long excursion.  It’s easy to find by car:   11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and 83rd to 86th Street, in Southwest-ish Brooklyn.  You can take transit to get there, but considering that the closest subway station is a mile away (and I’m sure that’s on purpose), I recommend going by car.  But don’t go too  late in the evening, as some homeowners turn their displays off as early as 9:00!

(Because nothing is too much when it comes to decorating a Dyker Heights home for the holidays, but they draw the line at staying up late…)

Other thangs you might like:

Dork for New York: Holiday Windows

Twelve Weeks of Christmas (ongoing series)

Free Donuts


Dork for New York: Free Things To Do in NYC, Christmas Edition

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  Mine was particularly great as Josh and I had a day off together (whaaa???) and my dad came to visit!  Yeah, I know… I’m still sort of pinching myself.

Am I about to give you a summary of what we did over the weekend?  Yes.

Did I take pictures to document these events?  Uh huh.  

More importantly, were all of these things free (or almost free)?  You betcha!

In fact, with the exception of a couple of cheap meals and the subway fare, it was completely FREE.  So, for those of you scratching your heads wondering how anything enjoyable could be free in Manhattan, here’s the play by play of what we did:

On Friday — the day Josh and I had off together — we decided to be tourists in our own city, so we hopped on the subway to Manhattan to check out the Rockefeller tree and the FABULOUS windows on Fifth Avenue.  First of all, everyone talks about the “windows of Fifth Avenue,” however after doing some research, I realized that only some of the iconic window displays are on Fifth Avenue.  The most notable displays are found at Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, and Bergdorf Goodman.  So, I did the ol’ Google maps things to try to find a good walking path and still catch the tree along the way, and here’s what I came up with:

(If you click on the image, it’ll open to a window with a bigger image.)

A.  Bloomingdale’s

B.  Barney’s

C.  Bergdorf Goodman

D.  Rockefeller Center Tree

E.  Saks Fifth Avenue

F.  Lord and Taylor

G.  Macy’s

All in all, this walking tour is 2.1 miles, but no big deal; we’ve grown accustomed to doing a lot of walking. And since these windows are one of the (free) highlights of Christmas time in NYC, we were all about it.  So, with comfortable shoes on our feet (and multiple layers to minimize the whining I often do when I’m cold), we set out.

First stop:  Bloomingdale’s.  Now, Josh and I have never actually done the whole looking-at-all-the-pretty-windows thing in NYC before, so we didn’t really  know what to expect.  Bloomingdale’s entrance (below) was super pretty (though it looks like this –or a version of this — throughout the year):

Bloomingdale's NYC store front

Bloomingdale's NYC store front

Sparkly.  Oooh….

The theme for their windows was shopping bags from previous years.  Some of the windows were just the images, but three-dimensional.  Others opened like a pop up book, showing an expanded take on the shopping bag images.  Some of the windows even had touch screen cameras so you could tap a star with your hand, and it would take your picture and show it on the screen inside the window.

I didn’t get a picture of those (this was before I got trigger happy with the camera, but trust me they were pretty cool).
Here are two of the “bags” I got pictures of:

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to take pictures of just these two over some of the others that were perhaps even better.

Also, one of the windows featured ornaments that had been designed by celebrities, with 100% of the profits going to charity.  Here’s the window from a distance:

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

And here they are up close, so you can actually read the names of the participating celebrities:

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

I’m not sure which one is my favorite, though I have to admit, I don’t really appreciate that each one has the name or initials of the celebrity.  That doesn’t exactly motivate me to buy them.  Hm…

Framing the bag with the ornaments were two jack-in-the-boxes dressed in tuxes and top hats, adorned with festive paraphernalia:

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

Bloomingdale's 2011 window displays

I’m not really sure why these were part of this particular display, but I guess such things are left to be pondered by the artsiest of the fartsiest, and perhaps not me.

All together, Bloomingdale’s was a pretty cool display, but our socks weren’t completely knocked off.

(Don’t worry, we’re not always such a tough crowd; our socks are later knocked off when we see the Bergdorf Goodman windows.  Read on…)

Next stop: Barney’s.

Woof.  And not in a good way.

I can’t even pretend that I liked one iota of the Barney’s display.  I’m all for minimalism and artistic expression, even if it’s vague sometimes.  As a performing artist and the daughter of a (visual) artist, I’m no stranger to such things… but the Barney’s windows looked a lot more like an unfinished… I don’t know what.  Blah.  First of all, here’s the entrance:

Barney's 2011 windows

Barney's 2011 windows

So… certainly interesting.  I read it had something to do with Lady Gaga (so that explains a lot), but this entrance doesn’t exactly inspire Christmas spirit.

(For those of you who have just stumbled here, I am not exactly the traditional red and green Christmas type o’ gal.  However, I need a little more than what Barney’s had to offer.  You’ll see.)

Here are the actual window displays… and P.S.  These are the finished products.  This is not a work in progress:

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

Well, the lighting is nice…

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

Can you hear me yawning across cyber space?

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

It’s like a very unexciting holiday museum.

And in case you’re thinking that I’m holding out on you, that maybe the bigger picture has a bit more excitement… the answer is no.  And just to prove it to you:

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

Barney's 2011 NYC windows

See?  I told you.

So, Barney’s in summary:  Yes, the lighting is stunning.  And any other month of the year I’d be like” That’s nice and simple, I guess”… “Those are pretty vases.”  But these are the holiday windows in NYC!  They’re kind of a big deal, and Barney’s has a history of having great (and usually tongue-in-cheek funny) windows.  We felt a bit let down.  But we soldiered on…

We then walked to Bergdorf Goodman.  Just so happens that right across the street is FAO Schwarz (and no, there is not a “t” in that word, despite my strong convictions otherwise… how did I never notice that before?).  It also just so happens that Josh and I have never been to FAO Schwarz.  Despite the fact that we’re both 26 years old, we decided we needed to remedy this.

Oh boy! Oh boy!  Home Alone 2 and Big don’t even begin to cover it!  Sooo amazing… and we took a lot of pictures.  Perhaps more than anywhere else.  Here’s the view of the main level, looking back at the door:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

Here’s their candy store, FAO Schweetz:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

I can’t even fathom the profit they make, considering that A) to exit FAO Schwarz, you must go through the candy store and B) the candy here is $13.49/lb.  What!?!

While in the candy store, Josh found a candy snake.  He had some very strong feelings about it.

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

My cool-ideas-for-home-decor radar never rests, so I had to snap a pic of part of the ceiling in FAO Schweetz:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

Pretty, right?  Go go gadget Pinterest.

Inside the candy shop, there’s a Make-Your-Own Muppet station (for a mere $99).  I couldn’t not get a picture of their clever lighting:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

Here’s the actual station where you can get the muppets made:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

Josh found one of the general muppets for sale and somehow it ended up on his hand.  For the rest of the evening, he repeatedly said “I’m really into this whole ‘make-your-own-muppet’ thing!”  (Not gonna happen, sweetie.)

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

The view from the second level, looking down on the main level:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

Quidditch supplies?  For real???  Yeah, I nerded out for a minute.

And then… I found a Sorting Hat.

sorting hat

"Pleeeease, Ravenclaw, pleeeaaseeee......"

The finger crossing because I was desperately hoping to be sorted into Ravenclaw (I mean, that’s what the Facebook test told me).

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

I was pleasantly relieved/surprised to see a book section.  And it was pretty…

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly we visited the Big Piano (you know, from the scene in the movie, Big).

The Big Piano

FAO Schwarz

I even returned with my dad the next day and got a video of the “professional piano dancers.”  They were pretty fabulous, and something tells me that they are working/starving actor-singer-dancers like myself :)

Here’s a video of them playing/dancing “Fur Elise” and “Jingle Bells”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD0ZMjk_yO8

On the way out, we got two more pictures with these incredible Lego creations:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

Really, ALL legos:

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

(Josh’s expression is intense on purpose… you know, he’s posing with Lego Indiana Jones.  What do you expect?)

OK, so after that surprise but welcome detour, we returned to our previously scheduled walking tour.  We walked across the street to Bergdorf Goodman.

Without hesitation, Josh and I firmly agreed that their windows were the best by far.  According to Trendland, an online “trend forecasting” magazine, “It may take 2 full weeks to install the elaborate and highly anticipated Holiday Windows of Bergdorf Goodman but it takes David Hoey and the visual team of BG 60% of the years work hours to make this fantasy come to life.”  When you see the pictures (and the incredible detail) you will understand why.

The theme for BG’s windows was “Carnival of the Animals.”  In some cases, it seems they employed a few taxidermists, as there are actual stuffed bear, wolf, and deer heads, to name a few.  Out of context this sounds a bit weird, I’ll admit, but the combination of materials and the actual scenes displayed in each window are fabulous and it’s very effective.  Ok, so here are a few of the men’s windows:

Bergdorf Goodman 2011 Holiday Windows

Bergdorf Goodman 2011 Holiday Windows

Yeah, a real wolf’s head.

Bergdorf Goodman 2011 Holiday Windows

Bergdorf Goodman 2011 Holiday Windows

The word on the window for this one was “Shipshape.”  As you will, some of the pictures are not the entire window.  With the amount of pedestrian traffic on this sidewalk, it was virtually impossible to get all of the windows.  And I had more than a dozen New Yorkers scathingly call me a “Tourist!” (To which I sort of rudely responded, “Nope.  Brooklynite.”)

Bergdorf Goodman 2011 Holiday Windows

Bergdorf Goodman 2011 Holiday Windows

The word on this window is “Trustworthy” and it features a human-sized cat walking six dogs.  The sheer impossibility of this makes me giggle, especially when I picture a cat attempting to walk my dogs (if a cat got that close, it’d be eaten).

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Stuffed bear head in a leather jacket and scarf = Adventurous.  Ok, I’ll buy it.

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

I loved this one!  The word on the window is “Mighty.”

True story:  The woman standing behind me (also trying to get a picture), said VERY loudly “What the hell is that word?  Mig-it-ee?” To which her friend kindly responded “No, that’s mighty.”  Haha.

The word for this window was “Dapper.”  The details in this window got me particularly excited because they hearkened me back to two previous posts.  First of all, the clever use of vintage yardsticks and rulers reminded me of this post.

bergdorf goodman windows holiday 2011

Not to mention the Singer sewing machine which reminded me of my dining room table :)

A bit blurry, but this one was set in a barber shop and the attention to detail was incredible!  There was even a black and white TV that was playing a football game (it was a looped video, I assume).

That’s a singing cardinal, y’all.

And that was all I got of the men’s.  Super clever, slightly weird, and all around amusing.

Across the street were the women’s windows, and they took on a very different tone.

Bergdorf Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Holiday Windows 2011

A giraffe and an equally long-necked lady mannequin.

Bergdorf Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Holiday Windows 2011

The detail on the giraffe was amazing:

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

There was so much going on in this window (below), I found it very difficult getting a good picture.  Needless to say, it was fabulous and looked like a King Midas/Cave of Wonders love fest.

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Girl, you is purdy!

I was especially smitten with the lighting in this one:

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Niiice.

This little diorama window was only about 8″X10″:

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Ok, I saved my favorite for last:

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows 2011

And guess what?  The sparkliness on all of the sea life is actually mosaic tile!  What!?

(Unfortunately, I did not get a close-up as everyone else loved this window too.)

Of course, there was even more at Bergdorf Goodman, but then my camera…

… died.

Rather, its batteries died.

So, while I did visit the windows of Lord and Taylor and Macy’s, which were lovely, I don’t have any pictures.  Sigh…   However, I can assure you the shining star (in the pretty windows department, that is) was definitely Bergdorf Goodman.

Oh, and of course we couldn’t get back to Brooklyn without checking out the tree, and I do mean the tree.  I got a picture of it, albeit a little blurry and crooked, on my BlackBerry:

See the ridiculous amount of people?  Well, when I went with my dad the next night, it was ten times crazier.  I think if someone had sneezed or tripped and fallen down, there would have a been a very unfortunate domino effect.

So… after 2.1 miles and 87 pictures, we had a splendid time… and then the next night, I took my dad on a similar, but slightly abbreviated walking tour.  Sort of “The Best of…” where we hit FAO Schwarz, the Rockefeller tree, and of course those glorious BG windows.

And how many dollars did all of this festive frivolity cost?  Zero.

(Well, almost.  My dad was somehow suckered into buying a pound of candy at FAO Schweetz, but I did not encourage said endeavor.  But I didn’t exactly discourage it either :)  Yum.)

Here’s to hoping you all have similarly frugal holiday adventures!  Feel free to share them with me, regardless of what city you live in!

:)

(Subscribe!)

You might also like:

FREE DONUTS

Things that (P)inspire Me

Twelve Weeks of Christmas