Some places that will be open on Christmas day, for those of you visiting NYC:
Rockefeller Center at this time of year is unbelievably crowded, the lines can be long, and the ice is crap due to the number of people on it. I am talking "six inches of snow from blades" crappy ice*. But it's iconic, and is something I feel everyone should do once in a lifetime. It's a very cool environment. The massive tree is above you, there are crowds of people watching - it's very NY.
Wollman is in Central Park, and although the lines can be long, they are not as long as Rockefeller Center. Wollman rink is larger than Rockefeller Center, and much less crowded feeling. The ice quality at Wollman is far better than at Rockefeller Center. The view from the rink is fabulous - you get to look out of the calmness of the park to the highrises. One cool thing to notice, if you go, is that there are leaves embedded into the ice by the Zamboni.
The best ice quality in Manhattan, IMO, is Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. It's an indoor rink, multiple rink surfaces, with large windows down the sides, and you get to see the Hudson and the large ships going by.
Bryant Park, IMO, is a lot of fun. It's not a large rink. It's outdoors. It feels a bit less crowded than Rockefeller Center, and there is a Christmas tree there. I've never had a problem there regarding safety, although of course I'd heard of the shooting. It's free to get in, but you pay for rentals if you need them.
If possible, bring your own lock, if you want to use a locker.
If you are going to tourist skate, just to have fun, go to Rockefeller Center and/or Wollman. If you are going to seriously skate and practice, go to Chelsea Piers and, if you want to feel all New Yorkey, to Wollman.
*Varies by time of day, and day. Weekends are worse than weekdays.
Use Yah Blinkah!
Excellent post- I agree with all of the above. I got my Rockefeller skate out of the way, so I don't feel the need to skate there again, but I completely understand wanting to skate there once (I was kicked off the ice for wearing speedskates- but not in a bad way). Wollman is a much nicer actual skating experience (I haven't skated at Chelsie). I am also looking forward to the rink in Prospect Park as it's in my neighborhood. Prospect park itself is nice to visit, if you make it out of Manhattan. The rink is supposed to open this month:
And speaking of speedskating, at one point, Marge had suggested that I should mention this: for those interested in speedskating, there is a club that meets at the World Ice Arena in Flushing every Monday and Thursday night from October through March. First session is basically free ($1 techinically for 1-day club pass), so you can try it out if you're curious. Marge?
We decided to stay in and eat at our hotel the night of Christmas. They have a Christmas Day buffet at the Roosevelt and it looks really great. I called and left a message to make a reservation, so I hope they got it. I hate leaving messages for reservations! I will call to confirm tomorrow. It will be an early dinner, about 4:30 so we will have to see what we can find to do that night!
"Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher
You can always walk down 5th Avenue to check out the store windows, and see the tree at Rockefeller Center.
Chinatown would also be a good place to wander around, if it's not too cold out.
Were you planning to go to church? You are welcome to join me for Midnight Mass at my church, which is near Lincoln Center. You will feel very welcome there.
Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-20-2013 at 01:16 AM.
If you're looking for something to do on Christmas Eve, why not go carolling?
Scroll down for the complete list:
There is a small but cool exhibit of all sorts of wacky wreaths at the Central Park arsenal, 5th Ave at 64th Street. (the one made of mouse traps cracked me up) I wouldn't make a special trip here, because you can see the whole thing in half an hour, tops. But it is free, so if you're nearby, stop in and have a look.
Marge & Garr, I will happily accompany you (or borrow your memberships ) to Frick & MoMA any day I am in NYC.
Brian - You're staying at the Roosevelt? A friend of mine used to be the GM there and I've stayed there a few times. Not sure if it has changed, but last I was there it was overdue for an update.
If you like Japanese food, just a few short street blocks down Park is the Kitano, and they're offering both a Christmas Eve and Christmas day menu. They also have a great jazz bar if you like jazz.
"I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence
If you're going to the Kitano, you might want to stop off at Scandinavia House, which is right down the block. There are no films or concerts scheduled for this week, but the art exhibits are always free, and they have a nice gift shop. If you lust after Geisha chocolates (as I do) you can usually find them there. There is also a nice restaurant, SmorgasChef, on the ground floor, if you have a craving for Swedish meatballs. If you eat there, have the vanilla waffles for dessert, they are yummy.
You'll be right near Grand Central Station - there is a holiday market there now, if you feel like shopping. And there's a branch of Magnolia Bakery downstairs in the food court, if you have a craving for a cupcake.
And the Campbell Apartment is inside. I've had "have a drink at the Campbell Apartment" on my bucket list for ages, but I've yet to check it out.
Errr, do you want to meet there for a drink?
Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-23-2013 at 07:43 AM.
Visitors to NYC: you should see Fifth Avenue AT NIGHT, preferably late in the evening when the crowds aren't so bad.
I took a taxi to GCS after church tonight, something I normally never do, but I was afraid of missing the last train. The taxi driver went down 5th and thought I was a tourist when an involuntary "oh, wow" escaped my lips.
Yesterday I was near Union Square and came across a fabulous shop, Beads of Paradise.
I have been making jewelry for years but had never heard of this place. I thought all the bead shops in NYC were on 6th Ave between 35th and 40th. Well, live and learn, I say.
This place has beads from Java and Indonesia that the other stores don't sell.
Ladies, check this place out even if you don't make your own stuff. They have gorgeous earrings, mostly sterling and gemstones, very reasonably priced. (Well, reasonably priced if you don't make your own, hehe.) And lovely scarves and such. Info here:
Earlier today I went to Williamsburg (not the Colonial one!) to check out Brooklyn Flea. They've moved to a larger space for the winter, which means they've combined the flea market with Smorgasburg (all the food vendors)
I concentrated on the sweets, naturally. Tip: try the Bite Me mini cheesecakes!
The flea part has lots of cool stuff, jewelry and artwork and vintage clothing. I almost bought a Papa Smurf from a guy with all kinds of old toys, but I came to my senses in time.
There is a vendor there with music posters, and enlargements of the music ads that used to appear in the Village Voice for Irving Plaza and the Ritz.
I found one for Lords of the New Church at the Ritz, and declared "I MUST have this!" to the guy, who was looking over my shoulder.
"Hmm, that's from the Eighties," he told me.
I said, "Yes, I know, I was AT this show!"
Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-30-2013 at 03:58 AM.
Early June in NYC -- any specific things that are especially nice at that time of year?
Sure, ballet! NYCB will be doing "Midsummer Night's Dream" until June 8th, And ABT will be performing all month.
The no pants subway ride is this Sunday!
Alas, I will be in Ottawa so I can't take part. (Hmmm, do they have one in Ottawa? I should check that out....)
I've done this twice and it is totally demented fun. Info here:
It's not bad, if you are on one of the subway lines that are underground.
Unfortunately I see that Ottawa does not have a no pants day, so I can't make a spectacle of myself while I am there.