Saturday, December 3, 2016


It's time for the annual New York City blog of Holiday lights. I'm breaking it up this year into two entries. Macy's is getting it's own entry this year because I kind of got carried away and did a full inside and outside during the day and at night run through. I wound up with too many images. I couldn't edit it down to a few so here goes.
It's been nine years straight of carrying out the "Believe" theme throughout the store during the holidays and this year they've carried the theme into the windows that line Broadway across from Herald Square.
The windows, as usual, are a must to see but even the visitors that come to view the windows can be as entertaining as the windows themselves
There are six windows adorning the front of the building. Santa was the first of the six windows that lined the outside of Macy's and who wouldn't want him to come first.
Santa spins around as he goes over his list of "Naughty and Nice" while his elves stack gifts and log in letters to Santa in a technological way representative of our current  computerized era.
Celebrate was the second window in this sextet of windows.
Here Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons float over a pinball machine that kids could actually operate from a joystick and buttons outside the window.
Together was the last of the three windows to the left of Macy's main entrance.
It was a rabbit's warren of silhouetted animated people coming together in a diverse set of situations. It was probably the most significant concept given the mood of the day
Giving was the first of the three remaining windows heading uptown toward 35th Street. A huge gilded reindeer's head supported an army of gift-givers spinning around their hands laden with presents.
Love was next in line featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus.
It was a love letter from the Jolly man himself to his wife reminding each of us how important it is to let those in our lives know each moment of each day how much we love them
Magic was the last of the six windows on the Broadway side of Macy's Herald Square.
It carried a "Harry Potter" theme where patronuses appeared from the forest beyond the pond and fluttered or pranced in and then disappeared.
Once inside and on the main floor I was swallowed up and did a disappearing act of my own in a sea of shoppers. Macy's is an ode to commercialism, a kind of commercialism I can get behind. You'd need to be a real Scrooge to not have a smile creep across your face when you walk down the aisles of Macy's main floor.
The floor is awash with fragrances of the holidays and the ceiling is dripping with balsam and fir, twinkling light and open revolving snow globes filled with holiday scenes and an around-the-world trotting Santa and his reindeer.
Of course shopping is Macy's business but they strip you of your money in such a cheerful way it doesn't seem to hurt so much.
Placed all throughout the store are these Believe mailboxes. Macy's has paired up with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. You're encouraged to write a note to Santa and drop it in the box. For every wish dropped in Macy's donates a dollar to the Foundation up to a million dollars. My guess is they probably hit the million-dollar mark on the first day they brought out the boxes
After the main floor I went to the back of the store and took the old escalator up to the eighth floor. Every time I get on that escalator, even in the summer, I can't help but being transported back to the original 1947 version of  "Miracle on 34th Street". I think this escalator is so iconic even though it rumbles a bit and is pretty narrow I can't imagine them replacing it with something newer.
The eighth floor is were you'll find Santa's Village and the man himself. Unfortunately it takes a bit of perseverance and patience to get a chance to see the old man and put in your holiday gift request. Elves stand outside to guide you to your destination. They've been well schooled on perky politeness. I did feel a little like Will Ferrell, the overgrown man-child in "Elf". I was a little taller than children in the line and older than most of their parents. But it's Christmas and when else are you supposed to be able to become a kid again.
To keep you amused will you waited for your big moment there were all sorts of visual experiences from the talking tree to
a mid-century city with toy trains circling and tooting their whistles
to a choir of singing snowman caroling out the songs of the season
The end of the journey, a wait that can literally take hours, is the North Pole Village, a collection of tiny houses each with a Santa. Don't tell the kids. Here's where my sensibilities kicked in and I turned down the offer to go in and sit on Santa's lap to the astonishment of the elf manning the gate.
But here's to Santa and Macy's. We took Emmy there every year until she no longer believed in the old man. I missed having her there with me this year. She probably doesn't regret knowing I would probably still have forced her to go in, sit on his lap and make a wish as another elf manning a camera would take her picture, another memento for another photo album
Miracle on 34th Street, 1947
20th Century-Fox

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