Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fess on A Shelf

So there is popular the Elf on the Shelf. And it seems this Elf gets into all kinds of mischief. As much as I laugh at the Elf's antics I'm not gonna lie, that Elf freaks me the hell out. He is creepy. I'm sorry but he is. I have issues. I know this. (He scares me! CREEPY!!) Anyways, Fess gets herself into mischief too. This is everyday real life for her. The events that occur are real. So....Fess is going to do her own rendition of Elf on the Shelf. Some catchy names were suggested such as Fess is a Mess, Fess is two inches too tall to be an ELF and is bitter, Fess is really an Elf, Fess in a Box & MILF on a Shelf (LMFAO want to try and keep it at least PG-13 but thanx.). I'm just going to go with Fess on a Shelf. And The Fess on a Shelf is named Chrissy. Chrissy is not reporting anything back to Santa cuz he already knows how she is and feels really sorry for her two kids. I am sure the grown ups are going to be able to relate to some of these things. Let the Countdown to Christmas begin!

The Fess on a Shelf has issues with Christmas lights that work one minute, then after she hangs them, decide not to work. Hedge clippers take care of this problem. Now they will NEVER work! Hahaha!!

Fess On A Shelf
Take that mutherfuckers!!

# 2
Fess on a Shelf found the secret stash of Johnnie Walker Black at her parents. Oh snap! She is like a bloodhound. She can sniff out concealed premium alcohol within a 30 mile radius.  3 shots in...... let's go put up the tree. Yippee!!!

Fess On a Shelf
You can't go wrong with a little Johnnie Walker ...or a lot! 

# 3
Fess on a Shelf perhaps learned that cows are not the only things that can be tipped and really had the tree fall on her. LMFAO! Then.... because it was so heavy, she had to have her mommy pick the tree up off of her cuz both she and the tree were a little too tipsy thanx to Johnnie Walker.

Fess On a Shelf
The tree was seriously falling on me again.

Fess on a shelf
Trying to look pretty when a tree is falling on you while holding the creepy Santa your mom gave you is not an easy task. Just sayin.....
Fess on a shelf
My mommy had to lift the tree off of me cuz I was hammered. 

# 4
Fess on A Shelf may have allegedly broke the dishwasher when a random piece of saran wrap from Thanksgiving leftovers got inadvertently stuck to a dish and perhaps melted and plugged up the jets. The crime scene has been sealed off until further investigation has been completed. In the meantime washing dishes by hand is pretty much gonna suck. WTG Fessler!

Fess On A Shelf
I break things. A lot of things. 

# 5
Fess on a Shelf may have accidentally drank the ENTIRE box of wine she bought to make Apple Cider Sangria gifts with Shannan and Ang this weekend. Now she has to go buy another one. Houston.....we may have a drinking problem.

Fess On A Shelf
This may happen more than I care to admit. 

# 6
Fess on a Shelf broke up with her scale today. It was being naughty and flashing all kinds of mean things at her on it's digital screen. It wasn't a pretty break-up either. Words were thrown, tears were cried, fingers were flipped. It got pretty violent. One of them may have even been thrown in the garbage can a few times. Perhaps one day they will rekindle their romance, however, today is definitely NOT that day. Go ahead and have another cookie crybaby. Tis the season for elastic waistbands.

Fess On A Shelf
I hate my scale!! It tells lies! 

Yea....Fuck You scale!!

Red Cat. Kitty Cat. Fess on A Shelf Cat? Not decorating the tree because watching Unstoppable and playing with the cat is more fun. All I need now is a puppy, some chicken wings and whiskey. 
BTW, There is a lot of pussy in this picture. Just sayin.........

How did they expect me to decorate with so many distractions!!

Fess on A Shelf may have issues working her mother's camera (she totaled her own camera in a drunken incident at the NY Winefest) and also had to take a selfie because her kids are too "busy" to take mom's picture every five minutes so do not mind the photo quality. Anyways, USCS Hazy will have one less goodie from Fess for the cookie exchange because she spent the money on Farmer's Ice Tea instead. I mean hello? It was on sale. 2 for $4.00. Scored five of these babies although my big hair is covering one of them. I do love a bargain, especially when it is on one of my addictions. Farmer's Ice Tea is the original crack of Hazleton!

Hazy Ice Tea....the original crack. 

While everyone else is cleaning their sidewalks, Fess on A Shelf goes outside, watches her neighbor shovel for a little bit, writes her name in the snow, then goes back in the house. She also wrote her name on the car, but didn't clean it off. Of course tomorrow morning she will be bitching about it but football is on NOW. Ain't nobody got time for shoveling.

FESS in the snow! Should be in the MOMA. 

Fess on a Shelf has no idea how such a tragic accident could have happened. Thankfully no alcohol was harmed during this travesty but one of her favorite shot glasses, perhaps taken from one of the area's fine establishments which is no longer in existence, pretty much imploded upon impact with the tile kitchen floor. She asks that we all take a moment and bow our heads in remembrance of the good times this shot glass has provided.

Oh the tragedy!!!

Fess On A Shelf realizes she may be coming across as this raging alcoholic but, she rarely ever feels any rage. So....we shall just say she may have been a little heavy handed when pouring her "apple juice" the other night and that some sipping before lifting may have been necessary due to this heavy handedness. (And perhaps some cleaning of the table and floor around the vicinity where this heavy handedness occurred.)She may have also given herself a nice gash on the thumb when opening the ball jar containing said "apple juice" but gives us the thumbs up because it's all good, even though it really did hurt pretty bad. Here's to the Christmas Spirit!!

Hell yeah I'll drink this.

Fess on a shelf
Honestly....who does this? 

Fess On A Shelf is really tired today and cannot do any baking or clean her messy kitchen because her boss Ed Bernadyn aka Mr.Grinch works her too hard then takes all the credit. Then he makes fun of her and steals all the pizza and picks the oreo pieces off of Larry's cake and giggles his bad banana peel with greasy black spots sinister giggle while he eats them. This is what Fess has been reduced to. You're a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce Mr. Ed!

Awwww.... This Little Elf has been overworked....or is drunk again. 

Fess On A Shelf felt her Snoopy Tree was missing something. It just didn't seem to say Holiday Cheer. This vexed her very much. So...she hung some handmade ornaments on her Snoopy tree and just wow. What a transformation!!! Of course the bottles were a little heavy for such a delicate little tree so she kindly emptied them. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. It is Christmas and all. Unfortunately not everyone in THIS house appreciates her handmade ornaments. When her son saw the tree he exclaimed "You would do that to the tree!!!" Whatever!

My son took one look at the tree and said "You would do that to the tree. Take them off now!"

Fess On A Shelf is a very naughty and perhaps sick individual whom sometimes fondles her TV when Peyton Manning is on the screen. In this particular photo she was touching his butt and pointing it out for everyone to admire. It is a very nice ass. It should be shared....with Fess On A Shelf. Did you hear that Santa? If Peyton Manning is not under her tree with a big freakin' red bow the Fess is going to show you what the meaning of naughty is!!!!!!!!!! Just putting it out there.

Peyton's butt and my finger. Kinky!
Ginormous Peyton Manning 

Fess On A Shelf and her band of misfit friends were snowed in so they decided to have a Texas Hold Em tournament by the "fire". It got a little crazy. Yukon declared us all lightweights only instead he used the "P" word for a cat. That was really mean! He just drank right from the boxed wine tap then proceeded to say "Yea I tapped that sh@t!" all night long. Hermie kept stealing all of Fess' cigarettes and babbling about teeth. Boring! Santa was being a real bitch about getting his ass handed to him over and over again and tried to blackmail us with coal. Yea, okay. I'll just heat my house with it, mofo! Whatever! Bumble and Rudolph hooked up at the end of the night in Fess' bathroom. She kept hearing Rudolph shout something about making his nose glow long and hard?? Yea...She is now scarred for life. In the end Frosty melted, Karen stabbed Sam the Snowman with an ice skate and Fess locked herself in her bedroom. I love my friends!!!!

The house of misfit everything aka the House of Fess
Selfie time!! So gangsta!!

Fess On A Shelf knows some people never thought they would see the day, she thought it for awhile herself, but alas......this naughty little elf found herself a sweet, funny, handsome, "younger" man under her tree one day and was like "Peyton who?". Guess Santa knew what he was doing after all. Let's all take a moment to wish the Great LB good luck with the rollercoaster ride that is his new girlfriend.....Fess On A Shelf. He needs is just to deal with her clumsy, goofy ass alone. LMAO!!

Ashy Larry <3 Poor Larry as Ed Bernadyn says....ALL THE TIME. Shut up Ed!!!

Oh snap! Fess On A Shelf took Ed Bernadyn aka Eddie's stocking!! ( Cowboy colors?? Seriously? Thought you were an Eagles fan? Such a traitor. Poor Chip and Nick are crying over their cheesesteaks right now. Grinch! No wonder there is a bunch of coal in it!!)

An Eagles fan with a Cowboys stocking. Ed is such an enigma. 

Fess On A Shelf tried to give herself fancy Christmas fingers nails like all the other girls are sporting this time of year. Yea.....the attractiveness of this selfie manicure ranges somewhere between "WTF?", "How could you have possibly even fathomed that this would turn out good?" and " You like to lick windows don't ya?". The voices in her head are all in complete agreement that Fess should only paint her nails a solitary color and leave the designs to the pros. Good Lord Woman!! For the love of god step away from the nail polish!

Yea.... not good. 
Why? Why do I even try? 

Fess On A Shelf is craving all things chocolate and is perhaps eyeing up the kids' chocolate advent calendars. In fact, December 21st and 23rd may even have little IOU notes in their windows now. Surprise!!! It's not like they didn't have 23 other days worth of candy. Tis the season of not being greedy and eating all the candy but for sharing some with your mother in her time of need.

Give me chocolate and no one gets hurts. Well maybe the kiddos cuz I ate all their stuff. 

Just cuz making faces is fun when you are stealing your kids candy!!

Fess On A Shelf may not have her naughty hat on but she felt it necessary to take some time from work to decorate the picnic table with her art. Gary Kreisl Jrmay have had a major part in this beautiful display of workplace talent as well. He likes to cause mayhem wherever he goes. Then maintenance came and put their bags of rock salt on the table and.... Sadly the art was ruined which makes it even truer art. Sighs!

I work hard when I am at work! Seriously...I do!

Fess On A Shelf believes Santa's Reindeer live in the cabana in her yard. There are deer tracks in the snow all over her yard. Her daughter is insisting they are cat foot prints and not reindeer footprints but Fess is the mom and mom is always right so....they are reindeer footprints and they lead right to the cabana. Fess wants to feed the reindeer but the only thing she has handy is the gingerbread fudge that is so terrible and solidifies the fact that Fess she never, ever, ever make fudge. She swore she would never serve to another human being on the planet even though her daughter liked it. However....may the reindeer would like it. She tries to lure them out with the fudge but gives up after about 2 minutes because it is 15 degrees outside and windy and she is a big baby when it comes to the cold. 

Even Santa's Renideers hate Fess' gingerbread fudge. 

Fess On A Shelf could not be present for this picture because she was covered in sweet and sour sauce. Turns out Its a very projectile type of sauce. Who knew? The Great LB, however, made sure to mention that this sign has never been more appropriate as he stood there is awe at the sheer clumsiness that can sometimes be the entity know as Fess. Lmfao!!

Oooopsies!!! Did I do that?

Happy New Year from Fess On A Shelf, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Canadian Club, The Gallaghers, Johnnie Walker, Your mom, my dad and The NY Giants. Fess On a Shelf is officially stuffed in a box in the back of a closet at her mom's house until next year. You are welcome!! 

Merry Christmas 2013 and Happy New Year 2014!!! Bunny Ears are hawt!


The NY Giants 2013 Football season summed up in one picture!! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

#46 See Stevie Nicks in Concert

"If you love somebody, save their soul. Tie them to your heaven and erase their hell. Love the lifestyle, if you feel it. Don't try to change them. You never will." -Long Distance Winner, Buckingham Nicks

Stevie Nicks Concert
My ticket stub for Stevie!!

Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated and enchanted with the beautiful songbird that is Stevie Nicks. I believe this all started over an HBO Special way back when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. HBO was airing Stevie Nicks' Bella Donna Tour concert for an entire month. Not sure which month it was, all I know was every time they aired it, I watched it. I was completely drawn by how different she was from other women. We were coming off the age of 70's disco and shiny spandex and here was this doll faced rocker chick with her wild blonde hair cascading down her shoulders, sporting dark lips, porcelain skin, flowing lace dresses, scarves and knee high boots while rocking it out on the stage with her tambourine.

Her voice was not as melodic as the many other popular female singers, it was raspy, alto and most definitely one of a kind. The lyrics to her songs were poetic and mystical. Even back then, as young as I was, I got what she was putting down. She sang of love, heartbreak, dreams and life, but she did so in such a fabled storybook way. When the guitarist began playing the riff that would become one of the most famous in all of music, that being the riff to Edge of Seventeen, the audience on TV went nuts and I would get the chills. It wasn't until many years later that I found out Edge of Seventeen, one of my most favorite Stevie songs, was partially written about one of the members of one of my all time favorite bands, The Beatles.

"I'm a few years older than you, my love." Edge of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks

I wanted to be this woman. I wanted to look like her, dress like her, sing like her, move like her and write like her. I didn't stand a chance in hell. I was a freckle faced little redhead. My hair was cut so short I was usually mistaken for a little boy. My mother called my hair the Princess Diana or Dorothy Hamill look. My ass! They still had hair on their head. I'm surprised my mother didn't just shave my head and call it the Kojak look. I guess it didn't help that I acted like a little boy too. I was a complete tomboy growing up. I had no girly fashion sense at all. I also had the boy's name of Christian. But then again, Stevie is a boys name too.

Hmmmm... maybe we are on to something. I could sing (back then I could), I was more of a soprano than raspy, but it was singing. I could dance, I took tap. I had been on the stage before, I did theater. And I won the creative writing award in my 3rd grade class. I could learn to play the tambourine. Can't be that hard. Wow! I was halfway there. (Yea right!) Of course every time I would try to grow my hair, my mother would chop it. Eventually I was allowed to have it shoulder length. I started sneaking into my Aunt's makeup in the bathroom and experimenting. I went to my childhood friend Renee for assistance on how to be more girly. (It was also around that time that I started noticing boys.)

My parents started giving me Stevie Nicks cassettes and Fleetwood Mac albums for Christmas and my birthday. My dad would tape all Stevie and Fleetwood Mac specials on the TV via Betamax. (Remember those?) My mother had a flowy white dress in the basement that I would wear as I danced around the basement pretending to be the redheaded version of Stevie Nicks. Then one day....my little sister caught me and busted my ass so badly that I may have wanted to rip the heads off of all her Barbies then beat her with their plastic headless bodies. I have not lived that down to this day!

"Sara, you're the poet in my heart. Never change. Never stop."- Sara, Fleetwood Mac

Oh, one other little fandom factoid I feel compelled to share. As a Catholic we receive Confirmation, which is a ceremony welcoming us into adulthood much like a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. One of the traditions of a confirmation ceremony is choosing a name to be confirmed with as an adult. We are supposed to choose the name of a saint or the name of our confirmation sponsor. Not me. Not this gal! I choose my name based on a favorite Fleetwood Mac song of mine that Stevie sings. You may have heard of it. It's called "Sara". Needless to say the nun in charge of Confirmation was not to thrilled about the reason for my choosing my name. Thankfully Sister Monica was one of those cool nuns. She played basketball better than most men. She also pointed me towards a Saint Sara which would look much better to the bishop concerning my Confirmation registration. She said he probably has no idea who Fleetwood Mac is anyways. Rock on Sister Monica! Rock on!

Fast forward to August 24, 2001. My ex husband had just come back from a trade show in Atlantic City (which we refer to in these parts as AC.). It was my birthday. Granted, the first seven or eight years we were together my ex was really shitty about my birthday. I had actually become desensitized to my birthday because in our house, it was just another day. I used to love my birthday too. However, as he matured he started giving me some of the best, most thoughtful birthday presents I could ever want. One year he bought me a new diamond engagement ring. Another year, back when I was still huge into NASCAR, he surprised me with a few laps around Pocono in a racecar. Another year, when we were really broke, he built me a display shelf for the knick knacks I collected at the time and cleaned and fixed everything in the house.

" I know you really want to tell me good-bye. I know you really want to be your own girl"  -Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks

However the best birthday present I had ever received were two tickets to see Stevie Nicks play at the Taj Mahal in AC on September 15, 2001. It was my 28th birthday. He wanted me to have a weekend away with my sister to see my favorite artist of all time. He was going to take care of the kids that way I could really enjoy myself. He knew how skittish I could be about leaving them. I was still a little skittish but knew my parents were close by as well in case he needed help. I was in seventh heaven. To say I was excited would be an epic understatement. For the next few weeks, all I listened to was Stevie music.

My sister Alicia and I began planning our weekend. We were going to drive down early Saturday morning and stay at the Sandpiper in Wildwood, NJ. It would be way cheaper than AC on a Saturday night and we could hit the famous boards we grew up on as kids. It was also Firefighters Weekend in Wildwood so there would be a parade and lots of cool stuff going on all over the little island city. The drive to AC was a little under 40 minutes from Wildwood so it wouldn't be bad. We were all set and very stoked.

"I guess we don't believe that things could go that far. Somewhere in the night someone feels pain. The ones that walk away. Try to love again." - Trouble in Shangri-La , Stevie Nicks

Then the unthinkable happened. The September 11th attacks, the worst attacks on American soil since Pearl Harbor took the entire world by shock. The world literally stopped. It shut down completely. Not only were we not sure there would still be a concert but in all honesty, Stevie Nicks or not, I had no desire to go anywhere. I was devastated and heartbroken. That week, I spent more time crying while glued to the TV than I had ever in my life. I couldn't even imagine being away from my kids because September 11th was a harsh reminder that life is so short and horrible things could happen in the blink of an eye. I knew no one that died in the attacks but you would have thought every single victim was a close relative, that is how hard I mourned. I wasn't alone in feeling that way either. Most Americans were just as devastated.

By Thursday, my ex husband saw how much I was in a bad way. He said they were still holding the concert and insisted I needed to go. I couldn't stop living life because of this. None of us could. He was right. So, Saturday morning my sister picked me up and we headed to the shore. I was very quiet the first forty minutes of the ride. I was not excited. I was sad. I felt guilty that one of my biggest dreams was about to come true yet there were over 2900 other people who were no longer able to dream. It wasn't fair. As we were driving by the Allentown airport we saw a plane coming in to land. I held my breath. My sister pointed out that the plane had landed safely which was comforting. Life was moving forward regardless of how guilty I felt.

"I'm tired. I'm thirsty. I'm wild eyed in my misery." - Sorcerer, Stevie Nicks

It was time to join the living again. Once we hit Philadelphia, I was smiling again. After we took the exit onto the Atlantic City Expressway, I was excited again. And when we entered Wildwood, there were firetrucks and firefighters everywhere, proudly flashing their lights and waving the American flag. It was so beautiful and so colorful and so American. I may have found myself all teary eyed but it was a good teary eyed. After we checked into the hotel, my sister and I walked to the boards. (The Boards is what most people that visit the Jersey Shore call the Boardwalk. We also do not refer to the state as New Jersey. It is just Jersey to us.) As we turned the wooden ramp onto the boards we gasped. The entire boardwalk was a glorious sea of red, white and blue. People were cheering the firefighters, hugging them, and thanking them. Every few minutes a roar of applause would break out up and down the boardwalk.

I found myself smiling uncontrollably, a tear escaping my eye and rolling down my cheek every now and then. I find I can be very aloof about things or I can be overly emotional about things. It is always a crap shoot on how I am going to deal with difficult situations. Generally it is usually one of the two ways I just mentioned. Even I do not know how I will react to something until it happens and I react. It is rare that there is any type of middle ground. I am either cold, quiet and distant or emotional train wreck. This time I am emotional train wreck. I am keeping it in check at the moment though. My sister and I buy memorial ribbons to wear from a vendor whom is donating the proceeds to the families affected by the attacks.

"Dreams unwind. Love's a state of mind." -Dreams, Fleetwood Mac

As we walked further down the boards, I noticed the fire fighters were so humbled and taken aback by all the attention. We spoke with a few of them. Some were melancholy and some were mad as hell. Some had known firefighters lost in the attacks and some didn't know anyone in the attacks. Some were in the city after the attacks to volunteer and since they were working in shifts, came to the shore for the weekend. Some were going back into the city that night. The one thing they all had in common was how proudly they spoke of New York's bravest. It was a brotherhood, there was absolutely no denying that. And while they mourned for their fallen brothers, they celebrated their courage and spirit. To this day I am so happy I got to experience such an event so close to the city that I loved so dearly.

My sister and I grabbed some pizza at Jumbo's (A slice of pizza from there is....jumbo and delicious.) then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the show. I must have checked to make sure I had the tickets about 17 times. This makes me really nervous because when I check for something so many times, I always end up going stupid and forgetting anyway. I give them to Alicia to hold. She is calmer than me. After a final outfit check ( Back then I was so frumpy so I don't even know what the point was.) we get in the car and head to AC.

"I am dealing with a man, who when away from me, stays deep inside my heart. He said if anyone falls in love, it will be one of us." - If Anyone Falls, Stevie Nicks

Once at the Taj Mahal we make our way to the Arena. It's pretty big but all the seats seem good. Our seats happen to be on the left side of the stage. After we find our place I go check out the merchandise. Holy shit is everything expensive. I decide I will not be making any purchases tonite. Instead I pay $8.00 for a watered down mixed drink in a plastic cup. I wasn't a big drinker back then (only family parties) so I start feeling a buzz right away. When I get back to my seat my sister is giving me a half amused/half annoyed look. Tambourine Lady has taken a seat in front of us. Well, I shouldn't say she has taken a seat because she is standing. I know this because her burgundy corduroy clad ass is right in my face. She is shrieking (not yelling but shrieking) and waving her tambourine, complete with burgundy ribbons, around in the air like she just don't care.

Good for her and all but I hate to tell her there is still about 30 minutes until show time. She should really save all her bravado for then. My sister nudges me and points to my right. There is a couple sitting next to us. My sister and I start rolling because the guy is giving tambourine lady the stink eye and shaking his head. He looks like he wants to send her sailing. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being super excited to see your favorite artist play, but this lady had to be drunk or on uppers or both because she was a one woman carnival. I was waiting for a second head to pop out of her shirt.

Finally the two women with her tell her she needs to sit down. They look embarrassed. She listens to her friends but every few minutes she sticks her arm straight in the air, shrieks "Stevie!!!" and starts waving her tambourine like she has a nervous tick. I am waiting for her to crack someone in the head with her tambourine. Don't think she would enjoy the show that hasn't even started yet so much with a tambourine shoved up her ass courtesy of the man sitting next to me. Just sayin.
"So I'm back to the velvet underground. Back to the floor that I love. To a room with some lace and paper flowers, back to the gypsy that I was." - Gypsy, Fleetwood Mac 

About 25 minutes pass when the lights go dim in the arena. The riff from Edge of Seventeen starts booming from the amplifier. Everyone jump to their feet. We are all going crazy like the Tambourine Lady now. The song playing though is "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child. She is not opening with Edge. Bet she is closing with it. Sweet. All of a sudden spotlights shine to the floor of the arena near the back. The doors swing open and a few security personnel enter the arena. Cool. Stevie is going to walk through the crowd to the stage. Nice. In the back of my mind I begin to wonder how she is going to sing Bootylicious without Destiny's Child. This should be interesting. Then, all of a sudden, the music comes to a halt.

Someone is now walking down the aisle in the middle of the arena flanked by the security. I recognize the hair immediately. It is definitely not Stevie. My sister leans into me and asks "Is that Donald Trump?" I say "Yep!" He walks to the stage. You can see Stevie come out to talk to him. He stands there chatting with her for a good five minutes. This sends Tambourine Lady over the edge. She starts bashing the shit out of Donald Trump, very, very, very....very loudly. I am starting to get the feeling that she does not care for The Donald very much.

The tambourine is now being whipped around violently above her head whiles she screams at the top of her lungs, "Nobody cares about you and your fucking wig." I find myself feeling conflicted over that statement mostly because I am sure there is at least one or two people that do care about him and his fucking wig. Perhaps a more accurate statement would have been,  "Most people do not care about you or your fucking wig."  I also hear her yelling something about how he ruined Stevie's opening and that perhaps the rich prick should have done this all before the show but he is an attention whore and is trying to steal Stevie's thunder. I guess Don T. does occasionally enjoy the spotlight however I do find myself in disagreement with her observation that he is trying to steal thunder. He could afford to purchase his own thunder. I mean she said it herself, he is a rich prick.

Then there was the a colorful statement made about how he should get back on his rich prick helicopter and go to the toupee store and buy a new wig because the one he has now looks like a dead squirrel and that maybe it really is a squirrel. It's a theory I guess. She makes some valid points about the whole hair thing I must agree. However, I'm not sure if I agree with the animal of choice. I, personally, may have selected something more along the lines of a chipmunk, which is in the same rodent family as the squirrel, but I am not the one doing the bashing so I'll give her squirrel. I may have also heard her mention something about the women in his life. Supposedly they only sleep with him because he is rich but Tambourine Lady wouldn't let him or his ugly hairpiece anywhere near her hairpiece. I mentally award her an A+ for creativity in her use of an analogy that is pretty clever.

"Who in the world do you think you are fooling? Well I've already done everything you are doing. Well the two of us, we must be...a great temptation to have even started. Great temptations never die." -Two Kinds Of Love, Stevie Nicks

My sister and I both had to sit back down because we were laughing so hard that we were really close to pissing ourselves. So much rage against The D. I become startled when Tambourine Lady whips her head around and says to me "Can you believe this asshole? I feel so bad that Stevie even has to talk to him. She is probably flipping out that he ruined her entire fucking opening. Fuck him and his wig!" I am trying so hard not to laugh in her face. She is really pissed off. All I can manage to say to her is "Yea...he's really rich. Totally ruined her opening." She agrees with me then whips back around. Thankfully The Donald is finally making his way back out of the arena. I was beginning to fear for his safety. The way that woman was waiving her tambourine around, she could have probably used it as a deadly projectile even from 1000 feet away.

She does bid Donald farewell though. Not with applause like a lot of the people in the Arena are doing but with a simple statement that, while not word for word, went something like this.... "That's right wig man.... you're too good to stay for the show. We don't want you here anyway. You are not good enough to hear Stevie's songs with your helicopter." This woman obviously has issues with hairpieces and transporting devices that utilize multiple propellers. We all have our "issues" I guess. Not gonna judge. And for the record, I have absolutely nothing against Donald Trump. I like the guy. He's ok. Never did anything to me. Nearly gave Tambourine Lady a coronary but she is a whackjob anyways. ( Ok, I may be judging a little.) Not a big deal. We have two hours of Stevie music ahead of us. It's all good.

" Time cast a spell on you, but you won't forget me. I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me. " -Silver Springs, Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks Concert 2001

Once the doors close and Mr. Trump has officially left the arena, Stevie waves to the crowd. We all go crazy again. She motions her hands for us to quiet down. She says "Thank you all so much for coming out tonite. I know we are all experiencing much grief and anxiety about the tragedies of the past week that have stricken our country. We are all so saddened by the events. We are all still trying to make sense of the reality we are facing. I would like to take you away from the pain for a few hours. Let's lose ourselves in the music tonight. Come away with me for a little while. It's okay."

I am now bawling. So is Tambourine Lady. I love this woman. She is always so sweet and gracious. You could hear the pain in her voice as well. You can see how much she loves her fans. I needed this. I needed her reassurance that is was okay to be here and not feel guilty. I have no tissues but I have the napkin from my drink. I wipe my eyes. My sister is now misty eyed because she knows how much this meant to me. What a bunch of saps in this family!!

"Rock on ancient queen, follow those that pale in your shadow." - Gold Dust Woman, Fleetwood Mac

I hear the cowbell start clicking. She is opening with Gold Dust Woman, my favorite Stevie song. I find I am singing along with Stevie even louder than Tambourine Lady. (I am always the stuck next to the crazies. The funny thing is, deep down I am crazier than most people in many ways. As of late, I've come to accept it and unleash it not hide it. I have taken my place as the reigning crazy one and I have never been happier to do so. I am the Queen. The one and only.)

Stevie brings us through 4 decades of music throughout the night. She sounds amazing. She is one of those artists that sounds exactly the same live as on her recordings. I go nuts through Stand Back, dancing as much as I can without knocking out the guy next to me. An hour into the show, Tambourine Lady has run out of steam. She is sitting in her seat, not waving the tambourine. The guy next to me leans in and says "I hope she stays sitting because I was about ten seconds from kicking her and her tambourine down the the side of the arena." I start laughing. Told him I think even her friends would have enjoyed that.

Stevie Nicks Concert 2001

Stevie dedicates the hauntingly beautiful song "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You" to the victims of 9/11. This is another one of my favorites. I don't think there was a dry eye in the arena. I am now wiping my tears in my sleeve because I have no tissues. Even the guy next to me gets choked up. She wrote this song for Joe Walsh of The Eagles. He had lost his daughter when she was 3 1/2 years old. Even though she was just a little girl, she was an old soul whom related to and understood her father so much. He used to take her to a park in Colorado that she loved. Her only complaint was that she was too little to reach the drinking fountain to get a drink. After she passed, he placed a little silver drinking fountain under her favorite tree in the park and dedicated it to her and "all the others who were too small to get a drink." This moved Stevie so much that she wrote this song for him. He was her soul mate. He was the man who made her believe in love at first sight.

                                                 "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You"

Has anyone ever written anything for you
In all your darkest hours
Have you ever heard me sing
Listen to me now
You know I'd rather be alone
Than be without you
Don't you know

Has anyone ever given anything to you
In your darkest hours
Did you ever give it back
Well, I have
I have given that to you
If it's all I ever do
This is your song

And the rain comes down
There's no pain and there's no doubt
It was easy to say
I believed in you everyday
If not for me
Then do it for the world

Has anyone ever written anything for you
In your darkest sorrow
Did you ever hear me sing
Listen to me now
You know I'd rather be alone
Than be without you
Don't you know

So, if not for me, then
Do it for yourself
If not for me then
Do it for the world
Poet... priest of nothing
Poet... priest of nothing

Stevie Nicks

As the concert comes to a close she does not disappoint. Our lovely songbird finishes with "Edge of Seventeen." She knocks it out of the arena. There is nothing like hearing her sing that song live. The live music gives me the chills and her voice is filled with utter passion. This is her swan song as a solo artist. This is her white winged dove. It's just like Lynyrd Skynyrd with Free Bird. Until you see it live and in person, you just will not understand how dynamic and powerful a song it is. After the show, I tried to get closer to the stage, hoping to get a glimpse of her, but she was already gone. 

It didn't matter. I was in the same room with her. 20 years after I first took notice of her on that HBO special, I got to spend any evening with her. I got to hear her perform live and in person. I got to feel her energy. This truly was a dream come true for me. I will always so thankful to all who made it possible for me to experience this moment. To sum up my feelings in the words of Stevie herself, "I run around like a spirit in flight, fearlessness is fearlessness. I will not forget this night. Dare my wild heart. Blame it on my wild heart."

Can a wild heart ever truly be tamed?

"Well I've been afraid of changing, cause I built my life around you. But time makes you bolder. Children get older. And I'm getting older too. Yes, I'm getting older too." -Landslide, Fleetwood Mac 


"My love is a man who has not been tamed. My love lives in a world of false pleasure and pain. We come from different worlds but we are the same, my love. I never doubted your beauty, I've changed. I've changed." -Beauty and The Beast, Stevie Nicks

The beautiful and ultimate break up song Stevie wrote about Lindsey. 
Silver Springs -Fleetwwod Mac

My Favorite Stevie Photos. Such a beautiful, honest, human spirit. 

Stevie Nicks
Such a natural beauty.

Stevie Nicks
We share a love of hats!
Stevie Nicks
A style all her own. She is a shorty like me. Love the boots. 

Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks
Still beautiful in her 60's. 
Stevie and Lindsey
Stevie and Lindsey

Monday, December 2, 2013

#81, #211, #284& #377 Christmas in NYC

#81 Christmas in NYC
#211 Take My Kids to NYC for Christmas
#284 Dine At Serendipity 3
#377 Visit Toys R Us in Times Square

It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's right! In case you didn't realize it back in September, it's the Christmas season. And, one of the most unforgettable places to experience the Christmas season is in none other than Gotham itself, NYC. From the prodigious, gorgeously lit evergreen glowing brightly in Rockefeller Center to the festive, colorful, yuletide storefront displays of Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor to name just a few, the holiday spirit that emanates from the city that never sleeps makes even the eldest of folks feel like the bright eyed little children they were once upon a time, all those years ago. Deep with tradition of days of yore, the magic of Christmas is most definitely infectious in the Big Apple and all of it's splendor is nothing short of breathtaking when experienced on the streets of NYC.

Christmas in New York

** Note, some of the pictures in this blog are pictures I found on the internet because I lost many of my pictures in a computer crash and it breaks my heart to this day. I do have some though which are all in here.  

I personally have visited the city many times during the holidays so I am going to include some tips and advice in this blog that may help first timers planning a visit to NYC for the holidays. For starters, the city can be very, very hectic around the holidays. As much as I highly recommend seeing the city during the holidays, if at all possible, try to avoid Friday, Saturday or Sunday. It can be completely insane and extremely crowded. If it is your first visit to the city entirely, it could definitely be a little overwhelming. If you have no other choice but to visit over the weekend, you are still going to be witness to some of the largest, most beautiful displays of Christmas spirit in the world, however it just may try your patience a little...or a lot.

My first venture into NYC for the holidays was back in 1989. My high school drama club was taking a bus trip into the city to see The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. This was also my very first venture into New York City. On this day back in December of 1989, my romance with the Big Apple ignited. And unlike other romances I have experienced in my life, my enduring romance with this city has never been a one sided romance. I always take away so much more from one of my dates with the city then I could ever give back. My dates with the city leave me feeling fulfilled, elated and utterly exhausted. I even walk funny the day after one of my dates with the city. That is the way all dates should be in my opinion.

Christmas in New York Radio City
Radio City Music Hall
Christmas in New York The Rockettes
The Famous Rockettes

Anyways, The Christmas Spectacular is quite honestly, a really great show. I remember walking into the historic and grand theater that is Radio City Music Hall and thinking to myself, so many famous people have walked through these same gilded doors. I was genuinely feeling star struck and I hadn't even witnessed any real live stars. I realized I was starstruck with the dazzling and substantial theater itself. In fact, I was star struck by the entire city. Anyway, we made our way to our seats, eagerly anticipating our first taste of New York theater. When that famous red curtain came up, the Rockettes took the stage and wowed us with their perfectly synchronized and gracefully choreographed dance moves. They were beautiful to watch. The Dance of the Wooden Soldiers, their signature Christmas Spectacular dance, was so entertaining.

My favorite act was the Living Nativity. Most of us in the group had never been to the show before so many of us were surprised to see live animals on the stage. In fact, most of us had to do a double take. I remember sitting next to my friend Dina and saying "Wow, those goats are so life like." She started laughing at me. Then I said, "Oh my god, I think that camel is alive!!" I was peering down at the stage intently, completely enthralled. I turned to her and exclaimed, "That camel IS alive!! So is the llama!" LOL! You would have thought I had discovered electricity or fire or sliced bread or something.

I don't know, I guess I was expecting there to be mechanical animals or wooden animals or something because I obviously didn't get the clue from the playbill as to what "Living Nativity" really entailed. I believed they just meant the people were alive. I mean think about it, most nativities are statues or figurines. Hello? I also may have had a little trouble believing there were camels roaming around NYC. They are a desert animal not a big city animal. (Yea.... I just keep burying myself deeper and deeper here so I'm gonna stop now.) Of course after my brilliant observation my next question was, "Where do they put all the animals after the show? Do they live here? Who feeds them?" No one could answer those questions for me. Aha! Stumped them. Booyah!

The Rockettes Dance of the Wooden Soldiers
Dance of the wooden soldiers.

After the show we walked down to the world famous FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue. It's a cool store I guess but to be honest, I wasn't really impressed with it. I will say, they do have a lot of classic toys for sale. However, the Toys R Us in Times Square is more impressive in my opinion. They have a flippin Ferris Wheel in the middle of the store. And.....they have Wonka World! How could you not love Wonka World? Just know, if you visit either store on the weekend during the holidays, you are probably going to wait in line to enter the store and afterwards, you may need to have a good stiff drink. It's beyond nuts.

I know all of this because the very first time I took my kids to NYC was back in 2005 for Christmas. It was a Saturday. Having a child with an autism spectrum disorder who at the time did not care for waiting in line for anything was a bit rough. Granted, Ricky was well behaved, but he was definitely overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed. I also kept the kids in Midtown, which is the busiest part of the city during the holidays because there are so many famous landmarks in that area from famous 5th Avenue stores, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saks, Radio City, Times Square and the busiest part of Broadway. Hectic or not, we all had a good time. The look on their faces was priceless. They were completely awestruck by the city and have been big fans since.

On this visit, I took my children on a carriage ride through Central Park. It is a little costly but something everyone should experience at least once. My daughter, whom loves horses, picked the carriage we were to take for our ride. She picked a beautiful white horse for our journey. I have to say, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect winter day for a carriage ride through the park. The grass was covered in a glistening blanket of beautiful white snow, untouched by footprints. It was gently flurrying in the city, the snowflakes large and billowy, drifting from the sky and lightly falling onto our heads. The air was cool but not at all frigid. It was a very Norman Rockwell day in the park. As we rode by the skating rink in the park, our carriage driver mentioned that this was the rink filmed in Home Alone 2, one of my son's most favorite movies. He was beyond thrilled to see it in person.

Christmas in New York Central Park
Carriage Ride through Central Park

He also wanted to visit the Plaza Hotel, which is right next to Central Park and also in the movie, but the hotel was closed for construction. He was bummed. So, after our ride, I took them to both toy stores. We also stopped in Godiva for delicious hot chocolate. Naturally I figured my daughter would definitely share my appreciation for the exquisite chocolate Godiva creates, however my son was the one who raved the most about how delicious their chocolate was. We walked around midtown taking in the lights and the music around us. We talked about the history of the city. They didn't ask many questions, instead they observed and admired the spirit of this city. Walking through Times Square after dark, with all of the signs lighting up the New York sky, I watched the expressions on their faces. They were as star struck with this place as I was my first visit.

It was on this day that I truly recognized both of my children were so much like me in ways deeper than I had initially believed. Yes, I had always noticed it, but children change as they grow. My children were in fact, growing deeper. They were old souls and connoisseurs. They were intense and passionate about the things they enjoyed. They had such a keen sense of appreciation unusual for children of their age. They were open minded and wanted to experience much in life. This was one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever experienced and there is no value I could ever place on this moment. I was influencing my children in a way that was so very important to me and they were instilling this influence into their personality.

My kids first trip to NYC 2005

It is very complex to put into perfect words but I have always wanted my children to have the best parts of me. I hoped to give them what I believed were the best parts of who I am. And as a parent, there is no instruction manual on how to do this. All I could do was hope that I was doing something right. So, as much as I talked to them about what was important, meaningful and special to me, and I had a tendency to always speak to them as little adults rather than as children because I honestly did not know any other way, I also showed them what I was trying to communicate.

I created opportunities to share the experiences and the moments so that they could experience it for themselves. Words can speak volumes but it is the actions and experiences that create the biggest impressions in our minds and our souls.  And children are most impressionable, so, it is very important to always keep this in mind because our actions, both positive and negative, will impact the character of our children. Looking at my two little ones, I felt so much happiness, warmth and excitement. The spirit of Christmas appears in many forms but no form is more precious and meaningful than in the eyes of a child who has been untouched by the sometimes harsh realities that accompany the grown up world.

FAO Schwartz
Inside FAO Schwartz
Christmas in NYC
FAO Schwartz...WTG lady bombing my pic!
Toys R Us Times Square
The Ferris Wheel in Toys R' Us
Wonka World Toys R' Us Times Square
Wonka World Toys R' Us Times Square
Toys R Us Times Square
A Chewbaca made out of legos....cuz why wouldn't you make a Chewbaca out of Legos? Toys R Us Times Square. 

The one mistake I made that day was taking them to TGIFridays in Times Square for dinner. I had initiated them earlier in the day with the dirty NY hotdog from the sidewalk carts, but dinner should have been somewhere cooler. New York has so many fantastic and original restaurants and we took them to a restaurant we frequented a lot back home. Boring. And...way more expensive. A few years later when I took my daughter to New York for her Sweet 16, which is in December, I made sure to take her to a real NYC restaurant.

Serendipity 3 is one of my all time favorite places to visit. They are known for their tremendous desserts. In other words, they are huge!! And while they are pricey, $8.00 for a frozen hot chocolate and $16 for a Santa Sleigh Sundae, they DO NOT skimp at all on portion and everything tastes deliciously homemade. The other draw to this restaurant on the Upper East Side is the quaint, shabby chic kitsch and style of the tiny restaurant. It is a quirky place. Right up my alley! Both levels of the restaurant are decorated with white fifties ice cream shop chairs and gold, gilded mirrors. The floors are white honeycomb tile just like the malt shops of the past. There are glass cases lining the wall with 50's, 60's and 70's toys, dishes, jewelry and other flea market kitsch, all for sale. There is also a lot of pink going on.

Their holiday decorations are to this day, some of my favorites. Enormous pink ice cream cones made of ornaments hung on either side of a large gold mirror shrouded in a garland of huge pastel glass balls and gold lights. My daughter and I enjoyed this place so much. The owner, Stephen Bruce was actually at the restaurant during our visit, signing copies of his dessert cookbook Sweet Serendipity. So, as a Christmas present for me and everyone I bake for, I bought the book and had him sign it. He is such a nice man, very personable. I wanted to ask him about Warhol but I chickened out. ( I have also made several desserts from this cookbook, all of which came out fantastic.)

Serendipity 3
Serendipity 3
Serendipity 3
Such a pretty and tasty display of Christmas.
Serendipity 3
The Santa Sleigh Sundae. Oh....my god!

My daughter and I also took a walk to the Christmas tents in Bryant Park. My advice, I know there are many touristy things to do in New York City including shopping, but..... before you go spending a large sum of money in stores you could find at many larger malls in the country and with even more inflated prices because they are in Midtown Manhattan, such as the Gap, Old Navy, AE and The Disney Store, look around you. There are so many street fairs, flea markets, and artisan tents set up all over the city. The vendors sell beautiful and unique wares at a fraction of what you would pay in the store. Jewelry, hats, gloves, silk scarves, shirts, sporting items, pictures and so many other items are featured in these places.

If you walk further down the island to Soho and the Village, there are shops and boutiques selling the latest fashions for dirt cheap. There was a pair of leather knee high boots in the window of a Soho shop for $40.00 and heels for $25.00. Dresses, sweaters, and jeans going anywhere from to $10-$30.00. That is cheaper than in the malls! And hello...it's Soho and the Village, you don't get more chic and fashionable that that! In Chinatown you can do some real damage. Seriously. The shop owners may be a little persistent or up your ass ( I just ignore them or yell at them. ) but they will bargain with you on just about anything. And the food gifts, bakeries, wine shops and produce stands in both Chinatown and Little Italy all have fresh delicious goods for less than what I pay in Hazleton.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of shops that will make you gasp at the price tag and tip toe out of the store with your head down and tail between your legs but don't be afraid to look around and explore. There are plenty of deals to be had. You can get some really cool Christmas gifts for much less than you would pay anywhere else. And.... there are also the black market underground purse shops and guys on the street corners with the Santa sacks filled with some pretty fantastic knock offs. They are a little harder to bargain with but even at full price, you are still getting one hell of a deal. The tents at Bryant Park had many artisan crafted goods. I bought my daughter a beautiful handmade necklace, a book and some clothing for her birthday. My total was less that $40.00. Score! There is also another skating rink (they are all over the city) and another huge brightly lit tree to admire. Christmas is all over the city.

Bryant Park at Christmas
The tents at Bryant Park. 

As we journey back to midtown, it was on this Sweet Sixteen trip with my daughter that I noticed for the first time ever, the Saks Fifth Avenue Snowflake show. I had admired their windows so many times before so I have no clue why I would not know about the snowflakes. But...I didn't. I had taken my daughter to Rockefeller to see the beautiful tree and watch the ice skaters below, when we noticed all these people standing by the street staring across to Saks. I was curious as to what everyone was gawking at, so Heather and I walked closer to check it out for ourselves. We stood there dumbfounded for about five minutes. Why was everyone looking at the store? There were snowflake lights all over the building but they weren't lit. Was someone famous there? I kept craning my neck to see if there were any celebrities in the vicinity when my daughter grabbed my arm and said, "Mom, Look!" She was pointing to the store.

For the next two minutes we were completed entranced by the bright white snowflakes dancing across the storefront to The Carol of the Bells, my favorite Christmas song. I got chills from this spectacular snowflake dance, not gonna lie. In fact I was so enamored by them that I made my daughter watch them with me five more times before we left. I am adding a video but there is no comparison to seeing them in person. Just like all of the pictures, they are no substitute for witnessing the beauty of Christmas in New York, live and in person.

The Snowflake Show which I didn't noticed until 2008 but the snowflake fairy store windows I admired in 2006. Go figure. Only me. LOL!

Of course in between watching the snowflake show we admired what is probably the most popular area for experiencing Christmas in NYC, Rockefeller Center on the Avenue of the Americas. Everything is bright and bustling! Harmonious carolers' voices carry through the air while the many Salvation Army Bells provide an almost melodic background to their singing. The grand tree watches over the ice skating rink below filled with skaters gliding much more gracefully than I ever would atop the glassy surface.The former tree top Swarovski crystal star sparkles on display in the plaza. The thing is massive. The bells of St. Patrick's Cathedral boom through 5th Avenue sounding the hour and every business, store and plaza has colorful and sometimes very large Christmas decor begging to be admired.

Speaking of storefronts, one of the coolest and most traditional aspects of Christmas in NYC is the elaborate holiday displays each store creates for their windows. It is almost like a competition to see who can come up with the most beautiful and unique display of holiday spirit. Each store creates it's own holiday storybook from within their windows. Great detail, much time and a lot of TLC go into these one of a kind windows. I have witnessed storefronts telling stories of snowflake fairies, snowman journeys, Christmas dragons, Christmas in the jungle, Victorian Christmas', and stories of Christmas' from before I was born. You can literally spend hours upon hours just walking around the city admiring the holiday art unique to each store. You may find yourself smiling like a child waking up on Christmas morning, wishing you could go back in time; melancholy that you cannot. It's that magical and it doesn't cost a dime.

Christmas in New York
The tree in Rockefeller
Christmas in New York
The Swarovski star
Christmas in New York
Rockefeller Plaza
Rockefeller Plaza
Near Rockefeller Plaza

I am going to close my blog with this, which ties into the traditional aspect of Christmas in NYC and is inspired by looking at my pictures and writing about my Christmas ventures in the city. The Holidays invoke many emotions in us, some not always good. The holidays can make loneliness even more amplified, so if you notice someone genuinely down during the holidays, rather than point out that everyone should be happy because it's holidays (one of the worst statements to ever be uttered.), show them instead. Be a secret Santa or do something nice for them, even if it is giving them some cookies, inviting them to a gathering or paying them a compliment. It can make all the difference.

The holidays also invoke a lot of sadness of days gone by and loved ones no longer with us. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to miss someone so much. Do talk about them and share stories. Do fondly recall the memories and be so thankful that you had the opportunity to make such treasured memories with them. We call it Christmas spirit for a reason. Celebrate their spirit. In my family, we honor our dearly departed with tradition. I still hang my grandmother's Christmas decorations in my house to this day. I still cry sometimes. So much love I feel for my grandparents. Their impressions upon me will be forever a part of my character just like mine are with my children.

Finally, the holidays also bring on a lot of stress. I have gradually dialed it back in my family. We have learned to celebrate a more traditional, less commercialized Christmas. There are no longer piles of presents under my tree. We now focus on the things we want or need the most. My kids actually appreciate this more and are happier. They are actually more excited about the goofy little things I put in their stockings. We focus on everything about the holidays, not just the presents. Presents are only a small part of the holiday experience.We enjoy the food, the decor, the music and shows, spending time with family and friends, practicing traditions, and trying new things. This ties directly into experiencing NYC during the holidays because the city is so steeped in tradition. If you look past all the flash and commercialism, you will notice a different city that lies beneath all the tinsel. And what the city offers in form of traditional Christmas spirit, doesn't cost a thing but creates memories to last a lifetime.


Fess on a Shelf

Tips and Ideas For Christmas in NYC
You can literally spend the entire day in the city during the holidays and not spend any money other than to eat and ride the subway if you need to. 

1. Avoid the weekends if at all possible. It is very hectic and crowded Friday-Sunday.

2. If you want to eat a great NYC meal....do lunch. It is cheaper and less crowded. I recommend any restaurant in Little Italy. They are all delicious and have great lunch specials. Note: The pasta in most of these restaurants is served authentic al dente. New York restaurants are also required to post their menu in their windows so you will be able to see whether the restaurant is in your budget. And always ask the price of any alcohol beverages and soda refills. This is where the real expense could come into play. It is not cheap to drink alcohol in the city.

3. Serendipity 3 is a must at the holidays. The decor alone is worth the visit and all the desserts are huge, delicious and meant to be shared. You can make reservations although there is usually still a wait. We waited 45 minutes as walk ins but it was well worth it. We also visited at 2:00 PM which was a slower time.

4. Avoid shopping in the fancy Midtown stores. Check out the tents in Bryant Park, Grand Central Terminal, the boutiques in Greenwich and Soho and the shops in Chinatown for great holiday gifts and shopping. Also keep your eyes peeled for street fairs. They are all over the city.

5. A cup of hot chocolate from one of Godiva's many chocolate stores is sure to keep you feeling warm and toasty. The price is the same as Starbucks but the flavor is heaven.

6. Take a stroll around Midtown, Rockefeller Plaza and 5th Avenue and admire all the lights, store fronts and decor. It is free and so much fun to see.

7. Walk or use the subway. It is cheaper and you will see those little diamonds in the rough you wouldn't see if you took a cab. Plus cabs can be expensive if you get stuck in traffic.

8. Visit Central Park, especially if it is snowing. If you have the money, take a carriage ride through the park. If you are on a budget, a nice winter stroll is just as rewarding. It is a beautiful park. Plus, Serendipity 3 isn't far from the park.

9. If you want to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City, shoot for an earlier show. It is cheaper and you won't have to break your day up trying to get back to the theater for showtime if you want to go exploring more of the city than Midtown. The Nutcracker is also playing for the holidays at Lincoln Center and the NY Ballet is one of the best troupes in the world.

10. A great and inexpensive place to grab a fantastic slice of pizza or some tasty garlic knots for an evening snack is Famous Famiglia Pizza on 8th Avenue and 43rd street. It has become a family tradition to stop there before we head back home for the day.

11. Public bathrooms are not so easy to come by in the city. Even the corner Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts do not necessarily have bathrooms open to the public. It you notice a clean, public bathroom, use it because you may not come across another one any time soon.

12. Midtown is notorious for panhandling, especially at the holidays because it is the most touristy part of the city. If you want to give, go ahead but do not feel obligated or bad if you do not give. Most panhandlers pick a corner and remain there but some may approach you. My advice, walk right by them without acknowledgement. They will usually move right on to the next person. There is always a strong police presence in the city so it would be very rare for one to heckle you or follow you. I feel safer in NYC than I do my own city.

13. As safe as NYC has become, be smart about your purse, wallet, phone and purchases. You should practice this anywhere really, not just in the city. Always keep track of them because while it is unusual for you to get mugged in high traffic areas, you can definitely be pickpocketed and not even notice.

14. If you plan on doing heavy shopping, remember, unless you are staying in the city, you are going to have to carry everything around with you all day. Try to do the brunt of your bigger purchases closer to your departure time. Sometimes that is not always possible, so having a tote bag or two makes life a little easier.

15. Finally, wear comfortable shoes and clothing and dress for the weather. You are probably going to spend a large amount of time outdoors and walking. You don't want to worry about sore feet from high heels  ( I learned this the hard way) or clothes that are too tight, too bulky or too high maintenance. You want to enjoy yourself, not be tugging, adjusting and aching the entire day. If you want to fit in remember, the city has many looks, not just high fashion. You can still look in style and feel comfortable.

Fess on a Shelf
Peek A Boo

The Parade of Store Fronts

Christmas in New York
Louis Vuitton 
Christmas in New York
Saks Snowflakes 
Christmas in New York
Christmas in New York
Saks 5th Avenue 
Christmas in New York
Saks Fifth Avenue 
Christmas in New York
Saks 5th Avenue 
Christmas in New York
Ralph Lauren
Christmas in New York
Christmas in New York
Christmas in New York
Tommy Hilfiger and Fendi
Christmas in New York
Tavern on The Green :( No more.
Dylan's Candy Bar
Christmas in NYC

Christmas in NYC
Christmas in NYC
Christmas in NYC
Lord & Taylor

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