Don’t be a jaded New Yorker and let the out-of-towners be the only ones enjoying your city’s holiday splendor! Take a ‘tourist day’ in Rockefeller Center and join all the other visitors to ooh! and aah! the sights and shows.
The tree is magnificent as ever. Act like a real tourist and take a selfie (or facie, as my husband calls it) with the tree. Admire the skaters or pity them, as the case usually is. Or strap on skates yourself and go for a spin.
(Personal memory: Last time I skated in Rock Center with a group of friends from my office, I fell and fractured my wrist while teaching a first-timer coworker to skate! My student, fortunately, was uninjured.)
When you get cold, head downstairs in 30 Rock and pick up something warm from one of the many take-out places that feed the area’s office workers. If you want a more of a sit-down warming experience, head a block away to Wu Liang Ye on 48th Street, for their great Hot and Sour or Wonton soup. (The restaurant is also one of our favorites for a pre-theater dinner.)
Note: the restaurant is one steep flight up from the street level.
Bonus Tip: The Salvation Army always brings their most entertaining bell ringers to the area. They are fun to watch as they sing and dance and really get the crowd going.
RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR
If you have not seen the Rockettes since your children were in elementary school, it’s time to renew your acquaintance. The show has new whistles and bells and is even more fun than you remembered.
Keep in mind that the $90+ price is for the real tourists. NYC boomers who are flexible about the time and date can get discounted tickets on TDF and other discount sites. Just keep on checking the sites until a deal pops up.
Round out your day at the Museum of Modern Art three blocks away. The two current exhibitions you don’t want to miss are Henri Matisse: the Cut-Outs and Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor. Of course, you’ll also get a chance to visit your old favorites while you are at the museum. I usually check out the design section.
At the Matisse show, make sure you see the video of the elderly Matisse wielding huge scissors to cut elaborate shapes for the assistants to pin on the wall. The resulting cut-out paintings prove that creativity does not have to stop with advanced age.
The Gober show takes you inside the head of a very strange man and you can only marvel at the audacity of an artist creating utility sinks and legs protrude from walls as art. I have a feeling you and your companions will have something to debate about after this show.
DEAL OF THE WEEK: Even if you don’t have time to visit the MOMA shows upstairs, you must see 40 years of The Brown Sisters photographs in the lobby. This FREE exhibition of 40 photos, taken a year apart by the photographer Nicholas Nixon of his wife and her three sisters, show how these women age and hold tighter and tighter to each other, as the years pass. Whether you have sisters or not, you will be moved by these pictures.
If you are unable to visit MOMA, you can download a free sample of some of the photos from the show’s companion book.
Thank you MOMA for a wonderful holiday gift to us all!