Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Windows of Manhattan

I have lived in New York City for eight years, and yet I have never gone to see the famous holiday window displays at all the major department stores.

"Where have you been?" said Dan, as if he goes to see decorated store windows every day. He doesn't. I believe he did it once years ago when his parents were in town.

Don't get me wrong, I usually catch a glimpse of a window or two every year (I don't live in that deep a hole), but I have never tried to visit them all in one walking tour. And so on a very chilly evening this December, I decided to finally do it, just like the tourists, and bring my man Dan with me.

We started the tour at Macy's, walking to Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's and finally ending at Bloomingdale's. We thought that every store did a pretty good job at coming up with a window that best reflected their brand and target audience. Macy's did a spin on Miracle on 34th St which had moving figurines, music and narration for the kiddies. Lord & Taylor did a slightly more upscale "Christmas Memories" highlighting Christmas then and now.

Me standing by the Macy's window.

Dan was not very pleased with the Saks windows that depicted rich bitches in glamorous clothes looking annoyed and bored with the children that played around them. Dan called it "sad."

Oh look, and there's the Christmas Tree! (This is my version)

This is Dan's version.

What about me and the tree?

Bergdorf had the best windows by far. They had a travel theme, and while each window matched the luxury sensibility of the department store, they were completely magical, sweeping you away in the spirit in awe and wonder. The detail was amazing.

Dan salutes to Bergdorf.

Barney's was a major disappointment after that. They had partnered with the Food Network so their windows showcased statues of all of their chefs. It all seemed a bit like corporate marketing to me, with logos branded everywhere, and did not invoke the feelings of Christmas. Bloomingdale's didn't really do anything to their windows and by that time, our hands and feet had turned into ice cubes so we were perfectly fine with that. We settled into Patsy's Pizza Restaurant nearby for a warm meal that felt amazing after that long, cold walk. The hardest part was going back outside. Baby, it's cold out there!

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