Miracle on 34th Street. Home Alone. Elf. There’s a reason these blockbuster holiday hits all take place in New York City: to put it simply, it’s magical. While you may have to battle the biting winds or seek reprieve from the frigid cold, it’s New York’s winter weather that gives the city its hard-nosed grit and lovable charm year-round.
Even if it’s just illusion, it feels like the city gets a little smaller come November, as everyone huddles closer to stay warm.
Bookending New York’s holiday traditions are the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on one side and the New Year’s fireworks in Times Square on the other. But nestled in between these highly televised events are plenty of smaller affairs that pack all the punch of holiday cheer with an added dose of New York wonder.
During the holidays, locals and visitors can opt to recreate romantic movie moments by ice skating in Bryant Park, or ordering up frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity III. If it’s not nostalgia that tickles your fancy, head to Dyker Heights and take in the lights, or crunch down on some crack pie at Momofuku Milk Bar.
It must be said, however, that the real holiday magic of New York lies in the unknown, buried in the memories and energy of a million wintery wonderlands gone by. Something changes in the air when the first snowflake falls – an indescribable sense that anything is possible. Give in to this feeling and suddenly you’ll realize that the city becomes your oyster, a playground where hidden gems and long-lost secrets present themselves to you at every turn.