I was recently invited (I still can’t get over it) to the opening of the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. No matter where you’re from, what you do, or how much you hate Christmas (like my sister-in-law), there’s no way you can walk through Bryant Park and not get that tingly excited feeling. The shopping, the big family meals, the crushed wrapping paper, the screaming children, the insufficiently-stocked liquor cabinet, there’s nothing like the holidays. But drama and bird-carving accidents aside, the Shops are an eclectic collection of some of New York’s coolest design, food, and clothing artisans, from glassblowers, to jewelry makers, to designers of wearable art. If you do nothing else, go to be inspired by the creativity and the beauty.
First off, the smell wafting from the vendors (with delicacies from the likes of Wafels and Dinges above) will bring you up the steps nose first. Then the simple elegance of the shops, diminutive yet festive in their soft pepper light glow, could hold your attention for hours. The artist, the homemaker, the kid, the kid at heart, you now have over 100 shops to choose from, enough Christmas cheer to cure even the staunchest Grinch. And the best part is, there’s free ice-skating on the spot. I can hear the anti-Christmas chill around your heart melting already.
Happy Holiday Shopping,
P.S. The Shops are open from now until January 8th, 2012, and there’s a tree-lighting ceremony on the 29th of November. Go! Go! Go!