Greetings from the Big Apple: Window Shopping in a Winter Wonderland
Tiger Darrow, Style Scout
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
Hamilton Wright Mabi
The holiday season in New York is something that most people call “magical.” Everyone’s bustling about, getting presents for loved ones; stores and restaurants are putting up lights; Starbucks begins selling their seasonal drinks; holiday music is piped through every store you pass; and you wake up one morning to find everything covered in a beautiful layer of snow. Except that it’s been about 45-60 degrees for the past two weeks and raining most of the time; which means, so far, winter in New York has been somewhat less than magical. However, despite the weather, there are still bursts of holiday spirit that are truly amazing and serve as a reminder of how inspiring the holiday season can be. For me, this spirit was found on Fifth Avenue.
After a misunderstanding about which Apple store I was to go to in order to meet up with my boyfriend, I ended up having to walk from Grand Central Station to 58th Street (a good 19 blocks or so). It was cold and windy, and crowded, and I almost wanted to give up and look for a subway, that is, until I remembered that Fifth Avenue’s stores are known for their beautiful holiday displays. I was awestruck. I kept my pace, but kicked myself the entire rest of the way to 58th Street for not having my camera with me. So I made it my mission to go back, kidnapped one of my friends, and walked from my dorm, all the way up Fifth Avenue (51 blocks) to take pictures of the windows along the way. There were tons of holiday decorations that I photographed, but here, I have included the most outstanding of the displays.
Okay, maybe Barnes and Noble didn’t go “all out,” but I thought it was cute at least... and it has Steve Jobs right in the middle of it!
I really like MadeWell. Maybe it’s because I just got a great deal on a blouse from this store recently. I did think their display with soda cans was pretty creative, though.
I don’t really remember what this store was... It was some sort of bakery... And boy did they go overboard with decorations.
And of course, the Empire State Building lobby. :)
“Imagine a big outfit like Macy’s…putting the spirit of Christmas ahead of the commercial. It’s wonderful. I never done much shopping here before…but from now on, I’m going to be a regular Macy customer”
Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street
And of course there’s Macy’s… Duh!
This year, the bigger stores are really in to animatronics, with a focus on factories. Macy’s partnered with the Make A Wish Foundation, and there is a touch screen display in which you can design your own digital ornament.
The design of the marionettes is incredible! They are all marionettes and are controlled by a motor, so they can dance and move to the music being piped all across the sidewalk surrounding the store.
This window was my favorite…
So many gears!
The last window at Macy’s had a video with etchings in plexiglass with colored lights shining on them.
And this was as far as I got inside before becoming overwhelmed....
“A Christmas shopper's complaint is one of long-standing. “
Okay, so then there’s Lord and Taylor…
Lord and Taylor also used animatronics, but honestly, their displays (which, believe me, were meant to be sweet) kind of creeped me out a little. Probably because they chose to light their displays from below, which gave all of the dolls a little bit of a “Chucky” feel. In this scene, a girl is on her bed drawing a picture, and suddenly mom pops in through the door and eerily slides away.
Such a happy, creepy doll family. Note the (human) child in the bottom right corner. That should give you an idea of the scale of these displays...
A detail on my favorite room in this paper house. The “Happy Everything” room.
Upon review, I realize that perhaps convertibles should not be driven when it’s snowing.Momma Chucky greets unsuspecting neighbor.
Clearly opening presents a little early while Dad looks wistfully out the window.
Mom waves goodbye to her children as she gives them a shove downhill.
Okay, the carousel was pretty cool.
Now, more of the park with a gazebo and SANTAAA! (I KNOW HIM!!! I KNOW HIMMM!) Cautiously approaching Santa. Little sis, Dad, and Sparky wave from afar. Good choice.
Skaters around the Christmas tree.
Cooking a delicious holiday meal.
But little did they know..... SANTA LIVES IN THEIR WALLS.
He really does see you when you’re sleeping... or playing before bedtime…
Stacy makes a snow angel while Billy pelts her with snowballs. Lassie looks on.
That Is a HUGE snowman.
“The magi, as you know, were wise men - wonderfully wise men who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. “
Saks created “The Land of The Bubblemakers” in their windows.
The clothing is (of course) gorgeous, and the mechanics behind the display are certainly impressive, but the only piece of holiday flair in this display seems to be in the mischievous little girl mannequin wearing a red dress and a Santa cap.
The woman on the bicycle rode through at least 3 of the windows. And by woman, I mean mannequin, though with some of these, it was hard to tell...
Note the little girl creeping in the corner. She’ll show up again...
Little girl and... little girl all grown up? And bike lady!! Then I turned around and saw this. Uh...?
The accordion fan moved as well (of course)!
The contraption with the frogs dipped in and out of the barrel/bowl/cauldron(?) of soap. It was at this point when the couture expressions on the mannequins started to strike me as a little odd. Not sure why...Maybe because I don’t associate Seuss-like story lines with couture...
Another crazy, moving contraption! This time with TOUCANS!!
A high fashion seesaw…. And that little girl again... Wait... The adults are on the seesaw and the child is watching. Okay.
Another spinny, bubbly thing! And a frog trapped in a bubble..
HOLD ON A SECOND… I love this dress.
Aaaaaand this one!
This lady was pretty coo… ohmygoodness, that little girl is a creeper.
And finally, it comes down to these mannequins riding in circles in a bubble tub.
And the little girl.
“I love giving gifts and I love receiving them. I really like giving little kids extravagant gifts. You see their little faces light up and they get excited. If it's a really good gift, I love receiving it, like jewels, small islands.”
But of course... Nothing can beat the beautiful simplicity of my personal favorite: TIFFANY & CO.
The work that went into these displays is truly amazing. I know, I’m missing some key stores in here (Bergdorf’s and the like). I hope to make another trip before winter break to grab a few more pictures, but I had to share these with you!
I highly recommend checking these windows out if you find yourself in NYC sometime this month.
“May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!” Author Unknown
Until next time,
Posted: December 12, 2011