Christmas in New York

December 29, 2015

It was Wednesday, the day before Christmas Eve. We were on our way to Brooklyn to babysit the grandkids. This has been a trying time for us. Health issues have become a serious consideration. Hanging out with the grandkids would certainly soothe our anxious souls. Though we would soon learn that the subways were not cooperating. There was a fire on the uptown tracks. That meant any train coming downtown, heading to Brooklyn, would quite likely be seriously delayed. We got out at 59th Street to make a connection. So did a couple hundred other folks. The longer we waited the larger the crowd of agitated commuters grew.UPTOWN DOWNTOW AND ALL AROUND TOWNFor the last couple weeks, on our weekly trips to Brooklyn, we’ve seen this guy singing Holiday songs at this same subway stop. His dancing dolls are quite a crowd pleaser, though after a while I have to tell you those Christmas carols were getting on my nerves. This was not this musician’s first ‘rodeo’. This street musician has seen plenty delays, and after a while, as the number of waiting commuters built up, he changed the tempo and played lively rock’n roll music. The dolls wiggled and gyrated, the travelers smiled and, hey, it’s worth a buck to have your mood changed from impatience to bopping to a jivey tune.   acrobates in the subwayA train finally arrived. There’s no telling what you might encounter while riding the subway. That day we were entertained by a crew of young men preforming acrobatics on the train. It was an interesting beginning when one of them said, “No one moves and no one gets hurt.” Then a very muscular guy jumped up and swung around on the hand rails with expert execution. That’s when I got, “don’t move” or you might get kicked in the head.taking a breakLet me digress a bit and tell you about the hometown feeling of NYC in December. Street benches have been permanently erected in some communities. This woman has stopped for a short sit-down after walking her small dog in its stroller. There are Christmas tree vendors dotted all along the streets in my part of the city. The smell of pine is wonderful in the early part of the month. Though there is no longer a smell of the forest as we get closer to Christmas living and flying pink pigsChristmas tree sales are brisk. Each vendor sets up their location with a personalized touch. I particularly like to pass this Christmas tree stand with the flying pink pigs hanging in the trees.guy selling treesI bought my tree from Sam, a jolly Canadian. He travels down into the USA each December to sell trees. He works for a mega fir tree business that makes all the arrangements with bureaucracies involved in selling trees on the streets of NYC. The rest of the year Sam is a Wilderness and Ski Guide. Though he prefers life in the country he likes selling trees in the big city. He likes the people he meets. The dry cleaners nearby washes his clothes for free. The Pizza parlor up the street gives Sam and his workmates any leftover pizza when they close their shop. No matter what the weather or the time of day, I never saw Sam without a smile.raindeerAll the tree vendors in NYC have crude shacks that provide some shelter from the harsh winter weather. Some vendors bring with them small trailers that they slip into during the early morning hours, though there is always someone on duty 24 hours a day. Last year Sam said someone stole one of his trees. He chuckled and said, “The guy grabbed a tree and took off running up the street.” During down time Sam and his buddies make these cute pine animals. This year they got an order to make 17 small deer for a woman who was giving them as gifts to co-workers.  pointsettas and the angleThere is a drug store on almost every block in some areas of the city. I was drawn to the window of this mega drugstore. I first saw the plastic angel and the stuffed Micky Mouse doll perched on a windowsill next to each other with an Express Checkout sign in the background. I thought what a curious couple. Then I saw the sadly neglected poinsettia plants. I guess the staff was too busy to remember to water these dying plants.FOGGY MORNINGIt really hasn’t been much like winter this year in NYC; no snow, very little rain, and only a day or two with fog. And though it was only a few days from Christmas, the temperatures remained in the low 60s and high 50s, not much like a Yuletide season, if you ask me.Dalia #2We have this saying around our place, “If we’re in Brooklyn, it must be Wednesday and we’re taking care of the grandkids.” Our youngest has recently turned one year old. She was not her happy self when we arrived. It seems she’s getting some new back teeth.preteen activityOur grandson comes home after school, dutifully does his home work, hangs out with us for a short while, and then, like a normal preteen, listens to his music and plays video games. Life is sweet.#2 acrobatics in the subwayOn our way home, after our baby sitting duties were finished, I wondered if we’d get another performance group to entertain us. But no such luck. Though I thought you’d like to see one of the other photos I took of an acrobat who managed to turn the hand rails into a gymnast’s playground.decorationOne of the fun things about the Christmas Holidays is being invited to tree trimming and winter solstice parties. The food, the drinks, the gay colors and lights make the winter blues melt treeThis was the tree that I bought from Sam. It’s a lovely plump tree that doesn’t quite stand two feet tall. We decked it out in lights this year and I smile when I see it lit up. There was a time when our Christmas trees nearly touched an 8 foot tall ceiling. Our kids always wanted the tallest of the bunch on the tree vendor’s lot. I have some very sweet memories of being a mother with a young family; the tree trimming, the baking, the gifting, the surprises, the lovely gentle excitement of a magical time. These memories are tucked away now and I tell them to my grandson, who wants to know what his mother was like when she was a girl about his age. I tell him about all the homemade decorations she used to make for the tree. He is a lovely soul and seems more excited about what he’s giving than what he might receive.

Life is different for my husband and I now. We live alone, and have for quite a while. It’s a good life. We don’t need a big tree. I baked some delicious goodies this year. They didn’t last long. I always get a little melancholy around this time of year. Not sure why. This year I’m blaming the warm weather.



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13 Responses to Christmas in New York

  1. chavalamonroe on December 29, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I miss seeing you in the neighborhood Marge. Coffee? Really enjoyed reading the blog and seeing your images. Hugs and love, Carol

    • Pushing Time on December 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Carol! Come see me in my neighborhood!! Coffee any time! Or perhaps an afternoon glass of wine with some appetizers at the local Dive Bar! We have lots to select from! thank you for your lovely virtual visit! Hope to see you in the New Year! Cheers and hugs!!

  2. Robin Lettieri on December 29, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Love this!!’

    • Pushing Time on December 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Hi Robin! So lovely to have your virtual visit!! Let’s see more of each other in this next year!! Do you believe it’s almost 2016!!

  3. Sharon on December 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Your writings are always so enjoyable, thank you for this. Wishing you a healthy, happy 2016!

    • Pushing Time on December 30, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Hello Sharon! I am so glad that you enjoy my blogs! I am so pleased to to your comments for you are such a lovely voice from my past. I’m so glad that we’ve reconnected. Wishing you and your family also good health and happiness in this coming year!! Always a pleasure to hear from you!

  4. Chloe C on December 30, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Sweet, but melancholy visit.
    Love those little reindeer constructions! Love!
    My, your grandson is getting tall.
    Totally relate to Christmases gone by, with decorating and baking and making lists,
    and making sure the piles looked fair to all the kids.
    This year, I cannot write out why I did not pull out one Christmas thing from the boxes in the closet.
    On Christmas Day, I took the baby to a friend’s home that was crowded with people and food and decorations.
    I cannot write publicly about it because we are still going through it. Like slow moving lava.
    Please know, I enjoyed going back to NYC in a snowless Christmas season, through your photos and words.
    Wishing you all the best for the new year.
    Happy New Year!

    • Pushing Time on December 30, 2015 at 7:48 am

      Hi Cloe! For whatever has struck your family this year, let’s hope that it passes soon and the scars heal quickly. I am so glad that you enjoyed the snowless Christmas blog. I love the photos you post of your grandson. He is such a cutie. They do grow far too fast!! Yes, my grandson is tall, as tall as me now. I suspect that by Valentines day, he’ll be an inch, perhaps two inches, taller than me. Wishing you and those you love all the best in this New Year!! It is always so lovely to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!!

  5. thelma straw on December 30, 2015 at 10:09 am

    You give us a lovely varied picture of the New York scene as well as your own life and your growing family. God bless you and yours and may 2016 bring us all good health, good cheer and prosperity – and the right next occupant of 1600, the symbol of freedom! tjstraw

    • Pushing Time on December 30, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Dear Thelma, Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a lovely Season’s Greeting!!I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. Yes, let’s hope that this year is a time filled with peace, good health and prosperity!! Wishing you all the best of the best! Cheers and Love!!

  6. Jeri Fink on December 30, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Love it! Your photos and words totally capture our snowless, 60-degree Christmas this year. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing the subway performers do their thing – at your peril. 🙂 It is a melancholy time until the grandkids dive in and you don’t have to think about Christmas Past. I never thought I would say this but I look forward to 2016 and some very dirty New York snow!

    • Pushing Time on December 31, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Hi Jeri. It just doesn’t feel right this winter without even a short flurry of snow. But we do carry on. Yes, grandkids are a wonderful addition to any season of the year. I want to wish you and your loved ones the best of the best in this coming New Year!!

  7. Susan Bernhardt on January 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Such a wonderful heart-felt post. I loved seeing NYC at Christmas even if there wasn’t any snow. <3