Monday, December 15, 2008

72-Foot Xmas Tree and Long Lines

This year's Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is a 72-foot Norway spruce from Hamilton Township, NJ. Mary Kremper, an immigrant from Hungary, and her husband planted the spruce in 1931 and she predicted her tree would someday make it to Rockefeller Center for Christmas. Although she's not alive to see her prediction come true, her twin 74-year-old sons proudly watched the 8-ton tree being cut down from their yard then loaded onto a semi-trailer from their home.

What happens to these trees after Christmas?

We'll need to go back to take night-time photos when the lights are more prominent.

We still haven't had a chance to skate at Rockefeller Center. Now that it's Christmas season, it's horribly crowded. We tried and failed to go on Sunday night hoping to skate from 11 PM to midnight. We did, however, get to witness a marriage proposal on the ice - all the other ice skaters and onlookers were cheering and aaaaawing after she appeared to say "yes." It was a very romantic, innocent and beautiful moment during these cynical times. There must have been hundreds of marriage proposals that took place during the Christmas holidays at this ice rink; they even offer a package called Engagement on Ice.

So we didn't get to go ice skating this weekend (and didn't get our Magnolia cupcake thanks to another monstrous line), but we finally did a horse carriage ride through Central Park. I think the first time I wanted to do this was as a little girl when I watched Six Weeks. It's something we wanted to do just one time while here. The best part of the ride oddly wasn't going through Central Park, it was the short ride on the streets of Midtown among the flood of Taxis.

It was freezing cold and the amount of people trying to get their turn on a short 20-min horse carriage ride was insane. It looked like long lines but they weren't really lines; there was no organization whatsoever and people who were waiting for one hour probably got bypassed by the person who was only waiting for 10 minutes. People were hailing the horse carriages like they were hailing cabs, but this was funnier because people were flashing their $100 bills so the carriage guys would stop in front of them. After we waited in one long non-line, we went up a block and tried our luck in another long non-line. Luckily, I made eye contact with a nice carriage man who stopped in front of us (it also helped that there was only two of us). There were a lot of angry people. Our carriage guy told us that it's only crazy like this during Christmas time because after January, they're the ones begging people to take a ride. With all this said, I probably would never do this carriage ride ever again.