Thursday, February 25, 2021
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

A Midtown Walk On A Gray,
Sodden Day

December 19, 2020 --

December 14 was a downcast, drizzly day in New York City, to match the anticipated downcast vote in the Electoral College.  Still, nothing, not even Covid-19, the efforts to the contrary by overbearing public officials notwithstanding, should interfere with the holiday season this 2020. 

And so, LPR walked from Columbus Circle at 59th Street to Bryant Park, at 42nd Street, to get images of the season, along the way - for posting at this website.  Looking south from Columbus Circle, one sees 8th Avenue diverging to the right away from Broadway.

8th Avenue to the right, Broadway to the left.

Walking east to Seventh Avenue, two blocks down, at 57th Street, one sees Carnegie Hall on the southeast corner of 7th and 57th.

Carnegie Hall

Adjacent to the Music Hall, the apparent official name of Carnegie, is the famous Russian Tea Room - where dining is again forbidden by the edict of New York's imperious governor, Andrew Cuomo, of late accused of sexual harassment by a former employee.   

The Music Hall canopy decorated.

Russian Tea Room entrance

Restaurant without people

LPR stopped to get an image of a pleasant enough-looking restaurant, bereft of people -- and, among other such places, LPR wonders how long Ben's on West 38th can stay in business.   (LPR did spot a very few people eating inside a 5th Avenue dining shed - see Dining Sheds above.)

6th Avenue looking downtown

Sale sign on 6th Avenue

LPR continued along 57th to Sixth Avenue (officials known as "Avenue of the Americas" -- too high falutin' to LPR's taste) and turned south, stopping to get an images of a golden Christmas tree in front of one office building (with a matching golden tree at the south corner of the building) and entering the lobby of another office building to snap an image of a very large wreath, on a lobby wall.

Golden tree on 6th

Office lobby wreath

Giant Christmas ornaments

Giant candy canes

As in past years, another Sixth Avenue  office building had its giant nutcrackers standing at attention, and other buildings had giant Christmas ornaments out front, and huge candy canes, the latter of which are not edible. 

Giant nutcrackers guarding building

One nutcracker up close

LPR also snapped images of the marquee of Radio City Music Hall, which this year did not have the large toy soldiers shooting a cannon atop the marquee, leaving LPR to wonder if Mayor deBlasio had something to do with the empty space where, in past years, the soldiers and cannon stood. 

In past years, throngs of people would congregate at the intersection of 59th and 6th, many of whom lining up to see the Rockettes and the spectacular Christmas show.   

On this sodden, downcast day, there were hardly many people about, and the Music Hall was silent, due to Covid-19, the only evidence of Rockettes, their holiday season greeting on the marquee.

Radio City

Holiday message from the Rockettes

LPR walked east on 50th, getting an image of the entrance to the NBC TV studios, and then looked around the corner of 30 Rockefeller Center to be stunned by the beautiful appearance of what just might be The Official Christmas Tree of the City. 

Entrance to NBC

LPR had heard that people would be limited to 5 minutes to enjoy this wonderful sight and other rules had been announced as to how close one could get to the tree. 

The Tree

Security near tree

Yes, barriers kept people from getting right under the tree, but, with very few people admiring the tree this sodden day, the security people did not seem to be urging people to move on, lest they tarry longer than five minutes. 

But then, where throngs of people would stand, in years past, there were very few people admiring the tree, whether from the side streets, or from the Fifth Avenue side, opposite Saks 5th Avenue.  And this tree deserves to be admired.

Tree from 5th Avenue

Saks 5th Avenue

LPR headed  along tto Fifth Avenue and, before turning to the right, got an image of St. Patrick's Cathedral for LPR's wonderful webmaster, Terri Fassio, to post with the many other images snapped on this walk. 

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Halfway down Fifth Avenue to 49th Street, there is an opening where people would wait patiently in long lines to get the tree centered above the Rockefeller Center skating rink.

Guarding entrance to rink

Skating rink below tree

Tree above skaters

On the gray afternoon of December 19, not only were there only a handful of people waiting to get their centered view of the tree, there were hardly any pedestrians on the avenue.

Line for tree images

Another tree view

LPR spotted two Fifth Avenue corners on which, ostensibly, offfice buildings will rise, getting an image of one of the lots. 

An office building will rise here

North Face Store

A block from the second and presently empty lot, LPR caught sight of a North Face store then walked another block to the main branch of the New York Public Library. 


Masked lion in front of NYPL

Lion without mask in front of NYPL

LPR knew that two stone lions guarded the front of this impressive structure, but had to smile, seeing that one of the lions was wearing a blue mask.   

Braving a drizzle to skate in Bryant Park

At this point, LPR's Samsung advised that the battery was running very low; LPR hurriedly got an image of a couple of skaters daring the inclement weather, another image of the Touch NYC store -- to this pre-holiday walking tour of midtown.

Some Bryant Park shops

The NYC Touch store in Bryant Park

Not to be boastful, but when LPR got home, he found in his mailbox -- not only a Con Ed bill,  but a Christmas/New Year's card from the  President and First Lady -- and their son Barron.  The evening thereupon got a bit brighter.