For his 28th birthday, I took Ian to New York, one of his favorite places to be around Christmas time. We stayed with our friends, did a moderate amount of city exploring, and had an amazing few days. Read on to see what the experience was like from Ian’s perspective!
December is by far my favorite month. Part of it is because of two fun and exciting days, my birthday on the 19th and Christmas on the 25th, but most of it is because the whole month seems like one big holiday event. Stores start to look like Christmas. Radio stations start to sound like Christmas. Eggnog is back on the store shelves. As cheesy and commercialized as it is, I’m a sucker for the whole Christmas season, so I was thrilled when Radhika surprised me with a trip to New York for my birthday this year.
We joined up with our friends Dan and Amanda, and their daughter Eliana, in their apartment on the Upper East Side. We enjoyed some New York pizza and then hopped on the subway for our first Christmas in New York stop: Rockefeller Plaza. This would be the third time in five years that I’ve visited this hotbed of holiday tourism and I have to say I’m still way into all of it–the massive tree, the crowded skating rink, the colorful Lego store, and the singing Santas. We walked from there to a Christmas market where we sampled a ton of fancy treats, bought a couple, and experienced a virtual reality demo put on by Facebook (so cool, Lebron and Kyrie Irving crossed me up).
The next day we woke up to the first snow of the season, so we walked over to Central Park to enjoy it. Eliana loved the snow. Just take a moment to appreciate the look in her eyes in the photograph. I also loved the snow and promptly rolled up a snowman, with acorn eyes and leaf hair. When it got cold we retreated back inside for bagels and hot chocolate.
The next day we said goodbye to Dan and Amanda and Eliana and made our way to Brooklyn for a lifestyle session swap with Anna and her husband Russell of Joyce Films. She knew the perfect spot in DUMBO, backed by beautiful views of bridges and skyline. We were so glad to have the chance to shoot in such an iconic spot in New York and even more glad to have gotten our own beautiful photos in return.
We, of course, also went to the photographer’s paradise, B&H. The seemingly endless aisles of photography and videography was both amazing and a little overwhelming, with little baskets of sold items racing down rollers overhead to the checkout line and an army of staff ready to talk about any piece gear imaginable. I love being able to shop online and have my things delivered to my doorstep, but there’s an undeniable energy and magic that comes from seeing the variety of offerings from a world class audio-video supplier packed into a multi-level store in a building in Manhattan.
We ended the trip by meeting up with our friend, Elizabeth, and hitting the town an evening of New York treats. First was Unsilent Night, where a large group of people walk around Manhattan playing ambient bell sounds from cell phones and laptops and boom boxes. We’re still not sure what it was all about, but we were definitely a part of it. Then we ate spicy and delicious Thai food at Somtum Der. It was everything I could have wanted: something I’ve never had before, lots of variety (we got approximately 8 plates among the three of us), lots of spice, and delicious flavors. We rounded off the night with stand-up at UCB Theater. In addition to Christmas, I’m a sucker for stand-up of any quality. If only one person is laughing at a joke it’s probably me and it’s probably loudly.
We had an amazing time in New York, definitely the best trip to the city I’ve ever had. And on top of everything, we got some really amazing photographs to remember it by!
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