A different kind of holiday season

1D194D4D-0EE0-4B49-8BBD-46396D693D4ADecember has always been my favorite time of the year — no matter where I am, and even if memories of Christmases in Manila make me miss home all the more. Christmas in New York is a little less festive because we don’t all do Christmas– depending on one’s faith, it might be a Hanukkah .. or Kwanza..

Last Thursday, I was in the city for a doctor’s appointment and I decided I would go around and visit the usual places which were the festive manifestations of the holiday. This year, the lions adorning the front of the New York Public Library, Patience and Fortitude, have their customary Christmas wreaths, but are now masked.

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I wanted to check out the shops at the winter village in Bryant Park behind the library and found out that only a third of the usual number of stores and food outlets have been given space to allow for social distancing.

This side of the park right behind the library used to have two rows of shops facing each other but now have been left empty.

No booths on this side of Bryant Park this year

The seasonal restaurant is not up this year, and the skating rink facilities are all outdoor so there is no longer any enclosed waiting/changing station. What few shops that set up still bring us the holiday spirit, but it isn’t quite as festive as years past.

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The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is now cordoned off and the nearest you can get is at least 10 feet away through a directional path, where security personnel and denominated circles on the ground let you make your way closer to the tree.

The crowds were visibly thinner and there was a horde of security and police present.

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Even going through the main walkway where the angels with their trumpets blaring lead you towards the front view, allowing you to see the tree with the statue of a Prometheus under it as the skaters glide on the rink are now controlled and directed. Which is good given the current state we are in.

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The usual decorations have sprouted up again but the crowds aren’t there. Although that makes taking pictures a whole lot easier, a visibly thinner audience around all this display of the holidays makes it less festive than we have been used to. But that is life now as we know it.

The Big Egg Hunt in New York City

egghuntI spied these eggs in two locations and decided to go and check it out. Turns out that Faberge is sponsoring The Big Egg Hunt in New York this Easter and I’m hooked!

Over 200 eggs created by both pop and fine artists are on display in various places in the city.  What to do?  Well, first, you have to download the app (Search for BigEggHunt) and register.  View the Map to visit cracked eggs and hunt for hidden eggs.

Share your photos on Twitter and Instagram so that we can share them with others. Use #thebigegghuntny and the individual #’s for the eggs you photograph (the #’s are on the plaques that accompany egg)

So what’s in it for you?  Besides the fun of actually spotting, hunting, photographing and scanning these works of art, there’s a sweepstakes running which might mean your winning one of three top prizes (eggs, of course) worth quite a pretty penny.  (Check them out here.)

These eggs were designed by the likes of Bruce Weber, Julian Schnabel, Carolina Herrera, Peter Beard, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin,  Zaha Hadid and Ralph Lauren, and are egg shaped masterpieces that will disappear into some private collections once auctioned on April 22 at Sotheby’s.  There’s even a roaming “Where’s Waldo” egg each day, or simply just enjoy the sp-egg-tacular display as you walk around the city finding as many eggs as you can.

This is 100% for charity and I just snapped up some postcards from their shop  which I was iffy about trying to look for in one of the pop-up stores or at Saks Fifth Avenue, lest they run out!  There’s even a Big Egg Book (which I’d like to see before I buy), but I’m all in for the fun of it.  There’s actually an egg by Chorboogie right behind my building which is the first egg I cracked.

#thebigegghuntny: by @chorboogie right behind my building!  Get into it by visiting thebigegghuntny.org #egg280

I was trying to rush home from an appointment on West 21st when I chanced upon a group of these eggs over at the Flat Iron District before I headed to the subway on 23rd street to take the ride home.

Pictured below clockwise from left: #egg170: The Streets Are Talking, #egg20 : Brooklyn We Go Hard, #egg162: Columbus egg and #egg12: Black Moon Egg.

#thebigegghuntny : Clockwise from left: #egg170 The Streets are talking, #egg20 Brooklyn we go hard, #egg162 Colombus Egg, #egg256 Rosenblum Egg - by the Flat Iron District #easteregg #flatirondistrict #popart #fineart #faberge #egghunt #myny #mynewyork #And here’s an interesting composition of texture and color which almost invites you to touch it, more so since it’s simply mounted on a stand and not encased in glass:  #egg256: the Rosenblum Egg.

#thebigegghuntny : #egg256- the Rosenblum Egg by the Flat Iron District .. There were more but I had to hurry home! #ny  #mynewyork  #flatirondistrict #easter #easteregg #easteregghunt
As you will see,  some of the eggs are in a glass case, others are free standing.  Join the hunt before all the eggs are put on display at the Rockefeller Center on April 18 which should make for another great photo opp for those of you visiting New York City until the Auction on the 22nd.  Check out the Terms & Conditions here and who knows?  You might end up having one of the smaller but more sparkly (as in diamond-encrusted) Faberge eggs to wear around your neck.

I think I’m going to go egg-hunting tomorrow during my lunch break. More egg pics to follow!

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PS:  As I hit “Publish”, WordPress just told me I had published my 2400th post.  Wow. Have I been yapping here that long?  Or that much?  I guess by some accounts, that isn’t quite that impressive, but to have kept this blog going when other similar attempts to write other blogs fizzled away is a personal feat.

And the journey continues.. with this post and the posts that will follow… not necessarily about more eggs. (HA!)

It’s almost midnight and I’m exhausted.  I think the almost hour-long workouts zap me of energy because my body isn’t used to exerting itself.  I had hoped to work on my agate coin beads.  I guess not.  My trainer told me to listen to my body and just rest when it say “I’m tired.”  So goodnight, everyone.  Here’s to my 2,400th entry in this blog written by and for me. =)

 

Waiting for the snow to start falling…

It’s 10pm and I just finished washing the dishes, cleaning up in the kitchen, plus I even managed to wash one of my self-knitted scarves and Angelo’s beanie.  I have been using a silken ladder yarn scarf but I now realize I need more protection from the elements when the temperatures take a dive.  I have not bought scarves for the winter for a couple of years now because I have taken to knitting my own.  I’m no expert knitter so I tend to experiment with sizing (oversized stitches given a yarn thickness) and then I add trim.  For some of the scarves, the embellishment or “arte” lies in the kind of yarn I actually use.

But paper is what has kept me preoccupied of late.  I opened another store on Etsy dealing primarily with paper — recycling paper in particular and creating gift tags and gift cards, and eventually — hopefully other paper products.  I am researching making hand-made recycled paper and just today, came across a tutorial on making paper beads.  (Talk about combining two of my current passions!)  I even have the paper cut today which caused me to wash with one hand in a latex glove.  (One reason I don’t throw away those disposable gloves that come with your shampoo-in hair dye.)  That’s nothing compared to the multiple cuts my hands suffered from some 14 months ago when I experimented with resin domino pendants.  Hmmmm.. the pendants are still in the experimental stage so no, they haven’t exactly been something lucrative.  At least I have the many lessons I learned in the process.

Snow.. I know I ought to take comfort in the words of my favorite weatherman that it won’t be as bad and as much as the blizzard. Uhm, just 3-5 inches (!) of snow.. I wish I had the same optimism.  Anything beyond a light dusting is cause for frustration.  Then again I must remind myself I live in a part of the world where cold winters like this one are the norm.  (Lightbulb in my head… reminder to self: note to Donna.)

I braved the cold today to walk to Rockefeller Center to take pictures of the Christmas tree.  It was lovely but very cold.  Am I surprised that I seem to have caught a bug?  Nope.  I came all wrapped and snuggly but it looks like it wasn’t warm enough.  (Nothing my throat spray and lozenges cannot handle..)  Christmas in New York is not quite like the all around Christmas spread in Manila, but it has its own charm.

It brings me back to Manila where we all spent Christmas last year, and where Angelo and I had our first New Year’s Eve, me after 9 years of having spent that night in New York.  It was also our first spent apart as Alan had left earlier for home.  I opted to stay behind because Dad was sick.  I extended once and was ready to extend another time, but the flights were full.  I had work and Angelo had school.  So on the 7th, we bid our goodbyes and that was that.

So back to the snow.. =)  At least it’s a Friday, and hopefully, I’ll get to go home early enough.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…