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Home for the Holidays? - Well Almost with These Memories!

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  • sharani_sharani
    The last few years have found me out of the country at Christmas time. I have gathered with family to exchange gifts at Thanksgiving in November. Once I was on
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 17, 2006
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      The last few years have found me out of the country at Christmas time.
      I have gathered with family to exchange gifts at Thanksgiving in
      November. Once I was on the trip over Christmas, I typically enjoyed
      beautiful renditions of Christmas carols sung most soulfully by Sri
      Chinmoy's students (Purnakama really shines in these concerts).

      This year I'm back in the states although with temperatures in the
      50's F/11 C it hardly feels like winter. Must be global warming?
      Anyways as I look at the calendar and see that Hanukkah started last
      night I am remembering fond memories of celebrating Jewish holidays in
      New York City during my college days with a close friend who grew up
      on Manhattan Central Park West. While Passover was celebrated much
      more than Hanukkah, this one too rose in prominence as a sort of
      stand-in for the Christmas holiday at about the same time. Many
      memories of wandering around Columbus Circle are food-related with
      stops at Zabar's (gourmet food shop), H&H bagels and ordering egg
      creams - a New York drink made with neither eggs or cream! Here are
      two websites that describe this trademark New York drink made from
      syrup, plain seltzer and milk:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_cream

      http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=674

      Then if I fast forward one week to Christmas, in later years I often
      came to New York to spend New Year's with a friend who lived in
      Queens. She loved to take me to Manhattan to "do" the tree at
      Rockefeller Center,

      (Visit the TV station WNBC in New York's website to see photos of the
      88 foot tree's delivery to Rockefeller Center last month)

      http://www.wnbc.com/christmastree/10469276/detail.html

      the ice skating rank at same, and FAO Schwarz toy store on 5th Avenue
      with the giant stuffed animals, huge Barbie Doll collection and more.
      You can see some good pictures of the famous store at this website:

      http://www.nyctourist.com/faoschwarz1.htm

      Now indeed I did not grow up in New York City. Yet something about the
      majesty of this city which might be considered the capitol of the
      world really lends itself to memorable winter holiday festivities.

      Wherever the holidays find you this winter, I hope they are happy!

      Season's Greetings
      Sharani
      p.s. any other New York city holiday impressions out there to share?
    • sarah_inseattle
      Hi Sharani, As a child growing up in Connecticut, my mother or my grandmother sometimes took my sister and me into New York City at Christmas time. We would
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 20, 2006
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        Hi Sharani,

        As a child growing up in Connecticut, my mother or my grandmother
        sometimes took my sister and me into New York City at Christmas
        time. We would take the train that ran along the shore in our home
        town, arriving in the famous Grand Central Station. Grand Central
        never ceased to amaze me, with its enormous main room of marbled
        floors and walls and a high domed ceiling. Everybody rushing and
        bustling, seemingly oblivious to the grandeur.

        Back in those days, the Biltmore Hotel was a short underground
        passage away form the main area of Grand Central. The Biltmore had
        a big arched entry, with a clock over it. People used to meet
        eachother "under the clock" instead of trying to find eachother in
        the busy terminal. I remember an elegant restaurant there at the
        Biltmore. Around the perimeter were big golden bird cages, with
        live birds singing in them according to my memory. (What would the
        health department say now?!) A couple of years ago, my kids & I were
        in Grand Central and I tried to find "the clock" but nobody knew
        what I was talking about. I guess it has been gone a long time.

        My sister & I loved to eat at the Horn & Hardart (sp?) "Automat"
        across the street from Grand Central, also long gone. This was in
        the days before vending machines. (Oh God I am feeling old!) The
        automat was kind of like a cafeteria, but its walls were lined with
        little stainless steel glass-windowed doors. You peeked inside to
        see what lay behind: perhaps a piece of pie or maybe cake, for
        instance. You picked out what you wanted, then put tokens (or was it
        coins) in the appropriate slot, opened the little door and voila.
        You had your food. We thought that was the most amazing thing!

        We, too, would go to Rockefellar Center to see "the tree." I
        remember big hot pretzels warming my hands as I watched the skaters
        down below.

        We went a number of times to the Christmas Show at Radio City Music
        Hall. I was and am a big admirer of the Rockettes, and the unified
        precision of their dancing.

        We also went to Lincoln Center to see The New York City Ballet
        perform The Nutcracker.

        And I picture horse-drawn carriages for hire. They would take you
        for a ride around Central Park. My grandmother might have sprung
        for it one year, but my memory is fizzy.

        Yes, I too definitely have some wonderful memories of Christmas time
        in New York. There is something very grounding in those memories.

        Love,
        Sarah



        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > The last few years have found me out of the country at Christmas
        time.
        > I have gathered with family to exchange gifts at Thanksgiving in
        > November. Once I was on the trip over Christmas, I typically
        enjoyed
        > beautiful renditions of Christmas carols sung most soulfully by Sri
        > Chinmoy's students (Purnakama really shines in these concerts).
        >
        > This year I'm back in the states although with temperatures in the
        > 50's F/11 C it hardly feels like winter. Must be global warming?
        > Anyways as I look at the calendar and see that Hanukkah started
        last
        > night I am remembering fond memories of celebrating Jewish
        holidays in
        > New York City during my college days with a close friend who grew
        up
        > on Manhattan Central Park West. While Passover was celebrated much
        > more than Hanukkah, this one too rose in prominence as a sort of
        > stand-in for the Christmas holiday at about the same time. Many
        > memories of wandering around Columbus Circle are food-related with
        > stops at Zabar's (gourmet food shop), H&H bagels and ordering egg
        > creams - a New York drink made with neither eggs or cream! Here are
        > two websites that describe this trademark New York drink made from
        > syrup, plain seltzer and milk:
        >
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_cream
        >
        > http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=674
        >
        > Then if I fast forward one week to Christmas, in later years I
        often
        > came to New York to spend New Year's with a friend who lived in
        > Queens. She loved to take me to Manhattan to "do" the tree at
        > Rockefeller Center,
        >
        > (Visit the TV station WNBC in New York's website to see photos of
        the
        > 88 foot tree's delivery to Rockefeller Center last month)
        >
        > http://www.wnbc.com/christmastree/10469276/detail.html
        >
        > the ice skating rank at same, and FAO Schwarz toy store on 5th
        Avenue
        > with the giant stuffed animals, huge Barbie Doll collection and
        more.
        > You can see some good pictures of the famous store at this website:
        >
        > http://www.nyctourist.com/faoschwarz1.htm
        >
        > Now indeed I did not grow up in New York City. Yet something about
        the
        > majesty of this city which might be considered the capitol of the
        > world really lends itself to memorable winter holiday festivities.
        >
        > Wherever the holidays find you this winter, I hope they are happy!
        >
        > Season's Greetings
        > Sharani
        > p.s. any other New York city holiday impressions out there to
        share?
        >
      • sharani_sharani
        What a slice of restaurant history with the cafeteria/life-sized vending machine like experience. I have never heard of buying food in quite this manner
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 23, 2006
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          What a "slice" of restaurant history with the cafeteria/life-sized
          vending machine like experience. I have never heard of buying food in
          quite this manner before. I have seen the Rockettes and enjoyed the
          show immensely. In my case, it was a travelling version of the troupe
          which performed the Christmas extravaganza in Detroit. By the way, did
          you see that the huge tree for Rockefeller Plaza this year came from
          Connecticut?

          Happy Holidays Pacific Coast-Style!
          Sharani


          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sarah_inseattle
          <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Sharani,
          >
          > As a child growing up in Connecticut, my mother or my grandmother
          > sometimes took my sister and me into New York City at Christmas
          > time. We would take the train that ran along the shore in our home
          > town, arriving in the famous Grand Central Station. Grand Central
          > never ceased to amaze me, with its enormous main room of marbled
          > floors and walls and a high domed ceiling. Everybody rushing and
          > bustling, seemingly oblivious to the grandeur.
          >
          > Back in those days, the Biltmore Hotel was a short underground
          > passage away form the main area of Grand Central. The Biltmore had
          > a big arched entry, with a clock over it. People used to meet
          > eachother "under the clock" instead of trying to find eachother in
          > the busy terminal. I remember an elegant restaurant there at the
          > Biltmore. Around the perimeter were big golden bird cages, with
          > live birds singing in them according to my memory. (What would the
          > health department say now?!) A couple of years ago, my kids & I were
          > in Grand Central and I tried to find "the clock" but nobody knew
          > what I was talking about. I guess it has been gone a long time.
          >
          > My sister & I loved to eat at the Horn & Hardart (sp?) "Automat"
          > across the street from Grand Central, also long gone. This was in
          > the days before vending machines. (Oh God I am feeling old!) The
          > automat was kind of like a cafeteria, but its walls were lined with
          > little stainless steel glass-windowed doors. You peeked inside to
          > see what lay behind: perhaps a piece of pie or maybe cake, for
          > instance. You picked out what you wanted, then put tokens (or was it
          > coins) in the appropriate slot, opened the little door and voila.
          > You had your food. We thought that was the most amazing thing!
          >
          > We, too, would go to Rockefellar Center to see "the tree." I
          > remember big hot pretzels warming my hands as I watched the skaters
          > down below.
          >
          > We went a number of times to the Christmas Show at Radio City Music
          > Hall. I was and am a big admirer of the Rockettes, and the unified
          > precision of their dancing.
          >
          > We also went to Lincoln Center to see The New York City Ballet
          > perform The Nutcracker.
          >
          > And I picture horse-drawn carriages for hire. They would take you
          > for a ride around Central Park. My grandmother might have sprung
          > for it one year, but my memory is fizzy.
          >
          > Yes, I too definitely have some wonderful memories of Christmas time
          > in New York. There is something very grounding in those memories.
          >
          > Love,
          > Sarah
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
          > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > The last few years have found me out of the country at Christmas
          > time.
          > > I have gathered with family to exchange gifts at Thanksgiving in
          > > November. Once I was on the trip over Christmas, I typically
          > enjoyed
          > > beautiful renditions of Christmas carols sung most soulfully by Sri
          > > Chinmoy's students (Purnakama really shines in these concerts).
          > >
          > > This year I'm back in the states although with temperatures in the
          > > 50's F/11 C it hardly feels like winter. Must be global warming?
          > > Anyways as I look at the calendar and see that Hanukkah started
          > last
          > > night I am remembering fond memories of celebrating Jewish
          > holidays in
          > > New York City during my college days with a close friend who grew
          > up
          > > on Manhattan Central Park West. While Passover was celebrated much
          > > more than Hanukkah, this one too rose in prominence as a sort of
          > > stand-in for the Christmas holiday at about the same time. Many
          > > memories of wandering around Columbus Circle are food-related with
          > > stops at Zabar's (gourmet food shop), H&H bagels and ordering egg
          > > creams - a New York drink made with neither eggs or cream! Here are
          > > two websites that describe this trademark New York drink made from
          > > syrup, plain seltzer and milk:
          > >
          > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_cream
          > >
          > > http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=674
          > >
          > > Then if I fast forward one week to Christmas, in later years I
          > often
          > > came to New York to spend New Year's with a friend who lived in
          > > Queens. She loved to take me to Manhattan to "do" the tree at
          > > Rockefeller Center,
          > >
          > > (Visit the TV station WNBC in New York's website to see photos of
          > the
          > > 88 foot tree's delivery to Rockefeller Center last month)
          > >
          > > http://www.wnbc.com/christmastree/10469276/detail.html
          > >
          > > the ice skating rank at same, and FAO Schwarz toy store on 5th
          > Avenue
          > > with the giant stuffed animals, huge Barbie Doll collection and
          > more.
          > > You can see some good pictures of the famous store at this website:
          > >
          > > http://www.nyctourist.com/faoschwarz1.htm
          > >
          > > Now indeed I did not grow up in New York City. Yet something about
          > the
          > > majesty of this city which might be considered the capitol of the
          > > world really lends itself to memorable winter holiday festivities.
          > >
          > > Wherever the holidays find you this winter, I hope they are happy!
          > >
          > > Season's Greetings
          > > Sharani
          > > p.s. any other New York city holiday impressions out there to
          > share?
          > >
          >
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