Christmas in New York

All it takes for me to want to return to New York City is the mere mention of its name. Add to that this craving that I get every three to four months to go back and you have yourself a NYC junkie.

For years now I’ve been telling myself that I’ll go during the holidays just so I can see the New York City Ballet perform G. Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. I vowed to go last year but it fell through. However, now I’m armed with two free one-way tickets from Megabus thanks to our Baltimore debacle and my ex-husband’s persistent pestering of the bus company, and I’m left wondering: “How can I go to New York without spending any money or missing work?”

And I think I’ve come up with an answer, though it involves me sacrificing sleeping in a bed for two nights in a row.

I currently work six days a week. I have a full-time Monday to Friday job in the travel industry and a part-time Saturday gig at a bakery. My only full day off work is Sunday — my official day of rest. Needless to say, I have a very tight schedule. However, I’ve discovered a workaround that would allow me to get to New York to attend the ballet, have a few hours to see the city in its Christmas glory, and get back to Toronto in time for work on Monday, without missing any of my bakery duties that weekend. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Catch the overnight bus to New York departing from Toronto at 6:20pm on Saturday, December 21. Arrive in NYC at 5:10am the following morning.
  • Get to Rockefeller Center while it’s still dark to see the lights on the massive Christmas tree, a tradition that’s been ongoing since 1933.
Photo source: New York Magazine

Photo source: New York Magazine

  • Visit the Winter Village at Bryant Park in Central Park and browse through the Holiday Shops to experience a truly urban Winter Wonderland (no shopping will be done, mind you).
  • Visit FAO Schwartz just because I effing love that store, and one cannot visit NYC to see The Nutcracker and ignore the real life toy soldiers guarding the entrance to FAO.
  • Get to the David H. Koch Theater in time for the 1:00pm showing of The Nutcracker.
  • Walk, walk, walk…and take in as much of the city as I can.
  • Be back at the Megabus stop in time to catch the overnight 6:40pm bus to Toronto, which will get me back to the downtown core by 5:30am on the morning of Monday, December 23.

I know how completely nuts I may sound by drawing up an itinerary such as this. By doing it this way though, I won’t have to pay for a hostel in New York (which at this time of year would cost me about $45-$70); I can pack sandwiches and snacks to keep me fed (peanut, peanut butter…and jelly); I’ll sleep on the bus there and back; and I’ll finally be able to see New York at Christmastime. All I need to worry about is paying for a few subway fares and getting my momma to buy me my ballet ticket for my Christmas present 😉

NYC, it looks like I’ll be traversing your great streets for a second time this year. To prepare I think I’ll watch this list of Top 10 New York Christmas Films. Plus, there’s always this picture of the ballet that gives me the goosies every time I see it:

Photo source: New York City Ballet

Photo source: New York City Ballet

And that’s how you make the best of what you have and get to New York with little-to-no costs. Thirty-nine days to go until I’m back in the city of my dreams. Maybe I’ll splurge on a picture with Santa at Macy’s. Actually, to hell with it! Yes, I will get my picture taken with Santa. I may be nearing thirty but I’m going to make sure I get a date with the man with the rosy cheeks. I won’t, however, react like this:


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