The Iconoclast

Nothing announces the holiday season like the annual tradition of the Rockefeller Center tree. With its stunning height and glimmering lights, it proudly keeps watch over the skating rink below and is one of the most iconic and romantic images New York City provides to its citizens as well as to the world.

Locals and tourists alike (an estimated 125 million) marvel at its beauty while enjoying mid-town Manhattan and the holiday merriment. It’s a heartwarming and reassuring visual when traversing the cityscape. The tree has been an important part of the national holiday season since 1933 and, most importantly, the tree is for everyone.

The tree is typically a Norway spruce and is kindly donated from a location in upstate New York or surrounding states and sometimes even Ottawa, Ontario in Canada.

While on display there are often special performances around the tree in anticipation of the popular lighting ceremony, which takes place on the Wednesday evening following Thanksgiving. Broadcast live on television, it is a festive entertainment for the many people who attend the event as well as those watching from home.

This year’s tree is a spectacular one, with 50,000 LED lights and a beautiful Swarovski crystal star atop it.

I went to an upper floor at Saks Fifth Avenue across the street to capture an aerial view framed by the buildings that make up the center—a perfect dash of glitz against the Gotham environ. The view from this vantage point was as dramatic at the tree itself and made me feel that unique tingle that only comes at this time of year.

So to all who celebrate, Happy Holidays!

Special Note: Feature Image for this blog post courtesy of Benjamin Failor at Pixabay.