Christmas reportage at Rockefeller Center

rockeller-skating-rink.jpgChristmas at Rockefeller Center – I never get over the thrill, and I’ve lived here my entire life. I took my class to Rock Center today and had a chance to do a bit of drawing myself. I got a great spot near the rink and held my ground against the throngs of tourists. I can’t blame them for coming here, the Christmas decorations and skating rink are magic. The golden statue of Prometheus watches over you while you whirl around the ice, giant toy soldiers and white angels guard you and you feel like part of an art deco painting. I love this skating rink – it’s been part of my life forever. I saw my first zamboni on this ice. (It’s true, I just wanted to write the word zamboni on a blog!) The ice skating rink was built in 1936, and my grandparents got engaged while skating here – a tradition that lives on to this day. Although more of the people getting engaged on the Rock Center rink now are tourists than native New Yorkers. christmas-tree-w-color.jpg The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is a tradition that I have always loved. It has been a constant in my life through good times and bad. The tree gives me happiness, I kid you not. (Although the child at the bottom right of this drawing was not too happy – there was some issue over chocolate that was getting pretty heated!) This years Christmas tree is a 72 foot Norway spruce from New Jersey. How’s that for the American immigrant experience?The first Rock Center tree was put up in 1931 by the construction workers building the complex. The story goes that it was the middle of the great Depression, and they were so happy to have a job that with their first paycheck they bought a Christmas tree! Love that… I think that Rockefeller Center is one of my favorite places in New York, because it truly feels like an American monument. It’s the New York Art Deco cathedral, with beautiful art everywhere that celebrates the progress of humanity, with a large dose of idealism. To me, it’s New York’s answer to the many beautiful cathedrals that dot the European landscape. It is certainly a pilgrimage destination for the many American, European and Japanese tourists that flock here every December. I drew a few that I found especially fashionable —rock-shoppers.jpg  Happy holidays everyone! I’m going skating this year for sure… 


Comments (3)

  1. Eliot Brown

    I’m glad SOMEBODY likes that overgrown bush. When young, I used to live on 47 St and 7th Ave. I had to take the XTown bus right through Rockerfella Center. Holiday time saw me parked at the foot of that tree for hours at a time. Because we were between stops, I couldn’t be let out. The comfort I got was the sage wisdom of the bus driver.
    I learned how to fix a bus that way. The secret? Black electrician’s tape. Happy Holidays.

    Nice reportage images! Love your architecture as much as your people.

  2. admin

    Hi Eliot!
    Any time you have to go across town in NYC is going to be a hassle. Glad that at least you were able to pick up some sage wisdom in your youth…
    Your Christmas card was returned – send me your current address please!
    Happy New Year — love, Ronnie

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