Saturday, November 26, 2016

Things about NYC I miss...

These NYC window displays are dazzling works of art

There’s no doubt that now is the perfect time for some holiday cheer. Happily, New York’s finest — retail division — haven’t stinted on their windows, filling them with warm and often witty tableaux. Many of them are tied to charity, a reminder that this is the season for giving and that each of us can make a difference. Look no further than the wreath-wearing lions flanking the New York Public Library: Their names are Patience and Fortitude. Let that be our mantra this winter in our resilient city. For as one dazzled, visiting window-gazer declared in front of Macy’s the other day, “This is something you don’t see in West Virginia!” Indeed. Put on your walking shoes and be transported.

Saks Fifth Avenue

611 Fifth Ave., at 49th Street
Modal Trigger
Photo: Natan Dvir
Theme: Land of 1,000 Delights
Draws: An eye-poppingly colorful display of confections, based on “The Nutcracker” ballet, with Tchaikovsky’s music to match. One elegantly garlanded window after another tells the tale of young Clara, who falls asleep clutching her toy nutcracker and soon dreams of marshmallow mice, twirling candy canes, gingerbread children and a svelte Sugarplum Fairy. The Candy Land theme and wreathed frames are repeated in the merchandise windows, making for a nearly seamless blend of high fashion and childlike fantasy.
Don’t Miss: Saks’ entire Fifth Avenue facade when it’s lit up at night, becoming the single biggest and best “window” in town.

Bergdorf Goodman

754 Fifth Ave., at 58th Street
A holiday season display window at Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue.
Photo: Natan Dvir
Theme: Destination Extraordinary
Draws: Green, a color of the holiday — and money and envy — courses through all of BG’s brilliantly appointed windows. Verdant jungles, prickly cacti and even a pagoda set the stage for imaginary voyages heavy on haute couture. Check out the mannequin in Louboutin heels tightrope-walking over a pond brimming with life, the butterfly-netting damsel in gold-beaded Gucci and — amid all those gorillas in the mist — a reader resplendent in Marc Jacobs resort wear.
Don’t Miss: Dazzling as the windows are on Fifth, there are three more recently unveiled ones to admire along West 58th Street. One of them features a biplane, a zeppelin, a riverboat and a pair of starry, Saint Laurent platform heels that had at least one passerby sighing, “I want them!”


660 Madison Ave., at 61st Street
A holiday season display window at Barneys store on Madison Avenue.
Photo: Natan Dvir
Theme: Love Peace Joy Project
Draws: What it lacks in commas, Love Peace Joy more than makes up for in ingenuity. Several artists, including “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, designed Barneys’ windows in their own quirky ways. From Nick Cave comes a peaceful, meditative figure, its head a whirling disc of color. Studio Job gives us a “Yellow Submarine”-like “Love Boat” featuring kissing couples, gay and straight. Judging from the laughter along the sidewalk, the window with the biggest bang has Rob Pruitt’s monstrous, googly-eyed couple in bed, watching a “From Here to Eternity”-like beach scene on TV.
Don’t Miss: Listening to Cartman and Company griping about the gifts they don’t want: “Seriously, dude, clothes suck!” “You know what’s even worse than clothes? Expensive clothes!” — and other phrases not often uttered on Madison Avenue.


Lexington Avenue at 59th Street
A holiday season display window at Bloomingdale's store on Lexington Avenue.
Photo: Natan Dvir
Theme: See the Light
Draws: Once again, Bloomie’s is tying its holiday display to the nonprofit Child Mind Institute, for which it’s auctioning off all eight of the one-of-a-kind chandeliers in its windows. And what chandeliers! The Phantom of the Opera himself might covet the three-lighting-fixtures-in-one that make up Abby Modell’s “Moon Glow” installation; the octopus-like “Sparkle” fixture, displayed against a mosaic of sea life; and the neon visions (right) of nightlife impresario Susanne
Bartsch, which seem to be a galaxy
unto themselves.
Don’t Miss: The chance to bid on any of them: Bid at CharityBuzz
.com/Bloomingdales- Auction. Or, if that’s too rich for your blood, help yourself to a free glow stick, boxes of which hang beside
several windows.

Lord & Taylor

424 Fifth Ave., at 38th Street
A holiday season display window at Lord & Taylor store on Fifth Avenue.
Photo: Natan Dvir
Theme: Enchanted Forest
Draws: L&T extends its holiday decorations all the way to the curb, with a canopy of greenery, twinkling white lights and the odd, beribboned (fake) squirrel. The windows themselves are filled with a glorious mix of forest creatures, both animatronic and projected. Moose mosey by, rowdy raccoons taunt a sleeping fox and her kits, and an owl guards her young. It’s all very peaceful, with gentle music to match.
Don’t Miss: The smallish window at 38th Street, in which an army of Canada geese — wreaths around their necks, their webbed feet clamped into snow shoes — trudge implacably onward.


34th Street at Herald Square
The holiday window display at Macy's.
Photo: Billy Heller
Theme: Believe
Draws: Year after year, Macy’s has the most child-friendly windows in town. The story of little Virginia and Santa Claus plays out again along 34th Street, while the Herald Square crowd is treated to scenes of a high-tech St. Nick and his computer-savvy elves busily matching children to presents. There’s an interactive pinball machine in one window (alas, out of order when we visited) and a lovely, Disney-esque scene titled “Magic,” in which bears morph into bunnies before your eyes, while pink jellyfish unfurl in a coral reef beneath them.
Don’t Miss: The chance to press your hand against the window and see how you rate on the “naughty or nice” meter. A suspiciously high number of people were clocking out at “nice.” It’s rigged!

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