Every year I do it. I don’t know why I do it, but I do. I meet with my friend, Victor, usually on some raw weekend night. We grit our teeth, brace ourselves and head out to do battle to view the holiday windows on 5th Avenue.
It’s a ritual, I suppose. Like the involuntary belt-loosening that inevitably happens this time of year. We start at Barney’s. Mostly because they used to have cool windows when they were located in the Village. Now they have cheesy, cheap looking windows with decreasingly impressive sponsorships. I took no pictures. Since pretty much no one looks at their holiday windows anymore, it’s also a good place to meet.
Usually the jewel of windows is at Bergdorf Goodman’s. These folks go all out. Sometimes they go all-out crazy. Plus there is the historic rivalry between the men’s and the women’s shop windows. The women usually—but not always—win. There is a clear budget differential. This year the men’s shop could only afford to decorate with popcorn. Yet, they were selling mink covered flip-flops. Go figure.
The women won hands down this year. They always do some sort of thematic unit. Part of the fun of the window game is trying to figure out what’s going on. It is generally not clear. This year was no different. Can you tell the theme by examining these photos?
We have a winner! Yup, the windows were representing NYC museums and other cultural institutions. The windows in the photos are the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Botanical Gardens. Then we saw Tiffany’s—always classy. The shops that bothered were tasteful and understated…and completely not memorable. So much for experiential shopping events.
There is always one thing that never fails to disappoint—and quite honestly the only place that remotely had a crowd: The Tree at Rockefeller Center. This year is a fat beauty!