'Tis The Season New York Review - A Lovely Holiday Visit To New York City

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'Tis the Season New York, by Betsy Pinover Schiff and published by Schiffer Books, presents a holiday lovers view of Manhattan and the surrounding five boroughs during the most festive and colorful time of the year.

From Thanksgiving to the New Year New York City comes alive like no other, store windows become wonderlands, Manhattanites world renowned edge is replaced with holiday cheer, displays welcome all as the joyous Christmastime season is upon us.

With a forward by New York Times reporter, James Barron, who offers a historic reference to the beauty of a city that for eleven months out of the year is often referred to a series of non-printable terms, and for the one single month is transformed into a magical winter wonderland, where children of all ages get swept away in the contagious hope and lightheartedness that descends upon the city that is New York.


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"Betsy sees my own personal season as it should be seen. She captures it the way she captured the city's gardens in her earlier books, with an eye that prizes the formality of one holiday scene and the fantasy of another. She catches the hard, linear edges of Manhattan streets a softening as they do when stars dangle from the lampposts and decorations appear on holiday trees sprouts in the plazas," Barron said.

What readers will see when they open 'Tis the Season New York are 167 pages of delightful images that allow for even a New York minute or longer the opportunity to escape to the Big Apple as it is polished candy cane red and dusted with snowy sparkle and walk through the city, vicariously enjoying the sights of an up close and personal tour of famed attractions, hotels, eateries, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, unique and colorful pop-up bazaars, beautifully decorated private clubs and even the unexplainable wonder in a child's eyes.

'Tis the Season New York is divided into four sections: Wonder, Joy, Romance and Celebration. Each section is filled with exceptionally alluring images of every iconic picturesque New York landmark beautifully decorated with holiday finery.

The book opens with a beautiful welcome to the season image of a decorated Bryant Park Grill, twinkling colored lights on Christmas trees, with an oversized pine wreath wrapped in white lights and trimmed in red ribbon.

The next two images one of a horse drawn carriage and a snowy, frosted tree topped Central Park both iconic and enough of a treat that even the most adamant anti-New Yorker will be pulled into the enchanted world created within these pages.

Wonder begins in St. Patrick's Cathedral which holds a Christmas Eve Midnight mass, attended by political officials, dignitaries, high ranking members of the NYPD and the lucky members of the public, who come from far and wide to attend, and who receive tickets through a lottery system.


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The Cathedral is stunning. The smell of pine fills the sacred sanctuary. Stained glass windows reflect on the blood red poinsettias and each column is decorated with an oversize pine wreath. It is a must see on any visitors list.

Directly across from the Fifth Avenue monument is Rockefeller Center, a Christmas lover's delight and elegantly represented with both promenade and the traditional Christmas tree that when turned on, signaling the official start of the Holiday season, twinkles with more than 50,000 LED lights.

And so it goes in the city of wonder . . . Christmas Trees each new and a statement to the season. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is also represented with a close up of its twenty-foot candlelit spruce tree decorated with a collection of 18th Century Neapolitan Angels and cherubs flanking the nativity scene at the base of the tree. The ornaments are ornate, detailed and handcrafted and mesmerizing.

Fifth Avenue is well represented with gorgeous displays from famed retailors such as Harry Winston and Breguet, The Plaza Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman and Lord & Taylor. Bloomingdales and The Shops at Columbus Circle are also included.

Joy begins with sounds, scents and tastes, (all of which need the imagination of the season to capture) of the many shops, bakeries and stores that come alive with vivid colors, elaborate and beckoning window displays and interesting and unique gift presentations that keep shoppers occupied for hours. Saks Fifth Avenue, Radio City Music Hall, the gift wrapped Cartier building and Harlem holiday decorations are featured.

Eye popping neon colors fill the pop up bazaars that line Columbus Circle and Bryant Park as well as other areas around the five boroughs.

Romance does have a way of coming alive during the holiday season. The city never looked more beautiful. Radiant white LED lights cling to the trees creating glowing illuminated walkways. The architecture, which is usually passed by without thought, catches passers unveiling a certain beauty as it basks in the warm glow of holiday lights.


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Celebration. The holidays offer a chance for all to celebrate. To pause under the active holiday light show at Saks Fifth Avenue, to visit the window displays that alone are a tour as each year the window designers impress the throngs of vistors and seasoned New Yorkers with their heightened and elevated imagination. So very impressive are the window displays!

'Tis the Season New York presents the unique scenes and unique sights that separate each neighborhood and for a single month unite New Yorker everywhere like a single strand of holiday lights that flash, twinkle, blink, with every color under the rainbow. A lovely parade of picturesque spots through the lens of experienced photographer Betsy Pinover Schiff.

Chronicling a trip through one of the most loved and vibrant cities of the world as it embraces the holiday season is a must have for any library. 'Tis the Season New York is available at fine book store, online and through Schiffer Publishing.