Rob Mathes | Essays | News & Reviews

Avoid the Mid-Town Grid Lock- Celebrating the Holidays in FiDi

Nov 16, 2016

The most joyous of seasons is upon us. It is that time of year when the city transforms into a magical wintery wonderland, capturing the hearts and minds of people around the world. While tourists from all over the globe descend on midtown in droves for the likes of the Rockerfeller Christmas tree, the windows at Saks 5th Avenue and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, New Yorkers have other options right in Manhattan’s FiDi neighborhood. Let’s take a look at all the holiday activities taking place downtown.

Visit Santa

The interactive light display at Brookfield Place

While many flock to 34th Street to visit Santa’s Village in the iconic Macy’s store, the lines can sometimes stretch on for hours. Luckily for families in FiDi, Brookfield Place has their own top-notch version of the North Pole. While you are waiting on line for your child’s opportunity to sit on the big guy’s lap, you can send up a wish through “touch-sensitive” wish lights which are a part of Brookfield Place’s “Luminaries,” exhibit. For more information click here.

Hit the Skating Rink

The rink at Brookfield Place

Ice skating is one of the most cherished of Holiday traditions. While the rinks at Rockerfeller Center and Bryant Park have made postcards for years, a new picturesque skating rink has sprung up at Brookfield Place. Located on the Hudson River waterfront, the rink is a one of a kind skating experience. The rink offers private skating lessons as well as public skating hours. For more information click here.

Visit the Christmas Tree at South Street Seaport

The Tree at South Street Seaport

Yes, the tree at Rockerfeller is gorgeous but you can always watch it being lit on television from the comfort of your own home. There’s no real need to venture to mid-town for it. The beautiful South Street Seaport boasts a tree every year as well. Dressed up for the holidays, the seaport is a majestic coastal winter wonderland worth seeing.

Celebrate with Festive Holiday Music

This holiday season the Schimmel Center welcomes Emmy winner and Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated Rob Mathes. Known for a storied career in music alongside names like Sting and Bruce Springsteen, Mathes leads an all-star band made up of musicians from Saturday Night Live, David Letterman’s Late Show, and Paul Simon’s band. Powerhouse vocalists Vaneese Thomas and D-Train Willams will sing holiday classics and new original songs with a funk, R&B and gospel twist. There is no better way to feel the holiday spirit than with the sounds of the season. Below is a clip of the classic carol, “Silent Night” performed by Vaneese Thomas and D-Train Williams in Mathes’ signature style.