The five weeks or so between Thanksgiving and New Years are transformative for New York City. Holiday cheer and sentiment abound, and the streets of Manhattan (particularly within mid-town) become a transcendent thoroughfare of fantasy and romance.
So what's fueling this discharge? Imagine walking the hallways of your favorite museums - the Met, the Louvre, the Tate, the Vatican - that's Fifth and Madison Avenues and the storefronts are the canvases. Celebrity interior and fashion designers are the artists.
Join me for a spur-of-the-moment nocturnal journey through this fable, and yes, I've chosen my words carefully. This story begins with 34th Street, a Miracle on 34th Street that is.
There is a subtle, yet consistent, thread in each display: the notion of optimism and hope. Maybe it's Obama's proposed tax bill or maybe everyone is still wearing a Wizard-high post Harry Potter, but these storefronts exaggerate an overwhelming sense of joy and appreciation that's been missed the past two years. For the first time since 2007, at least in my opinion, these storefronts are slowing the hustle-and-bustle and contagious unease, with a touch of fairy dust, nostalgic sensibility and forward-thinking flamboyance.
For those people living or visiting New York City this month, I demand you walk this itinerary, and for those that cannot be in New York City this holiday season, please enjoy this "walking tour" nonetheless.
Follow Jacob Slevin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jacobslevin