New York, but Not for the Holidays - Holiday Week


By Tanya Silverman

Snowy, slushy New York City. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ackerman.

New York, New York, a winter wonderland to some.

Sure, there are plenty of notable things to do here: Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, department store displays, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. But, really, those are all cliche and full of tourists, not to mention, you can partake any year.

Then for native New Year’s, there is the plethora of overpriced, blown-out (and often sold-out) parties, and, of course, the famous grand spectacle: the dropping ball in Times Square. Crammed, crowded, and cold, the event is quite possibly the quintessential example of why New Yorkers avoid this dreadful commercial dystopia like the plague.

New York is a worldly city, and famously, a hub of international expats and domestic transplants. Therefore, this particular time of year is an occasion for many to retreat home and visit families. Natives and long-term residents know time and time again there are better places to be at the end of December.

So, where to?

Roman Christmas. Photo courtesy of Victoria Reay.

Claudia, a 40-year-old manager at Giorgio Armani who resides in downtown Manhattan, is heading to Rome, Italy. She will fly there and stay for two weeks. Though she’s going alone, her family lives there, so she’s looking forward to spending time with them and enjoying the authentic Italian culinary delights.

Punjab, India. Photo courtesy of Ryan.

A 21-year-old intern at Giorgio Armani, Navjot Singh, is traveling abroad as well. Navjot, who lives in Manhattan’s Financial District, will take a three-week break from his duties at the fashion company to fly off to Punjab, India. He hasn’t been to India in a decade, and is going home for his sister’s wedding, along with some other parties. Like his Italian colleague, he’s excited for his home country’s food (though obviously their respective cultures’ cuisines are quite different from one another).

Rochester, New York. Photo courtesy of Doug Kerr.

Also journeying away from NYC for a wedding this holiday season is Jess, a marketing manager who lives in Brooklyn. She won’t be going to somewhere as exotic as India, but driving up to Rochester, New York where Jess and her partner will stay at a Bed and Breakfast for four days. Before heading all the way upstate, she’ll stop in Westchester for two days to visit her family, which is the usual yearly run.

Minsk, Belarus. Photo courtesy of David Brewer.

Alex, a 26-year-old studying for dental school, is leaving Brooklyn for Belarus, his native land whose slogan is “For Belarus!” Taking a plane across the Atlantic – and then most of continental Europe – to visit his family in Minsk, he may also try to make it to Moscow by train. It’s the first time Alex has been back in two years, so he’s interested to see how his close ones have changed, plus all the things he can tell them about how things differ in the United States. He’s also gearing up for some solid New Year’s Eve parties with his friends.

Anyway, let’s get back to the warm places.

Los Arcos, Los Cabos, Mexico. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Upper Manhattan resident Debbi, a 57-year-old dental hygienist, is going to Los Cabos, Mexico, for the first time. She’s traveling with her family and friends, who decided on Los Cabos as the destination offers not only the well-deserved warm weather, but a direct flight. They will stay at the Hotel Hilton, go fishing, play golf, and go whale watching, plus pop into some other hotels and restaurants. She’s looking forward to escape the hustle and bustle of nippy New York to spend time with her kids at a relaxing resort.

Seneca Rock, West Virginia. Photo courtesy of Forest Wander.

Care about what my plans are for the holidays? Well, hopefully I’ll be driving down the country roads to West Virginia for some fine hiking. Then, like the rest of us New York holiday vacationers, I’ll return to this city and endure three more months of miserable weather.