Books and fairy tales dominate NYC Christmas – with a few wise words from Confucius

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5th Ave during Christmas in NYC. 12/2014

Mammoth snowflakes on Fifth Avenue. (Photo: Zygmunt Malinowski)

Our New York City correspondent Zygmunt Malinowski, roving photographer extraordinaire (he’s posted for us here and here and here and here, among other places), tells us that books and fairy tales are the theme for this holiday season in New York City’s department story windows. Why not? New York City is America’s literary capital, after all. From Zygmunt:

Holiday window display in NYC. 12/2014Gergdorf & Goodman 'Literatre' detail

Christmas with Confucius (Photo: Zygmunt Malinowski)

During the holiday season, it’s a New York tradition to stroll and view the most popular displays on Fifth Avenue, Herald Square, or Madison – and according to critics, this year’s displays are some of the best. It’s not surprising that some of the holiday department store window displays were inspired by children’s books – in modern culture, Christmas itself is a gift for children.

The streets are colorful especially in the evening with facades of buildings that sparkle with decorations. This year, the theme of Saks Fifth Ave windows (across from Rockefeller Center) is “Enchanted Experience” with animated scenes from fairy tales. In front of Saks, families with children in tow line up to view Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, Snow White being tempted to eat an apple, or Cinderella arriving at Saks Fifth Avenue Ball. The Art Deco style amid New York settings – a tribute to Saks beginnings in the 1920s – are dazzling. Also spectacular are other department store windows such as Lord and Taylor’s (featuring historical mansions), Tiffany’s (spotlighting graphics of New York in the 1950s and 1960s), or the mechanical masterwork displays of Barneys.

A few blocks north on Fifth and 58th Street, Bergdorf Goodman celebrates the arts. Among the sophisticated displays devoted to theater, film, music, painting, or architecture, the literature window is especially fascinating. The display includes meticulously rendered large and small portraits and busts of classical writers, which invite visitors to match the face with the name. Among many classical authors, Shakespeare is the most prominent. Just below him, Confucius offers words of enlightenment: “You cannot open a book without learning something.”

Holiday window display/NYC. 12/2014      Litertare/detail at Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman celebrates the arts. (Photo: Zygmunt Malinowski)

Holiday window display in NYC. 12/2014Bergdorf & Goodman

Families visit Bergdorf Goodman display. (Photo: Zygmunt Malinowski)

1©zygmunt malinowski

Cinderella arrives at the Saks Fifth Avenue Ball. (Photo: Zygmunt Malinowski)

2©zygmunt malinowski

Snow White takes the bait on Broadway. (Photo: Zygmunt Malinowski)


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