Let Your Heart Be Light
The glow from a building mounted thermometer appeared to read 25 degrees. I pulled the hat down a bit lower, lowered my head further into the scarf and began to walk with purpose. Destination: 30 Rock
As I progressed further uptown, the crowds grew thicker. With that, cops, barricades, confused tourists; and the realization that it's Christmas in New York. It is at once pure madness and yet holiday bliss. It's a spectacle most rationale minds would avoid at all costs, but I make an exception to see it each year anyway. In fact, I've reduced myself to a human sardine several times just to see the moment it was lit. Standing shoulder to shoulder with people from all over the world, it's apparent the tree has become a global symbol of Christmas.
Due to the sheer volume of people, you have no choice but to keep moving. From above, this probably looks more like penguins shuffling along. With my camera to guide the way, I made one giant loop around the tree and found myself surprisingly close to it. I could actually smell the pine needles.
To get a reasonably unobstructed view, I held the Olympus up over my head and used the tilt screen to compose. Tripods are not allowed here so I adjusted my settings to around 1/125, f5, ISO 3200.
While I realize this all sounds like somewhat of a hassle, it's still one of my favorite holiday traditions along with watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, listening to Bing Crosby, and sipping some nog by the fire. Here's hoping you and your family also enjoy all the season has to offer, even the crazy parts. As Judy Garland sang so beautifully in Meet Me in St. Louis, "Let your heart be light".