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‘Tis the time of year to stow away monetary practicalities and take in the visual treat of New York City dressed to the nines in Christmas glitter, silver spangles and a zillion twinkling lights.

From the top: Would it be Christmas in New York without a shot of Rockefeller Center skaters and the gilded statue of Prometheus in his fountain of colored lights? Warning — do not set foot in Rockefeller Plaza at this time of year unless you adore wall to wall crowds of giddy tourists. Determined to get their photographs no matter the obstacle, one eager shooter had the chutzpah to jump in and blithely block my camera view with both his body and foot long camera lens. No sooner was I done giving him the evil eye, than I felt something pressing hard against my upper back (not a good sensation in a crowd of strangers). I wheeled around to discover another tourist had been using my back for a camera tripod. And she had the brass to sweetly smile at me. These two would be star pupils at any paparazzi school.

Decked out in golden lights inside and out: the New York Palace Hotel. Tucked into a Madison Avenue courtyard and formerly known as the Villard Houses, the hotel was designed by McKim, Mead & White and was once the home of Random House Publishing.

Topped by snow and surrounded by holly and sparkling red globes, an upper east side Nutcracker stands guard in a brownstone courtyard.

The stately Park Avenue entrance of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a monument to classic, Thirties art deco. The place even has its own railway platform down below in Grand Central Terminal and an elevator that was large enough to carry Franklin D. Roosevelt and his automobile up and down during his presidency.

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