12 Day Countdown to Winter Break
'Tis the season!
DAY 12: Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
New York City is one of the most desirable tourist destinations during the holiday season. Many people all over the world travel here to get a glimpse of how this city lights up in such a special way for this particular period of the year. One of the many famous holiday activities is to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Those of you who have been following this site and my Instagram know that last year was my first winter in NYC. I did, indeed, visit the Rockefeller tree but I was unable to see the official tree lighting ceremony because I was working that evening.
This year, however, my friend Jenny and I were both in luck and were available to go see the tree lighting. Jenny was a bit skeptical to go because of how cold it was outside and how long we would have to wait, but I convinced her that it would be worth it due to the fact that we are both still fairly new to NYC and should do these activities at least once!
We took the subway over to Midtown and, as expected, heavy crowds were there to greet us. Thankfully, we were expecting this anyways so we made sure to wear warm clothes and stay patient. We were stuck in this crowd for about 2 hours as we tried to make our way over to Rockefeller Center (obviously everyone around us was trying to head there too).
Long story short, we ended up arriving in time to hear the performers but we couldn't quite get a view of the tree. It wasn't until about 30 seconds after the countdown that the crowd began to move forward and we finally saw it! I definitely recommend for anyone wanting to see this event to arrive at Rockefeller at least 3 hours before the tree lighting....just a little tip so you can save yourself from the large crowds. If not, you can do what Jenny and I did because we still had a good time and enjoyed the experience!
DAY 11: Central Park Ice Skating
Last year, I had my first NYC ice skating experience at Bryant Park, but this year my friend, Yana, and I decided to go to Wollman Rink at Central Park South. Although Bryant Park's rink is nice for the view of the Christmas tree and the general ambience of the holiday market, I really enjoyed Wollan Rink because of how spacious it was. Basically....if you desire more of a festive feel, then I suggest going to Bryant Park (but expect lots of people); if you want to really be able to practice your ice skating skills, then I recommend Wollman Rink.
I also liked this rink because there were no long lines to get in and the overall cost to ice skate was pretty low (under $20). Additionally, Central Park South was so magical at night because of the holiday market located at Columbus Circle and the famous 5th Ave Christmas lights. Finally, this rink had a lovely view of Midtown, which you can enjoy as you ice skate and sip on hot cocoa.
Day 10: Maje Try-On Sesh
I went to the Maje store on Spring Street in SOHO to do a huge try-on sesh. I ended up getting a cute black lace romper (I'll take pics with it when springtime comes around).
Here are four looks that I really liked and wanted to share with you because they were each unique in style and potential usage.
Day 9: Yoga to the People
I've been living in Greenwich Village for over a year now and the only yoga studio I keep going back to is Yoga to the People. I love going here with my friends that also live nearby or even by myself whenever I feel like de-stressing.
My friend, Mikayla, and I went to the 9pm class and, as always, it was a nice experience because of the candlelit room and community atmosphere. I highly recommend any of their studios and another benefit is that they run their business purely on donations (go on their website for more info).
Day 8: My First Krav Maga Class and Brunch at Peacefood Cafe
Mikayla and I got up early and walked nearby to a Krav Maga studio to take our first lesson. Krav Maga is a special artform of personal defense that I have been following and admiring for about a year now, but never had the time to take a class. I will share with you all more information about Krav Maga and my training in this sport as we enter the new year.....so stay tuned!
After our lesson, we walked over to a nearby cafe called Peacefood. This is a pretty popular cafe known for its fresh vegan and gluten free specialties. Although, I am not vegan I still appreciate how delicious and diverse their menu options are. Mikayla and I both ordered an Acai smoothie and a slice of banana bread.
DAY 7-4: Intense Focus on Final Exams
This semester, I was very lucky because all of my classes based their finals on exams as opposed to research papers. Thus, my studying and preparation process was a bit simpler for me to prepare for ahead of time. Additionally, I was extremely lucky that my exams were back-to-back. Finals, at New School typically run for a period of about two weeks. However, my exam schedule consisted of one final exam per day (total of 4 exams).
Although these four days (and the weeks leading up to these exams) were quite stressful, I did prefer having my finals on a back-to-back schedule, so I'm glad I was lucky this time around!
DAY 3: Holiday Market at the Oculus (World Trade Center)
Jenny and I met up to go see the indoor holiday market at the Oculus (the indoor mall and subway station at WTC). It was pretty magical because of the blue and white Christmas lights. Definitely a nice change in atmosphere as opposed to some of the other holiday markets around the city.
We then walked over to Fulton Street because I had a little coupon for Shake Shack...jajaja always a yummy treat to go there!
DAY 2: Dinner at Eataly Flatiron
Yana and I ended up having a late dinner at Eataly's rooftop restaurant. We decided to go there because we heard of the special Christmas decorations that Eataly put up for the holiday season. We never ate at their rooftop before so it was a fun experience. Yana ordered Tuna Tataki and I ordered a kale salad (the menu surprisingly didn't have a diverse offering of pasta dishes).
DAY 1: Visit my Favorite Touristy Destinations
I ended up spending the afternoon and early evening hours at a few of my favorite touristy spots: Washington Square Park, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and 5th Ave/Midtown area.
Afterwards, I met up with my friend Shania and we walked around Union Square Holiday Market and went to see the night view at Brooklyn Bridge. Then, we went straight to my apt to see this cute Christmas movie.
Next stop: winter break in Miami. So excited to go home, see my family and friends, and relax by the beach!!