For one night a year, Lincoln Square in Midtown transforms into a long block party for Winter’s Eve, a massive festive celebration. From the Lincoln Center down to Columbus Circle, bands, Christmas trees and food stands line Broadway – cramming the pavements with tourists, hungry locals and plenty of Christmas cheer.
Or so it seemed…
The night started out pretty innocently. I bopped along to a brilliant brass group and a beautiful Irish band before checking out the huge sculptures dotted around the Lincoln Center.
I always expect crowds everywhere I go in New York, but tonight they were particularly problematic – presumably because we had to keep waiting for traffic lights in order to cross the still-open roads. But I decided to ignore the people stepping on my toes and I moved on…
I admired floating paper ghosts and gasped in disbelief as a guy used a hefty drill to craft a delicate Nutcracker from a chunk of ice.But then, wooed by the whiffs of rich chilli and cheesy pasta, I decided to stop for a snack. Now, in fear of being libelous, my choice of eatery shall go unnamed. But the (very pleasant) staff served me up a hot cup of delicious – if not a little salty – bean soup, assuring me it was vegetarian friendly. Snacking as the paper ghosts bobbed by, I wolfed it down in a second. Delicious.
Or so I thought. As I walked beneath the light-dotted trees, I felt a deep, unnerving pain. With a few more grumbles, I knew I needed to get out of there. I ran, I hopped, I winced – and somehow I made it back home before the beans came out of my nose.
Hmm. While I went to Winter’s Eve for Christmas cheer, what I actually got was a short temper at the crowds, bruised toes and (potentially) food poisoning.