Month: December, 2006

Spa day

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 | All Things, Friends

At the Red Door Spa on Fifth Avenue with SC and CS.  Ahhh…

Red Door Lounge

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O Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 | All Things

Macys Tree

Five days before Christmas, I descended upon Herald Square like all of the other increasingly frantic shoppers.

Macy’s has been delighting spectators with their famed holiday displays since 1862. Always a spectacle, their windows are impossible to miss this year: seven trippy dioramas tell the story of elf travelers Sparkle and Twinkle as they make their enchanted way through the “Trees of Wonder” to meet Santa Claus at the North Pole. Along the way, they journey by land, sea and air through fantastical landscapes inhabited by magic mushrooms, flying trees, purple octopi, and other mythical creatures.

The unique joy one derives from watching gaudy automated figures repeat a single arc of motion over and over was further enhanced this year by the “interactive” push-button displays, whereby spectators could direct additional special effects — a clam shell opening and closing to reveal a mermaid, for example — by pushing a star on the glass.

Each window was equipped with its own soundtrack, which in theory, probably seemed like a good idea. Someone needs to check the volume levels, though, because instead of subtly accompanying the holiday display, the speakers blare music and sounds with alarming intensity. The overall effect along Broadway is one of eardrum-bursting cacophony, interspersed with jolting roars from the lion and fire-breathing Snow Dragon (who bears an eerie resemblance to Falcor from The Neverending Story.)

I fondly recall Macy’s 2003 windows, commemorating the 20th Anniversary (and gazillionth TBS airing) of A Christmas Story. The house in Cleveland where the movie was filmed opened as a museum this November.

Macys Christmas Window

Macys Christmas Window

Macys Christmas Window

Macys Christmas Window

Macys Christmas Window

And along 34th Street: the less flashy Miracle on 34th Street-themed windows. In 2006, the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Cheers” named the film #9 on its most inspiring films of all time survey. Topping the list was Frank Capra’s Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

Macys Christmas Window

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The Painted Veil

Monday, December 18th, 2006 | All Things, Classes, Film

The Painted Veil screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, talking with Scott Siegel about filming in the breathtaking coastal province of Guangxi, China:

Nyswaner and Siegel

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