Kim sent me on a mission today to scout out pashminas at any of the various holiday fairs that sprout up around the city at this time of year. I usually shop over at the St. Bart’s fair on Park, but that was quite a trip from the office, so I ambled down Sixth Avenue to Bryant Park to see what I could find.
Surprisingly, what I walked into was quite the well-done shopping area. Not as crammed as the one down in Union Square (still the best one, though, for sheer size and off-the-wall stuff), there was room to feel relaxed. It probably helped that the crowds didn’t really enter the park — they were all headed over to Times Square it seemed, and the stream of people inside the park was manageable.
I was only inside for maybe ten minutes — enough time to find the booth I needed — and then strolled down a couple of the lanes of shops. Cookies, chocolate, coffee, clothing, jewelry… and the distant chiming of the hand-bell used by the Salvation Army to bring people to their donation kettle (or whatever it’s called). Music was quietly playing in the background. The brisk air helped, too — I was dressed properly for once when it comes to these things, and wasn’t freezing at all.
I guess it was a combination of all these things, as I suddenly found myself smiling in midtown Manhattan on a cold December day. I felt the spirit of the season suddenly and you know what? It’s nice. Will it last? Who knows, but for the moment, I’m feeling a glow that only New York City brings one at this time of year.
Even if I’m about to go into a long meeting. In my mind, I’ll still hear the bells chiming and the music quietly playing.