We Are the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and It Is Us
A gazillion people showed up at Rockefeller Center last night to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the annual tree-lighting ceremony, and the dawn of what we truly believe is the most wonderful time of the year: the season in which tourists wait in long, miserable lines in order to fall on their asses and slide embarrassingly across a cold sheet of ice. As the lights twinkled in the night sky, Josh Groban, whose holiday album Noel is No. 1, thanks to Oprah, was feeling philosophical. “Every year I kind of say to myself, ‘What a beautiful tree,’” he told New York. “It’s great that it’s on display, but I mean the tree doesn’t know that that’s the best it is ever going to look. It’s just a living thing. You know?” —Catherine Coreno
it just happened
Cab Explosion at Rock Center?A cab just blew up outside of Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center, as Gawker just blithely reported. So far the wires have nothing that we can see, so we’re not sure what, if anything, is up. We’ll keep you updated if you do the same. E-mail us at email@example.com if you’re in the area!
UPDATE: An alert reader pointed us to photos of the fire at WNBC.com. If you ever wondered what “billowing flames” look like, check them out. We’ve got one after the jump.
Any of you spend much time in suburban Essex County, New Jersey, in, say, the last quarter-century? So you know Don’s, the big restaurant on South Orange Avenue in Short Hills with the decent hamburgers and the pickle bar and the sticky buns? Remember in what must have been the early-mid-eighties, when they renovated the place with all those head shots of customers happily eating and smiling, which they plastered all over the walls and on the menus? Yeah, well, apparently they’re now projecting basically the same thing on the side of the GE Building, as this summer’s public-art exhibit at Rockefeller Center. “Monument to Smile,” by Agnes Winter, launched last night.
What’s Up With Those Smiles? [NYT, second item]
the morning line
No Good News
• It pales in comparison to Virginia, but it shouldn’t: A disturbed Queens man killed his mother and two others before killing himself. The mother is said to have called the police seven times seeking protection, the last time minutes before her death. [NYDN]
• The Virginia Tech gunman addressed his manifesto to “30 Rockefeller Avenue, NY, NY 10102” — and it still made it to NBC: the one package that would probably be better off lost. [NYT]
• Oh, great, look who’s coming to Manhattan: JCPenney. The company will open a 150,000-square-foot store in the midtown. A Lower East Side branch is surely to follow by, oh, 2012. [CNN Money]
• The Times produces a think piece on the New Jersey Governors Who Speed, interviewing a Christie Whitman staffer and Thomas Kean. The consensus is that speeding is “just part of the culture.” [NYT]
• And the final bummer on a wretched morning: The Gowanus whale is dead. Surprisingly, not from poisoning; the poor thing struck a “rocky ridge.” We suspect suicide. [NYP]
January Continues Bustin’ Out All Over
The city’s odd new June-in-January weather system — high of 61 today! high of 67 tomorrow! — isn’t confusing only to Brooklyn’s cherry trees; a walk near the office this morning revealed hard-bitten midtown flora is equally flummoxed. Grass growing in Rockefeller Center tree planters in the dead of winter? Madness!
[Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Earlier: January Is Bustin’ Out All Over
Yes, This Is Nothing More Than a Beauty Shot
Usually we kind of hate those snowflake-y projections on 30 Rock. (It’s just so gauchely too too, you know?) But we happened across this photo on Flickr today, and, well, the lit-up building in the back is what makes it work. Well done, Jayhoc. You put a little ain’t-New York-pretty-at-Christmas spring in our step.
Manhattan, New York [Jayhoc’s Flickr]
Gamers Roam Manhattan, Seeking Next Level
Say what you want about this morning’s rush of hush-hush Playstation 3 preorder sales — at least it got the gamers out of the house.
Here’s how the whole event — itself reminiscent of a video game — went down: Around midnight, EB Games and Gamestop blasted their mailing lists with an announcement that down payments would be accepted on PS3 consoles, set to go on sale in November 17. And by first thing this morning, fans laid siege to the stores’ Manhattan locations — to find the coveted product doled out in sadistically small doses.