The walk back downtown included a deliberate stop at the Rockefeller Center to check out the famous tree. Seen it, didn’t hang around, terrified by the giant crowds, not going back. Enough said. I had also planned to walk down 5th but the hordes of tourists put me right off and I scooted across to Lexington in the hope of seeing the Chrysler building at sunset. Check. Far fewer people, which just means fewer comments as I wander down the street singing carols to myself. Not keen on Murray Hill and Gramercy though. I know it’s Christmas Eve (and actually it seemed to be the Indian restaurant enclave, so maybe I should reconsider) but they were really quite lifeless. Plus there’s a hill, which just makes marauding that bit more taxing. If I’m going to walk up a hill, I want it to be a proper hill, and I want to be prepared with hiking boots and a compass.
Carols in Stuyvesant Square, along with Gramercy Café hot cider and sweet treats was waiting for me though, so I tried to power walk the minor hillock without missing a beat of O, Little Town of Bethlehem. It was excellent to see the community out in force, but somewhat disappointing to learn that the carols I’m so fond of have DIFFERENT TUNES HERE! Not fair. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing was the highlight (and had the familiar melody, and also a familiar descant – substantial win) but I had to fudge my way through the new versions of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and O, Little Town of Bethlehem. I wandered back up to 21st street to Gramercy Park just to say I’d been in, but I didn’t stay to find out that I didn’t know even more carols. Meh.