I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Suddenly the holidays are here and you haven't yet had a chance to take part in the festivities. Fear not. There is still plenty of time to grab your gifts, snap some pics, and see some of New York City's most traditional and celebrated holiday spots.
In between shopping jaunts, stop by the Manhattan branch of the New York City Transit Museum, located right inside the terminal. Both kids and adults will love seeing electric trains make their way past tiny versions of famous city landmarks (pictured) like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building. Next, head to the lower dining concourse for a tasty treat from Magnolia Bakery, purportedly New York's favorite cupcake confection (though we prefer its heavenly banana pudding!).
Several sites of interest are within a moment's walking distance from the terminal. First is the Morgan Library and Museum, which is currently exhibiting Charles Dickens' original manuscript of The Christmas Carol. Written in 1843 and greeted with universal acclaim from critics, it's bound in red Moroccan leather and chock full of Dickens's revision notes and edits. A visit to the gift shop will inspire gifts for the most avid book worms on your list. (Tip: The Morgan Museum and Library admission fees are waved on Fridays between 7-9PM.)
Just beyond the gorgeous Beaux Arts NYPL building sits Bryant Park all decked out in holiday splendor. Stroll through more than 125 holiday shops, each enclosed in glass and heated, so there's no excuses to avoid getting your shop on. While there, check out the skaters at CitiPond free skating rink and sit and enjoy some hot coffee and pastries at the outdoor kiosk, 'wichcraft.