Posted on November 20, 2009
What with the commercials, Sidewalk Santas, holiday windows, and endless catalogues, Christmas in New York seems to be in attack mode this year, earlier than ever—we haven’t even reached Thanksgiving yet. And the bulk of the holiday madness is yet to come. Still, if you'd like to ease into the holidays more gradually, and remember what they’re really about, check out the UNICEF snowflake on 57th street and 5th Avenue, near the Louis Vuitton Store. Last night Lucy Liu (“Charlie’s Angels,” etc.), a UNICEF ambassador, flipped the switch that lights up the enormous crystal snowflake that hangs high above 57th Street. (It’s hard to see during the day; try planning to be there early evening if possible.) The snowflake weighs in at more than 3,300 pounds, contains 16,000 Baccarat crystals, and is 23 feet in diameter and 28 feet tall. It’s also billed as the largest outdoor chandelier of its kind. Yes, that gave us pause too. (Are there many more of their kind?? It makes them sound kind of like aliens, and that attack-mode comment was just a joke…) If there seems to be a disconnect between the Baccarat crystal part, the fact that the reception was held in the Louis Vuitton store, and the relationship with UNCIEF, remember that in fact UNICEF has helped save the lives of more kids worldwide than any other humanitarian organization. The snowflake will remain lit until January 3rd.