A few days ago I finally made it inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. Longtime renovations were completed in September, and since I’ve been back in the States, I’ve been in the area several times but for one reason or another was not able to go in to see the shiny new interior. It is not a regular stop of mine, but I’ve visited it over the years. I couldn’t remember how it is decorated for Christmas, so it was a pleasant surprise to be in the Rockefeller area again this week, just in time before the end of the Christmas season.
The cathedral was built from 1858 to 1879 in the Neo-Gothic style, according to the official web site.
The majority of the renovations were finished before the pope’s visit in September, but as you can see, there are still finishing touches being done.
The nativity scene was very large. For those unfamiliar with a typical set, animals commonly present are sheep, donkeys, and camels. That’s why I had to peer closer to make sure that what I saw next to Mary was not a strange-looking sheep.
Nope, it was indeed a golden retriever.
A couple of hours later, after my meeting nearby, I wandered along Park Avenue. For the first time I popped into St. Bart’s, an Episcopal church designed by James Renwick, the architect of St. Patrick’s. Unintentionally, my walk had turned into a Renwick tour.
I thought these huddled trees were funny. In the foreground is a contemporary sculpture. A security guard paced in the vicinity; I think he guards the sculpture, even though the area isn’t very touristy.
I think I know Manhattan pretty well, but I must not have walked on this stretch of Park Avenue very often because that night, I was struck by the dark towering rectangular buildings lit by pale yellow squares of light.
I walked southwestward to Bryant Park, my wide dark brown scarf wrapped around the lower half of my face. After a mild New Year’s, winter had arrived with below freezing temperatures. I looked across the park and noticed that the Christmas aliens seemed to have beamed down and chosen this spot as their landing place.
I hope your year is off to a good start!