My Favorite Things: Holiday Edition 2020

Miracle on Mercer

The Franklin Social’s popular holiday-themed bar is back — and even more appreciated this year after everything we’ve been through. If you haven’t yet been to Miracle on Mercer and are not afraid to dine in a restaurant (though you should do a walk-by to see the beautiful lights from the sidewalk, and yes, takeout is available), you need to check it out before the dawn of 2021. Tables wrapped in wrapping paper, frosted windows with holiday lights and fake snow await your inner child’s delight. Miracle on Mercer serves delicious, well-thought-out themed cocktails (think specific holiday mugs and different cuts of ice for each). A must-visit in Jersey City. Reservations recommended.


Wreath Decorating

The event was sold out when I started writing this, but it will be even bigger and better next year (2021), when its part of the Barrow Mansion‘s larger holiday event with a music and art show. Participants are provided with a fresh evergreen wreath, a beautiful selection of decorations and embellishments, as well as the wire and tools to secure everything in place. Ticket holders are also encouraged to bring personal items they’d like to incorporate into their wreaths. The guided DIY 45-minute workshop results in a unique wreath to hang in your home or gift to a loved one. Everything about the event was well-planned via best Covid-19 protocol, very safe (and very cold) yet still quite fun!


The Nutcracker

Though you may not be able to see the ballet at Lincoln Center this year, creatives have gotten creative. Support your local ballet company, because The Nutcracker is fabulous no matter how and where you see it — even virtually. Several ballet companies have taken the performance outdoors. The best thing I learned last holiday season was that the full soundtrack, Balanchine on my headphones on loop, sashayed me through endless Christmas shopping and crowds of disoriented and disgruntled people. The music just seemed to fit the scenes that presented themselves in daily public life, while I was blissfully listening to the Royal Philharmonic’s precision. I was an audience in the show of daily life. You can also set the music to drone out the TV and Covid-19 news or your WFH spouse’s conference call. Highly recommend this natural high.


Alice’s Tea Cup Christmas Tea

My sister-in-law, brothers and I had a tea extravanganza lunch at Alice’s Tea Cup (77th St.) a few Christmases ago. We each chose a personal pot of tea from pages of options. We sampled each others’ — all lovely on the palette — and I still think my choice was hands down, the best. But now I’m in a  Christmas crisis. Alice’s online store is currently, indefinitely closed. OMG. I do not have time to stop by their store locations, as they are in parts of town I don’t frequent, and who has time to make day trips in frigid temperatures during holiday season for a gift for oneself? All power to you if you do. Also…I will gladly accept a gift of Alice’s Teacup Christmas Tea. THANK YOU!


The Rockettes [giving them a shout-out so you buy your tickets for future seasons!]

As a typical person who grew up in the NYC-area, I never did touristy things unless required by a school field trip or requested by an out-of-towner. And yes, I do feel bad sometimes that I don’t know about all of the great things my city has to offer — but also, the most famous sites give me headaches or heartaches. Then suddenly, in 2019, I wanted to see a sparkly stage spectacle. So I asked my theater-goer friend to research tickets to see The Rockettes. I also asked around about seating, which saved us from sitting in the orchestra. Tip: Don’t choose orchestra seats! Go for back of the first mezz or beginning of the second mezz. And prepare to be mezz mezz mesmorized by synchronization…The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular is truly fascinating. If you leave in awe about how this is humanly possible, just listen to its history. Wow, sometimes you really should do the tourist things in your own city. You live here!


Christmas Lights!


Though the lights on 5th Avenue and all of the major stores may be somewhat subdued this year, our Jersey City neighbors have decorated their houses to the nines — excited that everyone had more time to go all-out in 2020!








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