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The Tree and the Rock

December 2, 2011

This year, I was in New York for the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

And I refused to go.

See, last year, I flew into New York on the evening of the tree lighting, and it took me about two hours to get from the airport to my hotel in midtown Manhattan, even though it was already almost midnight. And given the amount of preparation I saw on the streets (including barricades, police officers and the triple-checking of every vehicle that came into the area), I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere near the madness. Besides, I don’t really like crowds. That’s why I live in what many in the U.S. would consider the middle of nowhere.

Anyway, just because I didn’t want to see the tree in the middle of the night’s madness doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to see it at all. So, at 4:45 a.m. — before I had to leave for the airport — I snuck down to Rockefeller Center to take a few pictures.

The crew was still cleaning up from the night before, but the lights blazed bright.

A little history about the tree: The very first tree that was erected on Dec. 24, 1931, by workers who had cleared the area to build Rockefeller Center. The tree was decorated with strings of cranberries, paper chains and tin cans. The men, who were struggling through the Depression, decorated the 20-foot tree to show how grateful they were to have jobs and get a paycheck.

Amazing how things have changed.

The official tree tradition started in 1933, when 30 Rockefeller Plaza was opened. The trees don’t give up their lives for nothing. They are lit until a week afer New Years and then they are recycled in a variety of ways. In 2007, the tree helped supply lumber for a Habitat for Humanity house.

From → Random Beauty

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