If you haven't noticed by now, my 2015 calendar was subtly inspired by New York City. It was produced by one of the oldest stationers in the city, Dempsey & Carroll, and was painted in my old Christie Street studio on the Lower East Side, while I looked out over the sweeping views north toward bustling mid town and the Empire State Building.
New York is practically perfect in all seasons. It's radiant and renewed in Spring with it's residents finally stepping forth for brunch outside, it's jubilant in summer with long weekends stretching temptingly around every corner, it's majestic in fall erupting with foliage in bright reds and yellow and in December, New York just might be the merriest place on the planet.
Forget the North Pole. It always sounded a little cold and like I'd have jet lag by the time I got there. New York is my North Pole. A real life Santa's Workshop. Each December the entire city erupts with an economy fueled by millions of elves all eager to bring forth the best, the brightest, the shiniest, the most magical sugar plums that could ever dance through your pretty little head.
Every store window puts on a show. An evening walk in December through dressed up New York City is really more of a waltz through the pages of a glossy magazine filled with gift guides. And of course...
All roads lead to Bergdorfs.
Whether you've lived here for twenty years or you've just come to manhattan for Christmas, you may have to see the big tree on the plaza, or ice skate in central park. But if you're anything like me, all of that can wait. You've come for the big show. The Bergdorfs Christmas Windows.
And it's not just the windows. Once you've soaked in their majesty, and felt swept away on the stories they tell, it's time to go inside. And you head straight for the elevator to rise through corridors of enticing sea foam green mirrors, past floor after floor of couture, as you levitate higher and higher riding the faint scent of truffled mac and cheese until you're there on the top floor, weaving your way through the $1500 childrens' cashmere and diamond cardigans, twisting through rooms of estate silver and John Derian decoupapge trays until you've found the hallway that leads to the land of the Whisper Chairs.
I swear the Bergdorf's Cafe is the place I meditate on when my yoga teacher tells us to "think of a place you feel most at peace" while we're in a headstand. There's something about that place that turns me into an 8 year old again who believes in all there is to believe in.
I always feel sentimental when painting the final piece of the calendar each year. So it was fitting to close this year's calendar, which was a love letter to the women of New York, with a sketch of two friends decked out in winter white and luxuriant furs, surrounded by their Bergdorfs haul nestled cozily in the Whisper Chairs in the cafe at Christmastime.
So without further ado, I give you Christmastime in the City! The elves are waiting for you! Happy December!