Y is for Yuletide. One of my favorite signs of the season is the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, affectionately known as the Tree. A favorite pasttime during the holiday season is gawking at the Tree and also gawking at other people gawking at the Tree. Each Tree is a little different (the 2006 Tree is pictured) and yet there's always something infectiously happy about it. No matter how stressed or tired or jaded I feel, no matter how vast the crowds or ridiculous the traffic, a visit always restores my spirits. Not everyone feels the magic – my favorite annual overheard sour comment is "I've seen bigger." (The petulant absurdity of such comments never fails to make me merry.) When I can't gawk in person, I gawk on TreeCam (also see here).
Much of New York City (affectionately known as the City) is splendidly decorated in December. Other favorite holiday adornments include the glittering snowflake suspended above the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street (left), which is viewed to best advantage at night and from a distance (watch out for the crazy auto traffic). The façade of Saks Fifth Avenue is also decorated in blue-white and white-white snowflakes (middle), which at intervals twinkle in time to music. New this year are the giant falling snowflakes projected onto 30 Rockefeller Plaza behind the Tree (right). Judging from the comments around me, every photographer in the plaza was obsessed with capturing them!
Y is for Your Face Here. Time magazine is holding a whimsical contest in conjunction with their Person of the Year issue. You can submit photos of your choice for Person of the Year. Selected photos will appear on an electronic billboard in Times Square at 43rd Street, New York City and in Dundas Square, Toronto. (You can nominate yourself – notice the dude with the cameraphone in the photo.) For more information, click here.
And Y is for yak. I bought some yak down at MDS&W – so far the luxuriously soft, but very short fiber has been beyond my ability to spin. I've also tried yak meat (and sprung it on unsuspecting guests) – most people can't distinguish it from beef. [ETA: Winter 2006 Spindlicity has a helpful article, "Spinning Down Fibers", which recommends using a supported spindle.]