New York City is known to go all out in setting the festive mood during the holiday season. Majority of the city's neighborhoods are bedazzled with stunning embellishments just before Thanksgiving until a few days after New Year's Day to provide quite a spectacle for holidaymakers near and far.
Midtown Manhattan sets the bar pretty high. While Fifth Avenue is understandably the most sought out for point of interest in the neighborhood for holiday displays, the Avenue of the Americas (or Sixth Avenue) is not one to be overlooked. Take these larger-than-life ornaments, for instance. These gigantic, steel-reinforced fiberglass red balls with chrome-finished caps and hooks are among the most photographed holiday decorations in Midtown Manhattan. This New York City Christmas season visual display staple is designed by Stephen Stefanou, a visual artist and designer known for his unique installations and seasonal displays of, you guessed it, grand scale proportions. Installed every year since the 1990s, the giant red balls decorate the fountain of 1251 Avenue of the Americas, between 49th and 50th Streets. I have seen them both during the day and at night; thanks to the surrounding trees ensconced in sparkling holiday lights, I find them more gorgeous in the dark.
From the 1251 building itself (also referred to as the Exxon Building) to the sidewalk lined with street vendors whose carts are also decorated, BTW 😁, there's every bit of New York City Christmas scene to be captured when taking a photo of these ornaments from any vantage point. Unsolicited picture-taking tip: the southwest corner gives you an angle that captures the red balls with the famed Radio City Music Hall in the background.
Carol is one of the founders of get there | get lost. She is a New Jersey-based content producer and social media specialist, and a digital nomad wannabe. With regards to travel, she writes mostly about getaways with her family, and is a strong advocate of the “experience over things” mantra. Follow her everyday adventures @fcbsantiago.
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines and briefly lived in California before moving to the east coast of the USA. I'm a digital marketing executive currently based in New Jersey and a digital nomad wannabe. I write mostly about family travel.