Photos from the Hottest Christmas in NYC History


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Photos from the Hottest Christmas in NYC History

New York was a ghost town on December 25. There were even puddles in the middle of Rockefeller Center's ice rink.

Despite the popular conception that people from around the world visit NYC for Christmas, the metropolis can feel totally deserted on December 25. This year, save for the tourist influx in Midtown, those seeking food below Houston, and other small pockets throughout the city, the island was a ghost town.

Yes, people still crowded the ice rinks in Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center, but it was so warm—the warmest in recorded history—that little puddles had gathered in certain spots. Most people were wearing Santa hats without coats. There was no snow to speak of and people were sweating, making the decorations sprinkled throughout the city feel like some sort of prank.


Whereas the streets were empty, the few restaurants that remained open were flushed with customers. Old school institutions like Katz's Delicatessen had a line outside that stretched around the block, while Russ & Daughter's had about an hour wait. Both iconic eateries are unsurprisingly Jewish spots.

In Chinatown, every restaurant that had an "A" rating was equally mobbed, such as Nom Wah on Doyers Street, Oriental Garden on Elizabeth Street, and Wo Hop on Mott. Small crowds formed in the streets and drivers in SUVs honked trying to pass. A server called out a name and three different people responded claiming that it was their reservation.

From Chinatown, the walk to the Financial District was eerie. I went five minutes without seeing another person. At Zuccotti Park there were monks, vendors selling 9/11 paraphernalia, and lost tourists taking photos. As I entered the subway at the Fulton stop, a woman in an "It's Fucking Christmas" T-shirt asked me where "Time Square" was.

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