Sarah and I went up to New York City yesterday to connect with Bob Carlton, (his report on the day here), for a walk-through of the MoMA. We saw some great stuff, including an exhibition of Georges Seurat: “The Drawings.” After some good art at MoMA, we trekked over to Grand Central Station for some wonderful pizza at Two Boots. During dinner, we spoke extensively about the future/death of the mainline church, Emergent and other things related to church & ministry in the future.
Bob had mentioned that it was the annual tree lighting ceremony last night, and Sarah and I thought it would be fun to “stop by” and watch the tree get lit.
I don’t think I had any idea what we were getting into. I’m not sure why, because I’ve certainly watched the ceremony on TV before, but for some reason I thought we could just walk up and get a good view. The scene was amazing. Barricades were set up and once you got in the “stream” of people moving in one direction, you were pretty much stuck. After walking quite a few blocks, we ended up on 49th Street, just past the NBC studios, before we ended up in wall-to-wall people. I did a pretty good pushing my way through – and sometimes we would find ourselves in the massive inertia of the crowd moving forward. We got yelled at by a few couples, but overall it was a pretty good experience – despite sore feet and backs.
The lighting itself was a bit anti-climactic, but afterwards, Sarah and I were able to squeeze through an opening in the barricade and get up to the front of the stage and get some decent shots of the tree. Shortly after that, they closed off the front, so we got in just at the right time. So, this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as I don’t imagine we’ll do it again, but I put some photos up here and a short video is below or you can watch it here. Enjoy.