The Greatest Showman: Bloomingdale's holiday windows

Two brothers Joseph and Lyman Bloomingdale    opened their store, Bloomingdale Brothers Great East Side Bazaar, on 56th Street and Third Avenue, Manhattan, in 1872.  At that time the  risky location  was , situated in a working class district far from the main shopping district. The first day’s takings were $3.68. Today, Bloomingdale's  is America’s only nationwide, full-line, upscale department store. Bloomingdale's currently operates 31 stores in United states  in  New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, California, Nevada and Georgia with  headquarters in New York.

For decades the major department stores in New York City have put on a spectacle within their street-level window and Bloomingdale's is no exception.

  This  2017 year's theme  for the Bloomingdale's   holiday windows is the holiday movie,  "The Greatest Showman," from Twentieth Century Fox.  "The Greatest Showman"  is a 2017 American period musical drama film   inspired by the story of how P. T. Barnum started the Barnum & Bailey Circus and the lives of its attractions.  At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, the film received three nominations: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Comedy or Musical and Best Original Song.

P. T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was one of the greatest entertainment entrepreneurs in history. His traveling shows, museums, and world-famous circus helped him amass a multi-million-dollar fortune on his way to becoming personal friends with such iconic figures as Abraham Lincoln, Queen Victoria of England, and Mark Twain.
 Most of us know him because of the circus, but he was actually an incredibly important figure in American history. "The Atlantic" named P.T. Barnum to its list of 100 most influential figures in American history.
In April of 1874 P. T. Barnum’s Great Roman Hippodrome had opened on an entire square in New York City between Fourth and Madison avenues. Barnum traveled around the world purchasing animals and attractions for the new Hippodrome.

Barnum wrote one of America’s first celebrity autobiographies.   In 1880, a century before Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal, Barnum pioneered the celebrity how-to-get-rich book, writing The Art of Money-Getting. 

  “Money is in some respects like fire: it is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master.” -he wrote. Barnum  also said  : "The best kind of charity is to help those who are willing to help themselves".
In 1882, Barnum purchased a gargantuan 6-ton African elephant named “Jumbo” from the London Zoological Society.  It marked the start of “Jumbomania” in the United States.     The elephant’s fame   helped popularize the word “jumbo” as a synonym for “large".

The six windows  with over 7 million Swarovski crystals along Lexington Avenue glitter with scenes from the movie "The Greatest Showman," including strong men and snake charmers, plus interactive elements and songs from the film.

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

It doesn't get much more "iconic NYC Christmas" than the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, towering above the ice rink below. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City.  

Daniel Okrent in his book 'The epic of Rockefeller center' wrote: "A progenitor of the world's mot famous Christmas tree was a relatively modest balsam rising out of the rock floor near the eastern end of the central block ( of the future Rockefeller center). On December 31, 1931  some very fortunate men dressed the tree in strings of cranberries, garland of paper an even few tin cans."  The men were fortunate because they had jobs and it was the time of Great Depression.
Official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933. Usually the lighting is at the first days of December.   Starting from 1986 the tree is  always    Norway spruce  between  69 to 100 feet tall. The tallest tree was from Connecticut  in 1999 and stood 100 feet tall. 
The 2013 tree  is  76 feet tall and weighs 12 tons, and it was first planted by the original owners of the Vargoshe family's home  (Connecticut)  Otto and Susan Luchtenberg  in 1953. The couple decided to get a “living” Christmas tree. After Christmas, they planted it back in their front yard.
Tree arrived (2010 photo)
The  85-foot Norway spruce  of 2014 was donated by a central Pennsylvania family.  The  78-foot, 10-ton  2015 tree was from Gardiner, New York. Last year the  94-foot Norway spruce  tree   arrived from the backyard in Oneonta, New York.

This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, an enormous, 12-ton Norway spruce,which is estimated to be around 80 years old, made the journey from State College, PA
Since 2007, the tree has been lit completely by solar-powered LED lights. This year  it is illuminated by 50,000 of them!  And it  is topped with a Swarovski crystal star.
Here is my collection of Rockefeller Christmas tree pictures. The first photo was taken  in December 2005.

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Tiffany Holiday Windows 2017

Tiffany was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in   Connecticut in 1837.Tiffany designs were worn by famous U.S. families such as the Astors, Vanderbilts, Posts, Huttons and Morgans. Athletes, Hollywood stars, and European royalty were also Tiffany customers. The Tiffany  flagship store has been a Fifth Avenue gem since it opened more than 77 years ago on October 21, 1940

In addition to impressive window displays, the interior of the store features beautiful trees with decorations in the store's signature blue motif.
This years each of the windows designed by Gene Moore illustrates the magic of giving a Tiffany gift while the handcrafted elements and theatrical lighting draws the eye to the sparkling Tiffany product on display

Saks Fifth Avenue: Snow white

"Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, "If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame." Soon afterward she had a little daughter who was as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood, and therefore they called her Little Snow-White"

 This is the beginning of the 19th-century German fairy tale "Snow White" published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm -The Brothers Grimm -  in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimms' Fairy Tales. Over the next forty-five years the Brothers Grimm published a total of seven editions of the fairy tales, and their reputation steadily grew. By the turn of the century, the Tales of the Brothers Grimm had become the second best-selling book in Germany, behind only the Bible.

The final, 1857 edition of the "Snow White"  has a great deal in common with the most famous retelling, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves(1938) .  It was  the first feature-length animated film that Walt Disney created. And it was    the first animated feature to be produced in English and in Technicolor. 

Originally the movie was budgeted at $250,000, but after production ran over it ballooned to $1.5 million. Disney put his future on the line, borrowing most of the $1.5 million that he used to make the film.  19-year-old Adriana Caselotti voiced Snow White. Walt wanted to keep Snow White's voice special, so he held Adriana to a very strict contract and she was never allowed to perform on stage or film again.

Charlie Chaplin, who attended the Hollywood premiere, told the Los Angeles Times that the film “even surpassed our high expectations. In Dwarf Dopey, Disney has created one of the greatest comedians of all time.”
Snow White was the highest grossing film ever for exactly one year,  and the   profits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs allowed Walt to build Disney Studios in Burbank.

 This year  the beloved Disney classic Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a spectacular display in one of New York’s most prestigious store windows.
The department store Saks Fifth Avenue is featuring  animated windows re-telling the classic fairy tale.    One of the most famous luxury retailers in the world, Saks Fifth Avenue has long been the destination for fashion-conscious men and women. The flagship store at 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street opened in 1924 and has served the stylish for over three-quarters of a century.

For the first time in 94 years, all of its 14 windows are animated, bringing the tale to life. Each window   depicts  a different scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, beautifully translating the iconic story into real-life delights. Vignettes  include Snow White dancing among woodland creatures, the seven dwarfs “heigh-ho!”-ing home from a day’s work in the diamond caves, and the Wicked Queen’s mischievous trickery with the infamous red apple. Also new to the windows, this year is a 3-D layering technique which incorporates original artwork from the film into the backdrops for each display.
The 49th and 50th street windows feature several custom-made ball gowns for "a 21st-century Snow White."  The windows will be on display at the flagship store in Manhattan until January 2.