Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy
After the pandemic Christmas 2020 with few tourists, the surroundings of Rockefeller Center are ready to receive waves of visitors who want to see and especially make videos and images next to the “most photographed tree in the world”, to be lit tonight.
The weather is shaping up rainy (60%) and cold (40F / 4C) tonight and maybe today is not the best time to be there. The authorities will resume the 2019 practice, closing the passage of cars in the surroundings until January 6, in order to lighten pedestrian traffic and also, where possible, keep your distance to prevent coronavirus infections. The streets that will be closed to road traffic are:
-From 46th to 51st St, between 5th and 6th Av.
-Rockefeller Plaza between 48th and 51st St.
-5th and 6th Av between 46th and 52nd St.
Pedestrians will only be allowed from 11 am to midnight each day. The MTA buses they will skip all stops between 48th and 52nd streets, and those crossing east / west will detour around Rockefeller Center while the area is closed to vehicles. The tourist buses that normally run through the area will not be able to pass through there either.
Additional restrictions are expected tonight by the Christmas tree opening ceremony. The show televised live on NBC starts at 7 p.m. Shortly before 9 p.m. the lights of the 79 ft norwegian fir that this year adorns the Rockefeller Center. The tree of 12 tons It was trucked in in mid-November from the Price family home in Elkton, Maryland. It is the first time that the tree comes from that state since the tradition began eight decades ago, he said. Pix11.
What was once a large bare fir tree will now be adorned with over 50,000 multi-colored lights and topped with a 900 pound star with 70 peaks of 3 million crystals. It will be active 24 hours a day until January 6, he detailed ABC News.
The area is congested not only by the Christmas tree but by the ice rink and the windows and surrounding decorations, including the projections made by the Sack 5th Av store on its façade. In addition, in that same block the famous show is presented Radio City Rockettes, with several functions a day, and which was also suspended for the first time in 2020.
Several Manhattan elected officials have called for the “Permanent pedestrianization” of the area, banning vehicular traffic around Rockefeller Center, recalled New York Post. Close to there, Times Square and Broadway, Madison, 5th, 6th, and 7th avenues are also heavily congested almost year-round.
“We hope that as New York City continues to recover from the pandemic, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will once again be a major destination for New Yorkers and, of course, tourists they are coming back to our city, ”said Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman in a statement last week.
“Creating more space for pedestrians around Rockefeller Center will keep people safe while ensuring minimal disruption to the rest of city life. Of course, New Yorkers can do their part avoiding unnecessary driving in Midtown during the Christmas season ”, Gutman added.