Category Archives: Christmas

SantaCon Gets an Undeserved Bad Wrap in the Media

I did my personal SantaCon photowalk yesterday (12/12/15) around the East Village in Manhattan getting some images of the revelers. While SantaCon kicked off in Brooklyn this year, vs. Times Square, I decided to be lazy and shoot the assorted Kris Kringles, Elves & Reindeers later in the day in my home borough.

Being out around 4pm the conventional wisdom would have said that SantaCon participants–reveling since 10am–would have been all liquored up by then. But from what I saw, it was far from the case. People were having a good time but were far from drunk, and I went around to several of the sanctioned bars on SantaCon’s route to take pics. The NYPD, it was reported, make no (zero, nada) arrests for drunk & disorderly conduct.

Yet, it seems several New York media outlets (The Daily News, NY Post and Gawker being fairly egregious) have a narrative they want to put forward of a bunch of rowdy drunks in red, instead of seeing this as a fun celebration — which is what I’ve found over the years with people attending SantaCon. Frankly, I’ve seen worse behavior from spectators at the NY Marathon than at SantaCon.

Okay, rant over. Here are a few images from my SantaCon photowalk. More images on my website.

All photos © 2015 RZF Images, all rights reserved. Neither these nor other images on this site or my website may be used without written permission.


HO, HO, HO! ‘Tis SantaCon Season!


More images on my website:

SantaCon kicked off this morning in Times Square under a cloud of controversy, but revelers there were in a happy — and what seemed — a sober but caffeinated mood. 

While people have been calling out the bad behavior that is probably relatively minor among tens of thousands of Kris Kringle revelers overtaking parts of mid-town Manhattan (Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood nipped SantaCon from having the sleigh touch down there), most people seem to view this as a fun social gathering with friends. 

Also, the event raises tens of thousands of dollars for charity. 

From a photographer’s standpoint, it’s a great event to shoot thousands of people dressed in similar themed costumes, all having a great time. Here are some images from this morning, with more hundreds more that can be seen on my website. 

All photos © 2014 RZF Images, all rights reserved. Neither these nor other images on this site may be used without written permission.

Caroling on Park Avenue

The Park Avenue Tree Lighting entered it’s 70th year last night in front of The Brick Presbyterian Church. With probably a couple thousand New Yorkers in attendance, singing Christmas Carols in the bitter cold, the trees along Park Avenue, from the 50’s to 96th streets were lit up last night.

All photos © 2014 RZF Images, all rights reserved. Neither these nor other images on this site may be used without written permission.

Winter’s Eve in Lincoln Square (or the Start of the Christmas Tree Lighting Season)

It’s the start of the Christmas Season in NYC — which means that there are tree lighting (and Menorah) ceremonies all over the City.

Last night (Dec. 1) one of the first tree lighting ceremonies in Manhattan kicked off the season on the Upper West Side just across from Lincoln Center. Winter’s Eve has been ongoing for 15 years with entertainers, the tree lighting of a 25-foot Christmas tree, and food tastings in the area.

Performers at the official ceremony included actors Billy Porter and Jenna de Waal from the hit musical Kinky Boots as well as folk singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie and family. Even with the rain coming down, people had the Holiday Spirit.

Here is a list of other tree lighting ceremonies happening in the next couple of weeks.

All photos © 2014 RZF Images, all rights reserved. Neither these nor other images on this site may be used without written permission.

Christmas Tree Lightings in NYC

It’s traditional this time of year to find several Christmas tree lightings going on all over the NYC now, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting, the most prominent and well-televised.

But there are many, relatively smaller, tree lightings happening around town. One that is most fun is the Park Avenue Tree Lighting, which has been going on for 69 years on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. This tree lighting first began as a tribute to the memories of soldiers lost in WWII, and now is held in  memory of all who have given their lives in wars.

One nice aspect of this tradition is the gathering of people in front of Brick Presbyterian Church, on 92nd St & Park Ave., where Park Avenue is closed to traffic and hundreds of people sing Christmas carols with the church’s youth choir; taps is played on a trumpet and the trees along Park Avenue are lit.

Here a few images from the tree lighting, taken with my Nikon 1 V2, as I was  a member of the crowd gathered on what was a slightly snowy night to add to the atmosphere.

Christmas Window Displays NYC – View and Review!

Every year my family and I wake up early Christmas morning and stroll down to midtown Manhattan to view the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the department store window Christmas displays. Naturally, I photograph the windows and have been posting them here on my blog.

So of course I’m doing the same thing here but with a twist: At my wife’s suggestion, we are now going to rate the store window displays with a totally unscientific rating of 1 to 5 flashbulbs (what else?). Here goes:


Our first top along the way to see the Rock Center tree and it was a bit disappointing. Bloomingdale’s had a 2-part display. The first was an interactive display where your picture was taken, put into an animated picture that you can download off the web by scanning a QR code. My opinion: people just want to see the cool window displays and not start messing around with a 2 or 3-step process like this. Their other half of their display were Cirque du Soleil windows, which were nice but didn’t feel too Holiday or “Christmasy”. Two Flashbulbs. 2_flashbulbs

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Always very innovative and stylish, Bergdorf’s did not disappoint, with a Roaring ’20s theme. 4 Flashbulbs.   4_flashbulbs

Sak’s Fifth Avenue

Last year, Sak’s was a bit of a disappointment but they came back strong this year with a more nostalgic, if relatively unoriginal, child-centered Holiday theme: 3 Flashbulbs. 3_flashbulbs

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As always–and expected–Tiffany’s has a jewelry theme to it’s windows. Tiny and exquisite, yet traditional, they are always a marvel to view.
4 Flashbulbs. 4_flashbulbs

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Barney’s New York

This was our last stop on this year’s Christmas walk (yeah, I know, we didn’t do Macy’s or Lord & Taylor–maybe next year!). Barney’s is known for it’s eclectic Holiday windows and they dazzled once again this year. Teaming up with Disney, for an “Electric Holiday“, Barney’s showcased an animated short of a fashion runway theme complete with Disney characters, animated fashion critics and photographers. It made for great entertainment. 5 Flashbulbs. 5_flashbulbs

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I hope you enjoyed my thoroughly unscientific and highly opinionated rating of some of NYC’s department store windows. Have fun looking at these images and Happy Holidays!

Winter’s Eve NY Celebration

I’ve always enjoyed photographing around the Holiday Season to capture the various festivities in NYC. It’s a nice way to keep shooting between various event shoots. On the Upper West Side the annual Winter’s Eve celebration kicks off the Holiday Season from Lincoln Center to Columbus Circle with a tree lighting, music, street entertainment and stores offering Holiday Cheer and visits with Santa.

This is a fairly small celebration–not like the extravaganza that goes on over at Rockefeller Center. The tree is smaller and so are the crowds but everyone is having a good time. Singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, who grew up on the UWS, was the headline act before the tree was lit. Here are a few shots below.