Photographer Gus Powell shows us New York City’s famous Christmas windows, and the people who line up to see them.
Every December, the streets of midtown Manhattan are packed with people admiring the over-the-top Christmas decorations in department store windows. This year’s showstopper is the light show at Saks Fifth Avenue, drawing on-lookers’ attention from the Christmas tree across the street at Rockefeller Center.
Travel + Leisure sent street photographer Gus Powell to document the scene, from Macy’s at Herald Square all the way up to Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s. A native New Yorker, Powell has childhood memories of waiting in the cold to see department store windows.
“The great windows are like pieces of installation art and theater combined,” Powell said. “They have the capacity to transport both young and old off of the city sidewalk and into an imagined holiday world. You get lost in them for a moment and really do see how they give people pleasure.”
If you want to see the windows for yourself, Powell suggests you start at Macy’s, then head north on Fifth Avenue past Lord & Taylor, Rockefeller Center, and Saks Fifth Avenue. But don’t get there too early. The scene-stealing light show at Saks does not start until 5 p.m. From there, continue north to Bergdorf Goodman, which Powell found the most magical. Head three block's east to Bloomingdale’s, and your tour of New York City Christmas windows will be complete.
Powell’s latest exhibition, “The Lonely Ones,” is on view at Mutty gallery in Italy.