*This year’s lighting of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 was, I must say, stunning! The event which has become a star-studded holiday tradition that attracts thousands was hosted by Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show and featured musical performances by Tony Bennett, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Javier Colon, Neil Diamond, Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill, Carole King, Katharine McPhee and The Radio City Rockettes.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Roker, Guthrie and Tishman Speyer CEO Jerry I. Speyer to flip the switch to turn on more than 45,000 multicolored energy efficient LED lights on the ginormous 75 year old Norway Spruce tree – which sits 74 feet tall and 46 feet in diameter and weighing 10 tons — donated by the Keller/Crawford Family of Mifflinville, PA.
I attended the tree lighting celebration as a guest of NBC4New York featuring holiday spirits and dinner at the Rock Center Café that attracted WNBC talent and executives including Michael Jack, president and general manager and his lovely wife Mary. As guests departed the pah-tee they received a swag bag containing a replica of the Swarovski Crystal Star atop the tree that consists of 25,000 crystal and one million facets.
The sparkling star is 9.5 feet in diameter and 1.5 feet deep. You can see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree during the holiday season — from 5:30AM to 9:30PM daily through early January, 2012 (and 24 hours on Christmas Day). Following its limited engagement, the tree will be milled for lumber for Habitat for Humanity.
*One of the hottest party tickets in our nation’s capital during the Yuletide Season is the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Democratic Club Christmas Party which took place this year at The Kennedy Center on Thursday, December 8, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
The annual soiree is always attended by the who’s who in the Democratic Party who gathers together in perfect harmony to lay out their plans of action for the coming year. Speeches were kept short and succinct allowing the political powerhouses to get their party on early.
New York was in da house. Some of the playful politicians seen having a politically correct time consisting of great food, good libations and soulful music included Congressman Charles B. Rangel who was also celebrating a successful fundraiser he hosted the night before.
Also NYC Council Member Inez Dickens; Linda Wood Guy of NYS Senator Bill Perkins’ office; New York Urban League president & CEO Arva Rice; NYC Comptroller John Liu; The Honorable Basil Paterson; former NYC Governor David Paterson; NYC Parks Department recreational manager at Morningside and Jackie Robinson Parks Jackie Rowe-Adams; former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson.
And NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn; NYC Council District 7 Council Member Robert Jackson; The Greater Chamber of Commerce president & CEO Lloyd Williams; Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone president & CEO Ken Knuckles; Judge Tanya Kennedy; Tina McRae of Congressman Charles Rangel’s office; and artist Bobby Humphrey.
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.