|Argosy Bookstore, founded in 1925|
|lights along 59th Street near Park Avenue|
|Sherry-Lehmann, wine store established in 1934|
The backdrop of skyscrapers and holiday lights and taxis and hundreds of pedestrians along this stretch provide a distilled illusion of opulence and wealth. Items of luxury are on display in the store windows, the work of New York's creative class of store designers and other illusionists. We know how to do theater in New York, even for pedestrians passing by on the streets.
|Bottega del Vino|
|Apple Store, 59th and Fifth Avenue|
While walking 59th Street to traverse the avenues, glimpsing vignettes of windows, lit-up skyscrapers in the distance, and taxi jams, a sense of the present time fades into the city's astonishingly enduring ability to sustain the narrative of luxury, one found only in New York. The city demands exclusivity for this story.
|The Plaza Hotel|
|Horse carriage near The Plaza Hotel|
Never mind many of us can't afford some of these items on display. Purchasing a little something allows access to the dream world projected by the illusionists. That's the idea behind the window shopping. And we need the theater.
|GE Fountain, Apple store. Crowds on Fifth Avenue.|
Have a seat. The show is free.
View Three Blocks of 59th Street in a larger map
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from a recent evening walk.