The happiness jumps out. The experience was chaotic, stressful. Eliza full of complaints, Lena full of angry sass. “Did you see the Chrysler building?” “She has eyes!” “I want to go back.”
An artistic shot of most of a Macy’s Christmas tree, with the Empire State Building close in back, the top spire cut off. A tree branch like a shorted out electrical cord breaks the blue sky.
Underneath, Eliza complaining. “I want to go back.”
Lena wants more shopping. I need a bathroom. We see the lions at the Public Library. Happy landmarks of my unhappy single life, before family.
The rotunda is breathtaking, unexpected. Just looking for a bathroom. Lena snaps the angel man.
We visit Christopher Columbus. He is six stories up in a temporary living room installation over Columbus Circle. The views please us and we snap snap.
At night, the Christmas ornaments on the fountain are enormous. Glittering red balls as big as igloos rest on water, with hooks laid down as tall as Eliza. She poses, heels together in borrowed flats, prim in her party dress and my beret. She is a good girl who never complains, the picture says. Gold dots of light glimmer in the fountain.
Lena tries, tries, tries to get a shot out the tenth floor window of the borrowed apartment. The dome of Columbia’s planetarium. The best shot has bright clouds and a messy reflection around the edges, the living in the apartment muddying up the architecture.
Up the side of Rockefeller Center, lit up at night, breathing Tina Fey air. “Hello, Liz Lemon!” Eliza peals. She is cold in her dress and shimmies in wide half circles across a swathe of sidewalk, shiny granite, an oasis extended from a corporate courtyard. Lena is cold too but snaps, snaps, capturing New York light.