Photos: Mark Lentz
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Rockefeller Center Tree, just before the lighting

Theme: Holiday Sights. Notes by Mark Lentz.

Well, a couple of days before the lighting ceremony, anyway. All the lights have been hung and the scaffolding removed.

This page was suggested by an NYCJPG fan:

YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST PHOTOGRAPH THE GREAT TREE BEFORE THE LIGHTS GET TURNED ON. There's an almost strange look about it now, surrounded with all the festivities and yet it's dark and lonely. You could mark the stop, then return to the exact place and shoot it when the lights are on. It's interesting this year, without the lights. In the past few, they've put this screen in front which deprived one from the joy of the before and after.

We're not going to try to cover the actual event, which is one of the most crowded in NYC, but will take the request to match this shot a few days from now, when the lights are on.

The tree isn't lighted until just before 9:00P but people start arriving very early, around 3:00P. There is actually very limited space in the area with a view of the tree: directly in front along 5th Avenue and wedges of space along 49th & 50th Streets. (from Jimsdeli.com)

People from all around the country send photos of their trees offering them to Rockefeller Center. The manager of Rockefeller Center Gardens drives the back roads of the Northeast and elsewhere looking for trees. He then flies in a helicopter in an aerial survey during winter months, when most trees are leafless and evergreens stand out. (Christmas Tree facts, NBC.com)

Someone we know reports that you can get a great view by going up to the top floor of Saks Fifth Avenue and going to the front of the store, if they still let you.

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