For those of you still scurrying around for last-minute gift ideas, today is it. For those in New York, there was the Union Square Holiday Market to make gift buying a little easier. I'd pass through it occasionally on my way to the subway, and, of course, I had to look at everything. I paused at the scarves and jewelry mostly. Some of the merchandise is reasonably priced; other items are quite expensive. On the bargain end, a find of mine bought a nice pair of earrings for $20. But it's definitely a cheery atmosphere and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Being the eve of Christmas, it closed at 4 p.m. today. But keep it in mind for future shopping. It’s open from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. There are more than 100 merchants selling a variety of local and handmade gifts. And even if you don't end up buying anything, it’s still fun looking. You can top it off with a cup of hot chocolate or warm apple cider and it adds up to a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in New York City.
Now I’m back in Miami, and the smell of backyard pig roasts hangs in the air. Even though I don’t like pork, it smells good. If you’re still not in the holiday spirit and need a cheap fix of cheer, check out the lights on 137th Terrace off 16th Ave. in North Miami. The whole neighborhood participates and lights are strung up into the lofty heights of huge live oaks. Check out the video and you’ll see it’s pretty special. The line of cars crawling down the street can be pretty daunting but it usually ends with a candy cane. You need to drive slowly anyways to check out all the lights. We used to go every year when I was a kid and I still enjoy the tradition. Merry Christmas