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traveldestination Compiled and written by SATU JUSSILA New York, New York! THE HOLIDAY SEASON sparkles in the Big Apple, offering delicious delights from dining out to Christmas shopping and many must-sees in between. For a special meal, reserve a table for lunch or dinner at three-star Michelin restaurant Per Se. Walking through the blue front door of this French Laundry-inspired eatery ­ Per Se is one of the ten best French restaurants in the world outside of France ­ is a transporting experience. Views of the treetops in Central Park add to the festive atmosphere. The meals are not cheap, but they are worth every penny of the mouthwatering experience: prix fixe including service costs $275 (about 210). If the holiday season presents the familiar headache over what to buy for the loved one who has everything, head to Broadway Panhandler. At this specialty cookware store, you're bound to find something unique such as a Prepara Power Plant Mini for $39.95 (about 30), a simple indoor device that allows you to grow herbs year round. If coming home with a potholder simply won't do, consider a Foley + Corinna L Train or Baby L Train handbag for $695 to $795 (530605). Named after the famed subway line that runs from Manhattan to arty Williamsburg, this is a bag that any smart shopper will adore. You can buy them at Barney's department store (which boasts an excellent holiday window display). For a hip East Village shopping experience, check out clothing store Blue & Cream. Don't be surprised if you spot a celebrity in the spacious dressing rooms. Even if you don't have children to shop for, there's nothing like a stroll inside FAO Schwartz, New York City Toy Store. The two-story extravaganza has every conceivable toy ever created, along with interactive games designed to make you want to buy more. Not sure what to buy for younger tykes? Try Air Fork One at $9.95 (7.50), an adorable fork shaped like an aeroplane that's bound to get even Katja Pantzar the pickiest eaters to munch down their dinner. If all of this activity makes you hungry, for a quick takeaway salad or sandwich, nothing compares to gourmet food store Butterfield Market, the corner market for the Vanderbilts and other American royalty since 1915. Finnair flies nonstop daily (except Wednesdays) to New York. Essential addresses Per Se 10 Columbus Circle +1 212 823 9335 Broadway Panhandler + 1 212 644 9400 The Rink at Rockefeller Center Clockwise from left: As cafés go, Dean & Deluca is a New York institution; Air Fork One makes a great gift for picky little eaters; there are more than 10,000 yellow cabs in NYC; Foie Gras at Per Se; Prepara's home herb grower. 65 East 8th Street +1 212 966 3434 Barney's 5th Avenue between 49th & 50th Streets +1 212 332 7654 Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts 575 Fifth Avenue +1 212 826-8900 Blue & Cream 70 Lincoln Center Plaza +1 212 721 6500 Butterfield Market That's entertainment CROWN your New York stay, with a walk to Rockefeller Center to see the giant Christmas tree. Better still, go for a skate at the center's rink. Just across the street, there's a Dean & Deluca café for warming up afterwards. At night, take in one of the many holiday shows at Lincoln Center. 1 East 1st Street + 1 212 533 3088 FAO Schwartz 1114 Lexingston Avenue +1 212 288 7800 Dean & Deluca 767 Fifth Avenue 1 Rockfeller Plaza + many other locations +1 212 869 6890 20 BLUE WINGS DECEMBER 2008 Katja Pantzar

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