Is it your lifelong dream to fully immerse yourself in a throng of tourists like a fleshtone bubble bath? Then tonight's your night in midtown—it's the Rockefeller Center's annual celebration of a murdered tree as it lights up its huge Christmas Tree. And Jewel will be there!
The NYPD issued a traffic advisory for "street closures and security measures that will be in effect during the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony": The ceremony begins at 7 p.m., so "[b]ecause heavy traffic is expected, drivers should avoid the vicinity of Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Spectators are urged to use mass transit to attend the event." Also, "The following streets will be subject to closures from about 3 p.m. until the conclusion of the event: 48th, 49th, 50th, and 51st Streets between Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue." In other words—if you need to get out of Midtown, leave at 2:30 p.m.!
The Times has some details on the history of Gridlock Alert days, "In 1982, the city traffic commissioner Samuel I. Schwartz, now known as Gridlock Sam, released a list of the days with the heaviest traffic. The city has recognized Gridlock Alert Days ever since."
The remaining Gridlock Alert Days are today, Friday, December 6; Thursday, December 12; Friday, December 13; Wednesday, December 18; Thursday, December 19; and Friday, December 20.