Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Joy of Saks

If there's one thing I admire in art, sports and music it's -- precision.  Precision is beauty.  The way Brian Boitano lands a jump at the exact moment the music modulates.  The way Serena Williams serves up a momentum-changing lob that catches the line and spins away.  The way Leonardo da Vinci studied botany to prepare for the day he'd draw a flower.

I'm a pretty good speller, but some words get schmushed up in my mind and need special attention. Spelling = precision. After a summer job at Goldman SACHS, I finally figured out how to spell SAKS Fifth Avenue.  Which is different from the tenor SAX I struggled with in h.s. swing band. And then there's author Oliver Sachs. Football sacks. And the industrial-sized sacks of flour hurled off the bakery roof on Cake Boss, during one of Buddy's practical jokes.

There's a holiday tradition that's so simple and lovely and precise that even I -- not the most enthusiastic holiday shopper -- will throw on my faux-fur Dr. Zhivago hat, jump into the troika and ride shotgun downtown to see it in person. Saks Fifth Avenue runs a light show at 15-minute intervals -- dancing snowflakes choreographed to "Carol of the Bells" with jaw-dropping precision.

The 2-minute soundtrack doesn't waste a note. Remember CRESC (abbr. for crescendo) from puzzles? The crescendi (gradual increases in volume) are here -- strategically placed for dramatic effect. I love the bungee-jumping string motifs at 1:36 (sounds like a Kreisler Etude on steroids), and the Carrie-like ending . . . at precisely 2:00.

Precision snowflakes dancing on the side of a building. Simple and beautiful to behold.


jennaseverythingblog said...

I've seen those snowflakes when we were in NYC about 4 years ago! They're so beautiful. =)

Joe K. said...

Thankfully, you didn't just give away a viable crossword theme! Dan Naddor covered this one in LAT in 2008... the only one you missed was SACKS OF POTATOES!

Joanne said...

You know, I never thought about how many spellings for sachs/sacks/sax/saks there really are. But I have frequently thought about how much I love the saks light show. Just thinking about it makes me smile.