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Rolf's outrageous Christmas decorations are back again for the season

Written by
David Goldberg
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Rolfs, the Gramercy Park Bar famous for having the most Christmas decorations of any bar in NYC. #christmas

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Despite its vague reputation as a bastion of high taste, Manhattan has a long history of outright, spectacular tackiness. Look beyond the M&M Store in Times Square to the East Village, where two neighboring Indian restaurants, Panna Garden II and Milon, duel over diners with dizzying pepper-shaped lights. Who could forget Carrie and Miranda's tête-à-tête amongst reams of Valentine's Day balloons in the Sex and the City movie? And don't start with us and those pop-up museums

Perhaps the crown jewel of glorious gauche in the borough is Rolf's, the Gramercy German restaurant known for their decked-out Christmas decor. Starting now through May (!), nearly every inch of Rolf's walls and ceiling will be covered in hundreds of garlands, ornaments, baubles and lights, resembling a psychedelic, mutated Christmas. It's as if the sequel to Annihilation went down on the North Pole. 

The annual Rolf's makeover takes a month to prepare, and, in classic NYC spirit, doesn't come down until it's good and god-damned ready to. But be prepared for a heavy menu of Alsatian cuisine, which the restaurant's site describes this way: "...Overwhelming presence of pork, goose fat, duck, choucroute with sauerkraut, sausages, chicken, trout gives a distinctive flavor." Yikes. None of that sounded kosher.  

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