While we celebrate Valentine's Day with a pop-up in the Concourse (11am–6pm)—outfitted with a station for sending "You're My Rock" postcards—and set out for a dreamy date night, we're also full of affection for the people who make Rockefeller Center one of a kind. These are some of the individuals we've spotlighted over the years at Front & Center, all of whom have helped the landmark thrive with their love and care.
Hugo Ardaix, who emigrated from Uruguay over 35 years ago, talked with us about opening Eddie's Shoe Repair, which has been a fixture in the Concourse for anyone seeking a shine and a little sole mending since 1999. With the shop's retro look, it's been the setting for SNL promos too.
Correll Jones (pictured), a doorman at Rock Center for 15 years, always gives visitors a warm welcome — and some good advice for seeing the Tree. One of his most memorable encounters was with "the queen" herself, Aretha Franklin.
The glitter and glamour of Radio City Music Hall doesn't happen by itself. Costume designer Emilio Sosa shared some backstage secrets.
Christine Roussel wrote The Art of Rockefeller Center and oversees the historic archives of the complex. She's opened our eyes to many of the works of art around the Plaza, including Lee Lawrie's "World Peace."
In addition to co-founding MoMA, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller led the charge to bring the complex alive with public art, and helped influence its Art Deco design. (She and Frida Kahlo were friends too.) In November we highlighted her among 16 groundbreaking women of Rockefeller Center.
Christmas brings so many people to the Rock. We've captured the style of skaters at the Rink, as well as the joy of skating with Sasha Cohen; we also learned to skate with Melanie Athena and chatted up the "ice whisperer" himself, Nelson Corporan, Zamboni driver extraordinaire.
Food is key here as well. Rock Center Café chef Antonio Prontelli clued us in to some of his favorite dishes, while Morrell's Eric Guido and Anna Cabrales have shared their wine expertise—and a winter risotto recipe too.
The summer farmers market brought out the gorgeous faces of Hot Bread Kitchen, Katchkie Farm, Valley Shepherd Creamery and Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery. Meanwhile the founder of Beth's Farm Kitchen gave us the low-down on jam and the ins and outs of NYC markets, and James Beard–nominated director Susan Rockefeller talked about the many benefits of supporting local farmers.
Meanwhile, Jacques Torres manager Shanequa Joyner guided us through the chocolate shop, a Nintendo expert unlocked some new levels, store manager Carlos Fernandez gave us a leg up on LEGO, and tour guide Lindsay Boling gave us the inside scoop.
We also learned all about our neighbor, St. Patrick's Cathedral, from the architect who led the restoration. As doorman Correll Jones noted, when you walk around Rock Center, be sure to "Look up!" And also look all around you, at the people from all over the world who make Rock Center come alive.