For sure, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City is a mighty impressive tree. However, the one in Ocean Beach — San Diego's throwback, eclectic beach community — has a certain, well, uniqueness all of its own.
New York's tree? It's all glitz and glamour.
OB's tree? It's Southern California cool.
We compare the two:
This year's Rockefeller tree is an 85-foot tall Norway spruce, which stood outside a century-old farmhouse in Danville, Pennsylvania, according to Yahoo News. Every Rockefeller Center tree is normally a Norway spruce. And it normally has to come from the grounds of a century-old farmhouse. (That second part? Not really.)
The Ocean Beach tree came from Loma Porta. It's a Star Pine and is about 65 feet tall, according to Claudia Jack, of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association who's been procuring the trees for more than two decades.
Rockefeller Center organizers sometimes use a helicopter to get aerial views when scouting possible trees. The tree must be at least 75 feet tall and 45 feet wide. Then, an on-site view is done to make sure the tree meets the rigorous standards to make it to the Big Apple. Because if a tree can make it there …
The Ocean Beach tree is donated, usually by someone who is having problems caused by the tree. Some of the trees are flawed — this year's bends at the top, for instance — but many locals like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree look. OB and consumerism? No, not a match. A person on Twitter called it, “The Leaning Christmas Tree of Ocean Beach.” But, according to the San Diego Reader, some thought this year's tree looked “too normal.”
The Rockefeller tree has 45,000 energy efficient LED lights on it (about five miles of strands). A team of more than 15 electricians does the job. The tree can be seen from the International Space Station. (We're making that up, but it's highly likely.)
The Ocean Beach tree has 250 ornaments, mostly inflated beach balls. There are also inflatable guitars and at least one inflatable flip-flop. It has 10 strands of lights, also LED. Of course, this being OB, there is also a peace sign.
The Rockefeller tree is topped with the Swarovski Star, which is nearly 10 feet tall, weighs 550 pounds and has 25,000 crystals. Donald Trump is angry it's not on his tree.
The Ocean Beach tree has a simple star on top. It lights up, though. So there.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands just outside the iconic skating rink at Rockefeller Center, attracting thousands of revelers annually.
The Ocean Beach Christmas tree is the only one planted in the sand on the West Coast, Jack said. It offers a view of the Ocean Beach pier. Plus, you can see many neo-hippies revelers as well.
The lightning ceremony for the Rockefeller tree is televised nationally. This year, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey performed.
The lighting ceremony for the OB tree kicks off the annual Ocean Beach parade. And if you think the tree is funky, check out the parade.
The Rockefeller tree is recycled annually. This year, the tree will used for houses built by Habitat for Humanity, according to USA Today.
The Ocean Beach tree is also recycled, Jack said. It is used for mulch.
So the question is: Which is better?
Jack believes the OB tree wins out — easily. The New York tree is too perfect, she said.
“Ours has charm,” she said.
And the best part? People like to take pictures of themselves in front of it and send them to relatives in cold weather cities such as, well, New York, she said.
There's no beating that.