It would not be accurate to look back with nostalgia at the period before last Saturday as a time of innocence. New York was being roiled daily by anti-police mobs, some involving chaos and violence, and a sense of menace hovered like a dark cloud.

Still, you could reasonably hope for the best, especially with Christmas approaching. Knowing that optimism is always boosted by a December visit to the outdoor plaza at Rockefeller Center, I made my way there last Thursday.

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Not far from the magnificent St. Patrick’s Cathedral, all bright and sparkling after a power wash, tourists from around America and the world were gathered to gaze at the giant decorated tree and soak up the Manhattan magic. I’m always amazed at how such simple pleasures can make you feel like you stepped into a Currier & Ives print, a timelessness reflected by ice skaters on the rink below.

The happy scene reminded me again that there are few blessings in life more necessary than a feeling of being safe. The plaza crowds especially had no reason to fear because the area was flooded with cops, and I spontaneously decided to thank New York’s Finest.

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.