Ms. Weintraub NIGH well hit this one out of the park. I didn't like one or two answers, but in general, this is very strong stuff here.
1D: Immune system component (TCELL) was my entry, only I chose the wrong kind of cell, with repercussions that lasted for nearly the complete puzzle. Once I had bCELL in place, and with the NIGH impossible RAMIE at 2D, the NW corner was a challenge.
But how about that 1A: One may hold a ship in place (TRACTORBEAM)? It's my first (and probably only) A+ of the month. What a great answer and clue! I was NIGH convinced the clue was referring to an earthbound vessel, and with b_AC____, I tried to start off with "beach..." Clearly that didn't fly. The remainder of long across answers are good as well, especially EMPIRESTATE, which is where yours truly lives.
8D: Robin's refuge (BATCAVE) is a lovely hidden capital that didn't fool me for an instant. We've talked before in this space of how one's crossword-solving thinking has to shift to trickier things come the turn, and in this situation, it served me well. 20A: Toy car driver? (CBATTERY) was NIGH impossible, though. I had to figure it out from the back end later in my solve.
13D: Copernicus, for one (STARGAZER) was somehow less specific than I wanted. I rejected things having to do with Poland and "astronomer" didn't fit. I'm not a fan of BETSY DeVos.
IMPRESSME is nice. 46A: Breathers? (NOSTRILS) made me laugh when I finally figured it out. The SW corner was definitely the hardest area of the puzzle for me. I stared at a bunch of empty squares for some time - I NIGH gave up! Not really.
And now I've used NIGH in NIGH every paragraph of this puzzle. I liked that word best of all. Does SECRETSANTA make this puzzle four in the Holiday series? I guess so.