Tag: Holidays in New YorkView All Tags
Let's face it: Despite the stratospherically high expectations most of us have for New Year's Eve, it's got the worst track record for disappointment of any national holiday, just edging out Valentine's Day. So unless you're keen to shell out $200 to push your way through an awful crowd, suck on weak cocktails and get denied a kiss at midnight, skip the bar scene and sign up for something practically guaranteed to boost your endorphins.
The New York Road Runner's Club is hosting its annual Midnight Run, a four-mile jaunt through Central Park, and this year, they're adding to the sweaty thrill with fireworks choreographed to music. The club will also throw its usual pre-race costume parade and a dance party. On the other side of the planet, more than 200 service members stationed in Al Asad, Iraq, will execute their own version of the Midnight Run at the stroke of midnight--eight hours ahead of New York.
While there will be some token prize money handed out, the organizers remind NYC marathon wannabes that this doesn't count as a qualifying race. If you're getting in the holiday spirit just to get a number, you might as well turn right back around and get sloshed at R Bar with the rest of us.
You've been to see the fat man in the red suit, now meet the ones who only get one four-legged animal to carry them around. For reasons known only to themselves, the Canadian Tourism Commission is sponsoring Mountie Mondays, where even the most jaded of New Yorkers can get their pictures taken with the armed guards of Canada in Bryant Park.
Tell the Mounties what you want for Christmas between 11 am and 2 pm, and between 4 pm and 7 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
[Photo of Mounties in Vancouver: Martin Blackmore]
With around a week to go until Christmas hits New York, the city's packed with tourists and shoppers to take it all in. Sometimes we revel in all the action--catching a cute proposal on the ice rink at Rock Center was pretty heartwarming!--and sometimes it makes us want to pull our hair out. (Tourists randomly stopping in the middle of the sidewalk while we're running late drives us nuts.) Either way, it's a cool time of year.
Think you've seen it all, done it all holiday-wise in NY? Think again. There's more to check out than the Rockettes, Wolman Rink and Saks:
If you're a train fanatic or just want to take a step back in time, the MTA is holding a "Nostalgia Holiday Train" special holiday event on the V line. Each Sunday in December riders can hop on the V and possibly catch a ride in a vintage subway car dating back anywhere from the 1930s to the 1970s. Cars will be on the track randomly between 10 am and 5 pm, and are fully authentic inside, meaning all the ads and seats and interiors are exactly how they were. Grab your favorite old-time New Yorker and take them on a $2 holiday trip.
Do you feel an insane amount of pressure to get the Christmas carving done right? Don't screw up when your mom hands you a perfectly done bird and you have zero idea how to carve it. Head to the holiday Knife Skills Class at Camaje, a cute little Village bistro, that will whip you and your skills into place. The class, on Dec 18th ($65), will break down how to slice, carve, dice and chop the right way.
To see some of the season's most-loved furry friends, head to the Bronx Zoo Reindeer Exhibit, and meet up with New York's official reindeer herd. This year's herd includes three generations of a family: grandma Easter (a return visitor), daughter Emma, and granddaughter Linnae. While waiting for the big night, you might catch them rubbing their antlers on zookeeper-supplied branches, or calling their agents about their appearance schedule. They're in an outdoor paddock on Astor Court and $14 will get you in to see them up close.
[Photo: Bronx Zoo]
Just because you've been checking out art galleries, restaurants and festive theater all day and all night doesn't mean you can't squeeze some shopping into your New York trip. The flagship Macy's on 34th Street--also home to the miracle--will be open 24 hours from December 21 to Christmas Eve.
While most people think this is a great idea, we're gonna have to agree with New York magazine that a mid-level department store at 3 am might not be the best place. Still, if you've procrastinated on your gift-getting, Macy's could be your Christmas savior. (Aside from that other Xmas savior, of course.)
If you'd rather do your shopping in the daytime, Manhattan's holiday markets are a good place to load up on mittens, scarves and trinkets, while Brooklyn has some cool, one-of-a-kind boutiques well worth a short subway ride.
[Photo of one of Macy's holiday windows: wallyg]
Sure, the Rockettes can do high kicks, and yeah, the tree at Rock Center is pretty. But what better way to celebrate a festive evening in New York City than with a seasonal play? Come on, six viewings of "It's A Wonderful Life" are clearly enough!
One of the first plays by an African-American to be performed on Broadway, Langston Hughes' Gospel-inflected "Black Nativity" retells the Christmas story, set (for this production) in Times Square in 1973, at the Duke Theatre. 229 W. 42nd St.
There are several "Christmas Carol" shows, both uptown and downtown, but only one production features eight different companies, and that's the Gene Frankel Theatre's "Dickens' A Christmas Carol," December 21 through 28 in Nolita. 24 Bond St.
And after you've put the kids to bed, treat yourself to "Nutcracker: Rated R" at Theater for the New City because there must have been drugs involved to turn a mouse into a Rat King. Another option is "The Baby Janes: Holiday Kisses XXOX," a high-wire burlesque treat at La MaMa. 155 First Ave. (Nutcracker) and 74A E. 4th St.
[Photo of the 2005 PS122 Christmas show, "'Twas the Night Before the Twelve Days of a Nutcracker Christmas Carol": ultrasparky]
Even when you're a card-carrying member of the Chosen People, it's easy to feel a little left out during the holidays--particularly on Christmas Eve. Maybe that's why thousands of Jewish singles are abandoning their kitschy-but-predictable Chinese food dinners and spending the big night in a ginormous, sweaty mosh pit with other like-minded revelers.
The big question this year isn't whether or not to get your freak on at one of these Jews-gone-wild events, but which of the two biggest parties attend. While The Matzo Ball might be better known (it's held in six cities across the country), our money is on The Ball, touted by organizers as "the biggest Jewish singles event in the country for 12 years running."
This year's shindig will take place at five Manhattan venues simultaneously--Hiro, The Cabanas, The Park, Highline Ballroom and Earth--with complimentary Hummer and Escalade limousine service between events. And if 3,500 sauced-up, randy, unattached partiers doesn't sound like entertainment enough, The Ball hopes to tempt you with live music from the 80s revival band Booga Suga, aerialists, seven DJs and the proverbial "more."
The only thing missing? Mistletoe. But if past events are any indication, you probably won't need it.
There's a special magic about the holidays in New York. Why else would Christmas classics from "Miracle on 34th Street" to "Elf" be set in the city, far from the Tannenbaum fields? Join us for the best of the season.
Bummed there aren't any holiday carolers coming to your apartment door? Try one of these seasonal concerts to fill your earmuffed ears with joy:
Get into Hanukkah on December 5 at Banjo Jim's with not one but five klezmer bands at the Klezmer Hanukkah Throwdown. Klezmer is traditional Jewish music, elements of which you might recognize from "Fiddler on the Roof," sometimes taking its cues from jazz or polka.
This weekend, Symphony Space celebrates the Winter Solstice early with a Scandiavia-themed performance of choral music and dance by the New York Revels. (You still have time to pick up your robes before the traditional observances on December 20 and 21.)
And, if you prefer your Christmas debauched and double-entendre-d, help cabaret performers Kiki and Herb take over Carnegie Hall December 12 for "Kiki and Herb: The Second Coming." Their previous Christmas album included such unseasonal music as Radiohead's "Exit Music (For A Film)" and Tori Amos's "Crucify."
· Travel Snapshot: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree [Jaunted]
· Trees Return to Seattle Airport [Jaunted]
· Music Venues coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of Macy's Display Window: kuniochi]
The 19-day Broadway walkout is over, and once again you're free to spend beaucoup bucks on big-ticket theater. We're happy to see the strike end, though it did inject a bit of drama into the holidays in New York.
(Okay, technically, the dispute isn't over, as stagehands still have to ratify their new contract with producers. But at this point, it's almost a certainty that union members will approve the deal.)
Almost all the shows on the White Way will play tonight--so hit the TKTS booth ASAP for the best selection of discount admission. While not every production will be ready to re-open this evening, two theaters are taking advantage of eager audience members: "August: Osage County," a show from Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre which was in previews when the strike began, goes up tonight with a new official opening date of December 4. And the evergreen musical "Chicago" has $26.50 tickets for the entire house (and the debuts of Aida Tuturro and Vincent Pastore) at its box office.
And remember, just because the banner shows are back doesn't mean that New York's off-Broadway and alternative theater has vanished. If theater's your thing, give the little guys a chance, too.
With help from egw.
We went down to the Time Warner Center today to check out the Illy Coffee Push Button House we've heard so much about. Basically, it's a shipping container-turned-coffee bar that hypes Illy espresso. Even though it's a living commercial, we like the idea because there's nothing better than free coffee while you're shopping.
Except it looks like Illy is taking a page from the playbook of nearby Six Columbus. We didn't find the house in the big vacant spot it's supposed to fill on the second floor, though the mall says it should be there from November 26-December 29. Further digging reveals they've pushed the opening date back to November 29.
No free coffee? That's definitely not in the holiday spirit...