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Manhattan Holidays: Holidays in Manhattan NYC
Spending Holidays In Manhattan Hotels NYC
We continue to explore spending holidays in the Manhattan hotels in NYC. The hotels in Manhattan offer a wide variety of habitats, from old world luxury, to very modern.
Picking the hotel you're going to stay at in Manhattan is something you should give thought to - not just for budgetary reasons, but depending on the time of year and your plans during your stay.
Click here to read the rest of our section about 4th of July, Labor Day, New Years, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Memorial Day Thanksgiving Christmas & Halloween holidays in Manhattan.
manhattan holidays nyc parades manhattan holidays
Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend Manhattan NYC
Things To Do In NYC & Manhattan Over The Memorial Day Weekend 2022
This is a report containing things to do in Manhattan over the Memorial Day Weekend.
This was first published when Memorial Day Weekend was a few weeks away. But given New Yorkers' interest in resuming some level of normalcy post pandemic, I thought you might want more time to figure out how you're going to spend the weekend.
Weather. The temperature highs will be near 80 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, rising to the mid 80's or higher on Monday. The temperature lows will be in the 60's all weekend. Over a half inch of rain is expected between about 2 pm Friday and about 4 pm Saturday, and the rest of the weekend will be dry. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph on Friday, Saturday and Monday, falling to 3 - 5 mph on Sunday. The humidity will be 80% on Friday, 70% on Saturday, and 60% on Sunday and Monday. All in all a pretty fair weather for the three day weekend.
We'll update the weather on Friday, May 27th on the front page. Click for an up-to-date forecast of Queens Weekend Weather.
The things to do in Manhattan on Memorial Day Weekend include art exhibitions, theater, live music, comedy, dance, shopping, outdoor activities such as soccer, kyaking, baseball, parades, street fairs, museums and dining on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Harlem, Washington Heights, Midtown Manhattan, the East or West Village, LES, SoHo, Tribeca or Downtown FiDi in Manhattan NYC.
Be sure to check our Memorial Day Weekend things to do on Friday afternoon leading into the Memorial Day Weekend in Manhattan NYC.
Brief History of the Memorial Day Holiday in Manhattan
Memorial Day first started out as Decoration Day in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866 - a year after the Civil War - to honor those who fought in it. In the 1880's the day came to be known as Memorial Day.
According to a May 25, 2012 report in Time Magazine, ten states - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee also officially observe some version of a Confederate Memorial Day, sometime between late April and early June [in Texas it's in January]. It's been reported that unofficially most of the former Confederate states still commemorate it, but not without some controversy as to the former Confederate diaspora it's to honor their ancestors, while to the former diaspora of the slaves it seems a remnant of these states racist past.
About ten percent of the nation travels more than 50 miles over the weekend. Memorial Day differs from Veterans Day which is held on November 11th of each year. Veterans Day began by honoring those who fought in World War I which ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Both honor those who served in the U.S. Military. Veterans Day coincides with a similar holiday in Europe for the same reason, which is called Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.
Things to do in Other NYC Boroughs Memorial Day Weekend
Things to do Manhattan Memorial Day Weekend NYC and Queens Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend NYC and Things to do Bronx Memorial Day Weekend NYC and Brooklyn Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend NYC and Staten Island Things To Do Memorial Day Weekend NYC.
- Click here to view the rest of our report of things to do Memorial Day Weekend in Manhattan NYC. And we'll have more to add by Friday.
Things To Do Presidents Day Weekend Manhattan NYC
Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Presidents Day Weekend
February 15, 2022 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Presidents Day Weekend Weather as of this post 2/15/22. The Temperature highs will be in the high 50's on Friday and Monday, dipping into the 40's on Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will be in the mid 20's on Friday and Saturday, rising to the mid 30's and 40's on Sunday and Monday. Precipitation - There isn't any rain forecast for the Presidents Day Weekend, but at present there's an inch of rain forecast Thursday night starting around 9 pm. Winds- on Friday winds will pick up from 10 mph to 20 mph. On Saturday winds will peak at 20 mph and then fall back into the 5 - 10 mph range for the rest of the Presidents Day Weekend. The Humidity will range between 40% - 50% on Friday and Saturday, rising to 40% - 60% on Sunday, and 60% - 70% on Monday. Click for Manhattan Weather.
The photo at right is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Union Square Park in Manhattan. Lincoln struggled to keep the United States together, while striving to rid it of the immoral and inhumane enslavement of African Americans.
Presidents Day is a federal holiday when all local, state and federal government offices are closed, which generally includes public schools - unless the district uses the holiday to make up a snow day.
Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the performance of our current presidents and legislators, and how they stack up against their historical peers. And in that reflection it's worth asking ourselves what we've done to contribute or detract from the national conversation.
Brief History of Presidents Day Holiday in NYC
A day commemorating Lincoln's birthday was first passed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1870's. Presidents Day originated as Washington's Birthday which was a holiday narrowly prescribed for federal government offices in Washington, D.C. in 1879. The holiday was dedicated to honoring the memory of the first American president, George Washington who was born on February 22, 1732.
In 1885 the holiday was expanded to include all federal government offices around the nation. In 1951 there was a push to create a Presidents Day holiday [vs a George Washington's birthday holiday] to include President Lincoln whose birthday is February 12, 1809 and was also celebrated by localities, but it didn't pass.
In 1971 the holiday was moved off of George Washington's birth date to being the third Monday in February. Thus while it never falls upon Washington's birthday 2/22, the official name of the holiday remains Washington's Birthday. But today, most folks refer to it as Presidents Day and to recognize the presidents who honored the U.S. Constitution and served the interests of the people.
Click here for things to do Presidents Day Weekend in Manhattan. We've updated things to reflect current conditions related to the CoVid pandemic.
Things To Do MLK Day Weekend Events Manhattan NYC
Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Martin Luther King Day Weekend
January 11, 2022 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Weather. The MLK Weekend forecast as of January 10, 2022. The Temperature highs will range from 20 to 30 degrees through the long weekend. The temperature lows will range from 10 to 25, rising as the weekend progresses. As of this post, no precipitation is expected over the MLK Day Weekend. Winds will be about 10 mph throughout the long weekend, except Friday when they'll be a bit higher [13 mph]. The Humidity will be between 30% - 60%, dipping on Saturday from the highs on Friday and Monday. Click for Manhattan Weather.
You can watch theater, visit the Manhattan art museums NYC, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC or go shopping in Manhattan NYC locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village.
Brief History of Martin Luther King Holiday in NYC
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister who became the leading voice for African Americans' non-violent civil rights movement beginning in the mid 1950's through to his assassination in 1968. In 1983, the third Monday of every year was set aside to honor Martin Luther King for his service to the nation. The third Monday was chosen, as it was the nearest Monday to the anniversary of King's birthday, which was January 15, 1929.
Martin Luther King Day has grown to take on an even larger meaning, as it is oftentimes referred to as a day on, versus a day off. Organizations around the city and nation have used the day to call people into action to address the needs of the community through volunteering and service.
As Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday, it's worth keeping in mind that many / most federal offices will be closed, along with a number of businesses.
Martin Luther King Holiday Special Events in Manhattan NYC
On Monday, January 17, 2022 from 8.30 - 10 pm there's a saxophone performance by Lil Maceo at the Birdland Theater at 315 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Bar seating $20 and regular seating $30.
Just prior to the pandemic there was an exhibit that opened in January 2020 at the Schomburg Center for African American Culture in the Lapidus Center at 515 Malcolm X Blvd and 135th Street in Harlem. The exhibit was entitled Subversion & the Art of Slavery Abolition, which chronicles efforts made by the Abolitionists to stop enslavement via art, politics and culture. THIS YEAR 2022 they do not appear to have any MLK specific related programming, BUT there's a black comic book festival being held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday generally from 12 noon - 6 pm VIRTUALLY. You can join them online at
Please note that the Schomberg Center is normally closed on Sunday and will be closed MLK Day.
The Imperial Theatre at 249 West 45th Street in Midtown Manhattan is hosting performances of the musical 'Ain't Too Proud' which is the story of the Temptations, a modern musical group of the 1960's and 1970's. Performances run through the MLK Weekend - except Monday - and tickets range from $74 - $1353.
The Apollo Theater in Harlem cancelled its Sunday, January 9th program for MLK Day program entitled, MLK, Activism & the Arts. But that said, the Apollo is continuing some of its regularly scheduled programming including a comedy show at 10 pm on Friday and a musical performance on Saturday at 10 pm. Each program costs $25. See www.apollotheater.org for details.
The United Palace at 4140 Broadway at 175th Street in Washington Heights doesn't have anything planned this year 2022.
The Abyssinian Baptist Church on Striver’s Row [late 19th century housing which successful African American musicians and composers moved into in the early 20th century] located at 132 Odell Clark Place [formerly 138th Street] between 138th & 139th Streets and Frederick Douglass & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds normally hosts MLK Weekend related events, but this year  it appears there aren't any. The neighborhood includes places where African Americans like author W.E.B. DuBois and civil rights activist Malcolm X spent some time [history / social / film / free].
For decades, the Manhattan Country School hosted an annual Commemorative MLK Day March beginning at 10 am until 2 pm. The march route seems to vary with each year, but has generally been on the Upper West and Upper East Sides, stopping at historically signfiicant sites, where students give speeches and ending at the Manhattan Country School at 150 West 85th between Columbus & Amsterdam. But this year, due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the students have postponed the march in favor of some other event later this year. For details visit www.manhattancountryschool.org.
NORMALLY _ BUT NOT THIS YEAR 2022 _ On Monday the Museum of the City of New York at 5th Avenue at 104th Street on the UES is hosting a three hour program from 11 am - 2 pm dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King. The program is free w/ admission.
The Studio Museum of Harlem hosts a variety of cultural and art exhibits and programming related to African American culture. Their site at 144 West 125th Street is closed while a new building is being constructed. They are currently operating out of Studio Museum 127 which is located at 429 West 127th Street in Harlem. The last date I have seen for when they expected to move back to their 125th Street site was on March 15, 2020. But then the pandemic hit and they are still operating out of their Studio Museum 127 - BUT IT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO THE OMICRON VARIANT OF COVID.
TEMPORARILY CLOSED _ THE FOLLOWING IS FROM 2020 _ On Monday from 2 pm - 6 pm Riverside Church at 490 Riverside Drive in Manhattan will be hosting it's 5th Annual MLK Now. The doors open at 12 noon to this live music, spoken word and conversational event. Folks will be seated on a first come first serve basis. The church has a real connection to Dr. King as it is where, in 1967 Dr. King gave one of his most famous speeches, Beyond Vietnam. A Time to Break Silence. Free.
The Africa Center at 1280 5th Avenue at 109th Street in East Harlem doesn't appear to have any specific programs scheduled for the MLK Weekend. The museum seems more focused on African culture per se, than on African American culture.
Manhattan Holiday Events - Manhattan NYC
Christmas Tree Lightings, Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, & Kwanzaa Candle Lightings in Manhattan & Holiday Markets & Events NYC
December 18, 2021 / Upper East Side UES / Upper West Side UWS / Midtown NYC / East Village & West Village / Tribeca SoHo Bowery / Holiday Events & Holiday Markets - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Holidays in Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
*** Be sure to visit our Manhattan holiday markets NYC page, as it contains related holiday events with a shopping element to them.
*** For links to holiday events and markets in all five boroughs of NYC scroll down to the bottom of this report.
EDITOR NOTE. While it seems we've turned the corner on the CoVid pandemic, it's after effects still linger. Hence a number of holiday events we saw in 2019 may not yet return in 2021 for reasons related to CoVid, or possibly finances. So while they may not return this year, they might make a comeback next year.
How The Manhattan Holiday Events Page on this Page are Organized
These holiday events in Manhattan are organized as follows:
1. BY NEIGHBORHOODS OF MANHATTAN
2. BY DATE
Watch carefully as some locales have multiple dates, and all dates for a given locale are shown at the time the venue is first listed.
3. ALL OF THESE ARE FREE UNLESS FEES ARE SPECIFIED.
Manhattan Holiday Lights, Christmas Tree Lightings, Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, Kwanzaa Candle Lightings Background
The holidays are a special time of the year. In ancient times there were harvest celebrations to give thanks and enjoy the bounty after a long growing and harvesting season aka a year of work.
Holiday lighting festivals and ceremonies have been on the rise in Manhattan in recent years. While some date back many years, some are fairly new.
Attending holiday lightings alone, with friends or with the kids gives folks a chance to enjoy their own cultural heritage and provides an opportunity to learn a bit more about and share in the cultural heritage of others.
Each lighting is a bit different, as some are orginated by the community, some by businesses, some by religious organizations, and a few have arts organizations behind them. Please feel free to send us a notice of your holiday lighting event if it's not posted herein.
Manhattan Holiday Events & Holiday Markets Now Underway
This is not meant to be a complete list, but rather a list of the holiday lighting events. The holiday lighting events are organized individually by each Manhattan neighborhood including the Upper East Side UES, the Upper West Side UWS, Midtown NYC, the East Village, the West Village, the Bowery, SoHo, Tribeca and more to come. Many include the serving of some beverage like hot chocolate and generally some snack like cookies.
- Click here for our report about the Xmas / Christmas Tree Lightings, Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, Kwanzaa Candle Lightings - holiday events Manhattan - Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa events NYC.
Manhattan Holiday Markets - Manhattan NYC
Christmas Markets, Hanukkah Markets, Kwanzaa Markets & Outdoor Holiday Markets - Holiday Shopping in Manhattan NYC
December 17, 2021 / Upper East Side UES / Upper West Side UWS / Midtown NYC / East Village & West Village / Tribeca SoHo Bowery / Holiday Events & Holiday Markets - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Holidays in Manhattan / Holiday Shopping Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
EDITOR NOTE. While it seems we've turned the corner on the CoVid pandemic, it's after effects still linger. Hence a number of holiday markets we saw in 2019 may not yet return in 2021 for reasons related to CoVid, or possibly finances, or perhaps an assessment that the rewards of a holiday market at this time aren't worth the risks of operating one. Lastly, shopkeepers / market makers still have to operate knowing there remains some uncertainty in being able to obtain the selection goods you want in the time frame you want because of lingering issues associated with the supply chain. So while they may not return this year, they might make a comeback next year.
Holiday outdoor markets have been on the rise in Manhattan since the dawn of the 21st century. While some date back many years, some are relatively new.
Shopping at holiday markets alone, with friends, or with the kids gives folks a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor and satisfy some of their yearnings as well as the yearnings of those we love.
Each of the Manhattan holiday markets is a bit different, as some are organized by community groups and others by business organizations. Oftentimes one can find artisanal products that are made in NYC or NYS.
Manhattan Holiday Markets Getting Underway
Some of the Manhattan holiday markets get underway almost immediately after Halloween, while others open up around Thanksgiving time. The Manhattan holiday markets are located in or near the following Manhattan neighborhoods - the Upper East Side UES, the Upper West Side UWS, Midtown NYC, the East Village, the West Village, the Bowery, SoHo, Tribeca, Lower East Side, Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights. Many either include the serving of some beverage like hot chocolate and generally snacks like cookies - or are near food vendors and restaurants.
Click here for our report about the Xmas / Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa Holiday markets in Manhattan & Holiday shopping Manhattan NYC.
Columbus Day Weekend Manhattan NYC
Things To Do In Manhattan NYC Over The Columbus Day Weekend
September 27, 2022 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Also see updated Weather on Friday afternoon by clicking the header above to go to the Front Page for Weekend Update.
This report contains a listing of some of the things to do in Manhattan over the Columbus Day Weekend including art museums, theaters, live music / comedy / dance venues, sporting & social events, and restaurants for Manhattan NYC.
Manhattan Weather. As of September 27, 2022, the Temperature highs will be in the high 60's all four days of the long weekend. The temperature lows will be in the low 50's throughout the weekend. There's a chance of a small amount of rain, but the probability of rain as of this writing, is in the low double digits. Winds will be about 5 - 10 mph Friday and Monday and between 5 - 10 mph on all weekend. The Humidity will be between 55% - 70% throughout the weekend. Click for Manhattan Weather.
You can still attend NYC street fairs in Manhattan, go bicycling in Manhattan, play soccer & other games in Manhattan NYC parks, go shopping in Manhattan locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village, attend Manhattan parades, watch theater, visit the NYC art museums, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC.
And we provide an update on the Friday of Columbus Day Weekend with things to do on the front page of this site.
Columbus Day Events In Manhattan
Click the header on this page on Friday 10/7/22 to obtain information about things to do Columbus Day Weekend in Manhattan NYC.
Columbus Day Parade - Upper East Side Manhattan
There's a Columbus Day Parade on the Upper East Side on Monday 10/10/22. The Manhattan Columbus Day Parade begins at 12 noon on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street and marching up to 72nd Street along the Upper East Side. Check the front page of this website for other things to do over the Columbus Day Weekend in Manhattan.
Manhattan Public & Private Parks & Public Indoor Swimming Pools
Manhattan has one of number of public parks of which a few include indoor swimming facilities. Click here for a listing of the Manhattan Parks NYC including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.
NYC public indoor swimming pools are open.
NYC Golfing In Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn & Staten Island
Manhattan doesn't have any golf courses per se, but there is a driving range at 62 Chelsea Piers at 22nd Street and the West Side Highway.
There are also three simulated golfing centers in Manhattan that operate under the Five Iron Golf name at 22 Stone Street [at Broad St] in the Financial District, at 138 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District and in the Continental on the third floor at 883 6th Avenue near Macy's and Madison Square Garden.
Queens has four golf courses and all of them are open this weekend. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites.
The Bronx has four public golf courses: Mosholu, Van Cortlandt Park are accessible via the MTA / subway. And Pelham Bay Park and Trump golf links are accessible via subway and a brief bus ride. The Trump Golf Links are an NYC golf course owned by the city, for which Mayor Bloomberg had cut a licensing deal with Donald Trump to rename and manage it. Since the Capitol Riot / Insurrection, the City has decided to terminate that deal and rename the golf course, but Trump is suing to keep the contract.
Brooklyn has a couple of golf courses including Dyker Beach golf course which is accessible via subway and Marine Park golf course which is accessible via subway and bus.
And Staten Island has three beautiful golf courses including: Silver Lake which is only a few miles from the St. George Ferry, LaTourette Park which isn't far from the Staten Island Mall in the central / western part of Staten Island and the South Shore Golf Course which much further south of the Staten Island Mall, along the west coast of Staten Island.
Click here for things to do Columbus Day Weekend in Manhattan.
Things To Do Labor Day Weekend Manhattan NYC
Things To Do In Manhattan - Events Over The Labor Day Weekend
August 29, 2022 / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
FYI - We update our front page on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend, with an up-to-date weather forecast, as well as additional Labor Day Weekend events and updates. So please come back to visit us over the weekend.
Special Events on Labor Day Weekend in Manhattan NYC
One of the biggest events over the Labor Day Weekend in Manhattan include the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit which runs from 12 noon to 6 pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as the following weekend. The show runs along University Avenue from 13th Street down to Washington Square. Also, from Friday, August 26th to Monday, September 5th, there are nightly high definition screenings, beginning at 8 pm, of Metropolitan Opera performances shown in the plaza at Lincoln Center at Columbus and 68th Street on the UWS. Copy and paste this link to see what's playing each night - https://www.metopera.org/season/summer-2022/summer-hd-festival/. And it's worth mentioning that on Friday and Saturday, September 2nd and 3rd, the Metropolitan Museum will host its two final rooftop concerts of the season going from 5.30 - 8.30 pm. Free w/ admission to the Met.
Ironically, the Labor Day Parade in Manhattan is held Saturday, September 10th, after Labor Day in Manhattan. It begins at 10 am on 5th Avenue at 44th Street marching north to 64th Street.
Labor Day Events In Manhattan
You can still attend NYC street fairs in Manhattan, go bicycling in Manhattan, play soccer & other games in Manhattan NYC parks, go shopping in Manhattan locales including Midtown, the Upper West & East Sides & the Village, attend Manhattan parades, watch theater, visit the NYC art museums, and eat out at one of the Manhattan restaurants NYC.
And it's all happening right here in our favorite borough - Manhattan. So take your time to sort through the days and locations and start planning your weekend. Click here to obtain information about other things to do in Manhattan NYC beyond the Labor Day Weekend. This events calendar is updated monthly with about 100 different Manhattan fun / cultural events.
Manhattan Public & Private Parks
Manhattan has one of number of public parks of which a few include swimming facilities. Click here for a listing of the Manhattan Parks NYC including maps showing their locations along with a bit of park history.
NYC Golfing In Queens & The Bronx
Queens has four golf courses and all of them are open this weekend. Click here for details about Queens Golf Courses including maps and links to the operators' websites. The Bronx has several public golf courses: Mosholu and Van Cortlandt Park are accessible via the MTA / subway.
- Click here for things to do Labor Day Weekend in Manhattan.
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Manhattan 4th of July Fireworks NYC 2022
Best Viewing Places / Locations to Watch Fireworks in Manhattan NYC
July 4th Weekend Weather. As of this post 6/28/22, the temperature highs will be in the high 80's during the day and around 70. There's a 50% - 60% chance of rain on Saturday [over a half inch] and a quarter inch of rain on Sunday. The humidity will be 50% - 80% Saturday, falling to 60% on Sunday and down to 50% on Monday. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph throughout the weekend.
Macy's July 4th Fireworks along the East River Provides Good Viewing from Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens and are Distantly Viewable from Northern Staten Island & the Southern tip of the Bronx
The Macy's 4th of July fireworks will be shown along the East River this year.
The fireworks were shown along the East River in 2014, for the first time since 2008, and have remained on the East River ever since. Mayor de Blasio had lobbied for the return, which now spans nine years. The Grucci Brothers will be doing the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in NYC, which they've been doing for decades.
Click here for a report about where to watch the 4th of July Fireworks in Manhattan NYC 2022 & surrounding areas, including times and locations for the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in NYC and at Jones Beach on Long Island.
Rockefeller Center: Christmas or Holiday Tree?
The Large Holiday Tree was Lit Last Week & We Were There
Last Wednesday the large Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was lit for all the world to see. The festivities, including a live broadcast watched by millions, began at 7 pm and ended at 9 pm. Matt Lauer was quietly dropped from the slate of celebrities, due to sexual harrassment allegations. I arrived on the scene between 10 and 10.30 pm, hoping to get a photo of the tree and the crowds.
According to the Daily Beast the tree this year weighs 12 tons and is 75 feet tall and comes from State College Pennsylvania. Traditionally the tree is a Norway Spruce, as is the tree this year. Wikipedia provides us with a bit of the logistics involved transporting and erecting the tree, which has to be transported through New York City streets - the widths of which - limit the maximum tree height to about 100 feet.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting History
Both Wikipedia and Rockefeller Center tells us that the tradition was begun by construction laborers working on the erection of Rockefeller Center in the early 1930's during the Great Depression. One account has the first tree being erected in 1931, which was two years before Rockefeller Center opened in 1933, at which time the first official Christmas tree was lit.
Much ado has been made by numerous writers of the Swarovsky star atop of the tree, which reportedly weights 550 lbs and has 25,000 crystals. Wikipedia tells us that there were 50,000 LED lights hung on the tree.
NYPD Security & Barricades
The streets were barricaded by the NY Police Department when I arrived. Nonetheless there were hundreds of people milling about, trying to get a look at the tree, or possibly just trying to get across town. The barricades extended to about 52nd Street on the north, at 6th Avenue in the west, at Madison Avenue in the eastand about 46th or 47th street in the south at the time I worked my way around the tree.
I did have some luck getting past the NY Police Department barricades with my official press pass and thus got close enough to photograph the tree and remaining crowds exiting the area. I couldn't walk down the main promenade as the folks from Rockefeller Center had cordoned it off to clean it.
I spoke to a couple of policemen who told me they were glad things went well, but that they'd been there a long time and we're looking forward to going home. That sounded like a good idea, so I made my way out of the crowds and over to one of the subways in Midtown.
The tree at Rockefeller Center will remain in place until January 8th. There's a skating rink at the foot of it, which is open throughout the most of every day. And there are a ton of large floor-to-ceiling store windows with beautiful, artistic displays stretching north and south along 5th Avenue from Rockefeller Center which lies between 49th and 50th Streets.
The Road Ahead 2018
A Few Axioms To Keep In Mind Throughout The New Year
For many of us, yesterday started the beginning of the new year.
I used to make new years resolutions that generally lasted a few days or few weeks. Over time I've given that up and have focused on a few guiding principles that I work toward throughout the year, every year.
1. The first guidepost is to keep things as simple as possible by letting things go, so I can change and evolve who I am. Over time it's important to learn to let go of the past which includes letting many of the people, projects and things - that were once so meaningful and relevant - fade away with time. This process involves discarding much of what one collects, in order to open up life to make room for new possibilities.
2. The second guidepost is to take care of the vessel that carries one's being - meaning taking care of the body because it's the only one we'll ever get, and it has to last an entire lifetime. This means consuming the foods that will enable the body to function properly and ward off disease, while recognizing that satisfying the mind is important too, as it's a part of the body. There are three elements to this guideline.
a _ Try to maximize consumption of natural foods while managing / minimalizing consumption of the delicious processed foods that come in packages. Read package container nutrition labels which indicate the amount of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol consumed per serving. The balance of natural and processed foods will shift depending on what's going on in life.
b _ Reduce consumption of toxins by first paying attention to the quantities consumed of them, and then by substituting the toxins with healthier choices. For example dilute a soft drink with seltzer water [cuts sugar], or swap in a lemonade for a beer [cuts alcohol], or swap in pretzels for potato chips [cuts salt and fat]. Over the years these little substitutions can add up to some fair measure of weight loss, and can aid in maintaining generally good health. But it's also important not to deprive oneself, too much, of some of the simple pleasures in life that keep one going - because my experience has been that whenever I'm too draconian, there's a subconscious rebellion, and the program doesn't work.
c _ The third element of this guidepost is to try to walk and bike whenever possible. It's a good way to kill two birds with one stone as it enables getting somewhere, while also getting some exercise. And be sure to carve out enough time each night, for a proper rest.
3. The third guidepost is to try to move your life in the direction of your interests. This will likely take a great many years, as well as needing to make a good number of economic and other trade offs. But if successful, one can then spend most of their time doing the things that totally engage them. It's said that "when someone is doing something they truly love, they'll never have to work another day in their life."
4. And the fourth guidepost is to keep on learning, because "luck is when preparation meets opportunity". So the more you learn, and the more experience you get, the better prepared you'll be ... come what may.
May your new year be filled with promise and possibilities. Best wishes for a happy and successful 2018.
Year of the Rooster in Manhattan
Chinatown Pulls out all Stops for the Year of the Fire Rooster
January 31, 2017 / Chinatown Neighborhood near SoHo & Tribeca Manhattan NYC / Manhattan History & Culture / Manhattan NYC Holidays / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
On Saturday morning I headed down to Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side – LES – in Manhattan. The Chinese were planning a New Year Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival that would run from 11 am to 3.30 pm, with the highlight being the lighting of the firecrackers at 12 noon to ring in the New Year.
I arrived a bit after 12 noon, but just in time to catch the tail end of the firecracker ceremony. It was loud and smoky and the park was full of people who came to enjoy the whole affair. In the photo at right you can see a huge crowd wandering the streets of Chinatown in Lower Manhattan along Elizabeth Street between Canal & Mott Streets.
Grandparents, children and everyone in between were there. And the Chinese celebrants were joined in attendance by thousands of people, many of whom represented numerous other ethnic groups. One of the things I love most about New York City is times like these where I get to join in seeing the world peacefully come together, to savor one another’s culture, in a shared communal learning experience.
Traffic along Chrystie Street was a bit backed up, as the teeming crowds spilled into the streets, and motorist caution was in order with so many people, young and old, around. I made my way along the perimeter of the park up to Grand Street where the entrance is located.
Along the way I would jump up along one of the rails to take some photos of the spectacle in the park. Once inside the park, which was no mean feat, given that literally thousands were making their way out, I found a spot on higher ground where I could listen and watch some of the cultural performances taking place on the main stage. We are beginning the year of the Fire Rooster.
The Chinese have twelve symbols, one of which they designate for each year, in a rotation. The symbols are comparable to those used in the Zodiac, and is likely from where the Zodiac originated.
The use of the twelve symbols likely came from the lunar [monthly] cycle of the Chinese calendar. This year in the western / modern world is 2017, while in the Chinese lunar calendar we have just entered the year 4714. As you can see by the count, the Chinese culture has a significant head start on the west.
In the photo at right you can see performers at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, ringing in the year of the Rooster.
Diwali in Times Square
3rd Annual Indian Festival of Lights Delights Audience
I attended the third annual Diwali Festival in Times Square on Sunday. The day long event, celebrating the millenia old Indian festival, had started in the afternoon at 2 pm and ran well into the evening, ending at 9 pm.
As I came up from the subway I asked an Indian-looking NYC policman to point me in the direction of the festival. He asked me how I had heard of the event and I mentioned that I had found out about it on Manhattan Buzz, but that I had also traveled to India some time ago where I first became aware of the Indian holiday. He inquired as to where I had traveled in India, which was mostly in the north, and he suggested the next time I visit, to check out Kerala, which is where his family is from originally. I had learned from my travels that Kerala is a southwestern Indian province along the Indian Ocean, and is said to be a bit of paradise.
A large crowd had gathered to watch the festival, many of whom were of Indian descent which I found from conversing with several of them. They brought their families to view the free entertainment which included a number of wide ranging song and dance performances by dance troupes and musicians.
Diwali is the festival of lights, which commemorates light overcoming darkness, good overcoming evil and knowledge overcoming ignorance and hope defeating despair. It is one of the three major Hindu festivals and a time for renewal and celebration which is denoted by the cleaning of homes and the lighting of lights. The Diwali Holiday officially runs from October 30th to November 3rd, but unoffically it lasts longer starting in September / October and ending in October / November. The other two major Hindu holidays are Holi which celebrates Spring with the coloring of people's bodies, faces and hair and Maha Shivaratri which is one of the rare nighttime celebrations, held just before the arrival of Spring with a mix of solemn practices including meditation, yoga and fasting.
Happy Holidays or as they say in Hindu - छुट्टियों की शुभकामनाएं.
Pulaski Parade Charms Manhattan
I attended the Pulaksi Day Parade on Sunday. The Pulaski Day Parade celebrates Polish heritage in America, highlighting one of the early Polish contributors to America's democracy, General Pulaski who fought in the American Revolutionary War.
It was a beautiful clear day with temperatures around 70 degrees and the sun was shining. All along Fifth Avenue people had lined the streets, awaiting the parade floats, bands and marchers. In front of St. Patrick's Cathedral stood two members of the clergy with whom I had a chance to speak.
We'll have more about the Pulaski Parade later this week.
Rosh Hashanah Begins Sunday
The Jewish New Year Begins with the Feast of Trumpets
On Sunday, October 4th at sundown, the Jewish New Year begins. The festival commemorates the creation of Adam and Eve and is rung in with a sounding of the shofar, which is a ram's horn that is shaped like a trumpet.
The New Year celebration lasts two days and is also a period of judgment. People are divided into three classes - the righteous, the evil and those who fall in between. Each class is dealt with accordingly, and those who fall in between have ten days to reflect on their lives ending in Yom Kippur wherein they are expected to atone for wrong deeds.
Rosh Hashanah also includes the serving of a few symbolic foods including vegetables such as dates, leeks, spinach and squash. Apples are cut and served with honey [along with a honey bread] to symbolize a sweet year and the challah bread is served to symbolize the cyclical nature of the year. Gefilte [stuffed] fish is also a Rosh Hashanah staple.
I attended Rosh Hashanah at Chabad LIC in 2011 where I met Rabbi Yitzchok who is an artist and had several works on display. In the artwork above right he depicts scenes from Orthodox Jewish life in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Crown Heights in pop art silk screens.
4th Of July Fireworks In Manhattan
Tale & Photos Of My Trip On Independence Day
July 4th / Holidays in Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
I went to see the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in the East River on the Manhattan side on Friday night. Official reports told everyone that the fireworks would begin around 9 pm, but I knew from experience that they generally began closer to 9.30 pm.
I took the subway down the east side of Manhattan sometime after 8.30 pm but still a bit before 9 pm and it was as packed as it usually is during rush hour on a weekday morning.
I decided to go 'all in' and get off at the Court House / Brooklyn Bridge stop. Tonight it was the last stop on the train and many others had opted to get off a couple of stops earlier.
At a later date we'll post the rest of the story including photos of the 4th of July fireworks in Manhattan NYC. A photo from 2014 is shown to your right.