Red Hook Winery. Photo credit: Sava Studio
When asked why a couple should spend Valentine’s Day at City Winery, CEO and founder, Michael Dorf responded, “Wine not?” Puns aside, he believes “there’s this romantic vibe to wooden barrels — something sexy about a winery.” It’s what he attributes to City Winery hosting so many weddings. Plus, he joked, if you get engaged at his winery, you’re guaranteed to stay married. Time might tell whether or not that’s true, but when it comes to planning a date night, urban wineries are like a more romantic version of the ever-popular urban brewery.
Where to wine and dine
All photos courtesy of Welcome to Chinatown unless otherwise noted
In early 2020, Vic Lee, who grew up in Manhattan’s Chinatown, noticed that there was less foot traffic in her neighborhood. “It was obvious something was going on that Lunar New Year,” Lee said. “We talked to business owners, and it was because of xenophobia and racist rhetoric.” During the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March of that year, she co-founded Welcome to Chinatown as a way to amplify small businesses and entrepreneurs in Chinatown via their Longevity Fund. The organization also has a meal donation program for underserved residents and does research and data collection. And this month, for the third year, Welcome to Chinatown will be hosting Lunar New Year celebrations to usher in the Year of the Rabbit, which begins January 22. We spoke to Lee about what to expect and what Lunar New Year means to her, as well as the Chinatown community.
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The holidays are over and we’ve settled into the long month of January. With the sun setting early and the days cold and blustery, it can be hard to keep up with your healthy resolutions of exercising and eating healthy — sitting on a cozy couch and a glass of red wine is so tempting. But, if you’ve decided to partake in dry January (a month free of alcohol), there are a number of spots around New York City that can make it fun. With mocktails and non-alcoholic spirits becoming more and more popular, you don’t have to stay in on Friday and Saturday nights drinking green juice and water! Here are five bars and “liquor” stores serving up alcohol-free libations to keep your January fun and healthy.
Sober spots here
Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash
Decorating your home is one of the joys of the holidays. But in New York City, most people don’t have room for a 10-foot Christmas tree or an elaborate display of lights. But that shouldn’t stop even studio dwellers from getting into the spirit! We spoke to interior designers to get some expert tips on how to decorate small spaces for the holidays.
Tips this way
Give your loved one a little piece of NYC this holiday season. Yes, the Big Apple is a shopping mecca with big, luxury brands boasting beautiful flagship stores, but the local creators are with whom you’ll find more meaningful gifts. “The small businesses and local artists are the backbone of community and culture in any given city,” Flannery Cronin, founder of Friend Of All, a Brooklyn-based shop selling handmade lamps, told 6sqft. “They are creating beautiful treasures that are made to last, and likely paying a living wage to those involved with its creation. If you choose to shop small this holiday season you will be doing your part to support your neighbors.” Plus, there’s usually a great story behind local brands and creators that make the product all the more interesting. From accessories to food and drink, here are 10 made-in-NYC gifts to add to your shopping list.
Shop local, this way
Replicas of the Hell Gate Bridge and George Washington Bridge soar overhead in the Holiday Train Show; Photos courtesy of NYBG unless otherwise noted
Since 1992, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has held its Holiday Train Show. The magical exhibit recreates 190 of New York City’s landmark buildings in miniature using plant materials like bark, leaves, and seeds. Twenty-five model trains zoom in and out of the cityscape over bridges and under tunnels, just like in the real-life city. The pieces of art are created by the team from Applied Imagination, which was founded by Paul Busse in 1991. The following year, he brought his creations to the NYBG. To learn more about this iconic holiday event, we spoke to Joanna Groarke, vice president for exhibitions and programming at NYBG.
Everything you need to know
All photos by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s Inc
“He’s so kind and nice and jolly. He’s not like anyone else. He must be Santa.” That’s what little Natalie Wood says about the Herald Square Macy’s Santa Claus in the 1947 classic “Miracle on 34th Street.” And to this day, the jolly man in red remains at the helm of the iconic department store’s annual Santaland. Since 1861, Macy’s has been inviting children and adults to experience the wonder of Santa Claus (though the Herald Square building was not erected until 1901), but what people may not know is that, much like the spirit of Christmas, Santaland exists all year long behind locked doors. On the day after Thanksgiving, the doors are opened, letting holiday magic spill out once again.
Get the Santaland low-down
FAO Schwarz at Rockefeller Center; Photo: Charles Sykes/AP Images for FAO Schwarz
The thing about tradition is, it never gets old. And in New York City during the holidays, there are some annual traditions that just make the city magical — the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, lights on 5th Avenue, the Bryant Park holiday market, and Santa at Macy’s to name a few. And while these tried and true mainstays will never go out of style, it is nice to switch it up once in a while. We’ve rounded up some lesser-known holiday events and activities to mix things up this holiday season in NYC.
Check them out
Winter in New York City can be tough — bitter winds, slushy sidewalks, walking to the subway in a massive winter parka. But these frigid temps and grey days (will February ever end?!) are the perfect excuses to escape to a cozy bar and warm up with a cocktail. To get you through the rest of winter, we’ve rounded up some of the coziest bars in the city for the coldest nights.
Check them all out
Photo by Altifarm Enverde on Unsplash
As climate change and environmental issues continue to be hot topics on a global scale, more and more people are trying to do their small part at home. To get some easy lifestyle tips on how to “green” your apartment right here in New York City, we spoke to an NYC-based zero-waste expert and an eco-conscious interior designer who filled us in on things like eliminating single-use items, saving energy, and composting.
13 easy ways to go green