There are many famous traditions synonymous with New York City, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is at the top of that list. The first parade marched down Broadway in the winter of 1924, and in the years since, it’s grown into an event with more than 3.5 million spectators. The parade is also televised on both NBC and CBS and boasts a whopping 50 million viewers. And like any long-standing NYC institutions, the history behind the festivities and larger-than-life balloons is certainly interesting.
All posts by Rebecca Paul
Image by acfb.org
The holiday season is the time of year when seeing friends and family is hard to avoid. We also find ourselves with more vacation days during these winter months. However, even though these two holiday realities suggest cheer and relaxation, they don’t always mean we’re taking the necessary time to slow down and appreciate what really matters. Instead of just eating and drinking your way through the next weeks, why not harness the holiday spirit and take a pause to help your fellow New Yorkers in need? There are hundreds of opportunities to volunteer from now through the New Year, and the list we’ve compiled below is a good place to start.
Known for its record-breaking height and sophisticated Art Deco style, the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s, if not the world’s, most recognized landmarks. While the building is often used in popular culture as light-natured fodder—such as the opening back drop to your favorite cookie-cutter rom-com or the romantic meeting spot for star-crossed lovers—the building’s past is far more ominous than many of us realize. From failed suicide attempts to accidental plane crashes, its history casts a vibrant lineup of plot-lines and characters spanning the past ninety years.
Vault lights in Soho, via WooJin Chung for 6sqft
In many parts of Soho and Tribeca, the sidewalks are made from small circular glass bulbs instead of solid concrete. Known as “hollow sidewalks” or “vault lights,” the unique street coverings are remnants from the neighborhood’s industrial past when they provided light to the basement factories below before electricity was introduced. These skylight-like sidewalks first came about in the 1840s when these neighborhoods were transitioning from residential to commercial and when their signature cast iron buildings first started to rise.
This gorgeous East Hampton property is located on a 20-acre site that was surveyed and designed by architect Michael Haverland in the format of a “campus” rather than one large suburban home. It’s arranged around a series of courtyards and gardens to take full advantage of the subtle undulations of the site’s organic topography, providing room for an L-shaped main house, pool house and 25-meter pool, gym, spa, and tennis court.
Those of us New Yorkers lucky enough to be heading out to the Hamptons this weekend may not as lucky to shack up in a stunning abode like this, but we all can dream. This contemporary home from Barnes Coy Architects is located in picturesque East Quogue and was strategically designed to feature views of both the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Shinnecock Bay to the north, all highlighted by stark white interiors.
The New Design Project decked out a young couple’s urban residence with bursts of bold color, texture, and geometry, transforming the rustic Jersey City loft into a vibrant modern oasis. Integrated into the interior decor are several modern pieces, strategically placed among playful accents and ethnic touches–an unexpected yet seamless integration of various styles that’s become synonymous with the work of this edgy design duo.
Arckit, an architectural model kit manufacturer, has recently added to its family of offerings a series of playful yet professional three-dimensional modeling sets designed to satisfy the needs of building professionals, as well as aspiring designers. Traditional methods of model building include “cut and glue” techniques or 3D drawings, but these kits, called Arckit Cityscape and Arckit Masterplan, provide the same tactile experience with no special skills required.
Located in the quaint hamlet of South Hampton, Water Mill is home to some truly beautiful modern architecture thanks to its picturesque ocean backdrop and preserved greenery. And this 4,600-square-foot house from Desai Chia Architecture is no exception. In 2015, the home underwent a full renovation, and the current structure is an expansion of a traditional shingled cottage upgraded with a modern addition.
Robert Moses, the “master builder,” was arguably the most influential individual in the development of New York City’s politics and physical structure. He’s widely known for his hand in creating New York State’s massive parkway network (he built 13 expressways through NYC) and erecting large public housing complexes in low-scale neighborhoods (many of which were segregated), and has therefore been named as the source of many of the city’s gentrification and urban decline issues still present today. Regardless of this criticism, his breath of knowledge and experience was unparalleled (we can also thank him for Lincoln Center, Jones Beach, and countless public swimming pools) and is the subject of this 15-minute television program called Longines Chronoscope that aired in 1953, at the height of his heyday.