Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
Did you know the nation’s first public Christmas tree went up in NYC? Or how about the fact that Santa Claus was born here in both literature and drawing? And have you seen the famous restaurant decorated with 15,000 Christmas ornaments, 10,000 lights? Join 6sqft’s managing editor Dana Schulz for her Christmas in Gramercy tour with the Municipal Art Society to see and learn about all this and more. Taking place, Saturday, December 15th, the two-hour event will reveal the surprising origins of our most beloved holiday traditions.
Enter to win tickets here!
Like most things requiring crowd control, SantaCon began life with the best of intentions; long ago (in the early ’90s) in San Francisco, a group of merry pranksters called the Cacophony Society thought it might be a hoot to poke fun at both the proliferation of people in Santa suits and the proliferation of “cons,” while participating in a (alcohol-free, by the way) performance-art-inspired flash mob. As such things do in modern cities, the once-subversive event snowballed, and to paraphrase the Eagles, call someplace paradise–and wake to find four frat dudes barfing outside your window. The drunken ho-ho-hordes are now too legit to quit, and you might as well know where they’ll be on Saturday, December 8, 2018, which is the official date of this year’s SantaCon. Whether your intent is to join in the fun, or to avoid being totally broadsided by a thousand drunk adults in Santa suits, use this map from the event’s organizers.
Map, venue list, rules and caveats, this way
Via Choose Love
This holiday season, instead of buying more stuff you don’t need, gift items that make a true difference in someone’s life. In Soho, Choose Love sells gifts that go directly to refugees, like tents and diapers. The “Give Back” holiday market in Gowanus is back this year, offering a percentage of all proceeds to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). And Upper West Side standby and the biggest of its kind in NYC, the Grand Bazaar Holiday Market will donate 100 percent of its profits to four local public schools.
Learn ways to give here
Manhattan’s Menorah being lit by Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, in 2016. Via Chabad Lubavitch/Flickr.
In the mid-1970s, former Chabad Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson encouraged his emissaries to build public menorahs in major cities and organize nightly lightings to increase public awareness about Hanukkah and inspire fellow Jews to light menorahs in their homes. Decades later, Chabad rabbis continue the effort in cities worldwide, but in New York the practice hasn’t always been peaceful. The tradition ended up creating a friendly competition between rival menorahs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, who both claimed to be “The World’s Largest.”
Find out the story and learn about this year’s lightings
6sqft and our friends at Untapped Cities recently announced a new joint event series where we’ll offer behind-the-scenes tours of some of the city’s top architectural and design firms’ studios. First up is COOKFOX, who will open up their Midtown office space this coming Monday evening. Guests will be treated to a tour of the space’s biophilic tools, wellness technology, and functional outdoor spaces, as well as a discussion with the firm about some of their most notable projects past and present. Interested in attended? Enter our raffle for a chance to win a pair of tickets!
Via Flickr cc
Driving in Midtown is never advised, but really must be avoided this Wednesday. The 86th annual lighting ceremony of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree kicks off tomorrow, bringing with it more than 100,000 spirited visitors and blocks of street closures. The city’s Department of Transportation designated Wednesday a “Gridlock Alert Day” for the celebration, meaning drivers can expect travel throughout the area to take twice as long as usual.
New York City’s beloved Carnegie Deli makes an eight-day return next month with a pop-up experience in Nolita. From Dec. 1 through Dec. 8, the former Midtown deli, which closed in 2016 after serving its famous 1-pound sandwiches for nearly 80 years, will be revived at a storefront at 201 Lafayette Street. The pop-up pastrami shop comes from Amazon Prime in celebration of its new season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a comedy-drama set in 1950s Manhattan (h/t NBC 4).
Get the deli details
It’s pretty simple to get a look at renderings and photos of NYC’s latest architecture projects, and oftentimes just as easy to get inside the buildings. But what about the firms behind the buildings? To offer a fresh take on the architectural landscape of New York, 6sqft has teamed up with Untapped Cities to offer a brand new behind-the-scenes tour series of some of the city’s top architectural and design firms’ studios.
Our first event will take place next Monday, December 3rd, at the Midtown offices of COOKFOX. Not only will you have the chance to explore the space, which has been outfitted with biophilic tools, wellness technology, and functional outdoor spaces, but you’ll hear from Jared Gilbert, COOKFOX‘s Director of Communications, about designing the studio and how some of the firm’s biggest projects (the proposed St. John’s Terminal addition where Google is rumored to be headed, a mixed-use tower at the Domino Sugar site that will be Williamsburg’s tallest, and the Bank of America Tower, NYC’s first LEED Platinum skyscraper) have come to fruition.
Sign up for a spot on the tour!
The winter holiday season is as much about tradition as it is about twinkling lights and shopping, from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Rockettes to The Nutcracker and as many versions of Handel’s Messiah as there are ways to count ’em–plus a full menu of classics on TV and at the movies. If you’re craving a break from the old chestnuts, these less-traditional alternatives to the holiday hit parade might be just the kind of merry you’re looking to make.
No SantaCon, we promise
There are 2.5 miles of public viewing along the parade route in NYC; this interactive map can help you find a great spot instead of getting lost in the crowd. The map, from the fine folks behind the parade, outlines when the parade will pass by, which streets have the best public views (6th Avenue from West 59th to West 38th Streets gets the thumbs-up) and which ones are restricted, such as Central Park South at Columbus Circle. Also marked are all-important things like coffee, food, and restrooms.
More info, this way