Photo by Ian Hardy for Countdown Entertainment
The new year has arrived in New York City…at least in numbers. Two seven-foot-tall numerals, the “2” and “0” in 2020, are currently on display in Times Square, offering the public a chance to snap a photo with the famous digits before they are placed on top of One Times Square. The 2020 signage sits below the crystal-filled New Year’s Eve ball and will light up at midnight on December 31, marking the start of a new decade.
Photo by Sean Brady, courtesy of the Gramercy Park Block Association
It’s a Christmas Eve miracle. The gates to Gramercy Park will open to all for one hour on Dec. 24, the only time of year the public can enjoy the exclusive greenspace. The Gramercy Park Block Association on Friday confirmed to 6sqft that the private park between East 20th and East 21st Street will once again open from 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. for caroling this Christmas Eve. All other times of the year, the park is only accessible to residents with one of the 400 keys, provided to those who live in the 39 buildings surrounding the square.
What you need to know
Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons
For its 25th year, SantaCon planned a series of yacht parties that would have spared New York City the drunken “festivities” that many decry as “the worst day of the year.” Alas, that plan was canceled after pushback from residents and local officials, so Midtown will once again be flooded with ho-ho-hordes of drunk bros in Santa outfits. Whether you embrace the event’s mission of spreading “absurdist joy” or you consider this the one day of the year that you must stay indoors, here’s what you need to know about the event, taking place on Saturday.
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
In the show, Midge Maisel visits New York City’s oldest bar, McSorley’s Old Ale House. In reality, the establishment barred women until 1970. Photo © James and Karla Murray for 6sqft
Fans of the Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will soon be able to tour famed New York City locations featured in the show. Starting Dec. 16, On Locations Tours, which runs television and movie-themed tours in NYC and Boston, is offering a bus tour that stops at filming locations of the popular show, coinciding with the release of its third season this week. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the tours will be held three times a week and cost $52.
Get the details
Photo by Alyssa Loorya, VP of Friends of the Lott House
It’s been 300 years since the Hendrick I. Lott House was built on a rural piece of land in Marine Park, Brooklyn. One of the few Dutch-American houses remaining in NYC, in its original location no less, the Lott House also has the distinction of being the longest single-family owned and occupied home in the city. Though it is currently closed for renovations, the Lott House still hosts educational events, and this Saturday, they’ll be celebrating their milestone anniversary with a holiday celebration, tree lighting, and rare chance to go inside.
Image by Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons
The 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been in place for nearly a month, and it’s almost ready to get lit. The 87th annual tree lighting ceremony will take place later tonight, with tens of thousands of spectators expected for the festivities and millions more tuning in on television. The event is free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, so read on for everything you need to know if you plan on getting a spot (or if you’d rather watch from your couch!).
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in New York City for the winter holidays, you’ll find just about every kind of celebration imaginable from longtime traditions like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, the Rockettes and the Nutcracker to movie classics in theaters and neighborhoods ablaze with lights. And if you’re seeking a break from traditional festivities, there are plenty of creative and unconventional ways to enjoy the season.
and SantaCon ain’t one
Photo by Marc Hermann, Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
Every Sunday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the New York Transit Museum will run its Holiday Nostalgia Rides, departing from the 2nd Avenue F train station. The 1930s R1-9 train cars have a “Depression-Era Art Deco aesthetic,” complete with “rattan seats, paddle ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, roll signs, and period advertisements,” the announcement tells us.
See the full schedule
Modified version of photo by Shawn Rossi on Flickr
If there was one thing City Bakery was known for, it was the hot chocolate. The thick and creamy beverage (with the option to add a massive, homemade marshmallow) was created by founder Maury Rubin when he had a fortunate accident while working on a chocolate mousse recipe, Grub Street tells us. They also tell us that Rubin, who closed City Bakery last month due to debt, will be launching a series of pop-ups around town to sell his famous hot chocolate.