All photos by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft
The New York Botanical Garden’s 28th annual Holiday Train Show is back for the season, and this year it has an entirely new Central Park section, featuring iconic spots like Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, and the Bow Bridge–all made entirely from natural materials including bark, seeds, berries acorns, and cinnamon sticks. 6sqft took a special tour of the exhibit, which features a total of 175 New York landmarks, and went behind-the-scenes with Laura Busse Dolan, President and CEO of Applied Imagination, the design firm that works all year long to make this whimsical show a reality. From the exhibit’s 2,000 plants to its 25,000 pounds of cedar bark and 200 boxes of moss, Laura fills us in on all the fun and little-known facts about the Holiday Train Show.
Take a tour
Map via Google Maps/Macy’s
It’s almost time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and with 2.5 miles of public viewing areas along the route this year, anyone eager to claim a good spot should be able to with a little planning. This interactive map put together by the parade organizers outlines the stretches that have the best views as well as all the areas that will be restricted to the public. The map also notes where you can find essentials like restrooms, coffee, and food.
Image by Phil Roeder via Flickr
If you can’t get enough of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can extend the festivities by attending the yearly Balloon Inflation event that takes place the day before Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, November 27 you’ll be able to see the balloons come to life as they get filled with helium outside the Museum of Natural History. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a first glimpse of the five new balloons debuting this year, including Love Flies Up to the Sky by artist Yayoi Kusama in partnership with Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery series.
Photo courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corporation
Ice skating in New York City is a must during the winter, with spots like the festive rink at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park’s winter village, and even newbie Runway Rink at the landmarked TWA Hotel. But there’s only one NYC ice rink where you can “skate the skyline.” Returning for a second season, The Rooftop at Pier 17 in the Seaport District opens this week, promising an even more spectacular season of skating as the city’s only open-air rooftop rink.
Find out more
All photos courtesy of the Armour–Stiner House
Not only is Westchester’s Octagon House the stuff that Instagram dreams are made of, but it is the world’s only eight-sided, fully-domed Victorian home. This holiday season, the Armour–Stiner House, as it’s officially known, will open its doors at night for a special event that invites guests to tour the restored 1872 house while it’s full of seasonal decorations. There will also be hot refreshments served and “dramatic interpretations of Washington Irving’s ‘Old Christmas.'”
Photo courtesy of Grand Bazaar
New York is a city of shoppers, and though the retail landscape may be undergoing a sea change, there’s still a lot to be said for perusing yards of beautiful baubles and quirky crafts you won’t find online in the company of other shoppers and plenty of good cheer. There’s no shortage of holiday markets this season, with one in practically every corner of town; and each one is unique in its own way. The big Manhattan markets–at Union Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, and Columbus Circle–get points for sheer volume, but some of the best finds can be had at smaller, more intimate neighborhood affairs. And they all sparkle with winter wonderland delights from ice skating and music to drinks, food, workshops, tarot readings, nail art, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
Find out where to get the goods
Photo courtesy of TWA Hotel.
Yet another cool way to experience the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Hotel at JFK Airport arrives this month: Starting November 30, a custom 56-by-44-foot Runway Rink will be open for ice skating on the hotel’s tarmac surrounding the 1958 Lockheed Constellation Connie airplane-turned-cocktail-lounge. In addition to sharpening your figure-8 skills, you can catch nostalgic ice skating shows and chill with frosty beers, sno-caps and more.
Winter wonderland, this way
Opening of the parade; photo courtesy of Macy’s, Inc
It’s turkey time! The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade hits the streets of Manhattan for the 93rd time on Thursday, Nov. 28. Since 1924, the parade has kicked off the holiday season each year with balloons, live performances, and a sense of cheer. If you’re going to be one of 50 million people watching the festivities from home, or joining the crowd of 3.5 million people attending, there are a ton of fun facts and figures to know ahead of time. From the number of marching band members (2,793) to the hours of work put in by Macy’s team pre-parade (50,000), learn the ins and outs of one of NYC’s greatest celebrations, by the numbers.
The full rundown
Photo by Rommel Demano for God’s Love We Deliver
The winter holiday season is a time of overflowing bounty for so many. While giving thanks and exchanging gifts, it’s a fine opportunity to share the wealth, good cheer–and extra time off–with fellow New Yorkers in need. There are hundreds of ways to volunteer from now through the New Year (and beyond), and we’ve rounded up 13 ways to help this year, from meal delivery to serving Thanksgiving dinner to preparing your own putlock dish.
The list, this way
Photo by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft
When designing new workspace in the Financial District, architecture firm Woods Bagot knew they wanted to incorporate a sense of New York City grit. The studio’s raw interiors, which look convincingly original, black and white palette, exposed pipes and cracked concrete floors help pull off this aesthetic, while the use of technology and communal space keep things modern. As part of a partnership between 6sqft and Untapped Cities, you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of Woods Bagot studios, the firm behind Union Crossing in the South Bronx and mixed-use tower The Amberly in Downtown Brooklyn. Led by architect Sorrel Anderson, the tour offers lovers of architecture and city planning a chance to learn about the studio’s design, test out a virtual reality experience, and ask questions at the end of the evening. Below, enter our raffle for a chance to win two tickets to the tour.
Find out how to enter