Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31, anticipation runs high as the world holds its breath waiting for the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball to descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square. We all know that the countdown starts at 10, but there are a handful of other fun facts to muse over when it comes to the city’s most lauded tradition. From the wattage of the ball to the weight of trash produced to how long it takes to get it all cleaned up, see what we’ve rounded up, in numbers, ahead!
You may or may not be on board with the idea of starting the new year with a set of fresh and fabulous resolutions. But everyone has goals, and if yours are among those mentioned here–from getting more sleep to seeing more art–read on for helpful hacks, simple solutions, and total game-changers.
The 2007 Times Square Ball during construction. Image courtesy of Focus Lighting.
When midnight hits this New Year’s Eve, the Times Square Ball will dazzle people just the same from five feet away or on their television. Making this magic happen is no easy feat, though. To learn a bit more about how the nearly 12,000-pound ball was created, we chatted with principal designer Christine Hope of Focus Lighting, the architectural lighting design firm who conceptualized the current ball more than 10 years ago. From engineering a new system to make all 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles sparkle to dreaming up the magical light show that plays leading up to the ball drop, Focus Lighting shares the inside scoop on this world-famous tradition.
Photo: NYC Parks / D. Avila
Not quite sure how to get rid of that Christmas Tree? From December 26 to January 11, NYC will be hosting its annual Mulchfest so that you can recycle your tree at a local park. With 67 total drop-off sites throughout the five boroughs—32 of which are chipping sites—it’s easier than ever to get your tree turned into mulch that will be used to help nourish trees and plants across the city.
Photo ©AMNH/ R. Mickens
On Thursday, the week-long holiday Kwanzaa kicks off as a celebration of African American culture and heritage in the United States. From Dec. 26, through Jan. 1, New Yorkers can learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba, through traditional music and dancing, kinara lighting, African folklore storytime, and a bar crawl featuring only black-owned businesses. Ahead, find the best places in NYC to celebrate Kwanzaa, from family-friendly arts and crafts and lectures at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to live performances at Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater.
As this year marks 400 years since the first African slaves were brought to America, much attention has been paid to what that means and how to remember this solemn anniversary. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission issued a story map highlighting landmarks of the abolitionist movement in New York City. Absent from the map were a number of incredibly important sites in Greenwich Village, the East Village, and Noho, which were a hotbed of abolitionist activity through the 19th century, as well as the home of the city’s largest African American community. Ahead, learn about 14 significant sites of the anti-slavery movement.
New Year’s Eve is one of those events where it seems all of humanity has converged upon New York City. If you fancy rubbing shoulders (or more) with at least a million of them, Times Square is your best bet. But if you’d rather enjoy a more curated, yet still public, experience, check out any of the many events happening in the city as the second decade of the millennium lurches to a close; below is just a sampling. Debauch responsibly–hindsight, as they say, is 2020.
In some ways, 2019 was a continuation of the past few years: political and global uncertainty loomed over the New York real estate market, development continued at a steady pace, and prices were as high as ever. (Oh wait — they were actually higher.) But the year also brought notable changes, from a total overhaul of rent and tenant protections, increased urgency in regards to climate change, an increasingly buyer’s market, and dry-up of the once pervasive rental concessions.
So what’s in store for the year ahead? Real estate experts believe sustained political uncertainty — particularly around an election year — could mean buyers proceed cautiously. The new rent laws will undoubtedly shape New York, as both the rental and condo markets tighten. Pre-war design will make a comeback in defiance of glassy modern architecture, while the focus on sustainability will increase and amenities will become more flexible.
Image courtesy of The Sill.
Plants don’t just make our rooms look great, they also purify indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. They’ve been known to boost mood and creativity and reduce stress (and they sure do look good in apartment spaces, for a relatively low cost). They require care but far less than the average pet. And it’s rewarding to see them grow. Even if plant care and feeding lies just outside your skillset, faux foliage, like the life-like specimens from The Sill, has come a long way. Plants and everything you need to nurture them can be easy and convenient to order online, and plants and accessories make great gifts for both experienced “plant people” and newbies. See our guide below for some great green thumb gift ideas.
Rendering via DBOX; frame via Pixabay
The votes have been tallied, and it’s time to name the 2019 Building of the Year! The winning title belongs to none other than Nomad’s Madison House at 15 East 30th Street. The 62-story tower beat out 11 other significant NYC buildings, taking first place with 1,284 votes, 34% of the 3,823 total votes cast. Not only is the building the tallest in Nomad at 805 feet, but its sleek design from Handel Architects was done in a unique decagon shape that allows all of the 199 apartments to have column-free corners. Plus, Nomad is an ever-burgeoning neighborhood full of hip restaurants, plenty of transit options, and one of the city’s greatest concentrations of fitness studios.