For many, celebrating Irish American heritage in March brings one to Fifth Avenue for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or perhaps a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But for those willing to venture beyond Midtown, there’s a rich Irish American history to be found in Greenwich Village and the East Village. While both neighborhoods became better known for different kinds of communities in later years – Italians, Ukrainians, gay men and lesbians, artists, punks – Irish immigration in the mid-19th century profoundly shaped both neighborhoods. Irish Americans and Irish immigrants played a critical role in building immigrant and artistic traditions in Greenwich Village and the East Village. Here are some sites connected to that great heritage, from the city’s oldest intact Catholic Church to Irish institutions like McSorely’s Old Ale House.
St. Patrick’s Day takes place on Tuesday, March 17 this year but in NYC, it’s much bigger than just the official holiday. Celebrations get an early start and run throughout the month with a whopping nine parades dedicated to the holiday (some have already taken place but you still have plenty to choose from). Of course, many of the festivities are known for being raucous and alcohol-fueled, but there are many other ways you can celebrate: from taking a walking tour in the former “Little Ireland” area of the Lower East Side, to learning how to bake Irish soda bread and shamrock macaroons, to getting competitive in an Irish-themed trivia night. Ahead, we rounded up 20 options and none of them involve waking up early to snag a seat at McSorley’s.
You don’t have to travel to New Orleans to get in on the Mardi Gras festivities; New York City has some fun Fat Tuesday events of its own (though they may be a tad tamer than what you’ll find in Louisiana!). From brass bands and jazz performances to crawfish boils and King Cake, we’ve rounded up 20+ great ways to celebrate Mardis Gras this year.
Photo: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL
Forget the roses and chocolate, spend this Valentine’s Day enjoying a new book. As part of its 125th-anniversary celebration, the New York Public Library on Friday released an expertly-curated list of 125 books that inspire a love of reading. A team of librarians spent a year debating and choosing its 125 Books We Love list, which includes fiction and non-fiction titles published after May 23, 1895, the year the library was incorporated.
Painting of George Washington: Rembrandt Peale, George Washington (1732–1799), 1853, Oil on canvas; New-York Historical Society, Bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes
New York City is rich with presidential history, from hosting the inauguration of the country’s first president to being home to Grant’s Tomb, the largest mausoleum in North America. Presidents’ Day celebrates the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln each year on the third Monday in February. Those who get the day off from work or school can spend the holiday learning about the city’s presidential history, from Federal Hall to the Flatiron District. Or, for a more low key (but still patriotic) three-day weekend, eat cake, go bowling, or catch a Commander in Chief-themed comedy show.
Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal
One of the most unique Valentine’s Day events in New York City is happening at one of the city’s busiest transit hubs. Grand Central Terminal announced it will provide one couple a romantic, private evening under the stars of its iconic main hall as part of a new contest announced Monday. The winning couple, who will get the space to themselves on February 14 between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., will enjoy a three-course dinner provided by Michelin-starred restaurant Agern and a live piano performance from a Steinway Artist, all under the terminal’s constellation ceiling.
February marks Black History Month, a nationwide celebration of African American culture and history. New Yorkers will have plenty of opportunities to honor the contributions made by the black community, with live performances, guided tours, comedy shows, art installations, and more events happening across the city. From the Apollo Theater’s open house celebration to spoken word performances at Brooklyn barbershops, pay tribute to the achievements of black Americans this February, as well as all year round.
Image courtesy of The Sill.
Long after the day of chocolate boxes and candy hearts is over, these gifts will still be as cool as the person who gave them. Because if you’re going to wear your heart on your sleeve, it had better look good! Ahead, we’ve rounded up 15 great gift ideas, from chic pottery and lamps to heart-shaped succulents to a hot sauce kit to spice things up.
Image via Pixabay.
There are more ways to say “Be my Valentine” than we can count, and purveyors of all things romantic will be out in full force trying to win hearts this February 14. If February’s second week has you scrambling for a worthy celebration, it might be the perfect time to try something a little bit different. Below, we’ve rounded up 14 unexpected Valentine-inspired events–from whiskey and chocolate to bugs and sewage.
The two-week-long celebration of Lunar New Year begins next week, considered one of New York City’s most festive events of the year. The welcoming of the Year of the Rat, the first zodiac animal and said to be a sign of wealth, kicks off on Saturday, Jan. 25 and is followed by 15 days of festivities, including lots of parades, performances, and firework displays. With several Chinatowns and many Asian communities found across the five boroughs, there are fun Lunar New Year activities for all New Yorkers, from Lower Manhattan’s 21st annual Chinatown parade to the first-ever Asian comedy festival.