Most of us are celebrating this Mother’s Day from a distance, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less special. Ahead, we’ve put together more than 30 gift ideas that will brighten mom’s day whether she’s near or far. From the mom looking to get zen to the mom who loves to cook (or eat!) to all the bookworm mamas, we’ve found a little something for everyone, with some special NYC-themed treats to boot.
Macy’s spends about $6 million each July 4th on its annual fireworks display, but this year, the company furloughed most of its 125,000 employees amid the coronavirus crisis. When it comes to local finances, the city is projecting a $7.4 billion loss in tax revenue for fiscal years 2020-2021. But despite all this, Mayor de Blasio said in his press conference today that the Fourth of July festivities will still take place. “One way or another, the show will go on,” he said. This comes just days after the mayor cancelled all public events through June.
While it won’t be an actual procession, this year’s annual New York City Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival will take place virtually on Sunday, April 12. The festive event dates back to the 1870s but was, of course, canceled this year due to the coronavirus crisis. But the Fifth Avenue Association is taking it to Instagram, encouraging participants to “dress up in their most creative, home-crafted Easter outfits, strike a pose in quintessential Fifth Avenue style and participate in a virtual parade.”
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.