After Macy’s announced yesterday that their annual July 4th Fireworks display in NYC would go on despite the pandemic, headlined by John Legend, Mayor de Blasio said in his press conference today that the show will take on a new life this year. There will be five-minute “brief but mighty” bursts of fireworks throughout the five boroughs from June 29th through July 1st, culminating in a finale on Saturday, July 4th, which will be televised from the top of the Empire State Building. On their website, Macy’s says they “expect to announce details of the reimagined event soon.”
Juneteenth has been observed by African Americans nationwide for more than 150 years as a celebration of the day enslaved Black people were liberated in the United States. This year, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue across New York City, the holiday takes on special significance as a day of action, reflection, and education. New York officials are recognizing the weight of the anniversary by making Juneteenth an official state holiday and a city holiday, set to be observed by public schools next year. Although the festivals and cookouts of the past are on hold this year in light of the coronavirus, there are many virtual and socially distanced events happening across the city, from a digital day of dance to a cyclist-led Freedom Ride.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and said he will introduce legislation to make it an official New York State holiday next year. Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 and is celebrated annually on June 19.
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.
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.