Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army Greater New York Division
With the need for support services at an all-time high coupled with a lack of foot traffic at retail stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Salvation Army has had to think outside the kettle this holiday season. While typically the charity group relies on its bell-ringers stationed outside of stores with red kettles to raise money for those in need, this year the Salvation Army is calling for digital donations. To bring attention to its online fundraising campaign, the group unveiled on Tuesday a giant 32-foot red kettle in Times Square.
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ShopIN.nyc’s VP of Marketing, Andrew Tider, picking up an order from Shirley Bryant, co-owner of Geometry Kids; Photo courtesy of ShopIN.nyc
Shopping local this holiday season is more important than ever as small businesses across New York City struggle to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. A startup company is making it easier to stay home and avoid Amazon and other major online retailers by offering same-day delivery from Brooklyn-based stores. ShopIN.nyc is a one-stop-shop for every-day items like household supplies and pantry staples and even special occasion gifts and holiday decor, all from small businesses in Brooklyn.
Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash
Starting this Thursday, December 3, if you want a chance to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for five minutes (yep, there’s a time limit), you’ll need to reserve advance tickets. In his press conference today, Mayor de Blasio outlined the new system, which includes closing 49th and 50th Streets between 6th and 7th Avenues to vehicular traffic and setting up four-person “pods” where guests will be directed to see the tree. “This is going to be a challenging holiday season in a lot of ways, but it’s still going to be a beautiful one,” said the mayor.
Pilgrim balloon in 1946. Photo via Macy’s Inc.
There are many famous traditions synonymous with New York City, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is at the top of that list. The first parade marched down Broadway in the winter of 1924, and in the years since, it’s grown into an event with more than 3.5 million spectators. Though this year’s parade is going to look a bit different, the history behind the festivities and larger-than-life balloons is just as mesmerizing. Ahead, learn all about the parade’s 96 years and see some incredible archival photos.
This way for the full history
Photos courtesy of Cameron Blaylock
A new public art installation opened on Monday in the Flatiron Public Plaza as part of the neighborhood’s annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” holiday programming. Designed by firm Studio Cooke John, the Point of Action installation consists of nine metal pavilions surrounded by six-foot concentric circles with ropes that part, creating a “spotlight” and allowing passersby to connect with one another. The firm’s work was selected as this year’s winning design by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute.
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All photos courtesy of Eugene Gologursky/ Getty Images
The first department store in New York City to ever display holiday windows continued its long-standing tradition this week. Macy’s on Thursday unveiled its 2020 holiday windows at its flagship Herald Square store with the theme “Give, Love, Believe.” According to the store, the windows are a tribute to the city’s frontline workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
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Winter Village at Bryant Park; Photo by Angela Cranford
Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting, and the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve, many of the city’s holiday markets will also be online-only this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. While nothing beats the magic of New York City during the holiday season and the traditions that come along with it, there are still ways to support local artists, businesses, and vendors this year. In addition to a few markets happening in-person this year, including the open-air shops at Bryant Park, a number have gone virtual, allowing you to shop safely from home, no matter where that is.
Full list ahead
Photo by Michael Vadon via Wikimedia
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has taken its rightful place in Midtown. This year, a 75-foot tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce from Oneonta, N.Y. will serve as the centerpiece for the famous event. Donated by Daddy Al’s General Store, the approximately 80-year-old tree last week was cut down, hoisted by a crane, and delivered by flatbed truck to Manhattan on Saturday. The public cannot attend the tree lighting ceremony this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the live event will be broadcast nationally on December 2.
Photo courtesy of Estuary
Let’s face it–this year’s Thanksgiving is not going to be what we’re used to. Many of us won’t be able to travel to be with our families or don’t feel comfortable dining in a restaurant. But if cooking’s not your thing (or you’re just too damn exhausted from 2020), there are plenty of local restaurants offering to-go holiday meals. From classic turkey dinners at Bubby’s and The Smith to an affordable, family-friendly option from Sarabeth’s to something a little more avant-garde like Cote’s Korean prime rib meal or Aquavit’s Nordic-inspired menu, we’ve rounded up the best takeout Turkey Day options in NYC.
Hope you’re hungry
Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr
Another New York City tradition has been canceled this year because of the coronavirus. The Union Square Holiday Market, a city staple for more than 25 years, will not open this season. And the Columbus Circle Holiday Market will also be closed this year, according to Urbanspace, which operates both markets.
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