Every year, the New York Botanical Garden‘s Holiday Train Show gives visitors the chance to marvel at iconic New York landmarks and model trains. Now in its 23rd year, the show features more than 20 locomotives traveling on almost a quarter mile of tracks, which are laid out amongst the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Radio City Music Hall, and more than 150 other replicas made from bark, pine cones, pistachio shells, and other plant materials.
Like any train, the Holiday Train Show requires a team of conductors to guide it, and Karen Daubmann is on board as the Associate Vice President of Exhibitions and Public Engagement, responsible for overseeing a wide range of current and future exhibitions. For this show, Karen works closely with Applied Imagination, the visionaries and builders behind these structures, to ensure the show runs smoothly and on time. We recently visited the show and spoke with Karen–standing near the Brooklyn Bridge and Yankee Stadium–to learn more about this annual production.
Read our full interview here
© Juan Martinez Gonzalez
Giving and getting holiday cards is always fun, but every so often you’ll receive one that really gets you giggling. This year, be the person handing off clever cards to your friends and family. ArchDaily has just announced their 2014 Holiday Card Contest winners, and for all of you design-minded folks and architecture nerds, they’ve got plenty of punny—and just downright cool—cards to choose from.
get the cards here
If Jesus is your homeboy, you can share a bit of religious flair this holiday season without offending any Christian on your list. The Minimal Nativity Set is a contemporary take on the bible-based scene, employing beech wood or brass blocks inscribed with each scene member’s name (Donkey, Joseph, Baby Jesus, etc.) to stand in for the traditional figurines. Created by French artist and designer Émilie Voirin, the blocks still represent the story and take place around the crib, but the characters have no skin color or features, leaving it up to people’s imagination and personal beliefs.
More on the Minimal Nativity Set
The holiday season is synonymous with gift-giving and sharing with others who may be less fortunate than you. This act of kindness can take on many forms; one might volunteer to serve hot food in a soup kitchen, another might donate warm clothing or kids’ toys. Whatever your preferred mode of giving, there are ample opportunities in and around the city to share your holiday spirit with others. We’ve searched around and put together this list of the standard holiday do-gooding plus some other opportunities that could be considered a little more out-of-the-box.
Ways to give back here
As New Yorkers, we don’t really think of Times Square as a romantic location, but for Valentine’s Day 2015 we might just stand corrected.
Brooklyn-based architecture firm Stereotank was announced as the winner of the annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design contest, a public art competition held for the past seven years by the Times Square Alliance and the Architectural League of New York. Stereotank’s HEARTBEAT installation is an interactive, heart-beating, glowing urban drum.
More on HEARTBEAT ahead
Each December, New York transforms itself into a metropolitan holiday wonderland. From window displays to the Rockefeller Center tree to the Rockettes, the city is brimming with cheer. But there’s one thing missing. Aside from the occasional decorated townhouse, New York lacks the light displays and decked-out front yards that are typically associated with the suburbs. But there is one place where New Yorkers can get their fill of small-town nostalgia, and it’s just a quick trip away in Dyker Heights thanks to Tony Muia’s bus tour of the “undisputed capital of Christmas pageantry.”
Inspired by the hospitality he experienced traveling abroad, Tony started giving guided pizza tours of Brooklyn in 2005. He later expanded A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours to include neighborhood tours and his famous Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour, which was featured in a PBS documentary and on TLC. We recently spoke with Tony, the ultimate Brooklynite, about his passion for the borough, A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, and the magic of Dyker Heights.
Read our full interview with Tony
Anyone with kids knows that there’s no such thing as too much when it comes to the sensory wonders of the holiday season. We’ve rounded up some Santa-centric events—from lap-climbing photo-ops to full-on wonderland to brunch with the holiday’s most famous man—that aim to satisfy endless appetites for holiday cheer. We’ve even got a couple for your pets!
This way to the North Pole…
Yesterday, we rounded up the massive Christmas trees around the city for those of you looking for an alternative to Rockefeller Center. But we’re sure this isn’t going to stop a lot of die-hard holiday revelers from heading over to midtown and gawking at the world’s most famous Christmas tree. So, we want to know what your plans are.
Images: Via Sister72 via photopin cc (L); Via Gray Line New York (R)
New York Stock Exchange Christmas tree via Mille Fiori Favoriti
Last week, we took a look back at the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to mark the annual lighting celebration. Though this is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, many of us jaded New Yorkers would rather not deal with the crowds and traffic jams that come with visiting Rock Center. So as an equally festive alternative, we’ve rounded up some of the other huge trees illuminating the city this holiday season.
Capsule Market Square.
As December dawns, the holiday gift markets roll in, and it’s harder than ever to turn around in NYC without encountering a pop-up shop or makeshift mall offering everything anyone could ever want–whether they know it yet or not–for the body, mind, soul and home. We’ve assembled a list of smaller, cooler pop-ups and holiday markets that mix music, food and fun freebies like haircuts, goodie bags and beer with this year’s selection of clever, crafty gifts.
Find out where to get the goods, this way