Photo by Sean Brady, courtesy of the Gramercy Park Block Association
It’s a Christmas Eve miracle. The gates to Gramercy Park will open to all for one hour on Dec. 24, the only time of year the public can enjoy the exclusive greenspace. The Gramercy Park Block Association on Friday confirmed to 6sqft that the private park between East 20th and East 21st Street will once again open from 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. for caroling this Christmas Eve. All other times of the year, the park is only accessible to residents with one of the 400 keys, provided to those who live in the 39 buildings surrounding the square.
What you need to know
Image by Skeez via Pixabay cc
Though all across the U.S. of A., Santa Claus and his missus appear arm in arm, NYC Santas have no time (or budget) for a wife, according to the Wall Street Journal. Several women who don Mrs. Claus outfits in a professional capacity during the winter holiday season have said that they’re not only paid about half what Santa gets–more along the lines of what an elf is paid, according to Brian Harrell, CEO of the Minneapolis-based All Time Favorites, Inc. which employs 600 “premium” Santa performers–but there’s not much call for Mrs. Claus in the city at all.
Behind every good man–at least in pay
Despite being the City That Never Sleeps, New York does close down a bit on Christmas Day, with all sorts of museums, shops, restaurants, and other businesses giving their staff a break for the holiday. But for those of us who do not celebrate or won’t be spending all of Christmas at home squabbling over politics with family, there’s still plenty to do in town, especially if you get a little creative. Here are seven great options.
Not sure what to get the New Yorker who has it all? We’ve put together a list of 20 items at every price point that will satisfy even the most jaded New Yorker. From historic prints of old New York and classic mom-and-pops to skyscraper champagne flutes and Brooklyn map coasters to some more offbeat items like a sew-your-own Jane Jacobs doll and an authentic Katz’s deli apron.
Check them all out here
Photo by @lordmaui via Unsplash
Nobody appreciates a great gift like a child, but New York City kids are a tough audience. They’ve already got the world at their feet, even if they’re not possessed of a pile of material goods. Fortunately, there are lots of options for cool presents for your favorite pint-sized architects, athletes, fashionistas and foodies as well as the Big Apple babies on your list. Check out our list below for a handful of gift ideas for New York City kids.
Great gifts for NYC kids, this way
All photos © James and Karla Murray
The city may have created additional pedestrian space around Rockefeller Center this year, but the throngs of tourists are still filling the streets around the Christmas tree and holiday windows. If you’d rather not deal with the crowds, photographers James and Karla Murray have captured the best of this year’s windows, from the magical “Frozen” themed light show at Saks Fifth Avenue to the artistic displays at Bergdorf Goodman. Ahead, see what’s on view this year and learn a bit more about what goes into creating these whimsical scenes.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Good luck finding a Christmas tree in NYC for under $75 this year; Photo by Billy Williams on Unsplash
A Christmas tree vendor in Manhattan is selling 20-foot Fraser firs for $6,500 each, most likely the most expensive evergreen in the city, the New York Post reported Sunday. Scott Lechner, the manager of Soho Trees, located near Canal Street, told the newspaper that the exorbitant prices aren’t slowing sales. “We’re sold out,” he said. The steep price tag includes delivery and installation.
Manhattan’s Menorah being lit by Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, in 2016. Via Chabad Lubavitch/Flickr.
In the mid-1970s, former Chabad Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson encouraged his emissaries to build public menorahs in major cities and organize nightly lightings to increase public awareness about Hanukkah and inspire fellow Jews to light menorahs in their homes. Decades later, Chabad rabbis continue the effort in cities worldwide, but in New York, the practice hasn’t always been peaceful. The tradition ended up creating a friendly competition between rival menorahs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, who both claimed to be “The World’s Largest.”
Find out the story and learn about this year’s lightings
Photo via Pexels
So maybe you don’t have room for a Norway spruce big enough to rival Rockefeller Center’s. Maybe you don’t even have a chimney from which to hang stockings with care. Or maybe holiday decorating seems a little old fashioned–which might be just what you’re looking for. The good thing about the season is that adding sparkle doesn’t take up a lot of space. The choices are nearly endless; what you choose should reflect nothing so much as your own personal style. From classic to retro to contemporary to some more out-of-the-box picks, here are some ideas for small-space holiday decorating.
What’s your holiday decorating style?
With its lit-up streets and sidewalk tree-sellers, New York is at its best during the holidays, especially if you can avoid tourist-clogged areas like Rockefeller Center and Times Square. There are lots of lovely festive spots to celebrate seasonal cheer, including local bars and restaurants that transform their spaces into holiday wonderlands, complete with themed drinks, bites, and lots of Christmas lights. Here are some of our favorites.
11 spots to get festive