After announcing last month that this year’s Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration will return to maximum capacity, Mayor Bill de Blasio broke the news on Thursday that the celebration will be scaled back to protect attendees from the Omicron variant. Usually hosting 58,000 guests, the celebratory event will be reduced to 15,000 attendees and include additional safety measures like the use of masks. Those planning on taking part in the celebration must provide full proof of vaccination with photo identification.
The idea behind the annual cosplay event is solid: A “charitable, non-political, nonsensical Santa Claus convention that happens once a year to spread absurdist joy.” With booze, of course. But after entering the mainstream and picking up steam for a full 25 years (the event took a year off in 2020, because, you know), the annual pub crawl seems better suited to a 1980s frat house than the streets of NYC. And we’re pretty sure there are better ways to spend a day of drunken debauchery than yelling across Midtown bars over a horde of sloshed Santa clones. This year’s SantaCon details are here, so you can figure out where not to bring a first date on Saturday, December 11. A few more suggestions, ahead.
The 1931 tree, courtesy of Tishman Speyer
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, considered the “worldwide symbol of Christmas,” will be lit on Wednesday, marking the 89th tree lighting ceremony. After last year’s event was closed to spectators because of the pandemic, the tree lighting will once again welcome the public to kick off the holiday season. Ahead of the event, learn about the history of the iconic spruce, from its start as a modest Depression-era pick-me-up for Rockefeller Center construction workers to World War regulations to its current 900-pound Swarovski star.
After a virtual ball drop last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of revelers will once again gather in Times Square to ring in the new year. All attendees must show proof of vaccination and photo ID to attend the December 31 event, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
All photos by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer
With the arrival of this year’s Rockefeller Christmas Tree in Midtown, the holiday season in New York City has officially begun. Donated by a family in Elkton, Maryland, the 79-foot-tall Norway spruce was cut down last week, hoisted by a crane, and arrived in Manhattan this weekend following a roughly 140-mile journey via flatbed truck. Considered one of the world’s most famous holiday trees, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be decorated with thousands of multi-colored lights and a sparkling star topper. The official lighting ceremony is planned for Wednesday, December 1.
Roughly four years since late chef and author Anthony Bourdain canceled his proposal to build a massive Singaporean-inspired food hall in New York City, the plan for the market has been revived. Urbanspace and KF Seetoh, founder of Makansutra, which runs several food courts in Singapore, are teaming up to bring a food market with 18 street-food vendors to 135 West 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The market, described as the first authentic Singaporean hawker center in the United States, will open in early 2022.
Photo: Angelito Jusay
Bryant Park has once again transformed into a winter wonderland. The Bank of America Winter Village opened for the season on Friday, offering New Yorkers the only free admission ice skating rink in the city, an open-air holiday market, and cocktails rinkside. The village, now in its 20th year, will be open daily from October 29 through March 6, 2022.
All photos courtesy of Tishman Speyer
Rockefeller Center last week kicked off a nearly two-week celebration of Mexican culture and Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with the installation of larger-than-life Mexican folk-art sculptures and other artworks around the plaza. As part of the campus-wide commemoration, see an 11-foot dragon and a 13.5-foot feathered jaguar, an exhibition of fashionably dressed skeleton figures, a Día de Los Muertos display altar, and a floral installation adorning the center’s iconic bronze statue Atlas.
All photos: Alexandre Ayer / @DiversityPics for the Garment District Alliance.
The Port Authority bus terminal in Midtown may not be one of New York City’s most beautiful places, but the world’s busiest terminal recently got a beauty boost in the form of a 40-foot-high, 600-foot-wide gallery wall that features the diverse and fabulous faces of over 1,200 New Yorkers. The Garment District Alliance (GDA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) have collaborated to bring the giant photo gallery, “Inside Out: NY Together,” part of an international initiative by world-renowned artist JR, to the Manhattan bus gateway.
Listing photos courtesy of Warburg Realty
By the looks of this beautiful kitchen, you’d never know the apartment is only a studio. Instead of the usual cramped, galley kitchen, this one is large, high-end, and even has space for a full-size dining table. The entire place has been finished in a Parisian, salon-style, complete with delicate panel moldings and ceiling medallions, black-and-white marble floors, textured wall and ceiling treatments, and a claw-foot tub. Located at 372 Fifth Avenue, it’s on the market for $650,000.