Ever the New Yorker, Santa catches the trolly to Bloomingdales! Via the NYPL
Saint Nicholas arrived in New York with the Dutch and became the Patron Saint of New York City in the early 19th century, but Santa, as we know him, is a hometown boy. New York’s writers and artists were the first to depict the modern Santa Claus, transforming the figure of Dutch lore into a cheerful holiday hero. The illustrious Claus gained his sleigh in Chelsea and his red suit on Franklin Square. With a little help from the likes of Washington Irving, Clement Clarke Moore, and Thomas Nast, jolly old St. Nick became the merriest man in Manhattan.
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This may be hard to imagine, but one of the holiday’s most iconic stories was written in none other than Manhattan’s Chelsea. Ephemeral NY recounts the origins of Clement Clarke Moore’s quintessential Christmas tale, “The Night Before Christmas,” and points to early 19th century life in New York as the inspiration for the classic. As the story goes, the year was 1822, and Moore was said to have come up with the poem on a snowy day while riding around Chelsea in a sleigh, on his way to pick up a turkey from the market.
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Around the holidays, 6sqft recounted the local history of Clement Clarke Moore’s quintessential Christmas tale, “The Night Before Christmas,” which was written right here in Chelsea in 1822. The author was a major landowner in the neighborhood and lived with his family on a huge estate at 23rd Street and 9th Avenue, then considered the backwoods of the city. Their home was at 348 West 22nd Street, but Moore sold it in 1835. Six years later, it was rebuilt as the Greek Revival townhouse that stands today, and according to the Post, it’s now for sale for $8.65 million.
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