You might be frantically putting the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving feast, stockpiling the “homemade” cookies you’ll bring for dessert, or making sure you’ve got the local pizza joint on speed dial, but Google News Lab knows what you’re up to, of course. Based on data from Google Maps and an analysis of the number of times people request directions to a location, you can find out how fellow New Yorkers (or Angelinos, or Baltimoreans) are planning to spend the precious hours of holiday weekend time.
Photo via the Library of Congress
Before Thanksgiving became a holiday known for stuffing down food with the people you love, it looked a whole lot like Halloween. That is thanks to the Thanksgiving “ragamuffins,” children who dressed up in costume and wandered the streets in search of swag, asking passerby and shop owners, “Anything for Thanksgiving?” The practice could be found everywhere from Missouri to Los Angeles, but it was a particularly strong tradition in New York City.
“Thanksgiving masquerading has never been more universal,” said a New York Times report back in 1899. “Fantastically garbed youngsters and their elders were on every corner of the city. Not a few of the maskers and mummers wore disguises that were recognized as typifying a well-known character or myth. There were Fausts, Uncle Sams, Harlequins, bandits, sailors. All had a great time. The good-humored crowd abroad was generous with pennies and nickels, and the candy stores did a land-office business.”
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. The parade is also televised on both NBC and CBS and boasts a whopping 50 million viewers. And like any long-standing NYC institutions, the history behind the festivities and larger-than-life balloons is certainly interesting.
We all know this scene well: You’ve finally woken from your Thanksgiving Day food coma, and you emerge from your bedroom and stumble into the kitchen looking for a midday snack. You swing open your fridge door only to find yourself faced with container after container full of leftovers. While another turkey leg in your stomach doesn’t sound so terrible, the idea of getting lost in a tryptophan-induced haze is far less appealing. Thankfully, the clever folks over at Co.Design have created a cool infographic featuring some unexpected and amazing leftovers recipes that go beyond a turkey sandwich slapped together with mustard. With dishes ranging from fried stuffing bites to mashed potato gnocchi to a delectable pie milkshake, there’s no shortage of inspiring post-Turkey Day plated things. Get a magnified look all the culinary genius here.
Felix the Cat 1927 – first balloon in Macy’s Parade
In 1927, three years after its first incarnation, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade replaced its live animals with balloons designed by marionette maker Anthony Frederick Sarg and made by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (more on that here). The first such animal-shaped balloon was Felix the Cat, and after a nearly 90-year hiatus, the Times reports that he’s returning to the parade this year.
Infographic via CityLab
The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line may get inundated with calls on Thanksgiving and the days leading up to the holiday, but when it comes to internet searches there are no turkeys in site. Google Maps analyzed Thanksgiving trends from the past three years to reveal some hilarious and unexpected topics. For example, the top national day-of search is “buffet restaurants,” and in New York City specifically, Thanksgiving is apparently a day to find tattoo shops (matching ink for the whole family?). The folks over at CityLab compiled the data into two fun infographics that show the surprising priorities of Americans around the holiday.
It’s always tough when your Thanksgiving host tells you not to worry about bringing anything for the meal. With stuffing and pumpkin pie out of the question, what can you bring as a token of gratitude? Forget standard run-of-the-mill host gifts like a jar of jam or Yankee candle–6sqft has rounded up some fun and affordable options that are unexpected yet surprisingly useful. From a clever wine tote made in Brooklyn to an adopted olive tree in Italy, here are our top ten hostess gift picks.
That’s the question that we’ve been asking 6sqft’s friends and Twitter followers leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s easy to get pulled into the NYC complaining vortex (The 6 train is delayed again?! You’re raising my rent how much?!), but the reality is that we live in the greatest city in the entire world, and there’s plenty here to be thankful for, whether it’s something as small as seeing a cute dog on the street or as large as visiting famous museums.
On Monday, we spotlighted Zaid Kurdieh, Greenmarket farmer of Norwich Meadows Farm and talked to him about how he’s preparing for the Thanksgiving turkey rush. There’s a lot more that goes into it than you might think, especially since the farm’s animals are raised halal and humanely.
But we were surprised when Zaid mentioned that this year he’s getting a lot of requests for chickens rather than turkeys, which got us thinking, in the day of the tofurkey and turducken, how many Americans are steering away from the traditional turkey dinner. So let us know what you’re planning to fill up on tomorrow.
You may not wake up early enough tomorrow to catch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we bet you know these balloon characters anyway. 10 of those famous helium-filled stars were matched up with “their” NYC neighborhood. Guess which character belongs in each neighborhood in this fun Buzzfeed quiz!