What to do on a beautiful Saturday in NYC that is FREE?
This Saturday NYC had a touch of warmer weather and I went outside for my daily walk. Not having too much extra money, the question was where to go and what to do?
I decided to walk up the west side of Madison Avenue from 86th Street to 92nd Street [Along these 6 blocks are some small boutiques that offer very unique and beautiful clothing and accessories]
and end up at The Jewish Museum at 92nd and 5th Avenue. Why this Museum? On Saturdays, it is free and they always have a special exhibition.
Lets begin our walk. Here are a few of the stores: Brooks Brothers, Jack Rogers, CrewCuts, Joie, Ankasa, Alico & Olivia and Clic to name a few.
Of course, along the way, there are always curious little things to discover in store displays
There are several places to enjoy lunch or a coffee
The Jewish Museum
Rachel Feinstein is an American artist who specializes in sculpture. She is best known for baroque, fantasy-inspired sculptures like “The Snow Queen”, which was drawn from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
Edith Halpert (1900–1970) was the first significant female gallerist in the United States, propelling American art to the fore at a time when the European avant-garde still enthralled the world.
For two weeks, starting on January 25, you can head to Manhattan’s Chinatown for the Firecracker Ceremony and later, on February 9th, the Chinese New Year Parade.
During the Firecracker Celebration the streets get covered in confetti, people dress in red and gold with beautifully painted faces or masks, and the sounds of drums and bells and huge dragons are everywhere. This is what Chinese New Year looks like in New York. The celebration of this holiday is both visually and atmospherically impressive. The street parties with vendors selling great Chinese food, different performances, music, firecrackers, and entertainment for all ages last for almost two weeks.
the sparkly explosives are set off to ward off bad spirits for 2020.
Here are some highlights.
The Chinese New Year Parade and Festival takes place on a different day than the Firecracker Festival. This year it will be celebrated on Sunday, February 9th. The spectacle includes musicians, lion and dragon dances, stunning outfits, acrobats and martial art performers. More than 5,000 people participate in the parade. Celebrate the Year of the Rat. [The Chinese zodiac begins a new 12-year cycle in early 2020 with the Year of the Rat. According to lore, the rat (as a zodiac animal personality, that is) is associated with wealth, cleverness and likability. Those all sound pretty good.]
The New Year Parade
Helpful hints For prime photo and viewing opportunities, get as close to the barricades as you can. Once the crowd forms the lines will be several people deep and movement will be restricted along the path. So find a good spot and stick to it! Remember that spectators count in the thousands, with travelers even coming from outside the city to enjoy the festivities.
You will be outside for the duration of the parade, which lasts for several hours and occurs rain or shine. Even in milder temperatures, being exposed to wind and rain over a prolonged period can be harsh. Avoid bulky bags, which might be searched. And keep your hands free so you can take great pics and set off those fun confetti cannons! Note; Public bathrooms are rare in this area. I would suggest that you do not load up on liquids before the parade. Columbus Park (mulberry Street) is open but not always the cleanest. If you go into an eating place ask if they have bathrooms for customers before ordering.
Click on pictures to enlarge
In Chinatown is that many things are looking at you.
What to eat
Traditional holiday foods include dumplings, long noodles, peanuts and dim sum to name a few. You’ll find plenty of places along the main Chinatown strips serving up menus filled with New Year’s delicacies.
Also, You can find fresh fish to take home at a very reasonable price.
Many interesting moments when you are just wandering.
Vendor at lunch
Taking a Break
Young women mix of the traditional and the modern.
It has been a cold winter but the weather warmed up a little so I went for a brief walk on 5th Avenue. In a previous post, I opined how there are only a few stores left that really do Christmas well.
Fortunately, those that remain are living up to reputations of creating outstanding windows. I managed to get to a few of them along 5th Avenue and plan on getting to a few on Madison Avenue.
Bergdorf Goodman, the department store on Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th streets always has some of the most artistic and luxurious holiday windows. This year’s theme is “Bergdorf Good Times,” which “evokes a time-honored spirit of a holiday fête but with a twist” according to the department store. ( I enjoyed the color and fashion but overall each window seemed very busy.
Note: Across the street is their men’s store -many people miss it!
The entire building of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue store is wrapped in a giant bow in the company’s signature red. I don’t think it has changed in several years.
Saks Fifth Avenue has its windows in honor of the new animated films Frozen 2.
The following is a quick rundown of other notable stores.
Dior is a luxury label’s designer fashion store, also selling cosmetics, jewelry & other accessories.
There are few stores as intrinsically associated with New York City as the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue. It was through those windows that Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly stared as she ate her morning croissant in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
ere are some photos of windows along the way
Along with the stores above, there are plenty of holiday lights and displays located throughout the city. So, enjoy!
Note:Sadly, Lord & Taylor, Henri Bendel, Harry Winston and Ralph Lauren have closed.
Recently, I was making my way down 6th Avenue from Central Park. I decided to go towards 5th Avenue on 57th Street. I have been on this street many times and it’s where I first discovered 6 1/2Avenue. Today, I found another pedestrian way that is open and full of surprises. Just a block away at west 40. It simply brings pedestrians from one street to another.
It is fully covered, yet door-less and brightly lit with welcoming, whimsical, sculptures lining the walls by the likes of Tom Otterness, Fernando Botero, Manolo Valdes, Jacques Lipchitz to name just a few.
Today sculptures by Tom Otterness formed a very inviting path.
(Everyone I know loves Tom Otterness’ “Life Underground,” the Fraggle Rock Doozer-like small bronze characters inhabiting the 8th Avenue L train station.)
The pedestrian walk is part of the Marlborough Gallery, located at 40 w57th.
Note: This location is on the edge of Midtown but is a short walk from Columbus Circle, Carnegie Hall and MOMA (Lower floor galley is free). Also, from Lincoln Center, you can walk down Broadway and pass near here and 6 ½ Avenue. You could then continue towards Rockefeller Center.
I enjoy going to local events like the Giglio Feast in East Harlem. While there is plenty of food – Italian sausage sandwich, grilled corn, clams and zeppole (Italian doughnuts).the main event is the lifting of the Giglio.
On the platform of the Giglio sits a full band along with a singer playing live music. The Giglio tower & band are carried on the shoulders of 120 members and danced through the streets.
Established in 1908 in Italian East Harlem, once the largest Little Italy in America, it now continues the tradition on a smaller neighborhood scale.
Located right in the heart of Lower Manhattan steps from the Statue of Liberty Ferry, Wall Street and close to other historic sites
The National Museum of the American Indian
This is one building you cannot miss! One Bowling Green facing Broadway and Trinity Streets. Just a stones throw from the famous “Wall Street Bull”. And, only a short walk from Castle Clinton and the Statue of Liberty boat entrance.
The U.S. Custom House is a seven-story structure on the south side of Bowling Green.
It has a grand set of stairs facing Bowling Green.
New since I originally wrote this the Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Cultures has been added to the first floor. This a rotating exhibition which, on my visit, was showing the following:
On the seconfd floor is the Rotunda, As you enter the interior feels immense but is very simply laid out. There are exhibition located in adjacent galleries.
Art work around dome of rotunda
Skylight over rotunda
Around the rotunda there are galleries house that permanent exhibition and special exhibits
Masterworks from Native cultures highlight the permanent collection.
The collection of art and artifacts are from a variety of tribes spanning hundreds of years. The individual items selected for showing are outstanding. However, I did not get a sense of history as everything is organized geographically rather than chronologically. While the exhibits are excellent, they seem a little lost in such a large building.
(click photos to enlarge)
As I said earlier, I enjoyed the individual artifacts and was glad that I went inside this majestic building.