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.
This time of year walking through Central Park is very relaxing. The crowds are less, the flowers are slowly starting their retreat and the sunny days are comfortable. Just about any place in the park is ideal. My walk today is a popular location around 72nd Street .
If you enter the park from 5th Avenue, a short detour to the Conservatory Pond is worth the time. Sometimes they have miniture sailboats [for rent] that zip around the pond. Also, there is a coffee shop and restroom facilty here.
From here you can walk to Bethesda Terrace and then take the the path to the Bow Bridge. The views are excellent and there may be boaters enjoying the nice weather. (And alternate short detour may be to visit the “Boat House”‘ A popular place to eat, rent a boat, or use the restrooms.)
If so inclined, you may wish to leave the park on the west side. A popular area to walk through is “strawberry Fields” a beatles landmark.
Also, at this location you can look the building on the corner of CPW and 72nd st. It is the Dakota building which is closely tied to John Lennon’s history.
This walk has a few inclines and steps. However, there are alternate paths, plenty of benches that will help during your walk.
The Park Conservatory has a free tour covering this area. Details here.
A good place to walk is in the West VIllage – a section of the city that manages to preserve a low-key, everyone-knows-everyone feel and picturesque charm.
So this journey begins on Christopher Street and meanders along Hudson Street, Washington Street and West 13th Street.
Note: my walks are not meant to be followed literally, rather they are offered as an inspiration for you to create your own adventure.
West 13th Street
Getting a flavor of the area
Lucille Lortel, known as the Queen of Off Broadway, There is a mini-walk of fame outside the theatre featuring famed playwrights. Ed Asner, Jerry Ohrbach, Charlotte Rae, Jerry Stiller and Bea Arthur as well as Sting and Cyndi Lauper have appeared here.
Original address of the Stonewall Inn, where a raid by the NYPD on June 27, 1969, resulted in a riot led by drag queens that sparked the gay liberation movement.
Stonewall National Monument
There is a lovely garden at St. Luke in the fields church at Christopher and Hudson Streets
Now that the warmer season is upon us the city begins, almost weekly, presenting us with interesting things for us to see. I happened to be on Broadway on the upper west side and noticed a new sculpture being placed in a plaza. Later I read a few press reports and decided to share the information on my blog.
Some of the material comes form an article written by Barbara Hoffman in the NYPost. I have both edited and added material to the story. I drove by each piece of sculpture and added a photo or two.
A guide to the craziest new outdoor art in NYC by Barbara Hoffman
“It’s amazing what you’ll see in the city streets — rhinos in the East Village; Snoopy and friends in Hudson Square, and half-men, half-forest creatures roaming Broadway.
After an endless winter, sculptures and murals are springing up all over. And although the mediums are different, their messages seem largely the same: Can’t we all just get along — and, while we’re at it, save the Earth? At least, that’s what the artists’ statements suggest. You may look at their work and discover something entirely different.
So get out there with your cellphones and cameras. At the very least, you’ll class up your Instagram”.
Along Broadway there are several pocket parks at various intersections Six interesting sculptures were placed with the parks with 64th and 157th Streets.Kathy Ruttenberg, an upstate New York artist who combines human, animal and plant forms created them that portray characters from a fairytale-like dream and aims to brighten the day of passersby.
Here is a brief look at some of the art. I refer you to the lead photograph for the location and Title.
Also, get a load of the peanuts gallery downtown
However these murals are in a somewhat removed part of Manhattan – Hudson Square.
If you are in the area – Lower Manhattan —– it is a must see.
Located at 86 Trinity Place and next to the Trinity Church and walking distance from the 9/11 Tribute Museum, Wall Street, The Charging bull Statue to name only a few. Hours open
Yesterday I went to the Lois Vuitton Exhibition – It was one the best curated shows I have seen this year. It certainly demonstrates how the wealthy traveled but it also leaves you inspired to travel.
It should be no surprise that the show is about the evolution of luggage. Throughout you will see the use of canvas and wood with a very distinctive pattern. There are flat trunks, wardrobe trunks all set within exceptional displays. Did you ever know of so many kinds of trunks?
There is so much to see that I walked through the exhibit twice. I took so many photos that couldn’t decide which ones to put in the blog. I decided to add some to the end. Also, I decided not to explain each photo – better for you to visit and see each them in context with the display they are set up in.
(Note: click on photos to enlarge)
One of the rooms was set up like a train car. Here is a video of my walking past the display. Sorry for the quality.
Extras, if you are up to it (Click to enlarge)
Cases for hairbrushes and cosmetics – sorry for the noise
Recently, I went to see a parade –IMMIGRANT’S PARADE – but unfortunately when I got there it started to rain. I mean really rain!
Click photos to enlarge
So you are soaking wet and the parade gets cancelled, what to do?
Think inside. Before I went to the parade I looked up where the parade was to be held and also what other sites are nearby. I guess it is called having a backup plan.
The following is a record of my afternoon:
I arrived at the parade and found many participants seeking cover. I walked over by the Radio City Hall and realized that the parade was not going to hap
First, I headed into Rockefeller Center (nice and dry) walked underneath from 6th Avenue to Seventh Avenue. Sat for awhile had a coffee and used their bathroom.
I had read that an old Art Store had been converted into a cooperative for artists and headed in that direction.The cooperative had just opened and had only a few artisans manning their displays.
The rain kept coming so I ducked into the Sheraton Hotel . Hotel lobbies are great places to sit and rex and, if needed, use their public bathroom.
Rain continues so I am off to the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle. Passing the Columbus Circle Subway entrance, I was intrigued by the colorful sign advertising 39 stores below in the subway lobby.
So, below I went Great use of this space and very unique shops and dry.
I decided to head for home.
Moral: No matter what the weather, go and explore!
It is always fun to visit Little Italy and China Town. I find that every new trip brings with it unexpected things to see and do. Also, I often find places I have missed during my last trip.
My Blog tries to provide you encourage you to get out and walk…
while the images of NYC hopefully helps you to find what is in your neighborhood.
Have you looked lately?
Little Italy Murals
Little Italy and the surrounding area is coming alive with views of art that ranges in scale, style, and intention. While often somewhat hidden there is a good mix of commissioned and illegal works that can be found. Recently, several new murals have been painted on Mulberry Street. I encourage you to take a stroll down Mulberry Street, a weekend Pedestrian Mall, it is a wonderful experience as it is the heart of Little Italy.
The following two are hard to miss. I leave any feelings about these to myself but my grandson thinks they look like “ugly” babies.
Many people explore the city by walking near a major tourist attraction, but try venturing a little further away . You may find a greater mix of stores and restaurants that may be more interesting and affordable.
Lately, I took a walk from Lexington Avenue along East 73rd Street heading towards the East River. I did enjoy strolling along the quaint tree-lined blocks, checking out historic townhouses and I ventured up and down the adjacent Avenues to see some stores and restaurants that are less than a block away from 73rd Street.
This blog has mostly store windows (fashion) and one interesting Persian Restaurant. However, in my enjoyment of the walk, I forgot to note where I took many of them.
Rain in the forecast
Colorful men’s wear
Attention Getting Neckware
I thought these to be very “classy”
I could never tie one of these.
For three feet ?
For Summer sailing
I peeked into this little Persian Restaurant only to find that I was too early for lunch.
Well, the adventure is in getting out and finding the world around us…
so enjoy and happy walking!
A little background of the East 70’s area
This portion of the Upper East Side is home to schools like the Hewitt School, P.S. 158, P.S. 267, Eleanor Roosevelt High School along with Marymount Manhattan College and the Allen-Stevenson School.
Much of the old architecture in this part of the Upper East Side is Neo-Renaissance and French neoclassical. Historic, luxurious mansions like the Henry T. Sloane House at 9 E. 72nd St. and the Edward C. Converse Mansion at 3 E. 78th St.
The Henry Clay Frick mansion at 1 E. 70th St. now serves as a museum displaying Fricks art collection.
This blog contains three parts – The Park, The Shops & Galleries and Trivia
There is a small park – Elizabeth Street Gardens – on Elizabeth Street , between Prince & Spring streets (Little Italy) that is very unusual. While not open all the time it is a great place to have lunch (bring your own) or picnic or sit in the shade. You will be surrounded by statuary of all kinds. Oh by the way, it is free. Check here for when open.
Shops and Galleries
Some people think that the boundary between Chinatown and SoHo is mid-block between Kenmare and Spring, Today, you can see a noticeable upscale look to galleries and shops north of Kenmare.
As I walked up Elizabeth Street I wondered why anyone would walk north on this street. Mott Street its Parallel neighbor seems to get more pedestrian traffic. I am glad I did though, These two blocks just South of Houston seems to be quite alive and quite trendy.
galleries, shops and restaurants on street level.
Elizabeth and Hester may be the only intersection in Manhattan where both streets are women’s first names, though Hester isn’t used much anymore.