NYC – 2020 – Chinese New Year – Firecrackers – Parade

Chinatown is one of the most famous neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan and hands down holds two of the best events of the the Chinese New Year celebration.


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.

 

chinatown_fire-cracker_2017-47
Thousands of these are sold, almost everyone of them is used on the streets.
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.

Young women mix of the traditional and the modern.

Color is everywhere

 

A few of the “other” photos.

Previous Posts about Chinatown

Chinatown’s Charm

Joss Paper – Funerals

people

Hand Fans

This is a brief video to let you listen to the noise.Video

NYC – A Mid-Town Art Gallery and Pedestrian Walk you may have missed

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.

Previous Blog – 6 1/2 Avenue

 

NYC – East of Midtown – a walk around east 54th and 2nd Avenue – Updated August 2019

I wrote this blog over a year ago. I mentioned an almost hidden church, today, I came across an article inUntapped Cities

about the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, it is very well done. I thought you might enjoy it.

Tucked in Midtown with a facade of stained glass windows is a church founded for Swedish seamen that has a cozy secret: a hidden coffee shop… Read the article here

 

My original article begins here

Here is a look into a neighborhood a bit off the grid of tourist areas.  I selected an area bounded by east 54th street, east 52nd Street, and Sutton Place and 3rd avenue. Some people call this part of Turtle Bay. The area has very little to offer but I found a few interesting places of interest.

I found myself looking through the locked doors of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church and wondering how to get inside, just then a passing mailman that just yelled to me to press the two white buttons, magically, the door clicked open. (I love going into interesting buildings)

Norwegian Seamen’s Church

A smiling young man greeted me and allowed me to come inside for a visit. The church is a part of Norwegian Church Abroad. Along with being a church it also holds an assortment of events and art exhibitions.  There’s a small store and cafe inside the church that offers coffee, waffles, and a few Nordic packaged goods.  The store had a few friendly people having a coffee away from the bustle of midtown. There is a Gallery located downstairs from the “church” and has a nice collection of Scandinavian art.  Upstairs there is a small library/reading room with a fairly impressive collection of books in Norwegian.

 

The New York City Bath House Building – a very impressive building, on east 54th.

The center’s original purpose was to provide sanitary facilities for the city’s working classes and much of its original character and history remain. The basketball court and jogging track are connected by two wrought ironwork spiral staircases, The vaulted ceiling in the gymnasium and the lobby are indicative of the architecture of the time. Marble walls in the locker rooms hearken back to the original marble baths. (Not allowed to photograph swimming pools)

 

 

What you find off the beaten path are often small ethnic restaurants.

 

 

Extra things I found along the walk.

 

 

 

 

NYC -The National Museum of the American Indian -Lower Manhattan – Free August 2019 update

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.

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.

Road Trip – a stop at a “pickers” paradise

Usually, my blogs are mostly NYC but I ventured south and found this roadside attraction.

I watch the TV show American Pickers, where they find all these neat items throughout the states. I am fascinated by the objects as well as the price paid for them.  It makes me think about all the stuff I should have saved, How about you?

This week I was traveling through Virginia along route 301 and flew by the following (see photo)

 

There are so many unique items to look at and to investigate. 

What would America be without gas stations?

Dont forget, “Miss Piggy, Santa Clause, and a “pig”

Coca-cola is always popular

 

And all these assorted items:

Does anyone remeber this ?

This is just part of what was inside, If you are a collector then you would just love this place. Plenty of signs, automobile stuff, clocks, and much more fill this place to the walls. This is located in Port Royal VA and I was told that they have another on Rte 301 in Maryland.

NYC – Soldiers & Sailors Monument -Memorial Day

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In1893, a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Association was formed. It proposed a triumphal arch at Grand Army Plaza, at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, however, after opposition it was erected on Riverside Drive. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the monument in December of 1900. For years the monument was the terminus of New York City’s Memorial Day Parade. This massive circular temple-like monument located along Riverside Drive at 89th Street commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil War.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Day Observance: Monday, May 27, 2019 (Riverside Drive & 89th St)

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uws_nov_2013 (94)

Below.Addition information about a few of the battles listed on the monument.

Click on pictures below for more information

Malverne Hill
Malverne Hill

Murfreeboro
Murfreeboro

Port Hudson
Port Hudson

Wilderness
Wilderness

NYC Easter Bonnet – Easter Parade – Easter Bunny – Easter Eggs

In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid-1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action.

In 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”

Easter Parade starting at about 10am and continuing until 4pm, the parade marches north on Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street to 57th Street in Manhattan from 10am-4pm on Easter Sunday.  Unlike most New York City Parades, the Easter Parade isn’t an organized event.

It is a time to enjoy decorative chapeaus and the delight of the Easter holiday.

 

When I was growing up my folks always got my brother and me a new suit for Easter.

DO you have any old photos of Easter?

By the early twentieth century, Americans became more and more invested in the Easter outfit—the hat, in particular. Because Easter coincides with seasonal fecundity, women garnered fresh flowers to wear in their hair and in their bonnets. Lilies, daffodils, azaleas with their red, pink or even crème colored blooms, Hyacinths, purple and white, as well as pussy willows and red tulips are considered traditional Easter flowers

 

 

 

Easter Bonnets can be whimsical, fantastical, with a hint of fabulist narrative, whether religious, seasonal or cultural, all adding to the magic of the hat.

 

These days, the Easter Bonnet can be wild, They can also be simple and playful, subtly nodding to the Bonnet’s modern tradition with a bunny ear or two. What will your Easter Bonnet hold?

 

 

 

 

The Easter Bunny – Easter Eggs

 

Have you ever wondered how a rabbit and chocolate eggs became associated with Easter?

The exact origins of the famous bunny are unclear however many sites have stated that it may have come from pre-Christian Germany. The hare was said to be the symbol of the pagan Goddess of Spring and Fertility, Eostre or Ostara. As anyone who is familiar with hares or rabbits will know, they are a great symbol for fertility as they have great ‘stamina’. The festival of Eostre and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus soon became intertwined and the Christian holiday Easter was born.

The Germans changed the image of the rabbit into Oschter Haws, a rabbit who would lay a nest of coloured eggs for good children on the night before Easter. As the legend and popularity of Oshter Haws spread throughout the States, he soon became the Easter Bunny.

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring.

Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Did you color eggs for Easter?