New York City can really get its holiday game on. We are home to the 80-foot tree at Rockefeller Center as well as the world’s largest menorah. And for those of us who pray to the Gods of Retail, we have the holiday display windows. It’s seasonal art at its best, and often involves collaborations with designers from far and wide. For a greatest-hits walking tour that most everyone should be able to manage (or tolerate, depending on who you’re with), we recommend the following route:
I’ll confess: I’m a planner. I download maps and menus. I read reviews. But you know that Yiddish proverb, “You plan, God laughs”? That’s what this city does too. You’ll be walking through Central Park on your way somewhere and be mesmerized by a group of a cappella singers. Or you’ll be heading to a favorite dinner spot and be pulled into a small little cafe you’d never noticed before. This city seduces you with its endless possibilities. And Moth StorySLAMs very much embody this sensibility.
For those of you who may not be familiar, The Moth is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art of storytelling. They host competitions all over the country where, similar to an open-mic night, people get on a stage and tell a story. Each event is assigned a generic theme (for example, “betrayal” or “joy”), and the stories are tied to the theme. The stories have to be true, and they have to be yours. And boy, some of them are fantastic.
The 2015 movie Woman In Gold starring the magnificent Dame Helen Mirren is based on the true story of a woman who takes on the Austrian government in an effort to recover family paintings seized by the Nazis. Meet the movie’s other leading lady: Adele Bloch-Bauer.
Ask any English Lit major if they have a take on Authorial Intention/Authority, and they’re bound to have a well-articulated and robust opinion. They may say the author or the author’s experiences or both are immaterial, or they may say they are absolutely essential to the understanding and enjoyment of a literary work. Even if you have an opinion, and regardless of what that opinion happens to be, you’ll likely find the collaboration between the Morgan Library & Museum and the John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum – the first major exhibition devoted entirely to Ernest Hemingway – fascinating. Spanning the author’s life, but primarily focused on the periods of the first and second World Wars, the exhibit beautifully articulates the connection between the author and his experiences, both as inspiration for his writing and detriment to his sanity. Among the treasure trove included in the exhibit are manuscripts and transcripts of his major novels, as well as correspondence from such notable literary figures as Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck. There’s even wartime correspondence from none other than J. D. Salinger, in which he begins his missive with the cheeky salutation, “Dear Papa”.
Love the High Line? Well, did you know that someone is trying to build its underground cousin? After reading this article, we decided to head down to the Lowline Lab to check it out. The intended location of the park will be a couple of blocks away (and much bigger) but visiting the lab gives you a lot of interesting information on the science behind the project and a preview of what could be. There are many volunteers present to answer questions, but based on our conversations with them, it’s clear that the project is still in VERY early stages. It’s still fun as a quick outing if you’re in the neighborhood, or really into flora and fauna.
140 Essex Street
(between Rivington and Stanton Streets)
Lower East Side – New York City
Subway: J/M/F Essex Delancey Street
Saturday and Sunday
10am – 4pm
Free and Open to the Public
October 2015- March 2016
For more information, visit their website.
Pair it with:
Brunch at Dirt Candy
So you dropped a fiver in the donation jar at the Lowline Lab and you’re feeling one with Mother Nature, why not continue on to Dirt Candy, a phenomenal vegetarian restaurant located less than a half mile away. The food is amazing even if you’re not a vegetarian, but don’t take our word for it. Check out the full review by one of our favorite food sites here.
86 Allen Street
(between Grand and Broome Streets)
Open for brunch from 11:30am – 2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Tip: For some odd reason, Dirt Candy is always busy when they first open for brunch so there’s often a wait, but if you go around 1:00-1:30pm after the initial rush has died down, you can get seated immediately.
For more information, visit their website.