Archives pour la catégorie Discover NYC

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Normally, I’m not a person who is drowned to events with crowds. But three years ago, I was giving an opportunity to full fill a life long dream and see the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The opportunity was all about the location, because it is a very important aspect of the experience of viewing the parade. We were invited to a building on Broadway and 60th street, which for me and my roommate at the time felt like winning the lottery. It was the perfect spot to experience our very first parade.

If you are a fan of American Tv Show and movies like myself, you might have a picture in your mind of what the parade would be like. Every year, the world famous department store  Macy’s organized the world’s largest parade. This tradition started in 1924, one of my favorite aspect of the tradition is that they give the employees the choice to march alongside in the parade. They all march together down to their flagship store on 34th street with the final part of the tradition having Santa Clause close out the parade and welcoming in the Holiday season.

The other part of the tradition that makes the parade so famous are the beautiful gigantic balloons and displays. Some of these balloons can be as long as a football field and high as 3 stories. To give you an idea of how huge these balloons are, they need 90 people to handle each balloon.

I should add one of the other fun things to do is you should go uptown to the museum of Natural History and watch them blowing the balloons the day before the parade. Kids are always amazed and this is something that they will forever remember. This is a great opportunity to create a family tradition like thousand of New Yorker.

I think this is such a unique event, I’ve never seen that before. I’m adding a picture of this year route so you can have an idea of where to go if you decide to join the fun next year. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph your location is very important. The crowds can get very large and the weather can be cold so dress warmly and bring snacks. The reason I was so lucky is that got the chance to watch it indoors from a building. It was warm, there was food and we had a great view point. It felt like we won the lottery. Not everybody will get the opportunity to see the parade that way but it is still a lot of fun.

To give you an idea of how popular this parade is, there are over 44 million people watching it every year on television. Since 2013 it has been broadcast simultaneously in Spanish and had won 9 Emmy Award for outstanding achievements in special event coverage since 1979.

As a lot of you know, Thanksgiving is a very big holiday in the USA. If you live here, you can’t miss, especially if like me you are married to an American. This is part of their traditions. We usually spend Thanksgiving cooking but if you have kids or if you are visiting NYC during this time of the year, the parade is something you definitely can’t miss if you want to discover their culture. This is something that they are so proud of. It is a fun day in the city before the craziness of Black Friday.

Have you ever been to the parade? If so What was your favorite balloon and memory of it?

 

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Take a walk in Grand Central Terminal

This weekend, the weather was a little dreary, so we decided to stay indoors and we decided to pay a visit to one of the most famous landmarks in New York City, the aptly named Grand Central Terminal. We unfortunately forgot that weekends in NYC means MTA (subway) Hell. Somehow, conveniently they have planned construction and repair work on all of the existing lines, creating confusion and delays. It’s stressful and nerve wracking for any native New Yorker to navigate the largest urban train system in the world, let alone for somebody from out of town which is why my husband and I probably spend most of our time in Astoria. It is important to preserve our mental health. Normally it would take us 1 train and approximately 20 minutes to get to Grand Central Terminal from our local train station. Today, it took us over an hour and 4 different trains. I wasn’t being dramatic when I told you it was hell. However, I’ve become committed to developing and building this blog. My goal is to share with you all, parts of our daily life both good and bad. So with that said, we sucked it up and kept going and I believe it was worth it.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Grand Central Terminal, it is a splendidly designed historical landmark in the center of Manhattan. It is located in the heart of NYC, at 42nd between Park and Lexington Avenue. It was opened in 1913 and still retained the same grandiosity and charm in 2017. Local commuters going or coming from their job crossing path with far flung travelers from places like Westchester (NY), Fairfield (CT) or New Heaven (CT) to just name a few. It is not only a commuter terminal but a destination also. It has shopping, dinning and cultural events to just name a few. They have over 60 shops and 35 places to eat including the world famous Grand Central Oyster Bar. Servicing over 750 000 daily visitors. In 2013, Grand Central Terminal hosted 21.6 million visitors putting it amongst the 10 most visited tourist attraction in the world.

You might recognized some of the locations like the famous information booth located in the middle of the main concourse. If you are a fan of the Tv show Gossip Girl like me,  you might recognize it from the opening scene of the pilot episode.

As I previously mentioned the main Concourse is probably the most famous and recognizable part of Grand Central Terminal. You can’t help but, notice a very large American flag on display that was hung after the terrible attack on 9/11. Beside the information booth, you can’t help but notice the famous glistening four faced brass clock on top. As you stand by the information booth, set your gaze to the ceiling, which is remarkable in itself. Created in 1912, it is supposed to be a representation of the heavens. An urban legend has it that shortly after it was revealed to the citizens of NY. One astute New Yorker noticed to the embarrassment of the designers that it was painted backwards.

In the lower level, you’ll find the aptly « Dining Concourse ». You’ll find food for all tastes, from Shake Shack to pizza, tacos, Asian food and for desert the incredible Magnolia Bakery.

One of my personal favorite location in Grand Central Terminal is the Grand Central Market. It is a European-style gourmet market with everything fishmonger to butcher to fresh produces, bakery, health food, prepared food and gourmet cheeses… something for everyone. It is usually overwhelming for my husband and I between all the different colors, tastes and smells… especially for my husband that has to stop and look at everything. All of the produces look fresh and everything that we have ever brought home has been delicious. They  have a Murray’s cheese stop located in the market with over 400 types of cheeses and charcuterie. There are all sorts of bread, croissants… That are baked right on the spot. The focus is on local and artisanal products and I would definitely recommend this market if you are looking to impress your guests or if you simply want to cook or bring home a delicious meals. We stopped by the seafood stand and purchased a few goodies (salmon croquettes, crab cakes, lobster and crab empanadas as well as lobster risotto puffs… yummy). I was even able to find some cute Christmas gifts for my family, which took a great deal of of my mind because I always have trouble finding the right Holliday gift.

My husband and I have a love affair with Grand Central Terminal. The architecture, splendor and energy along with it’s history often combine to make it a magical place. It has it owns unique atmosphere, whenever I walk through there I have the feeling I’m in a movie.

I would highly recommend if you are planning on visiting the terminal to go during the day, simply because the lighting is much better for pictures. Be careful because you will have to compete for some of the good vantage points with the various wedding parties coming through taking their wedding pictures. Other than that, you should take the time to wonder around. There is so many fun things to see and discover during your visit.

Have any of you visiting Grand Central yet? If so, can you tell us what is your favorite part? any anecdotes?

 

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