What We Love About New York During Winter – 4 Local Writers Share NYC Holiday Traditions? ( News New York )

What exactly is it that makes New York City so beautiful around the holidays? We asked some of our local writers to weigh in on the issue.


Leslie Jamison finds the spirit of the times in a quiet outer-borough neighborhood with a big personality. Sloane Crosley feels the magic on the frozen river as Rumaan Alam takes the kids uptown to see the city in miniature. And Jacqueline Woodson finds that her favorite childhood destination is still a bright spot — and a safe haven — after all these years.




It seems to be read, from the Bronx to Brooklyn.



Dyker Heights Christmas lights

Living in New York City for a long time came to an end. It ran deeper than simply not being here – so many New Yorkers aren’t – that I finally started to feel this feeling not for it is a form of belonging. The faith of the superior New York that was beyond me, was the feeling of a better part being made elsewhere? That feeling was party


Every once in a while the feeling of this point is through a visceral, electric presence. One of the first times I really felt like I was in New York was in my twenties, when I was stunned before Christmas in Dyker Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge putting on a truly outrageous, almost absurd display. every year Pia, the lights are the beginning. All are glowing: an angelic army. A glowing birth was taking place. High nutcrackers. Laughing snowmen. Twinkling stars Dryads in tights. A red pickup truck. A giant milk bottle. There are a million lights. Some of the shows are said to cost more than $20,000. Does anyone know what Con Edison’s festivals include each year?


You may feel small in a sheet of light, not scratched, but given. Let your face reflect the ardor of the community among foreigners, that is, in better days, what this city is doing.


The tradition began in the 1980s with a woman named Lucia Spata, who moved to Dykeras Castle and was disappointed by the lack of lights, so she started making her own. I am a drinker for any tradition born in the 1980s, as I was also born in the 1980s; and I grew up in Los Angeles, in a city where people like to call something that this millennium prevails. These lights remind me in a deeper sense too – in decades, excesses, joys, in the refusal to apologize for their display or extremity. Don’t play it cool. We want them to be yours too. They want to amaze you. Who said that? I am happy to be amazed. I love the ways in which wonder makes it more difficult—even at an hour in the evening—to feel something caught from the outside.


The panic may have you nodding and scorning at once, and so much of New York’s terror seems destined to make you feel this way: You want me, but you can’t have me. I dream, but you can’t promise me. But this miracle is different. Soon they ride from the D-train. So get a MetroCard. Take the cocoa paper. You may feel small in a sheet of light, not scratched, but given. Let your face reflect the ardor of the community among foreigners, that is, in better days, what this city is doing. – Leslie Jamison


From left: Bundled-up visitors frolic around Air, an immersive piece by Kenzo Digital at Supreme One Vanderbilt observation deck; Idyllic, one of the 2021 holiday window displays at Bergdorf Goodman – a favorite Fifth Avenue shopping destination for nearly 125 years.

Matthew Pillsbury


Hudson River Park, Pier 26

All the islands feel cooler approaching the edge. The Manhattan streets around it are notoriously unsafe, especially in the dark on December days. And to the river the heads on both sides, the wind goose, the nose is red, the hands are prickly. I can think of nothing better.


This is always one of my favorite winter activities – to pack and river through the gray and deserted roads of the Hudson River Park. Then, in the middle of the pandemic, a great gift came to me for the likes: the opening of Pier 26. The pier, which overlooks the TriBeCa waterfront, is meant to educate visitors about the river’s ecology through a powerful indigenous label. Flora, adorned by the tide, inhabits the walk. In the summer it is like a luxury resort, which went through the fall of the public, with tables, decked chairs, and bushes. But I like the winter version the most. In the middle of the season, when they can be crowded and overstimulated, a walk along the river feels like a choice. It is a voluntary approach to the New York winter, not a cross to endure.


Related: 7 European-Style Christmas Markets You Can Experience in the US


Pier 26 also features rocking chairs, even new ones to make a noise. Sitting on them feels like a good reward for a cool bend. And since the reclining porches are reminiscent, it is easy to imagine that I will see myself in my front yard – and that garden happens to be the Hudson River and the New Jersey skyline, and my neighbors and maybe a few relatives. of a masochistic mind who had the same clear idea.


Of course, no one can remain permanently in the wind and desolation, with a dripping nose and numb feet. Inland, they stay in downtown dens like the Waverly Inn, the Ninth, and the Bowery Hotel, hot spots with big guns and alcohol. Places that offer less power, but promote better ones. – Sloane Crosley




The holiday season in New York City officially begins when skaters take to Wollman Rink, in Central Park.

Matthew Pillsbury


The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Children are different about their passions. Some doll replaces the stuffed animal. The first is Greek mythology, the second knights and dragons. While I don’t remember my kids’ first words, I hope I’ll never forget my 15-month-old son insistently saying “Doo-doo, doo-doo” until I realized he meant choo-choo. It was less volatile than most — we spent the next five years talking about transportation.


The first time my family ventured to the annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, we had one chubby toddler surrounded. Last time we had two kids. Everyone had brought their best friends, and now they were tired of their parents.


In winter, when the petals have fallen and the trees are beautifully bare, you can step inside the frosty garden and be warmed by more than a million LEDs. oohs and ahh young people


Not sure why trains are so strongly associated with Christmas decorations – probably nostalgia for a past that never was. But for this appearance, the holidays are not enough. Occupying 250 acres in a quiet corner of the Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and the largest such institution in any US city, so the focus is, rightly, on nature. Model trains weave between miniature versions of New York landmarks (Grace Mansion, Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum of Art) constructed from bark, pine cones, seeds, and other natural materials.


May we enjoy happier days than treading the plains of December. Never enough for that. For me, the joy part is going into the closet where the model trains are installed. Children’s crisp winter coats, to the rescue. The air smells alive. We know how to point to buildings and wonder how cleverly the molders have turned bullets into architectural ornaments. My children and my country. On my last visit, my preteen videos on his phone of his toy trains zipping through, slow, but also somehow very fast, like time itself. – Rumaan Alam


Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Cherry Esplanade in Lightscape 2021.

Matthew Pillsbury


Brooklyn Botanical Garden Lightscape

As a Brooklyn kid in the 1970s, one of our true family rituals was a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. My sister and I put on pastel dresses, put on stockings decorated with lace, and slipped our feet into open white shoes. I remember the children’s gloves, and the braided hair Under the full white hats. I remember putting food samples of perfume in matching pouches while our brothers struggled with the knots in the chains.


Although the gardens, now known as Prospect Castles, were about four miles from our house in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, there was no direct road to our family’s car. So we started our scheduled journey, boarding one train and transferring to another.


More Three Ideas: 10 Festive hotels that make the Holiday Season more Magical than ever


walking through the gates like Oz; This child always lends itself to me—a world of flowers and trees and grass. Fields of expansive fields and crackling turtles and vegetables and koi. A world where Brooklyn children screamed in delight from their little rooms as they ran free in what many of us would call “the land”. I promised my kids to know this joy one day.


And yet…


He probably visited each of my two children’s gardens twice with me as babies. Many other things have also been born since that time. And even though we live nearby — across Prospect Park, across Flatbush Avenue, past the beauty that is Brooklyn’s Central Library — for a long time we’ve been outside in our backyard or in town or out of town.


Last year, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden invited me to write poems for the first winter light ever — when the garden becomes a world of light, music, the work of local artists, warm and glowy and sparkly. which is always needed in the world. When I analyzed where the words were to be placed, I realized how much this place rested for the mother, who kept us engaged and occupied in the same parental order.


In spring, daffodils and lilies still bloom freely. The flowers hang for breath. And in winter, when the petals have fallen and the trees are beautifully bare, you can step inside the frosty garden and be warmed by more than a million LEDs. oohs and ahh of young people, and now the absolute joy of surviving the pandemic and advancing literarily into the light. – James Woodson


An original version of this story appeared in the November 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline “Wonderful time of year.


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