Where can you skate for free in NYC if you bring your own skates? What rink has a holiday market around it? Which rink has several food choices close by? Bryant Park in Manhattan has all of these.
Bryant Park borders 42nd Street and 41st Street behind the main branch of the NYC Public Library. It is about two blocks from Grand Central Station. Between Thanksgiving and the beginning of January the park also hosts a Holiday Market. There are a booths outside carrying a variety of items from clothing to food and gifts.
Yes, if you bring your own skates it is free. They have a changing area. Skating starts early in the morning. There is food available in the lodge, an indoor area near the rink. There is also a Whole Foods across one of the streets it borders and other restaurants and shopping nearby. There are also permanent food kiosks in the park.
It is a rink with some nice views of Midtown Manhattan. It does not get the crowds that the rink at Rockefeller Center gets. I recommend this rink over the others because of that and the close proximity to food and shopping.
Whether you ice skate or not, it is worth visiting Bryant Park in winter. Watch the action or catch a bite to eat and enjoy the scenery of Midtown Manhattan.
Who doesn’t love a parade? In New York City there are some big ones. This includes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
This parade takes place in New York every year. It is run by Macy’s. A local employee told me they are asked if they want to volunteer for the parade. It sounds like some hold the ropes for the floats. This year the floats had to be close to the ground due to the high wind gusts.
If you want a close up view, get there early in the morning. I was there by 8:30 and was in the sixth row with some tall people in front of me. Some people could not take the cold and left giving me a front row standing location for the last half hour or so. It gets packed in though. I do not recommend trying to get a location around Columbus Circle or north. I also would not recommend getting a location close to Macy’s.
If you are in New York for Thanksgiving go down and watch the parade. Kids will love it and also kids at heart.
Do you ever see interesting people on your travels you would like to have a conversation with? Are certain people a fixture in a neighborhood? I recently stopped to chat with one such person.
Louis Mendes I have seen quite often on 34th Street near the corner of 9th Avenue in New York City. Since I love taking pictures, I see him when I visit my favorite camera store in the city, B and H. Louis is never without his camera. For street portraits he uses a 1940s Speed Graphic camera that he turned into an instant camera by rigging polaroid gear on the back.
Louis has taken many photos over the years of famous people. Some of those names include Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and Hillary Clinton. He also has photographed some of the jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He is from New York, but also he has liked visiting New Orleans to take photos. These days he makes money by taking photos of people on the street in New York.
Louis is an interesting person to talk to. He does move around, but I have seen him quite frequently on 34th. If you are visiting Manhattan and get down in the neighborhood of 34th Street and see him, say hello. Louis is truly an icon of New York.
Have you ever been in a coffee shop that shares its space with cats? Do you want to experience a relaxed setting where you can play with cats and kittens up for adoption? Perhaps your building does not allow animals and you want to spend time with a furry buddy. If any of this interests you head for Meow Parlour on Hester Street in Manhattan.
How Does it Work?
Go to Meow Parlour at 46 Hester Street on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. They have a window where you will make your appointment. Then you head next door to the Macaron Parlor Patisserie featuring Harney and Sons tea, macaroons, scones, muffins, cookies and other baked goods. Order your food and sign the online form releasing responsibility in case you get scratched or bit. Then wait to be called. I only had to wait about 15-20 minutes. You can take your food with you when you hang with your feline friends.
When you return you take off your shoes. They have plenty of toys to tempt the cats with. There are areas in the store for cats to sleep in. There are sitting areas for the humans. When I visited there were some older kittens and younger ones as well as one cat that appeared to be full grown.
You pay on the way out. The cost is $8 for thirty minutes. This helps them pay their heating and electric costs for the premises.
The location is filled with cat related items for decoration and some for sale. There are books on the shelf you can sit and read while you spend time there, all about cats of course. There are children’s books such as The Cat in the Hat and others.
They also sell cat related items such as t-shirts.
Meow Parlour partners with the shelter Animal Care Centers of NY. The kittens and cats that are at this location are up for adoption. There are opportunities to foster as well.