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 plan to visit New York around Thanksgiving? Do you want to see the floats up close before the Macy’s parade? There is an opportunity to do that.
In the afternoon and evening on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving you can go to between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue between 74th and 82nd street and see the floats blown up and waiting to be used. The actual streets the balloons are on are around the Museum of Natural History. This year the winds are supposed to be bad the day of the parade, so they may not use the floats.
It would be hard to get a cab to this location. They close down Central Park West near it and several streets running into it. You can access it via subway/underground. A lot of walking is involved, so if you have issues walking, I do not recommend this. You walk a couple of blocks slowly at night with a large crowd until you arrive at the bag check. After that you walk another block or so to see the floats. I have been able to do this previously in the early afternoon. I highly recommend going then instead of at night. There are less crowds in the afternoon.
If you think you may not pick the best spot to view the parade, this is an option to add to your itinerary. It is a New York City pre-Thanksgiving tradition.
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.