Monthly Archives: April 2019

  • Cherry Blossoms Announce the Largest Celebration of Japanese Culture in NYC

    The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is taking place at Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend. The much-beloved festival, which is in its 37th year, is one the biggest celebrations of Japanese culture in New York. Every year, thousands of people visit the botanic garden in Brooklyn to enjoy the cherry trees, which typically bloom during the month of April, and to welcome the Spring.

    The festival often coincides with the blooming of the trees. It has become a favored destination for local families, who watch or participate in over 60 events. These include theatre, dance & musical performances, traditional Japanese games as well as tea ceremonies (to name a few). A marketplace also offers food & drink, sweet treats, clothing & toys for purchase.

  • The Easter Parade Brings Fifth Avenue to Life

    This past Sunday, people, dogs and bunnies in their fancy hats and colorful outfits gathered on Fifth Avenue (around St. Patrick’s Cathedral) to walk in the annual Easter Parade. Many New Yorkers look forward to this event, and spend hours creating extravagant, handmade hats and costumes which they display during the Midtown parade.

    Originally, only New York’s high society would gather in Central Park to show off their best clothing on Easter Sunday and churches would decorate their entryways with flowers. But things have changed since the tradition started in the 19th century. Over the years, the popular 1948 musical, Easter Parade, (starring Judy Garland & Fred Astaire) made it fashionable for everyone to parade their best fashions on Easter. Some people took inspiration from the season’s blooms and adorned themselves in flowers.

  • Three Waldorf Astoria Artifacts Are Being Exhibited This Spring

    Ever wonder what happened to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel since it closed in 2017? The famous hotel is currently being converted into luxury apartments and hotel rooms in a restoration & redevelopment project set for completion in 2021. The hotel portion will have 350 rooms, compared with 1,413 previously. 

    The public will continue to have access to parts of the Waldorf-Astoria’s landmarked interior spaces once it reopens. This includes the West Lobby on Park Avenue and the area formerly known as Peacock Alley (the large passageway connecting Waldorf and Astoria in The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which was home to the eponymous restaurant serving its world-famous brunch).

    Until the new space re-opens, the current owners are collaborating with New York Historical Society to exhibit three of the hotel’s famous vintage artifacts:

    • Cole Porter’s 1907 Steinway grand piano, which is being restored at the Steinway & Sons factory in Queens. The famous songwriter & musician lived in a huge suite on the Waldorf’s 33rd floor—where the piano was located—for many years. He wrote some of his best musicals and songs (“You’re the Top,” “Anything Goes”) there.
    • A rocking chair that was a gift from President John F. Kennedy, which was located in the Presidential Suite.
    • The iconic World’s Fair clock, which was originally designed for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. It will return to the lobby, where it was located prior to the renovation.

  • Old Subway Fleet Supports New York Marine Life

    New York City’s subway system has been steadily replacing its old fleet with newer train models over the past decade. This begs the question of what happens to the old trains once they permanently go out of service. Between 2001 – 2010, the subway reef program offered a solution & a home for the 2,500 retired train cars by introducing them to a new aquatic environment. After their motors, lighting, air conditioning units, etc. were removed, the old subway car shells were placed on the ocean floor. Here they were transformed into artificial subway reefs where they improved the marine environments for a variety of sea life. The new reefs have since attracted sea bass, tuna, mussels, sponges, and coral. Sea Train, a new exhibition at the New York Transit Museum, which opened March 20, features up-close photography of the subway reefs by Stephen Mallon.