1. The Macy’s Day Parade is hardly news, though seeing Santa Claus roll through Herald Square is always at least a bit thrilling. But, instead of enduring the massive crowds of mostly non-New Yorkers on Thursday, head to the Upper West Side on Wednesday night, where all of the floats are blown up throughout the evening. Head to 77th Street and Central Park West (right by the Natural History Museum) to see the floats up close.
2. It’s probably a bit late in the game to order-in the edible components of Thanksgiving — so make your own. Cooking a turkey may be a bit much, but mashed potatoes are easily done, but why not change it up?. Making a pie from scratch is well within the realm of possibilites (a potential alternative to standard fare, and a plethora of options). The Bronxville farmers market will be open for business on Wednesday — head down to grab some sweet potatoes and do this. The New York Times has even anticipated the potential for crisis.
3. If you’re into Black Friday, head to the nearest department store (Cross County — easily accessible on foot!), but why not take advantage of the chance that museums might be slightly less crowded? The winter crop of new exhibitions is hitting Fifth Avenue. The options are numerous: Picasso, Islamic art, Stieglitz et al, German and Austrian expressionists (stop by the café after for strudel — maybe the best in the city), and a throw-back to childhood winters.
4. Arlo Guthrie has certainly figured in at least one of my Thanksgiving dinners. Head to Carnegie Hall on Saturday (tickets are cheap in the balcony, and the acoustics exceptional) to see the old-time folk star in the flesh.
5. We all know that once Thanksgiving ends the rush towards the holidays is in full swing. Christmas tree stands take over the city streets. Celebrate the app roach by heading to a different part of Fifth Avenue to take in the display windows geared towards the season. The crowds you will endure are worth it (don’t be shy — a bit of pushing is totally acceptable).Start out at 59th and 5th with Bergdorf Goodman. Bergdorf’s has beautiful windows year-round, but their displays this time of year are exceptional. Work your way south, making sure to cross the street frequently. The tree at Rockefeller Center is hard to miss, as is Saks, across the street. Head towards the windows at Lord and Taylor’s (39th and Fifth), a bit kitschy, but fabulous nonetheless (they are often whole constructed sets with moving parts and a story, each window rather akin to a page of a picture book). It’s charming. If you have it in you, walk the extra ten blocks down to Stumptown to refuel.
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