Friday, November 06, 2009

NY Autumn/Winter Guide 2009

While I always try to update my summer fun guide, I want to stay motivated with my autumn/winter guide. The reason I combined them is that I always seem to miss Autumn in Central Park every year. The weather gets cold fast and the holidays are always so crowded. Once DST ends, you get 5pm sunsets if not earlier. So what is there to do? Some of these events already passed, but hopefully putting them here will make me remember them next year. Most events are annual.

Winter Events
Bryant Park Pond [link]
Free ice skating rink (If you bring your skates and a lock). Otherwise you can rent their skates and purchase locks. Try to catch it early because it gets really crowded around the holidays. I love outdoor ice skating rinks, and this one is in the middle of the city so you get nice city lights and swinging music. Also a bunch of holiday shops featuring interesting items.

Various Trees and Lightings
Rockefeller Center: The biggest. More lights than tree. Dec 2
Bryant Park: TBD. Nice ornaments and usually a photo op by the sponsor.
Lincoln Center: Nov 30. I only saw this tree once. It was blue that year.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: If you like medieval stuff, this tree is filled with classy medieval ornaments and angels.

New Find
Oyster Festival [link] EVENT PASSED
My cousin and I love oysters, especially ones from Tracks and Oyster Bar. I was browsing the LIRR trip deals when I found out about the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay. While the festival is not what I imagined...I somehow imagined it to be a crazy showcase of million kind of oysters (kind of the chocolate show?). But it's more like a county fair (carnival type) with awesome seafood (and of course oysters). Some run-down of the seafood: Raw oysters from Oyster Bay (don't be scared of the line, so worth it!), soft shell crab sandwich (they take one whole crab, deep fry it, and put it between a bun, smells and tastes amazing), whole lobster dinners, chowder, gumbo, etc etc. Usually I don't expect fair food to include seafood, but these are amazing. If you take the LIRR and buy the LIRR Oyster Fair package, you get 3 oysters with your ticket. Sweet!

Free Concerts in Bryant Park EVENT PASSED
Two weeks in October Bryant Park set up a stage featuring performances and concerts. I happened to catch the Bargemusic one during a Wed and was surprised by all the

B&N Readings (NY Store Listings)
They are held indoors and you get pretty famous people in NYC. I saw Tracy Morgan and John Hodgman at the Union Square location. If you want to gift an autographed book to a friend or relative, this is a great place to check out. Otherwise the reading/discussion portion is free. I would advise you to go early and try for a front seat if you want to get your book signed earlier. The B&N near Lincoln Center has many performers passing through, probably right before a show in town.

Strand Books Readings (Calendar)
I haven't gone to any readings here but they have a lot of guests too!

Fall Favorites
Farmers Market
Pick up apples, pumpkins, cider, and other yummies. Union Square Green Market is year round M/W/Sat. Madison Square Park also had a small market setup this year for a few months. I learned what "urban pumpkin picking" entails: picking a pumpkin out of the pumpkin house (shelves make up the walls and pumpkins of all sizes line the shelves)

Pickle Day [link] EVENT PASSED
Small event in the parking lot area LES (hard to find...). I like pickles but I didn't realize how ridiculous it is to eat so many pickles in one day. I picked up a jar of horseradish pickles from Horman's. Excellent with roast beef and other sandwiches! Tried the smoked okras from Rick's but wasn't too impressed. I think it's better as an ingredient in salad or sandwich as opposed to eaten by itself. Their other pickles are much better. If you like pickles and don't have to venture too far to LES, definitely check it out next year.

Chocolate Show [link] EVENT PASSED
I went to it once and thought it was fabulous (blog entry). Besides different venders selling chocolate and offering free samples, you will see chocolate art, sculptures, fashion, and cooking demonstrations. May not be feasible to go every year but if you haven't gone at least once, grab a friend and check it out next year!

Halloween Parade [link] EVENT PASSED
Well, we all love the Village Parade. Not only do you see fantastic costumes, you see some creative ones too. I missed it this year but saw it online live stream [ny1]. Favorites include swine flu, vaccine, walk/no walk sign (by a couple), and Super Subway (like superman but cape and outfit made from subway cards).

Other Links
101 Fall Things by Time Out NY
Ice Skating in NYC
Rainy Day Ideas

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