The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting

By Dom Bewley

Have you seen a big truck with a jolly, rosy-cheeked man on the side? The one with the big white beard? Perhaps you've seen him walking around New York. Maybe you've heard his dulcet tones on the radio. These days, he seems to promote everything. Some call him Chris Cringle. Some call him Santa Claus. Every year he brings joy to people little and large all over the world. Christmas is his time to shine. Every year he and his little friends work round the clock to make toys for boys and girls. It's true. And, well, when Santa starts popping up, you know the holidays are coming. And with them, a New York staple - the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting.

Read on, as we tell you absolutely, positively, every single thing you need to know about the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting.

  • The first Rockefeller Christmas tree was erected in 1931, during the depression.
  • Workers who were building the Rockefeller Center placed the 20ft tree and decorated it with cranberries, paper, and even tin cans.
  • The following year, the tree became a Christmas tradition for the center. From 1932 to today, the Christmas tree has been lit every single year.
  • Five years later, in 1936, the famed skating rink was first opened below the tree.
  • 2019's tree has been chosen. The lucky participant will be cut on November 7. It hails from Florida, New York, and will arrive at the Rockefeller Center on November 9.

Where is the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting?

Unsurprisingly, it's at the Rockefeller Center. That's in Midtown Manhattan. Between 48th and 51st Streets.

When is the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting?

This year, the tree will light up on Wednesday, December 4, between 8 - 10pm. Then, the lights will stay on until early January. And over Christmas Day, the lights will remain on for the whole day. That's 24 hours of Christmas goodness. With lights.

Why should you go?

Hey, where's your Christmas spirit?! In all seriousness, who wouldn't want to see more than 50,000 bulbs all light up at once on a giant Christmas tree? Plus, there's a huge Swarovski star on the top.

Every year, thousands of people with Christmas fever line the streets to see the unveiling. And millions more watch it at home. But, why would you want to do that? Go outside, breathe in that sweet, crisp, Christmas air. Maybe grab a coffee to warm you on the inside. Just like Christmas does. Or if you're looking to warm your innards in a different way...

And, once Christmas is over and it's time to take the tree down, they donate it to Habitat For Humanity. They're a charity that builds homes. So, the tree becomes the gift that keeps on giving. Isn't that nice?

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Best Breakfasts in New York

Looking for the best breakfasts in New York? Of course you are. Whether it's the classic eggs, toast and bacon, or perhaps something with avocado, breakfast – as mom knows – is still the most important meal of the day. And with our recommendations for the best breakfasts in New York, it can also be the best. Sadelle’s Sadelle’s bagel tower will give you reason to live – or at least, to get through your day. It’s the ultimate you-can-take-your-grandma-but-you-can-also-take-your cool-cousin place to go for brunch or breakfast. You must order that bagel tower—the bagels are reasonably sized, not giant, so you won’t feel guilty if you eat, say, six. You’ll also want whitefish salad, or perhaps some smoked salmon. Get several sticky buns to start—yes, it’s that kind of place. It has just the right vibe of homey and trendy, so get those cameras ready – this will be all over your feed before you’ve had coffee. Definitely one of the ten best breakfasts in New York! Sadelle’s bagel tower is now a New York must-be-tried classic Barney Greengrass If you’re looking for one of the best breakfasts in New York, walk into Barney Greengrass. When you enter Barney Greengrass, the famous New York institution that’s been around since 1908, you’ll be greeted by scratched tables, piles of boxes, and narrow pathways. Anywhere else, that might be a sign to leave. Here, it’s a sign that you’re in the right place. The “sturgeon king” is the place to go for lox, eggs, and onions, bagels and cream cheese, potato pancakes, and classic matzoh ball soup (preferably all in one meal.) You’ll feel stuffed and comforted when you leave, but you should probably get half a pound of rugelach (crescent-shaped pastries) to take with you, just in case you want a nosh later. Boqueria One of the best-kept secrets at the buzzy Boqueria is their stellar breakfast. You can go with the prix-fixe option or put together your own spread. You’ll find the traditional (eggs, potatoes, toast) but why not try specialties like house-made chorizo, a tortilla Espanola, or Arroz Negro—black rice, avocado, poached eggs, spinach and fresh herbs? And definitely save room for the churros with chocolate. Whether on a sandwich or in your eggs, avocados are everywhere at breakfast CIinton St. Baking Company There are pancakes...and then there are the pancakes at Clinton St. Baking. Order the blueberry or chocolate chip – they’re so indescribably good, you’ll wonder what you’ve been eating all these years. Slather on plenty of the warm maple butter because... warm maple butter, duh. The fried chicken and waffles is also a solid choice, as is the Brioche French toast. But those pancakes...One caveat: Be prepared to wait. And wait. No matter when you go, there’s a line. It’s worth it. These are pretty much the best pancakes you will ever have, and by far one of the best breakfasts in New York. Impossible-to-resist fluffy pancakes are worth seeking out Westway Diner Sometimes you just want diner food. When that urge strikes at breakfast, head to the Westway Diner. This is the place to go when everyone wants something different. You and your BFF can get scrambled eggs and hash browns, Aunt Mary can have a waffle, and your sister can have the cheese blintzes with sour cream. The menu is extensive, the food is good, and the prices are bearable (it’s still New York, remember.) And just in case you feel like a walk on the wild side, friend shrimp and stuffed grape leaves are also available in the morning hours. Sarabeth’s Another of New York’s best breakfasts is at New York institution Sarabeth’s, which is beloved both for its inviting-yet-homey interior as well as the done-right comfort foods. At breakfast, the oatmeal is stellar, the fat and fluffy French Toast (their words) is, yep, fat and fluffy, and the omelets are delicious. Though the restaurant gives off a faint ladies-who-lunch vibe, just dive in and order the Four Flowers Juice (orange, pineapple, banana and pomegranate) and start your day off right. One of New York’s 10 best breakfasts includes oatmeal with a variety of mix-ins! Buvette The lovely Buvette is the place to go when you’re in the mood for Parisian vibes – or just avoiding your actual life by spending a long time sipping espresso and gazing into space. You can sample the dreamily named “Les Oeufs vapeur" (steamed eggs); “Oeufs Americaine" (is there is a hint of reproach in there?), or just be chic and nibble on an almond croissant. Don’t forget to sigh heavily and make lots of comments about your screenplay. Try an egg – or three – in one of New York’s stellar breakfasts Marlow & Sons When it’s time to feel impossibly hip, head to Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn. Of course it’s in Brooklyn. You can try the egg sandwich (cheddar, pickled chili mayo, and sautéed greens or salad). Or perhaps the egg and rice bowl? It’s filled with kimchi, greens, and furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning typically made with dried fish, seaweed, and sesame seeds.) You can also get a croissant or a muffin – but just know that your coolness factor will go down exponentially if you do. Head to Brooklyn to find one of the city’s best breakfasts Community Food & Juice When you think of the word “breakfast,” you probably think of the kind of food that’s served at Community Food & Juice. Try the biscuit sandwich with egg, cheese and sausage (you’ll never have a fast-food version again); the Eggs Benedict, or the oatmeal, although it’s hard to go wrong. It’s all served in a big, airy space that invites lingering--and linger you will. Definitely one of our picks for one of the best breakfasts in New York! Start your day right with a great breakfast before heading out exploring the city with The New York Pass®. You'll make great savings on attraction admission vs. paying at the gate.
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A Local's Guide to Hipster Brooklyn

What exactly does a local's guide to Brooklyn look like in 2019? For the better part of the last century, Manhattan was the place to be. The creative center of the world, the borough was culturally (and perhaps emotionally) landlocked. Manhattan residents used to balk at the idea of venturing beyond the island's 10-mile radius. Brooklyn used to have all the cool-factor of New Jersey. To put the local sentiment into perspective, the term "Bridge and tunnel crowd" was a label given to outer borough folks who tried to infiltrate Manhattan's exclusive club. Today things are different. The perfect storm of economics, housing politics, and gentrification have shifted the cultural paradigm. Manhattan is out, Brooklyn is in. While it may surprise you to discover that America's creative class now resides across the East River, Brooklyn is the new home of what's hip. In fact, sometimes Brooklynites' adherence to trends has earned them "hipster" labels. Encompassing nearly 100 square miles with 2.5 million residents, it can be difficult to know where to start and everyone will have their own opinions of the best places to visit in Brooklyn. Luckily for you - we are part time investigative journalists. We bleached our hair and shaved ourselves mustaches to dive deep undercover within the Hipster ranks. After our extensive reporting, we've compiled a list of local musts, offering you insight to Brooklyn's up and coming culture. Flowers for All Occasions (Bedstuy) Coffee is the Brooklynite/Hipster life fuel. They need it to survive, and it doesn't get more trendy than Flowers for All Occasions. The coffee shop sits on the border of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant (famously the birthplace of American rapper Notorious B.I.G.). It also doubles as a bar. They offer an eclectic, vegetarian menu of snacks, and once the sun goes down, the space converts into a bar where they serve soju cocktails. Filled with lush greenery, makeshift furniture, and usually with a DJ spinning some techno tunes - it is a quintessential Hipster spot. For other lesser-known gourmet coffee houses, click here. Rough Trade (Williamsburg) Nothing makes a Hipster salivate like the mention of something "vintage." So it figures that vinyl records have enjoyed a huge resurgence in Brooklyn. Rough Trade is the largest shop of its kind in the borough. Funk, alternative, reggae pop, soul, rock, salsa - you name it, they have it. Since Rough Trade opened in 2013, it has become somewhat of a local landmark, hosting record signings by some of the world's top artists. Additionally, they have a small stage in the back where local bands can often be found rocking out. Located on the Williamsburg waterfront, after you buy a record or two, walk a few blocks down to catch a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. The Living Gallery (Bushwick) The Living Gallery is a DIY artists space that typifies the scene. Hosting an endless rotation of exhibitions, performances, anything really - the venue is a culmination of all that's good about Hipster culture. A personal favorite is their Drunk Drawing Wednesdays, a BYOB event in which you supply the booze, and they'll supply the art tools. A more cultural alternative to your Hump Day! They've been around for years, but they haven't lost their edge. The space is well known in the neighborhood because of its ever-changing mural. Every three months they enlist a local artist to redesign the gallery's exterior. Their events are almost always free, and the crowd is always dressed well and friendly. A must for anyone trying to understand what Brooklyn is all about. The Cardi Lisa (Williamsburg) Somewhat of an internet sensation (probably because it earned its famous subject's approval via Instagram), the Cardi Lisa is a local must. The walls of Brooklyn are covered in street art, but few are as memorable as the Cardi Lisa. Funny, relevant, and just pretty darn cool, the wall size mural is a modern revision of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" but with New York rapper Cardi B's face superimposed on the classic figure. It stands a several-foot high testament to the neighborhood's boundless creativity. Photo courtesy of mural artist Lexi Bella. Wonderville (Buskwick) Hipsters, like all 20-somethings, love to drink. But a simple, straightforward bar is too obvious for them. Enter Wonderville - a bar arcade featuring one-of-kind games designed by Brooklyn locals. Inhabiting the building that used to be legendary punk rock venue Secret Project Robot (a pivotal player in the late aughts American rock resurgence that gave us the Strokes and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs), the bar-cade just opened and is peak Hipster vibes. They have a deadly house margarita and a spacious backyard patio. So grab a drink and pick a game, you're in for a good time! Image courtesy of Carl Raw. Book Row (Bushwick) Located within the Broadway Flea - a series of metal sheds which house different stores under the J train railway; a Mad Max take on a flea market - Book Row is a helplessly trendy bookstore. Despite most copies that are sold being used, the collection is surprisingly expansive, covering all kinds of genres ranging from nonfiction to current best sellers. Barnes & Nobles is too obvious for Hipster locals, Book Row is classic Bushwick. Image courtesy of author. Prospect Park (South Brooklyn) If being a Hipster is predicated on the idea of being counterculture, then they will always lean towards New York City's "other park." Prospect dominates roughly 525 acres of South Brooklyn, bordering several of the borough prime neighborhood. A less obvious choice than Manhattan's Central Park, Prospect is where Brooklynites go to unwind. During the summer, their bandshell hosts the popular "Celebrate Brooklyn" concert series which is free to the community. If the greenery isn't enough for you, it's conveniently located besides the Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Museum. For more things to do in and around New York, check out the other posts in our blog.
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