Tis The Season
The season of light takes on special meaning in a city as bright as New York. It all starts with the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree at Rock Center and closes with the ball drop in the fleshpit of Times Square on New Years.
The tree in Madison Square Park may be overlooked, with all the storefronts to be taken in, holiday fares to wade through and ice rinks popping up all over, but it was here that the season of light arguably began 100 years ago. That is when the first public tree lighting ceremony ever took place, not just in New York, but in the country, based on research by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment a long time,” said Debra Landau, director of the conservancy.
The Eight-Day Week
Good Morning America isn’t the first news program that has had to apologize for a factual story and replace it with some implausible copy, but last week proved that they might be the silliest. During Lara Spencer’s segment on this season’s hot new toy, Elf on the Shelf, she inadvertently let it slip that although it is not supposed to be touched by children after they “adopt him” (because giving him a Christian name infuses him with magical powers that are taken away if he is played with), he doesn’t actually go to the North Pole and visit Santa Claus. Rather, her film crew showed parents moving the doll, and in one instance, Spencer actually picked up the toy herself.
Of course, this is the biggest scandal since the Killian Documents, as far as The New York Post is concerned.
dancing the night away
One of New York’s most welcome and low-key holiday traditions arrives today with the 68th annual lighting of Park Avenue’s fir trees, a tradition that began just after World War II. Not for Upper East Siders the hullaballoo of the Rockefeller Center tree-lighting, with its celebrities and vertiginous height; the manageably petite Park Avenue firs Read More
The Eight-Day Week
With the holidays fast approaching, nothing brings us pirouetting into the snowflake season quite like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). At Wednesday’s Opening Night Gala, the limbs were flying around the stage with unfettered aplomb, flitting from grace to gusto whilst set to solos from the company’s A-List pals Anika Noni Rose, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Jessye Norman.
Now in its 54th year, the group’s rich cultural history was made evident throughout the selection of pieces performed throughout the evening, in particular Revelations, which was initially choreographed by Mr. Ailey himself. The piece had a special significance for Ms. Noni Rose, who told The Observer: “The AAADT was the first ballet that I saw, and Revelations was the piece that stuck in my mind so strongly. So it was a huge honor to be asked to perform here tonight – it was like the circle closed for me.”
The opening was also something of a landmark for dancer Renee Robinson, who was hand-picked by the company’s namesake some 32 years ago. Ms. Robinson is hanging up her dancing shoes this Christmas – for the AAADT at least. Speaking of her three decades with the company, she said, “What feels great is not only that I was chosen by Mr. Ailey, but that I had the opportunity to work under him and hear him speak about his vision and his legacy.”
We’re skipping Black Friday—it’s worth paying the not-marked-down price on just about every gift we’re buying, just to avoid getting physically pushed to the ground in the checkout line at the Astor Place Kmart—but we can’t help getting caught up in the Christmas spirit. Off we go to Radio City Music Hall (what is it Read More
If there was one good excuse for jacking a bus full of passengers on the Christmas holiday, it would be “I did it for love.” You know, like if you had a girlfriend and she was about to get on the plane to Paris and you needed to tell her how you really felt, ASAP, than stealing a Greyhound bus would be well within reason. The police would let you off with a “Go get her, son!” and you’d be free to run past security lines and the TSA in order to give your big third act speech.
A bad reason for stealing a bus? “I wanted to see if Jason was down to hang out this weekend.”
Hmmm…this new Christmas single, released by Lady Gaga via Twitter on Christmas, is the type of shenanigans we are used to seeing from Ke$ha. “Stuck on Fuckin’ You” is 5 1/2 minutes long, with the last 90 seconds totally improvised (according to Gaga). You can barely tell!
Saturday Night Live
Kim Kardashian, back from Australia and on the West Coast, kept up her style of tweeting things the rest of the world is dying to know this Christmas. As in:
“Stephen, did you know that despite receiving a new iPhone for Christmas, Kim Kardashian finds people with two phones ‘shady’?”
“No, Robert, I had no idea!”
“Well, me neither!”
But she does.
By far, the best thing Saturday Night Live has brought us in the past two years has been Bill Hader‘s “Weekend Update” character Stefon: the club promoter/city correspondent whose ideas for “family fun” usually involve some combination of terrifying dungeon imagery, punny drag queen names, and politically incorrect uses for “midgets.” (Their word, not ours.)
That’s why this holiday season, the best gift you could get is one sent to you by the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live, featuring Stefon in the set of the Norman Rockwell “Freedom From Want” painting.
This was first put online (to the best of our knowledge) by theater publicist Aaron Meier, who received one of the cards and put it on Tumblr, where it was subsequently picked up by Mediaite.
For a larger photo, check below. And then forward to all your friends and family, because this picture definitively answers the question “Buh-whaaa?”
It’s that special time of the year again, when Fifth Avenue is set a’twinkling with displays of opulent spending and every magazine advertisement beckons you to think not of yourself for once when engaging in egregious spending.
But gift giving can be hard! Especially, as they say, for the person in your life who has everything…though they never tell you how difficult it can be to shop for the person who has nothing.