Tag: Financial District

Rising up

Thursday, March 20th, 2008 | All Things

We crossed the West Side Highway at lunchtime this afternoon to attend the “Winter’s Palate” tasting festival at The World Financial Center — the cooler weather version of last July’s “Summer’s Palate.”

Except that when we arrived at the Winter Garden, the atrium was suspiciously quiet, save for the usual scattered assortment of suits and tourists. Where were the promised lobster ravioli and sushi, silky gelato and mini-burgers, “prepared to please the most discriminating palates”?

After making some inquiries, we finally got our answer from the staff at Godiva Chocolate: the event had been canceled, but apparently not removed from the WFC’s online Calendar of Events. Grrr.

Well, there’s always Ho Yip to fall back on.

View of the construction activity at Ground Zero:

Ground Zero construction

This spring, the frame of the Freedom Tower will rise above street level for the first time, with steel that has made its long journey from Luxembourg (where the columns are forged and cast) to Lynchburg, Virginia (where they’re cut to size), to a final home in Lower Manhattan.

Watch the progress of the project via live webcam.

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Snow day

Friday, February 22nd, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Events

The first major snowstorm of the season hit New York City today, forcing the cancellation of over 1,100 flights, including that of our friends SC and JG. (Weekend in Boca!) By 2PM, 5.6 inches of snow had accumulated in Central Park, the city’s biggest snowfall in two years; until that Friday, just 5.7 inches in total had fallen all winter, due in large part to the snowless stretch in January.

The Parks Department held a “Snow Day,” providing free sleds and Urban Park Ranger-led nature walks at selected park locations across the city. Almost 2,000 people participated in the event, in which 1,700 free cups of hot chocolate were served.

As adults, we don’t get many snow days. I put on my Doc Martens boots and trudged into the office.

Trinity Church snow

Trinity Church snow

Later that night, I met CS at the Laugh Lounge on Essex for the “L.E.S. is Indulgence” party, organized by The Lower East Side Business Improvement District. The organization, established in 1992, is dedicated to revitalizing Orchard Street’s historic shopping district.

No hot chocolate here; the beverages were of a decidedly more adult nature. Event sponsor, Zygo, promotes their signature liquor as “caffeine-spiked vodka.” Hmm, sounds familiar. More precisely, though, Zygo’s active ingredients are Yerba Maté (South American holly, used for tea), Guarana (South American berry, containing a substance chemically similar to caffeine), D-Ribose (naturally occurring sugar that is a component of RNA) and Tuarine (amino acid, best known as the stuff that gives Red Bull its wings.) If you’re looking for more flavor than kick, there are plenty of places around the city that offer infused vodka. Spirited hot chocolate, anyone?

We toured the tables set up by participants from the neighborhood: handmade truffles and caramelized butter toffee samples from Roni-Sue Chocolates, slick polish from Valley Nails, makeovers by MakeUpMania, and um, tips from Babeland…

Candy and vodka do not a meal make, so off we went in search of more substantial fare. Near hour waits at ‘inoteca and Schiller’s Liquor Bar just wouldn’t do. Luckily, there was Essex — at the top of our minds since SC’s birthday brunch — where we enjoyed a comforting repast of mac n’ cheese and potato latkes… just the thing for a snowy day.

Essex dinner

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A Giant parade

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 | All Things, Sports

The entire city was still on a high from the New York Giants’ stunning win over the imperfect New England Patriots on Sunday night — a game seen by 97.5 million viewers, the most in Super Bowl history.

And now, on to the celebration! (People of Boston, in the meantime, cried.) On my commute into the office this morning, the subways were crammed with rowdy, banner-wielding, face-painted, blue-jersey clad fans — more than a few of whom looked suspiciously young — all heading into the Financial District for the Giants victory parade through the Canyon of Heroes.

An estimated 3 million football fans attended the ticker tape parade which began at 11AM at Battery Place and culminated with a 1PM City Hall Plaza ceremony, where winning Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented keys to the city to the team’s players, coaches and owners. Streets around the downtown parade route were closed beginning at 7AM to accommodate early-arriving spectators, some of whom began staking out spots along Broadway the night before.

The forecast was for showers on Tuesday morning, but after a few light sprinkles, our Giant heroes were deluged mostly with 50 tons of confetti and shredded paper that rained down on the donated floats. The bells at Trinity Church rang for 45 minutes — mostly drowned out by the cheering crowds — and Trinity’s rector Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper, clad in a Giants cap, offered his blessing over the procession.

Giants parade

The Giants’ parade was the city’s first ticker tape celebration since the Yankees won the 2000 World Series, and the first ever for a Super Bowl championship. Most significantly, this morning’s parade was the first to take place in the Financial District since September 11.

Giants parade

Giants parade

Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning and the Vince Lombardi trophy:

Giants parade

Of course, although the event is called a “ticker tape” parade, financial institutions no longer use ticker tape to record stock prices, as the ticker tape machines became obsolete in the 1960s. The streams of papers are more likely these days to be of the bathroom tissue variety, unfurled from oversized institutional rolls swiped from the restrooms of office buildings lining Broadway.

On the topic of defunct technology, it seems that Polaroid has quietly halted production of its signature instant cameras and film. Does that mean that years from now, kids will have no understanding of what it means to “shake it like a Polaroid picture“? Or will the phrase continue to retain relevance a laYou spin me right round, baby, right round like a record, baby, right round, round, round“?

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