Archive for the ‘NYC Advent Calendar’ Category

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 18)

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Behind door number seventeen we have… holiday tips!

New York goes tip crazy this time of year. Sure, holiday tips are the norm all over the place, but nowhere is it quite like here, where everyone from your super to your regular delivery guy to the entire staff of your office building (and everyone in between) seems to have their hand out and that extra little twinkle in their eye.

Not that it should be that way, mind you. We live in a service economy (though the service is often abysmal, but that’s a post for another time) and those services frequently come with understood prices. But if you’re new to the city and this is your first holiday season here, chances are you didn’t budget for the extent to which you’d be expected to pony up.

Thank g for all the online tipping guides that pop up this time of year. Oh wait, they all say pretty different things…

Just don’t be a Scrooge, and you’ll probably be ok.

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Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 17)

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Prying open door number seventeen reveals… holiday vacations!

If you work one of those, you know, job-things that doesn’t allow for holiday breaks, you might just want to skip this entry altogether. But as far as I’m concerned, the holidays just aren’t the holidays without a nice break from work! And luckily, I’ve always worked jobs that shut down for a winter break of sorts, which is perfect.

So pretty much from now until mid-January, the bulk of my water-cooler chat will revolve around trips, travels, vacations, and the like. Whether it’s tales of trips to come or accounts of trips just taken, holiday vacations are definitely a major topic of conversation around these here parts this time of year.

Previous posts in this series:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 16)

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Door number sixteen conceals… the lights of Dyker Heights!

Another weird, completely over-the-top NYC tradition. And what could be better to check out on this, the last weekend before the holidays, in between shopping and all of the parties that have inevitably been scheduled for the next 48 hours.

Check out this website for a great overview, but you really must see it in person to get the full effect.

Previous posts in this series:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 15)

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Behind door number fifteen… regular weekend transit schedules!

It’s true. There’s at least one good thing about the city being overrun by tourists during the holiday season: the MTA ceases most of its weekend service disruptions and diversions. W00t! Thanks baby Jesus!

Seriously, outside of December, has there been a single weekend this year that has found the L running, the 2/3 running their usual express routes, the A and the F running on their own respective tracks in and out of Brooklyn, etc. etc. all simultaneously???

Ahhh. (Relatively) stress-free weekend transit. Truly a Christmas miracle.

Previous posts in this series:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 14)

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Behind door number fourteen we have… weird holiday recipes!

We all have one: the friend who cooks. Or, the office worker who brings in the homemade goodies. Great people to have around–everyone appreciates them, and they receive mad props and accolades from everyone in their social circle.

You know the ones I mean. The ones who not only entertain in their apartments, but prepare major, multi-course, gourmet meals (from scratch) for all of their gatherings. The ones who don’t think twice about spending an entire day in the kitchen, and then when their friends are bowled over by the results, brush it off as if it were as easy as microwaving an Amy’s burrito.

This time of year, their adventurous, experimental streaks are kicked into overdrive. Suddenly, they’re whipping up strange things that have never been a part of their holiday traditions (or those of anyone else of our generation). Things like figgy pudding. Brandied fruitcakes. Mincemeat pie. Sugar Plums. Um, what? Do those thing really exist?

They must, because I have a co-worker that made mincemeat pie last year, and is attempting figgy pudding this year. And though the pie was disgusting (noteworthy, given the fact that I’ll eat pretty much anything), I do look forward to trying the pudding.

And there you have it: creative gourmands trying freakishly bizarre holiday recipes. Yet another sign the holidays have hit New York.

[image from here]

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Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11, Day 12, Day 13

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 13)

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Behind door number 13 (halfway there!)… hot holiday drinks.

Not that we’ve really needed them this year, but you know it’s holiday time when the city’s bars start offering hot spiked drinks alongside their regular, cooler cousins. Sure, some of them may be as simple as alcoholic coffees, hot chocolates, and apple ciders (certainly delicious in and of themselves), but this time of year you’ll also spot all manner of more seasonal treats on menus and signboards, with names like “wassail,” “glog,” and the lesser known “bisp.”

Sure it feels like summer out there right now, but it’s bound to get cold sooner or later. And when it does, there’s nothing quite as cozy as seeking shelter in your warm neighborhood watering hole (bonus if it has a fireplace) and ordering up one of these hot, often hard-hitting cocktails.

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Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11, Day 12

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 12)

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And door number twelve of this virtual calendar reveals… public urination!

Hear me out. Although it may seem to have no tenable connection to the holiday season in this fair city, keeping your eyes peeled will reveal the truth behind door number twelve.

Granted, public urination is something we’ve all encountered at one time or another here; but without a doubt, in the eleven years I’ve lived in NYC, I’ve noticed an increase in bizarre displays of public pissing during this, the month of festive winter holiday celebrations. And not only that, but there’s a shift in the demographics of said pissers. This month, you stand the greatest chance of seeing examples of people who, throughout the other eleven months of the year, would never even consider dropping fly (or in some cases, trou) and flooding the gutters and/or stoops with the high-octane by-products of their alcohol metabolizing.

Oh, did I mention that prime viewing hours are somewhere between midnight and 2:00 am, when all of those holiday parties (office or otherwise) are breaking up? Not that I have any personal knowledge of this subject, mind you.

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Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,
Day 11

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 11)

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And behind door number eleven we have… holiday office parties!

What would the holiday season in NYC be without them? While by day the city is overrun with tourists, by night it’s overtaken by all manner of drunken employees. And I think it’s safe to say that while office holiday parties do exist everywhere, nowhere do they even approach the level of all-out, universal debauchery that is achieved in NYC, where the liquor flows freely (read: to excess) and just about no one has to drive home.

Seriously, more than a couple of hellish years in my life have ended with office parties that have somehow almost made it all seem worth it… (What I could remember of them, that is.)

Previous posts in this series:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 10)

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The tenth door of our calendar conceals… exorbitant hotel rates!

God forbid anyone wants to come visit you around the holidays and you’re unable to put them up. They’d better be prepared to spend at least twice what they would spend on hotel rooms at any other time of year!

I guess you could say that nowhere else in NYC are the laws of supply and demand so purely demonstrated.

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Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9

Metblogs NYC Advent Calendar. (Day 9)

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And behind door number nine we’ve got… seasonal “pop-up” stores!

You know the ones. Those temporary retail outlets that pop up around town and remain open for the month of December, closing up shop just in time to not be around for post-holiday returns.

Ok, that may or may not be true, but it’s a phenomenon we’ve grown accustomed to here, that’s for sure; whether it’s the Wired Store, Target’s various “pop-ups” (I think the boat in the Hudson was my favorite), or temporary installations of high-end retailers in vacant storefronts in places like Rockefeller Center.

Temporary stores popping up in unexpected places: yet another sign the holidays are here!

Previous posts in this series:

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8

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