The New York Times – Holiday Nights, Merry and Bright

Repost from The New York Times   

By Laurel Graeber on Dec.19, 2019 
    April may be the cruelest month, but December, the darkest, can feel unkind, too. New York, however, offers its own illumination during these long, blustery nights, and not just Rockefeller Center’s seasonal sparkle. Here’s a guide to some of the lavish light displays across the city, including twinkling and towering sculptures, Chinese-style lantern shows and giant menorahs. You will usually find food, entertainment and family activities here, as well as glowing LED artifice: fairy palaces, alluring sweets, roaring dinosaurs— and lots of pandas.
NYC Winter Lantern Festival
    This 10-acre site is illuminating, and not only because of its more than 1,200 huge lanterns. As I traveled through the music-filled displays, I learned that the mythical Chinese phoenix has the face of a swallow and the tail of a fish, and that pandas spend 14 to 16 hours a day eating bamboo. In addition to exploring environments representing these and other creatures, visitors can stroll the Dinosaur Path, which includes lanterns of a Tyrannosaurus rex and a feather-crested velociraptor.
    The festival, easily reached by a free shuttle bus from the Staten Island Ferry terminal, also appeals because of its location at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. On Lantern Fest Fridays in December, the neighboring Staten Island Museum, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art and Noble Maritime Collection stay open until 8 p.m. The festival also has a heated tent, outdoor live performances, a skating rink and the glittering Starry Alley, where eight marriage proposals were made last year. Through Hanukkah, which begins at sundown on Sunday, is the Jewish Festival of Lights. But while most menorahs softly illuminate homes, these two — in Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, and Grand Army Plaza, Manhattan — will light up the sky. Commemorating the ancient Hanukkah miracle, when one small container of oil used to rededicate the Jerusalem temple lasted for eight days, the enormous menorahs also burn oil, with glass chimneys to protect the flames. Lighting the lamps, each over 30 feet tall, is a feat itself, requiring cranes and lifts.
    On Sunday at 4 p.m., crowds will gather in Brooklyn with Chabad of Park Slope for latkes and a concert by the Hasidic singer Yehuda Green, followed by the lighting of the first candle. At 5:30 p.m., Senator Chuck Schumer will accompany Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, to do the honors in Manhattan, where revelers will also enjoy treats and Dovid Haziza’s music. Although all the menorahs’ candles won’t be ablaze until the festival’s eighth day — there are nightly festivities — this year the Manhattan lamp, decked in glittering rope lights, will be a brilliant beacon all week. Through Dec. 29; 646-298-9909,; 917-287-7770, 
Holiday Nights, Merry and Bright

Post time: Dec-19-2019