Displaying all articles tagged:

Christmas

  1. intel
    They Steal Christmas Trees, Don’t They?It’s that time of year again. Pine trees have sprung up along the sidewalks like forests on the concrete and asphalt, and although most of the trees are appraised and bought by happy homemakers, some meet a darker fate. Yes, in the criminal-justice system, there is one seasonal crime that is considered especially heinous: Christmas-Tree Thievery. It’s an issue that plagues sellers, who often work alone or with a partner, with a large, difficult-to-keep-track-of stock, year after year, and dealing with the misappropriation of trees has become as much part of the job as enduring the sleet, snow, and rain. But although they have come up with a few ways to foil potential tree-snatchers (tying together those trees out of the stand operator’s view, or, for the more well-to-do, setting up an elaborate network of surveillance cameras), thievery still abounds. Surprisingly, one operator on Avenue A reported, most trees disappear during the day, although there are occasions of alcohol-emboldened theft that happen after dark. Danny Velastegui, a tree seller who works at a stand on Essex Street, described a scene in which his colleague spied a man, “probably drunk,” helping himself to a pinecone, festively spray-painted and covered in glitter, before hailing a cab. He chased the man to the car, demanding payment, but the thief got away with his prize. For Velastegui and his comrades, for whom trees are their livelihood, tree-stealing is an abomination. “It’s like stealing a cross,” he said, mournfully. “What are you going to do, pray to it?” —Ellen Moynihan
  2. in other news
    Macy’s Hosts Your Holiday After-partyMacy’s announced this week that they are going to keep eight of their locations, including the Herald Square flagship store, open at all hours of the day and night from December 21 to Christmas Eve. From the Staten Island Advance: Shoppers will be greeted with the ongoing sales Macy’s has been holding since Black Friday, said spokeswoman Elina Kazan. “The most important thing about being open 24 hours is that it makes shopping convenient to people with different schedules,” she said. “This gives everyone a little extra time.” Company officials have been planning the shopping marathon for months to ensure there is enough manpower and merchandise. Everyone is saying this is so nice of Macy’s to open the store so everyone, no matter what their time constraints, has a chance to shop. Now, once all the crowds have gone for the day, customers will be able to wade through the dunes of scattered merchandise in peace. What a great Christmas present. And just think of all the homeless people who will have a nice bed of jumbled merino V-neck sweaters! At Macy’s, A Shopping Marathon [SI Advance]
  3. photo op
    Slurry St. Nicks Straddle St. Marks!Perhaps you were in the East Village this weekend and bumped into a person in a red suit? “You betrrrr wash owt,” he breathed, the alcohol mingling with the stench of his long, straggly beard. Yes, that was a Santa, and yes, he was drunk. In fact, he’d been that way since 10 a.m. It was the annual Santa Con Pub Crawl, and Father Christmases from near and far had landed on St. Marks: There was a “Rasta Santa” with a red and white dreadlock hat, a “Slutty Santa” (okay, dozens of Slutty Santas — Alpha Pi Alpha class of 2007 really got around), a “Pimpin’ Santa,” and scores of inebriated elves, who lined the street smoking and stumbling from bar to bar. We even witnessed one or two Santa fistfights, which must have really confused any children nearby who somehow managed to get past the Slutty Santas. We tried to talk to a Santa or two, but apparently St. Nick “doesn’t talk to the press.” Oh, well, after all these years, it’s nice to at least see that Santa still knows how to have fun. Before noon. In public. —Lauren Salazar
  4. party lines
    We Are the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and It Is Us A gazillion people showed up at Rockefeller Center last night to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the annual tree-lighting ceremony, and the dawn of what we truly believe is the most wonderful time of the year: the season in which tourists wait in long, miserable lines in order to fall on their asses and slide embarrassingly across a cold sheet of ice. As the lights twinkled in the night sky, Josh Groban, whose holiday album Noel is No. 1, thanks to Oprah, was feeling philosophical. “Every year I kind of say to myself, ‘What a beautiful tree,’” he told New York. “It’s great that it’s on display, but I mean the tree doesn’t know that that’s the best it is ever going to look. It’s just a living thing. You know?” —Catherine Coreno
  5. intel
    Video: Barneys’ Holiday Windows RevealedRight about now, Barneys will be unveiling their legendary Christmas windows, and our own Fabiola Beracasa traipsed uptown to get a sneak peek. This year’s theme is Give Good Green, and for it, Barneys creative director Simon Doonan invented “Rudolph the Recycling Reindeer.” “The only sort of iconic visual associated with [the environmental movement] is the drowning polar bear,” he told Fab. “Which wouldn’t be very festive!” No indeed. Click above to see the windows, and hear Doonan explain why his Barneys staffers were gathering bottle tops from bars in the East Village and buying bottles from homeless people. Making Barneys’ Holiday Windows [NYM Video]
  6. photo op
    So This Is Christmas “X-Mas Came Early This Year” says the sign on the Christmas tree planted in front of the Soho Apple store. Being of the more Hanukkish persuasion, we’re not entirely up on every last Christmas tradition. But somehow we’ve always imagined snowy lawns, warm beds, and roaring fires — not steamy sidewalks, sleeping in chairs, and occasional pouring rain. Did we misunderstand something? Earlier: Daily Intel’s we-realize-we’re-just-as-bad-as- they-are ongoing iPhone coverage.
  7. the morning line
    Wanna Buy the Freedom Tower? • Guess what Port Authority is going to do with the Freedom Tower once the construction is over? What every owner of a half-built property dreams of doing: Flip it. By its completion in 2011, the skyscraper may be up for sale, say Spitzer and Corzine. [Metro] • Meet Mathieu Eugene, the City Council’s newest member and the first Haitian to fill the seat. Eugene won a low-profile, low-turnout special election in Brooklyn after his predecessor, Yvette Clarke, moved on to Congress. [NYP] • Busta Rhymes, on trial for kicking a fan and beating up a former chauffeur, rejected a deal that would land him in jail for a cred-building six months. The alternative: probation, anger management, and two weeks of lecturing kids about violence. [NYDN] • In New York, we wage our war on Christmas all year round — and we’re winning it, too. The U.S. Supreme Court washed its hands of the Brooklyn-filed case that challenged the citywide ban on school nativity displays. (Menorahs and Islamic crescents, however, are totally okay). [FoxNews.com] • And in New Jersey, a similar battle with a techie twist: A public-school history teacher is in hot water after a student taped him proselytizing (“If you reject [Jesus], you belong in hell,” etc.) and saying that dinosaurs were on Noah’s ark. [NYT]
  8. photo op
    And Every Time an Obnoxious Ringtone Rings, an Angel Gets Carted Away on a Flatbed Even at Rockefeller Center, Christmas season eventually ends. Shot yesterday morning at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 49th Street and submitted by reader Prudence. Thanks, Prudence! [Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at intel@nymag.com.]
  9. photo op
    On the Ninth Day of Christmas… Courtesy of Curbed, perhaps the iconic New York post-holiday image. It’s Official: The Holidays Are So Over [Curbed]
  10. announcements
    Christmas Vacation! Yay! That’s about all, folks. And we’ve got some sad news for you: Daily Intel is going on vacation. We won’t be posting next week, but we’ll be back bright and early on Tuesday morning, January 2. Thanks for reading these last three months, happy and merry and all of that, and we’ll see you in 2007.
  11. in other news
    Holiday Season, Brooklyn Style Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz — the man, the legend, the boat — is known for his elaborate holiday cards. (Well, among other things.) The minds at Brooklyn Papers have analyzed the latest missive from the beep, which finds Marty, two Santas (black and white), and a rabbi in a curiously uneven volleyball match with two bikini beauties. Us? We’re more fascinated with the reindeer referee with a parrot perched on its hoof, a reference we can’t quite place. A Very Marty Xmas [Brooklyn Papers]
  12. in other news
    So This Is Christmas, and What Have You Done?For those wanting to take their holiday giving beyond the doorman’s tip, the Morning News has put together a great holiday charity guide with some very unique and deserving organizations who’ll be happy to receive your last-minute stab at saving the world. Even if you gave at the office, go over and take a look. Of course, according to an article they’re currently running, the Morning News kids also sent their intern to go to the Christmas-tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. Charity begins at home, guys. Morning Edition [Morning News]
  13. gossipmonger
    It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Ron Perelman’s YearOft-divorced billionaire Ron Perelman had lunch on Tuesday with former Law & Order star Elisabeth Röhm, but he’s spending the holidays on a yacht in St. Barts with psychologist Anna Chapman. Mickey Rooney’s “manager” son, Chris Aber, is a control freak. The Catholic League is giving the Weinstein brothers flak for releasing a slasher flick on Christmas Day. (In other Catholic League–related news, president William Donohue claims that Pope Benedict is not, in fact, gay.) Some Dems are annoyed that President Bush has turned the board of the supposedly nonpartisan Kennedy Center into a GOP stronghold. (Also, Jessica Simpson does not want her botched singing performance there two weeks ago to air). A lot of media bigwigs and politicos, including Hillary Clinton, Tom Brokaw, and Arianna Huffington, ate at Michael’s. Gay activist Allen Roskoff made fun of gay, unsuccessful attorney-general candidate Sean Patrick Maloney in his Christmas-party invitation. Paris Hilton has been attending acting classes to prepare for her next movie. D.J. AM doesn’t miss dating Nicole Richie, but his wallet does. Elisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford are hosting a New Year’s Eve party together. Liz Smith anoints the gift card the hot Christmas present of the year.
  14. the morning line
    No Justice, No Peace, as They Say • Several hundreds of people took over Wall Street to protest the police’s killing of Sean Bell and what they see as the NYPD’s failure to punish the guilty. They were met with almost as many police officers, some undercover; for a march that called for a “war on the NYPD,” the protest went without an incident. [amNY] • The State Liquor Authority is cracking down on all-night New Year’s Eve parties, nixing dozens of bars’ requests to stay open late on December 31. (The permit is usually easily granted.) [NYP] • In a similar crypto-Prohibitionist vein, the proposed alcohol ban on Metro-North and LIRR is about to deny suburban commuters one of their few remaining joys in life. Or is it? Meet Commuters Aligned for Responsible Enjoyment, or CARE, a quickly assembled opposition group. Vive la Resistance! [NYDN] • It’s a bit unexpected after all those mayoral pronouncements about the coming population boom, but NYC’s birth rate is way down, at a 25-year low, in fact. Officials call it a quality-of-life achievement, however, since the most rapidly declining subset is teenage births. [NYS] • And the Times tut-tuts the “phantasmagoric, Disney-esque experience” sweeping the suburbs: giant inflatable lawn figures causing an “intramural disagreement among the Christmas crazed.” [NYT]
  15. intel
    ’Twas Six Nights Before Christmas (a True Story in Verse)’Twas a mob scene at the Ziegfeld, a limited-engagement show. Sold-out Dreamgirls playing; a ticketless intern couldn’t go. But just as she heard this sad news from cashier, Who but Star Jones at her side should appear! “A ticket you say?” Star had just the thing. (Though she checked first with her Al, gave him a quick ring.) So instead of Al Reynolds, ‘twas a New York intern with Jones! Just two people between them, in the coveted third row. And as the lights went down and the curtain came up, That puckish Jones Reynolds gave our intern thumbs-up!Wren Abbott
  16. office-party patrol
    No Band, Little Booze, But Good Food (for Munchies?) at Wenner PartyThere was one last big blowout to catch before Holiday Party Season 2006 wound down: The annual Wenner Media extravaganza. With the bank busted on Rolling Stone’s 1,000th-issue celebration in May, this year’s holiday gathering was less glitzy in the past, with no big-name musical act slated to perform. But that didn’t stop indefatigable party reporter Julia Allison. Her wrap-up — her final wrap-up of the season — is after the jump.
  17. office-party patrol
    Eating — and Eating! — With the ‘Daily News’; Drinking and Dancing With ‘Star’With less than a week left till Christmas, company-holiday-party season is nearing its end. But for a last few fabulous nights, it keeps going strong — and naturally crasher extraordinaire Julia Allison is there. Last night she hit the Daily News do at the Copa and the Star shindig at Dirty Disco. Which one had a face-painter? Which one had only caffeinated vodka? Julia’s reports await.
  18. office-party patrol
    Rupert Murdoch Wishes You a Merry ChristmasHappy HolidaysThere’s a general rule of thumb that work events are always held on Monday through Thursday nights, because Fridays are reserved for real friends or for family. Who could flout that rule? Rupert Murdoch, of course, who held the annual holiday party — and it’s called a holiday party, not a Christmas party, Bill O’Reilly — for all New York News Corporation employees Friday night. It’s a huge event, for everyone from HarperCollins editors to Fox 5 local-news guys to 20th Century Fox PR people to Fox News ideologues to all their associated sales teams and managerial staffs and all that. Naturally, Julia Allison was there, and after the jump she takes you on a tour of Rupert’s world, with stops for frat-party booze and trans-fatty food. Yum!
  19. in other news
    Bad Santa at the Office Party: Is Nothing Sacred? So there’s this guy at your company Christmas party who keeps putting his hand up your skirt and breathing scotch in your face, but he’s not Christopher Hitchens. WTF? Today’s Wall Street Journal is on it, tracking the emotionally bankrupt phenom of the Bad Santa: In 2002, Ms. Donahue began offering a Bad Santa for singing telegrams and party visits. …Her Bad Santa, whose services start at $110 for 15 minutes, sings Christmas carols with unprintable lyrics, breaks down in tears or perhaps throws gifts across the room. Because it’s The Wall Street Journal, there’s a whole “wintersolsticblahblahblahiconimageblahblah” section on the history of Santa the intern probably worked on all week, establishing that men getting drunk and feeling people up at Christmas parties may well be an homage to the Pennsylvania Dutch character of “Pelz Nicholas,” rather than, you know, men pretty much using any opportunity to get drunk and feel women up. There’s even the inevitable party pooper: The Santa her company had hired sat on guests’ laps, flipped candy across tables and made lewd comments to some of the women. “He was a little obnoxious,” said Ms. Requiro, a company director. “I didn’t really even want to be near him, because it was uncomfortable. I didn’t eat my candy.” You didn’t like your candy? You probably cried when he put you on his lap, too. You Better Watch Out [WSJ]
  20. photo op
    Yes, This Is Nothing More Than a Beauty Shot Usually we kind of hate those snowflake-y projections on 30 Rock. (It’s just so gauchely too too, you know?) But we happened across this photo on Flickr today, and, well, the lit-up building in the back is what makes it work. Well done, Jayhoc. You put a little ain’t-New York-pretty-at-Christmas spring in our step. Manhattan, New York [Jayhoc’s Flickr]
  21. cultural capital
    Christmas With the Wainwrights Rufus and Martha Wainwright opened their childhood living room to Carnegie Hall last night for an evening of family Christmas music. It was a typical scene — if you’re used to having Lou Reed pop in to sing “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” and Laurie Anderson stop by for “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “We Three Kings,” rendered as haunting dirges. The crowd — for the most part, either gay or NPR types — was bemused by Jimmy Fallon, who came off like the stranger your aunt awkwardly brought to the first Christmas after her divorce. He got better later, somewhat, cracking up through his “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” duet with Martha Wainwright. Rufus mentioned a few people had complained about the lack of Hanukkah songs in last year’s show but said that, after a thorough search, he’d found “there are no good Hanukkah songs.” Instead, he sang one in Hebrew. “But I’m not going to sing it with an Austrian hat on,” he joked, doffing his red Alpine mountain cap. David Byrne was a promised appearance who failed to show, but a surprise visit from Antony more than satisfied. He sang “Blue Christmas” like an underground Elvis and then contributed, alone, “Snowy Angel,” a stirring, wistful ballad written, Antony said, by the East Village performer Baby Dee. Martha Wainwright complained to her brother for placing her after Antony; Rufus joked that following her was just as bad. But it wasn’t, as his performance of “O Holy Night” in its original French rendered everything else nearly forgettable. —Aileen Gallagher
  22. the morning line
    We’re Dreaming of a Wall Street Christmas • Goldman Sachs is about to set a Christmas-bonus record by lavishing its employees with $16.5 billion after posting a 93 percent jump in quarterly earnings. Top traders and investment machers will be taking home up to $50 million (per Times) or even $100 million (per Post) each. Well, someone has to buy apartments in that William Beaver nonsense. [NYP] • It wasn’t just driving, you know. A settlement agreement between Alan Hevesi and the AG’s office discloses that the state worker who chauffeured Mrs. Comptroller also shopped for her and “helped her rehabilitation from knee surgery” (code for “foot massage”?). [NYT] • A man stole a delivery truck, tooled around Manhattan sideswiping taxicabs, and finally crashed into the lobby of an Upper East Side building. John Doe was DOA. Some crime just really, really, really doesn’t pay. [amNY] • The News gets results! The paper has tut-tutted City College into stripping the name of Assata Shakur, a militant and a convicted cop killer, from a student center. Of course, it also accidentally re-triggered discussion of whether Shakur was framed. [NYDN] • The Transportation Department publishes, and Gothamist annotates, a fascinating schematic of which subway lines are taxed to capacity now and which will be by 2030. Alarmingly, in the latter drawing, the Second Avenue line is still not on the subway map. [Gothamist]
  23. office-party patrol
    Eggnog and Latkes With Hearst, ‘Vogue,’ and the Sunshine FlacksSilver bells, silver bells. That’s right, kids: It’s Christmas time in the city. And what does that mean? Company holiday parties. Lots of ‘em, booze-filled, cheesily themed, and often resulting in embarrassed avoidance at the office for a few weeks. This is the week holiday-party season kicks into high gear, and we’re introducing our Office-Party Patrol, in which dedicated partygoer Julia Allison will crash company Christmas parties on your behalf (or just ask question from outside, when security is too tight) and let you know what you’re missing. In today’s premier installment, we take you to the Hearst party, the Vogue party, and the Ken Sunshine PR party — and we rank each one for food, drink, venue, debauchery, and exclusivity. Which was most exclusive? Vogue, of course. Drunkest? Read on to find out.
  24. photo op
    Hark! The Herald Angels Burn Energy! Amazingly enough, there really is some religious devotion to be found in this godless city. And how is it displayed? With enormous, expensive lighting displays, naturally. The good people at Gowanus Lounge took a trip over the weekend to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, which is apparently the extravagant-Christmas-lights capital of New York City. This picture’s our favorite, mostly for the rows of herald angels flanking the entryway, which provide a nice counterpoint to the usual excessive rows of lights and signs. But there’s lots more what that came from. And, hey, Merry December 11! Dyker Heights Lights! The Photos [Gowanus Lounge]
  25. cultural capital
    Department Stores Don’t Know It’s Christmas The consolidation of department stores — a trend cooling only because there’s nothing left to merge — leaves Manhattan as the last hospitable environment for that Norman Rockwell tradition, the holiday window display. The city’s flagships — Barneys, Bendel, Bergdorf, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Macy’s — began unveiling their windows over the weekend, and, as usual, they’re secular spectacles. Out: Santa, model trains, gingerbread men. In: scary, postmodern vignettes. So which ones are worth wistful gazing? We’ve rated them according to four categories: holiday cheer, narrative, a sense of childlike wonder, and set design. Check back daily for three installments, culminating on Wednesday when the winner is revealed.