A Faculty Student-Services Associate's & Faculty
On-Going Monthly Orientation Planner:
The Foreign Student's Guide to the Surrounding New York City Culture and Community
240 West 35th Street, Second Floor (Between 7th & 8th Avenues), Manhattan, New York 10001
212.840.7111 fax: 646.766.0302
Table of Contents
Happy New Year! Welcome the New Year on New Year’s eve in Times Square, in Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, or in Central Park near 72nd St. with free entertainment and fireworks.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on the third Monday in January each year. It is a national holiday. The Reverend Dr. King, Jr. was a black Civil Rights* leader and African-American minister. He called for the end of racial discrimination in the United States that treated black Americans like second-class citizens. He always advocated using non-violent means to bring about social change by leading civil* protests against discrimination.
Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865 after a bitter Civil War between the Northern and Southern States. The Civil War ended slavery but not racial discrimination. Martin Luther King, Jr. thought of a free society as an integrated one in which all people had equal access to public places, to the vote, and to quality education, housing, and jobs.
Until the 1960s in the American South, black Americans were forced to sit in the back of public buses and to use “Negro” only restrooms and water fountains. They attended segregated schools. In 1956, Dr. King organized a 382-day boycott [a refusal to buy, sell, use, etc.] of public buses in Montgomery, Alabama. The boycott set the stage for a US Supreme Court decision declaring that segregation of blacks and whites on buses was unconstitutional. In 1964, the US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act guaranteeing equal rights in housing, public facilities, voting, and public schools.
Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize that year. Four years later, he was assassinated while leading a workers’ strike in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2008, 40 years after his death, Americans elected a black American president of the United States.
*As used above, civil means “of a citizen or citizens” or “a community of citizens.” Civil rights refer to those rights guaranteed to the individual by the US Constitution and by Acts of Congress. They include the right to vote, exemption from involuntary servitude (slavery), and the right to equal treatment under the law. Civil can also refer to polite behavior. Explain the important relationship between : civil, civic, civilian, civility, & civilization.
King’s Philosophy and Practice of Non-Violence
Dr. King practiced non-violent protest to bring about social change. He believed that: “Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiples toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.” A powerful orator [speaker], on August 28, 1963, he delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech before more than 250,000 people in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The words under his picture above are from that speech. It ends:
“Let freedom ring . . . . Let freedom ring . . . . From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Hear King’s delivery of that speech and read the text by searching online for “I have a dream.”
I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes (d. 1967)
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes . . . .
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.
Fridays, 5:30-7:30pm. Free admission and live music at the American Folk Art Museum
45 W. 53rd St. a short walk from the Institute or B/D/F/V to 47/50 St. Rockefeller Center.
Excellent Exhibits and shows, Museum of the American Indian ,One Bowling Green in the US Customs House. Daily 10-5pm near northeast corner of Battery Park. 4/5 trains to Bowling Green, N/R to Whitehall, 1 to South Ferry.
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology to 5pm, closed Sun. and Mon., 7th Avenue at 27th Street, Manhattan
Free Saturdays 11am-5pm at the Jewish Museum. 1109 5th Ave. at 92nd St. 4,5,6 trains to 86th and Lexington and walk west.
Check their website for special Free admission days at the Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn Museum First Saturday, take the 2 or 3 trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum right outside Museum entrance.
Brooklyn Academy of Music BAMCafe 30 Lafayette St., see school Bulletin Board or website for other free Friday and Saturday night music and directions.
New York Public Library Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Amsterdam Ave. near 65th St, 1 to Broadway and W. 66th St., A,B,C,D to Columbus Circle and transfer to the 1 or walk north to West 65th Street
Student Club Tip: arrive early for seats! Musicians and others celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, 1/2/3 to 96th Street
Celebrate with jazz and comedy greats. Lincoln Center Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway at 62/63rd Street. Always a special treat. Be sure to check the website for schedule changes and special offers. http://lc.lincolncenter.org/visitor-guide/visitor-center
NYC Department of Health has at least one free walk-in immunization clinic in each borough. With the start of winter, it is important to get your flu shot. Check the school bulletin boards or DOH website for up-to-date information.
Skate indoors or out. Bring your own skates or rent. See Institute Bulletin Boards for information about outdoor and indoor ice rinks, including the free one near the school in Bryant Park in back of the NY Public Library between 5th/6th Ave. & 41st/42nd St.
Do you know that you can join a very inexpensive gym and health club at one of the NYC Department of Parks Recreation Centers for $50-$75 a year? There are several in every borough.
Presidents’ Day celebrates the birthdays of two great American Presidents, George Washington (left) and Abraham Lincoln (right).
The 1st President of the USA, Washington led the 13 American colonies during the Revolutionary War in their fight for independence from Britain [England]. He refused to accept the title of King from the grateful former American colonies. Elected first in 1789 and again in 1792, he refused a third term, saying that a longer rule would give one man too much power.
Washington helped shape a form of government new in human history through the writing of the US Constitution and the idea of an elected president. The Constitution provides for a representative government characterized by checks and balances among three branches of government—the Executive branch (President), the Legislative branch (Congress), and the Judicial branch (judges and courts).
Lincoln, the 16th President, served from 1861-1864. He was re-elected but assassinated in 1865. Lincoln led the United States through the Civil War, often called the War Between the States. The more agricultural Southern states wanted to keep slavery. The more industrial Northern states and Lincoln wanted to abolish [do away with] slavery. The Civil War started when the Southern states seceded [left the Union, left the United States to establish their own government].
In 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves. On the bloody battlefield of Gettysburg that year, he gave the following short but powerful Gettysburg Address.
Fourscore and seven  years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety [correct behavior] do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate [to set aside as holy or sacred], we cannot hallow [to make sacred], this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth [emphasis added].
Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving flowers, candy, and cards to those they love. No one really knows the origins of Valentine’s Day. It is often associated with Cupid. In Roman myth, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love. In Greek legend, he is a naughty boy who shoots both gods and humans through the heart with arrows, making them fall in love (usually against their will).
FREE Thursdays, 11am-9pm. 215 Centre St. between. Howard and Grand one block north of Canal St. N,R,Q,J,6 trains to Canal Street
frequently has a FREE concert sometimes at the World Financial Center (WFC) Winter Garden. Check their website @ http://www.newyorkoperasociety.com/default.aspx or Institute bulletin boards for directions
Dedicated to the art, history, technique, and technology of the moving image in all its forms—film, TV, optical art, etc. in a stunning new renovated space. Free admission Fridays, 4-8pm. 35 Avenue at 37 St., Astoria, Queens. Check website or Institute bulletin boards for directions.
Check the Spanish-American Institute Student Club Bulletin Boards in the Student Room and hallway next to the Special Events Center for more information about free or low-cost events, activities, and places like museums, concerts, vaccinations, skating, gyms, etc.
Saturdays in February, usually 5-11pm. Free art, music, dancing, entertainment, etc. First Saturday of most months. 2,3 trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum at Museum entrance.
Free tickets in advance at Julliard Box Office or try standby. 155 W. 65th St. 1 to 66th. 1,A,B,C,D to Columbus Circle 59th St.
Free with pay what you wish admissions. 5th Ave. @103rd St., 6 train to 103rd and walk west.
Usually 11:30-4 pm. Parade starts at Mott and Hester Streets and winds its way through every Chinatown street. View the famous Lion and Dragon dancers, acrobats, martial artists, and other entertainers. (See Chinatown map below.)
Usually Fridays or Thursdays at 8pm. Pick up free tickets starting 6pm, 150 W. 85th. C to 86th and Central Park West or 1 to 86th at Broadway.
A Bit of the Far East on Manhattan’s Far East Side : Explore Chinatown in one of the oldest, most unique, and lively NYC neighborhoods. Manhattan’s Chinatown is the largest in the Western Hemisphere, home to thousands of Chinese-Americans and recently arrived Chinese immigrants.
A good place to start is south of Canal St. (runs east to west on map, above) at Mott Street and Canal (about lower middle of the map). You will pass Chinese shops, restaurants, and the Eastern States Buddhist Temple of America pictured above. N,R,Q,W,J,M,Z,6 trains to Canal Street.
March roars in like a lion and goes out like a lamb (a baby sheep)--an old English saying. Spring starts March 20.
When we change our clocks
Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.
Spring forward, Fall behind! DST begins a Sunday in March at 2am. Before you go to sleep on Saturday set your clocks ahead one hour. DST moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening to save energy. Enjoy an extra hour of daylight until Fall when we move clocks back an hour.
New York City is truly a city of immigrants. Did you know that NYC has over 180 different culture groups speaking 116 or more different languages? The Urban League, an African-American group, has a saying: “We all came over in different ships but now we are all in the same boat.” St. Patrick’s Day celebrates not only the Irish presence in America but also that of the many immigrant groups who have contributed to this country’s history.
St. Patrick’s Day originated with the immigrant Irish who came to the USA in large numbers from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. The Irish came to escape famine (starvation from lack of food), poverty, and British oppression (unfair or cruel treatment) in Ireland.
According to legend, St. Patrick (d. 461) drove all the poisonous snakes out of Ireland. Irish opponents of the British often wore green in tribute to their saint, St. Patrick. The shamrock, a green cloverleaf, became a national symbol.
In attempting to stamp out resistance, the British forbid the Irish from wearing green. This is the origin of the expression, the Wearing of the Green. Many New Yorkers wear something green on St. Paddy’s Day—green clothes, green flowers, or green hats. Many also say that: “Everyone’s at least a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Oh! Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that’s going round,
The Shamrock is forbid by law to grow on
No more St. Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his colors can’t be seen,
For there’s a cruel law against the wearing of the Green.
I met with Napper Tandy*, and he took me by the hand
And he said ‘How’s poor old Ireland and how does she stand?’
She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
For they’re hangin’ men an’ women for the wearing of the Green.
*Napper Tandy was an Irish revolutionary hero (d. 1803).
Some believe that a shamrock with four petals or a four-leafed clover represents good luck. What are some symbols of good and bad luck in your culture? Do you believe in luck?
The Parade marches up 5th Ave. from 44th-86th St. Irish groups march at the head of the Parade followed by different Irish clans (social groups, tribal divisions) in their colorful plaids (cloth pattern of crossed lines and squares—each clan has a plaid pattern of its own). Bands, Irish musicians, and other marchers reflect Irish culture and honor immigrant contribution to the United States. Over 150,000 people march each year in NYC.
The theme of Women’s History Month varies from year to year and from country to country. Look for books in the Spanish-American Institute Library that celebrate women’s accomplishments and potential.
So much to see and do in New York City--a lot of it for free. Check out the Spanish-American Institute Student Club Bulletin Boards for more information about free or low cost museums, concerts, immunizations, skating, gyms, etc. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions or comments.
Dedicated to the art, history, technique, and technology of the moving image in all its forms—film, TV, optical art, etc. in a stunning new renovated space. Free admission Fridays, 4-8pm. 35 Avenue at 37 St., Astoria, Queens. Check website or Institute bulletin boards for directions.
FREE Thursdays, 11am-9pm. 215 Centre St. between. Howard and Grand one block north of Canal St. N,R,Q,J,6 trains to Canal St.
5-11pm. themes include tributes in music, dance, film, and art to the past and present culture of the Native American Indian. Enjoy free art, music, dancing, entertainment, etc. 2,3 trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum at Museum entrance.
Live Jazz at Jazz Café, 7:30-10:00pm, Broadway and 122nd. St. M4 or M104 bus; #1 to 116th St. and walk north on Broadway to 122nd St.
(Fashion Institute of Technology). Daily except Sun. to 5pm. 7th Ave. @27th St. Walk from the Spanish-American Institute or take 1,C,E,F,V,N,R trains to 23rd or 28th St. stops.
333 East. 47th Street. near 1st Ave. 4,5,6,7,S to Grand Central and walk east.
Free tickets at the Box Office starting 2/24 or arrive early for standby. W. 65th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave. #1 train to 66th St. or A,B,C,D,E,1 to 59th. St./Columbus Circle and walk north.
Always a special treat at 8:30 pm., music in one of NYC’s newest public spaces. Broadway between 62nd and 63rd. 1 train to 66th St., 1,A,B,C,D to Columbus Circle and 59th St.
Why is NYC sometimes called the Big Apple? In the 1920s, a NYC reporter supposedly heard New Orleans racetrack workers refer to the City as the “Big Apple.” Soon after, jazz musicians began to use the term to refer to NYC and Harlem as the jazz capital of the world. The jazz musicians of the 1930s and ‘40s put the phrase “The Big Apple” into more or less general circulation.
Easter is One of Many Spring Celebrations
Throughout history, people have celebrated Spring as a time of renewal and rebirth. For example, Christians observe Easter to celebrate the death and rebirth of Christ. However, they also follow some of the old customs of pagan (pre-Christian) Europe.
In ancient Europe, eggs symbolized new life and rabbits fertility (reproduction). Eggs and bunnies (baby rabbits) continue to play an important role in Western non-religious Easter celebrations. American children often color hard-boiled eggs for Easter, a custom that probably arrived with German and Dutch immigrants. The most famous Easter Parade in the USA is in NYC.
(Easter doesn't always fall in April, so before you start your Easter Egg hunting, you can get the exact date from the professionals @ http://www.wheniseastersunday.com/. Happy Hunting!)
Bryant Park is nestled in a canyon of skyscrapers in back of the New York Public Library between 5th-6th Ave. and 41st-42nd Sts. The Park is an oasis of calm--a place to meet, eat lunch, chat, listen to music, play chess, lie on the grass, or sit at small tables under old leafy trees. Or people-watch from the front terrace of the Library on 5th Ave.
The Spanish-American Institute is between two distinct areas. One is the super-busy, impersonal business and tourist area of Times Square and Midtown West. The other is Hell’s Kitchen, now called Clinton. Clinton falls roughly between 8th Ave. and the Hudson River and between 40th and 59th Streets. Turn right when leaving the school and cross 8th Avenue. Walk the blocks between 8th and 10th Avenues to explore a real neighborhood with small shops, restaurants, bakeries, galleries, schools, parks, and homes where people live (and tourists seldom go).
Clinton has been home to many different populations. The Irish and German were
succeeded by Italians, Greeks, Eastern Europeans, Puerto Ricans, Peruvians, and Ecuadorians, among others. Today’s neighborhood is more gentrified [process by which a poor area changes to one with people who have more money]. Its historic diversity is still reflected in many local businesses, especially restaurants like those on “Restaurant Row” on West 46th St.
Some of our favorite spots include:
535 Ninth Ave. near 40th Street. Hot peppers, cassava, couscous, thick peanut butter, etc.
543 Ninth Ave. near 40th St. Greek cheeses and pastries, spices of all kinds, and olives, olives, olives.
545 Ninth Ave. between 40/41st St. Wonderful coffee, home made doughnuts, muffins, cakes, and, of course, cupcakes.
NW corner of 41st and 9th Ave.
200 W. 40th St. near 7th Ave. Famous old comic books and recent editions in print and on DVD.
568 9th Ave. near 42nd St. A nice alternative to that “other” coffee place. A huge selection of coffees and teas from all over the world to drink or buy.
enter on W. 41st between 7th/8th Ave. and enjoy a public street-level glass enclosed garden of moss and birch trees open to the sky.
If you live, work, or study in New York City, you are entitled to a free public library card. Brooklyn and Queens have their own public library systems. However, their library cards can also be used in the New York Public Libraries.
135 E. 46th between. Lexington and Third Ave. New, lots of public computers, laptop stations, and comfortable seating. Browse, study, get a library card, or borrow books.
742 Tenth Ave. near 50th St. A newly renovated real neighborhood library!
5th Ave.@34th St. For specialized research in the library and for personal job searching services.
5th Ave@40th-42nd St. The one with the two famous Lions in front named Patience and Fortitude. For serious graduate level research in the Library only, not for studying or borrowing books
Enjoy New York City in Spring Walking From the Spanish-American Institute: This month we emphasize FREE activities, events, and locations mainly within walking distance of the Spanish-American Institute. Explore and enjoy!
New York City will hold its famous Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival on Easter Sunday each year. The parade usually marches up 5th Ave. between 49th and 57th St. from 10am to 4pm. Participants often wear beautiful Spring clothes and, of course, colorful Easter bonnets (hats), often decorated with incredible floral displays or live animals. Also expect to see live rabbits, flowers, clowns, and more.
Many NYC museums have First Fridays or First Saturday programs with free admission and entertainment. See listings on the School Bulletin Boards and selected museums below.
See school Bulletin Boards outside the Special Events Center and in the Student Lounge (Room 4b) for free concerts.
Usually 5-11pm. Free art, live music, and dancing 2, 3 trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum at Museum entrance.
(Fashion Institute of Technology). Explore aspects of fashion. Daily except Sun. to 5pm. 7th Ave. @27th St. Walk from the Spanish-American Institute or take 1,C,E,F,V,N,R trains to 23rd or 28th St.
Usually from 7-10pm, join them in an evening of traditional social dancing. One Bowling Green in the US Customs House across from Battery Park. 4/5 trains to Bowling Green, N/R to Whitehall, 1 to So. Ferry. Be sure to check their website for changes in schedule and special offers http://nmai.si.edu/home/.
Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22. Some cities start celebrating a week in advance, ending the recognition of Earth Week on April 22nd. Others host month long events to stress the importance of teaching about our environment.
The United Nations celebrates Earth Day each year on the March equinox, which is often March 20, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969.
For Earth Day, Grand Central Station, E. 42nd St. will illuminate the Main Concourse with environmentally themed images. A short walk from the Spanish-American Institute, it is worth going to see the interior of the Station itself—a recently restored 19th C. tribute to the great age of the railroads in the USA
4 floors of interactive technology and entertainment. To 5pm, closed Mon. 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St.
Ancient and modern Greek art. Tuesday through Saturday to 5pm. 654 5th Ave., suite 304, Olympic Towers Building, enter on 51st or 52nd St. between. 5th and Madison Aves. Enjoy exhibits such as The Road to Mistra, a site-specific work in neon by Stephen Antonakos.
Many admission-free Fridays 6-9. The exhibit has special unintended significance in light of recent natural and man-made disasters in Japan. 333 E. 47th St. near 1st Ave. 4,5,6,7,S to Grand Central and walk east. Be sure to check their website http://www.japansociety.org/gallery for changes and special offers
You can submit your proposals for Student and Alumni Shows to Room One. The Institute invites students, alumni, and faculty to exhibit or perform in the Special Events Center as part of its "English through the Arts" Series. If you would like to be considered for future exhibits or programs, please submit your proposal to Room One.
“April showers bring forth May flowers.” In April, New York City usually has enough rain and cool weather to help the City bloom with “May flowers.” New York City starts to become an outdoor city in May with lots of free activities.
5-11pm. Free art, music, dancing, etc. 2, 3 trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum at Museum entrance.
Saturday, 1-4 pm—inside Riverside Park @ W. 105th St. Learn to swing on gym rings, the only set of traveling rings outside of California. Free ring swinging lessons, sand sculpting workshop, live music, refreshments, etc. 1 train to 103 St., walk west to the lower level of Riverside Park @105th. Check the Institute Student Club Bulletin Boards and their website http://www.swingaring.com for details.
Meet at 7:45 pm at the south end of Union Square at E. 14th St. Join other skaters on a different 2 hour, 12 mile skate each week through NYC streets. More info. at http://www.weskateny.org
Watch for this perennial favorite on a Saturday in late May . Parade usually starts at 1pm at W. 28th St. between 6th Ave. and Broadway, proceeds to Union Square to University Place, then east on St. Marks Place to Tompkins Square Park for a DanceFest with performances and live DJs. from 3-7pm. Confirm details on their website http://www.danceparade.org
Starts weekends, in mid- May. A kayak is a small canoe completely covered except for the opening(s) for one or two paddlers.
Kayak for free on the Hudson River thanks to the Downtown Boathouse. The Boathouse provides all equipment completely free at three locations. You will learn to paddle in a safe area on the water.
Boathouse locations are: Pier 40 at the Western end of Houston St. on the Hudson River side of the West Side Highway (1 train to Houston, A/C/E to Canal St.); Pier 96 at 56th St. in the Clinton Cove Park on the Westside Highway and 56th St. (1/A/C/E to Columbus Circle and walk west to West Side Highway); and Riverside Park at 72nd St.—cross West End Avenue and take the 72nd St. stairs into the Park, then follow the walkway to the Hudson River, walk north towards the 79th St. Marina until you come to the Boathouse. 1/2/3 trains to 72nd St.
A Native American Festival. usually on a Sunday in late May from 11-6pm. World dance and drumming, Native American crafts, and international food. Inwood Park, 1 train to 215th St./A to 207th. Enter Park at 215th St. west of Broadway. Check their website to confirm details: http://www.drumsalongthehudson.org
Fridays, usually around 7:30pm or 8 pm. Among the last free concerts at Julliard until September. 155 W. 65th St. 1 to 66th St., 1/A/B/C/B to Columbus Circle and 59th St. and walk north on Broadway to W. 65th St.
starts just before Memorial Day. Navy sailors from all over the world will visit NYC, including Times Square.
reopens to the public very late May Check school Bulletin Boards for free events and ferry schedule.
Last weekend of May & first weekend of June. Over 200 artists exhibit around Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. A,B,C,D,F to West 4th St and walk east to 5th Ave., 6 to Astor Place and walk west to 5th Ave.
May Day, the 1st of May, is celebrated around the world. Although associated with the early history of the American labor movement, it is not an official holiday in the USA. In many other countries though, it celebrates workers. Americans honor workers on Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
Most cultures also honor their mothers on special days. Mother’s Day may have emerged from ancient festivals dedicated to mother goddesses. In the United States, people now celebrate Mother’s Day by giving their mothers flowers, cards, and/or gifts. (Fathers will have their day too this year inn June )
: In the United States, Memorial Day is an official holiday honoring those who died for this country in war. It is often celebrated with parades and cemetery visits to honor and remember servicemen and women (people who served in the military).
The first Memorial Day in 1865 marked the end of the bloody Civil War between the Northern and Southern states. The following poems were written after World War I (WWI), a terrible war lasting from 1914-1918. The fighting took place primarily between the Allies (the US, Britain, France, Russia, etc.) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary). It sometimes included parts of their colonial “empires” and areas of interest elsewhere in the world. Almost 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians died from combat and disease. At the time, it was known as the “war to end all wars.” Sadly, it was not.
PILE the bodies high at Austerliz* and Waterloo*
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.
Pile them high at Gettysburg*
And pile them high at Ypres* and Verdun*.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass. Let me work.
*Battlefields with terrible numbers of deaths--Austerlitz and Waterloo from the early 19th Century Napoleonic Wars, Gettysburg from the American mid-19th Century Civil War, and Ypres and Verdun from the 20th Century World War I.
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks* still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders* fields . . . .
We shall not sleep, though poppies* grow.
In Flanders fields.
*”Larks” are a kind of songbird. “Flanders” is the general name for parts of Northern Europe that today belong to France, Belgium, and Holland. Flanders contained some of the bloodiest battlefields of World War I. “Poppies” are the red flower that the author observed growing among the battlefield dead.
100s of free events in Lower Manhattan (see right).
Tuesdays, 6:30pm, starts second week of June. Bach to Bebop (jazz). Enjoy the sunset and music on grassy Pier 45. 1 to Christopher St. and walk west to River.
Fridays, 7pm The mellow sounds of guitar, Pier 45.
Wednesdays, 6 pm, starts very early June Music in back of the New York Public Library, 42nd-44th St. between. 5th/6th Avenues
Fridays 7-10pm, Free Fridays at the , NYC’s museum of Himalayan art. 150 W. 17th St. between. 6th/7th Ave., # 1 to 18th St., 1,2,3 to 14th St.
First Saturday in June, 5-11pm. Free art, music, dancing, entertainment, etc. 2,3 trains to Brooklyn Museum/Eastern Parkway right at museum entrance. .
Saturday and -Sunday early June . Over 200 artists exhibit around Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. A,B,C,D,F to West 4th St and walk east to 5th Ave., 6 to Astor Place and walk west to 5th Ave
Firs weekend in June - Saturday and -Sunday 1-6pm. . Tour open studios, gallery shows, art projects, and special events on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Ave. featuring over 200 artists. 2,3,4,5,B,Q to Atlantic Ave/BAM Station or Court St./Borough Hall; N,R,M,D to Pacific St./BAM Station, etc., and walk along Atlantic Ave.
Watch for Tuesday in mid-June, 6-9pm. Walk the mile on 5th Ave. from 82nd to 105th St. and visit 9 of NYC’s finest museums for free. Plus music, street performers, art activities, etc. 4,5,6, to 86th. 6 to 96th, 103rd or 110th Sts.
Saturday in mid-June, 2pm. Coney Island. One of NYC’s great summer events. Opens the Coney Island beach swimming season. Parade starts at Surf Ave. and 21st St. D,F,Q to Coney Island
Sundays in mid-June , 11-5pm. Make Music NY’s Punk Island, performances all day. See free ferry schedule to the Island below.
Sunday in mid-June, 11 a.m. . until Monday midnight. , 12-hours of genre-defying music from around the corner and around the globe. Winter Garden on the Hudson River in Battery Park inside the World Financial Center between. Liberty and Vesey St. 1,2,3,A,or C trains to Chambers St. Walk west, cross West St., walk south to the WFC. 2,3 to Park Place, walk west, cross West Street using the South Bridge beside the World Trade Center site.
Friday in late June, 7 pm. on launches at Pier 17, East River.
Saturday in late June, 12-3pm. Honor Mother Earth with the music and dance of the Native American Nation. See directions to the Museum below.
Saturday in late June, 7:30pm. Prospect Park West and 9th St.. Full schedule concerts on their website: http://www.bricartsmedia.org/performing-arts/celebrate-brooklyn/. B,F,Q to 7th Ave. and walk 1 or 2 blocks to Park’s 9th St. entrance. 2,3 to 7th Ave. and walk 13 blocks to 9th St.
Tuesdays late June, 7pm, : World Financial Center Winter Garden
Tuesday Night Skate, 11 miles over Manhattan, schedule & directions at www.empireskate.org/groups.
Wednesday Night Rollerblading, 2-hr., 12 mile route, www.weskateny.org.
Thursday Evening Skate Central Park Skate Patrol, 5-6 mile loop of Central Park with rest stops, www.skatepatrol.org/tes.
where NYC began over 400 years ago. In the summer, Lower Manhattan is the setting for free music and other events, from the East River to the Hudson River, from New York Harbor to Wall St., Battery Park, or the South St. Seaport. Explore and enjoy!
Hundreds of free indoor and outdoor events downtown all summer, from the East River to the Hudson River. See map and listings on school bulletin boards. Many take place in Battery Park along the Hudson River or inside the World Financial Center’s (WFC) Winter Garden and Courtyard at the north end of Battery Park. Sit in the Winter Garden among the indoor palm trees. Enjoy the food court, exhibits, music, and beautiful views of the Hudson. Or take a summer stroll outside through the 34 acres of Battery Park along the Hudson River. One Bowling Green, near northeast corner of Battery Park. 4/5 trains to Bowling Green, N/R to Whitehall, 1 to South Ferry. 1/2/3 trains to Chamber St.
Weekends to mid-October, 10-5 pm. and some weekday evenings. Kayak for free thanks to the New York City Downtown Boathouse. The Boathouse provides all equipment free at three locations on the Hudson River.
You will learn to paddle in a safe enclosure on the water. You must know how to swim. Wear light clothing. The three Boathouse locations are:
q Pier 40--at the Western end of Houston St. on the Hudson River side of the West Side Highway (1 train to Houston, A/C/E to Canal St.);
q Pier 96--at 56th St. in the Clinton Cove Park at the West Side Highway and 56th St. (1/A/C/E to Columbus Circle and walk west to West Side Highway);
q Riverside Park at 72nd St.—cross West End Avenue and take the 72nd St. stairs down into the Park, follow the walkway to the Hudson River, then walk north towards the 79th St. Marina until you come to the Boathouse. (1/2/3 trains to 72nd. St.) More information on Bulletin Boards.
See the Statue of Liberty from Battery City Park. Pass close to her on the Staten Island Ferry. The 305 foot tall statue was a gift from the people of France to the USA to celebrate French-American friendship during the American Revolution.
The broken chains at the Statue’s feet depict escape from tyranny [government by a cruel ruler with complete control]. The seven spikes in her crown symbolize the world’s seven seas and seven continents. The torch in her right hand represents liberty. The tablet in her left hand reads “July 4, 1776,” the date the 13 American colonies declared independence from British rule to eventually become the United States of America.
Today, people from other countries usually arrive in NYC by plane. However, from the 1800s to the mid-1900s, most immigrants arrived by ship at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. One of their first views of America was the Statue.
While downtown, visit the free National Museum of the American Indian, open daily from 10 am-5 pm. in the US Customs House, one of the most beautiful buildings in Manhattan. One Bowling Green, near northeast corner of Battery Park. 4/5 trains to Bowling Green, N/R to Whitehall, 1 to South Ferry.
Stroll from Battery Park to the Staten Island Ferry and ride free 24 hours a day. The trip takes 30 minutes each way. Sit outside and enjoy the cool ocean breezes and views of the Manhattan skyline, Governor’s Island, and the Statue of Liberty. (1 to S. Ferry. Ferry pier at Whitehall and Water Streets on southeast corner of Lower Manhattan.)
July 4 is Independence Day, America’s birthday. On July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain (England). The following is an excerpt (selection) from the colonies’ Declaration of Independence. Its words reflect the founding principles of a new country to be called the United States of America.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, …. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable (natural) Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
July 4 at 9 pm. Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks On the Waterfront Celebrate America’s birthday. View the nation’s biggest explosion of birthday lights on the River from 24th to 59th St. Some of the best viewing spots: South of 42nd St. by the Circle Line Pier, Pier 54 (access from 14th St., and Pier 84 (access from 44th St.). All other Piers and Battery Park are usually closed.
Hundreds of free indoor and outdoor events all summer downtown between the Hudson River and the East River—River to River (R2R). See map below and event listings on school Bulletin Boards.
Many events take place in Battery Park along the Hudson River or inside the World Financial Center’s (WFC) Winter Garden and Courtyard at the north end of Battery Park.
Make a day of it downtown, “where NYC started.”! Visit the free National Museum of the American Indian.
Ride the free Staten Island and/or Governors Island ferries.
Visit Governors Island (bikes allowed on ferry).
Celebrate July in NYC by enjoying these free activities. Check school bulletin boards for more information about these events and many, many other free activities.
Monday nights, Bryant Park in back of the New York Public Library, 40th-42nd Streets between 5th/6th Aves.
Friday nights Intrepid Battleship
Pier 86 at the end of W. 46th St. and the Hudson River. (See websites or school bulletin boards for programs).
Tuesdays, 8pm., Washington Square Music Festival, Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village. Opera and chamber music (7/12&7/19) and jazz (on 8/2). A,C,D,E,F to W. 4th and walk east.
Fridays, 7pm, Seaport Music Festival Concerts, Pier 17 on East River. . See directions for Beach Party, above.
Sundays, 3pm, Beach Party Indie Rock Concerts at Beekman Beer Garden’s 200-ton sandy beach. 89 South St near the Seaport, on East River at Fulton and South Sts. 2,3,4,J,Z,M to Fulton, A,C to Broadway Nassau, and walk east to East River.
Sundays, 6:30pm. Moondance music and dancing with live bands on Pier 54 at 14th St. A,C,E,L to W. 14th St.
See school Bulletin Board schedules and directions for other free music series such as:
Gone to Governors (weekends on Governors Island Water Beach)
Waterside Plaza Music Under the Stars (Wednesdays.);
Bryant Park Fountain Terrace in back of the New York Public Library (Wednesdays, 6pm);
Stars of Tomorrow, Tues. 6:30 pm, Pier 45 at Christopher St.;
Sunset on the Hudson, Fridays, 7pm, Pier 45;
Acoustic Sundays, 7pm Riverside Park’s Pier 1 at 70th St.,
Celebrate Brooklyn (various dates, Prospect Park),
SummerStage (various dates in NYC Parks), Brooklyn’s MLK and Seaside Concerts (dates TBA),
Lincoln Center Out of Doors (starts July 27), and more.
(see school bulletin boards for more information.)
Celebrate America’s birthday weekend with live music, dancing, film, and art. Take the 2 or 3 Train to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum.
Celebrate France’s 1789 Revolution. 60th Street between 5th & Lexington Aves. Enjoy French cuisine, music, games, art and much more.
July 14, 4-8pm, Duffy/Times Square, 46th and Broadway, artists exhibit and perform their impressions of Times Square as a town or city square, the social center of community life.
6pm doors open. Post-rock and avant-pop on Pier 54, 14th St. and Hudson River. A,C,E,L to W. 14th St.
11am, Governor’s Island. Free kites provided visitors. Free ferry to the Island from Maritime Building next to the Staten Island Ferry.
The New York City Parks Department has over 50 FREE outdoor summer swimming pools, some Olympic size. The Parks Department also supervises more than 13 miles of public beaches with lifeguards like Coney Island and Brighton Beach. Two are surfing beaches. See school Bulletin Boards for pool sizes and directions.
Coney Island is sometimes called the poor man’s paradise. An hour by subway from midtown Manhattan, Coney has an amusement park and a large beach with sun, sand, and surf. The beach is wide and groomed regularly with clean renovated bathhouses. Swim, ride the Cyclone, eat a hotdog, or walk the 3 miles of Boardwalk to Brighton Beach. B/D/N/F to Stillwell (last stop).
7-8 pm, Fountain Terrace in Bryant Park in back of the New York Public Library, free rock, salsa, jazz, etc. Between 42nd/44th Sts. & 5th/6th Aves.
The largest public pier on the Hudson with something for everyone—a lawn with trees, an interactive fountain, bike rentals, restaurant, etc.
7:30 door opens, starts at sunset, Pier 86 at Hudson River and 46th St.
fashion exhibits , to 8pm weekdays, to 5pm Sun. 7th Ave. at 27th St., walk or take 1, A,D to 23rd St.
Exhibits of emerging artists, , Mon-Sun., 11 E. 52nd St., daily to 6pm.
Free ferry leaves every hour on the island until 3pm from the Battery Park Maritime Building next to the Staten Island Ferry.
various events within the Lincoln Center complex, to mid-August
Sundays, 12noon-5pm. Free admission to the , 144 W. 125th St. between. Lenox Ave. (Malcolm X Blvd.) and 7th Ave. (Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.), any train to 125th St.
Monday Nights, 7:30pm, 2 or 5 to Winthrop St., walk 2 blocks east on Brooklyn Ave. between. Rutland and Winthrop opposite the Hospital.
Tuesdays, 6:30pm, jazz and classical music from NYC music school students, the “stars of tomorrow,” . 1 to Christopher St. and walk west to the River.
Thursdays, 7:30pm, to mid August, in Coney Island next to Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium. D to Stillwell/Coney Island. Q/F to West 8th/NY Aquarium.
Fridays, 6:30 pm. Sunset drumming led by a master drummer. Borrow drums, bells, shakers, and sticks or bring your own. Afterwards, walk the esplanade along the Hudson River at the 34 acre Battery Park. Wagner Park, just northwest of Battery Park.
Fridays, 7pm., ends mid-August. . Enjoy the gorgeous sunset and mellow sounds of NYC’s acclaimed Guitar Man David Ippolito on the spectacular grass covered pier stretching 900 feet into the Hudson River. Pier 45 @Christopher St. 1 train to Christopher and walk west.
Sundays very late July to early August, 6:30 pm, swing, tango, salsa—free dance lessons at 6:30, live bands at 7:30. Pier 54 at W. 14th St. A,C,E,L to 14th and walk west to Hudson River
Sundays, 3pm, at Beekman Beer Garden’s 200-ton sandy beach. 89 South St near the Seaport, on East River at Fulton and South Sts. 2,3,4,J,Z,M to Fulton, A,C to Broadway Nassau, and walk east to East River.
Saturday and Sunday Concerts mid-August, 10am-4pm, 7 train to Mets-Willets Point, transfer to Special Events Gus; E,F,R to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave. and transfer to 7 train and then to the Special Events Bus.
Saturday, mid-August, 6pm & Sunday 5pm Annual Roots of American Music Festival, Damrosch Park Bandshell, Lincoln Center, 1 to 66th St. or A,B,C,D to Columbus Circle/59th St. and walk north on Broadway to W. 63rd. St.
Saturday, mid- August, 3pm, Brooklyn Kite Festival, free materials and instructions while supplies last. , a new and growing park on the Brooklyn side of the East River with great views of lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. A/C to High Street. 2/3 to Clark Street. F to York Street. Walk down Jay Street 1 block toward the waterfront. The B25 bus stops at Fulton Ferry landing.
Hudson River Parks the best blues bands in the country join with the best NYC BBQ restaurants.
Enjoy New York City Parks Department’s 51 FREE outdoor summer swimming pools, some Olympic size. The Parks Department also has over 13 miles of public beaches like Coney Island and Brighton Beach.
See the school Bulletin Boards for names, addresses, and sizes of outdoor swimming pools and directions to City and other pools and beaches. Or for pools, go to: http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/pools and for beaches to: http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/beaches
Weather permitting, the Bike Club can cycles most Saturdays. Use one of the Institute’s bikes and helmets or bring your own. Ask in Room One if you want to be a Captain and form a group
(also known as Fall in North America) begins in September . The Eastern United States is famous for the brilliant color of Fall foliage [the leaves of a plant]. Many leaves turn beautiful colors before dropping from trees. Enjoy the end of NYC’s free Summer outdoor activities and the beginning of many Fall indoor free events.
is a national holiday always celebrated the first Monday in September. Unlike most other holidays, it honors ordinary working people instead of historic figures or events. By the late 19th Century, the United States had changed from an mainly agricultural [farming] economy to more of an industrial [production] economy. Skilled craftsmen and factory workers began to organize for better working conditions. They started to demand an 8-hour workday, secure jobs, and a future in their trades or jobs. Labor Day may have begun in September 1882 when workers held the first Labor Day parade in New York City. 20,000 workers marched down Broadway to Union Square. They carried banners that read “Labor Creates All Wealth” and “Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest, and Eight Hours for Recreation!”
Today, many American communities celebrate Labor Day with parades such as the one down Fifth Ave. in Manhattan or the West Indian Carnival Parade in Brooklyn (see free events). Labor Day also marks the unofficial end of summer. For school children, it usually means the end of summer vacation. People go to beaches, have picnics, and enjoy the outdoors during the last long weekend until Columbus Day in October.
is a “nursery rhyme," a short rhymed poem for children. Some nursery rhymes are centuries old. Can you tell that this is an American one?
by Shel Silverstein is an amusing portrait of an unusual job. Why does the poet ask the man not to sneeze?
By my ankles,
She’ll cling to your knees
As you hang by your nose
From a high-up
But just one thing, please,
As we float through the breeze—
NYC Department of Health has at least one free walk-in immunization clinic in each borough offering free vaccines for adults, including hepatitis, MMR, pneumococcal, and HPV vaccines. Free flu shots will begin soon. See Institute Bulletin Boards for the latest information.
Back issues are available online at the school homepage: http://www.sai2000.org. Each issue features something special about an American holiday or about NYC—a neighborhood, a cultural center, an activity, etc. Want to know more about Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton—the Spanish-American Institute’s “other” neighborhood (April, 2011)? Free ice-skating (November, 2011)? The Statue of Liberty (June, 2011)? The Student Bike Club (August, 2011)? Send suggestions and comments to: email@example.com
The Spanish-American Institute posts up-to-date information about free activities on School Bulletin Boards inside the Student Room and outside the Special Events Center. Find out about more free concerts, ice-skating, swimming pools, kayaking, museums, recreation centers, flu shots, etc.
Walk from the Institute to the , 43rd and 6th Ave., pay-as-you-wish Fridays, 5-8pm
59th St. and 8th Ave. (Columbus Circle) pay-as-you wish Thursdays or Fridays, 6-9pm.
Free Concerts! NYC’s three world-famous conservatories (schools) of music and performing arts resume their free public concerts in September. Julliard Jazz Quintet on Monday at 8pm in Julliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. See the school bulletin boards for the latest information and other free performances.
Metropolitan Opera Outdoors , 7:15 p.m. or later, Lincoln Center. Live in HD of this past season’s actual performances of Carmen, Lucia, Boris Godonov, Don Carlo, La Fanciulla del West.
Rent a bike or bring your own on the ferry and enjoy new bike routes around the Island. Enjoy the Art Fair on September weekends exhibiting over 150 artists. Much else to do—walk, picnic, nap on the grass, visit historic buildings, and enjoy the views. Free ferry leaves every hour on the island until 3pm from the Battery Park Maritime Building next to the Staten Island Ferry (see map on school bulletin boards).
See School Bulletin Boards for information about other locations. Will end in mid-October. .
Wednesdays, 6-9 pm, a fiesta with live DJ, Latin music, dancing, and other activities.
Juried shows of over 200 artists from all over the world, noon to 6pm. A/B/C/D/E/V to W. 4th St and walk east, N/R/W to 8th St. and walk west
mid-September, Sunday 1-6pm, . Celebrate the change of seasons with free carnival rides and games, music, square dancing, sideshow performers, a petting zoo, a greenmarket, and more! W. 59th St.-W.79th St. on the Hudson River.
Concert late September Sunday, noon-6pm, Harmony on the Hudson, . Bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy a lineup of free music and activities. 4/5 to Bowling Green, 1 to Rector and walk to Hudson River just north of Staten Island ferry landing.
In October, NYC moves indoors again with many free concerts, exhibits, and performances.
an unofficial holiday enjoyed by children and adults alike. Halloween reflects ancient customs and religious traditions brought to the Americas by European settlers. These customs and rituals probably included burning plants and sacrificing animals to the dead during the harvest season. Some cultures still celebrate it as the Day of the Dead. Such older pagan [heathen; not part of a major religion] customs and traditions later merged with the Roman Catholic celebration of All Hallows Eve. [To “hallow” something is to sanctify it or make it sacred.]
Halloween’s ghosts, witches, bats, black cats, skeletons, evil creatures, and bloody sacrifices reflect ancient associations with the dead and with the Fall harvest. While mainly a children’s celebration in the United States, lots of adults like to participate too, like those who will join or observe the famous Village Halloween Parade.
starting at 7 pm. You are invited to the nation’s most creative public participatory event, the Village Halloween Parade. Join or watch, live or on TV! 100s of puppets, 53 bands, dancers, artists, and thousands of other New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation.
Those in costume line-up to parade on 6th Ave., South of Spring St. or North of Canal St. between 6:30-8:30 pm. Watch live on 6th Ave. from Spring St. to 16th St., or from 7:30-10 pm on WPIX Channel 11 or from 8-9:30 pm on NY1 TV. C/E train to Spring St.; A/C/E to Canal and walk uptown on 6th Ave. to Spring St.; N/R/W or 4/5/6 to Canal and walk west to 6th and then uptown to Spring. etc.
Check Institute Bulletin Boards.
*Host—the person who invited others to his or her home, party, etc. Witches—someone with magic powers, especially to do bad things. Goblins—in children’s stories, small ugly creatures who trick people. Ghost—the spirit of a dead person that some think they can see. The poem is an example of a “nonsense” rhyme, a silly poem that makes just enough sense to be understood.
I'll be host*
to witches*, goblins*,
and a ghost*
I'll serve them
whoopy chicken soup with rice.
Like Jazz? Check the school bulletin boards for free jazz and other concerts. Sit in on the Julliard
Jazz Ensemble’s October concert at the world famous Julliard School of Music. Listen to jazz by candlelight at Café Jazz at the Manhattan School of Music almost every week.
Check Institute bulletin boards for other free music: For example:
Until mid-October, enjoy free weekend Kayaking on the Hudson at three locations. See school bulletin boards for more information and directions. Enjoy Hudson River Park’s many Piers. We recommend Pier 84 at the end of W. 44th St., a short walk from the Spanish-American Institute with its lawns, shaded areas, lounges, sports, food service, dog run, etc.
New York City has many free and inexpensive ice-skating rinks. The FREE Pond at Bryant Park behind the New York Public Library opens late October . Bring your own skates or rent (around $13). 42nd/44th St between. 5th/6th Ave.
Columbus Day, a national holiday, celebrates Christopher Columbus’ first landing in the “New World” in 1492. Columbus was trying to find a new route to the “Indies” by sailing west from Spain. (At that time, Europeans often referred to all of Asia as the “Indies.”) Asian countries were the European source of precious spices, gold, silk and other rare goods. Columbus landed instead in a previously unknown part of the world later called the “Americas.” This began a new era of world history and a New World.
Check school bulletin boards for museums that are free certain times or all the time and for free concerts at NYC’s three world-famous music schools—
Onassis Cultural Center for ancient and contemporary Greek art at the in the Olympic Tower at 646 5th Ave. (enter on 51st and 52nd Sts. between. Madison and 5th Aves.), 10am-3pm, a short walk from the Institute.
NYC Department of Health has at least one free walk-in immunization clinic in each borough. Get a free flu shot or other vaccination. Check the school bulletin boards or DOH website for up-to-date information.
many free Saturday shows and exhibits, 5th Ave. at 92nd St.
. Tuesday to Friday to 8pm, Saturdays 10-5. Walk from the Institute to 7th Av. at 27th Street
5-11 pm. Free live music, dance, films, galleries, performances, etc. 2 or 3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum.
Visit NYC’s largest cathedral during this joyous celebration and procession blessing of all animals, great and small, at the indoor service at 11 am. Attend the outdoors Fair from 1-4pm. Passes (tickets) information required for indoor service at (212) 316-7490. 112th St. and Amsterdam Ave. 1 train to 110th St. and Broadway or C train to 110th and Central Park West and walk west to Amsterdam Ave
Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette St. 2,3,4,5,B,Q to Atlantic Ave., D,M,N,R to Pacific, C to Lafayette, G to Fulton.
World Financial Center (WFC) Winter Garden. Any train to lower Manhattan. Click on link for more specific directions.
October. 29, Day of the Dead, 12-5pm. Includes dance performances by the Cetilizti Nauhcampa Native Americans. One Bowling Green in the US Customs House, 1 to South Ferry, 4/5 to Bowling Green, or R/W to Whitehall.
We celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November. This will be the most heavily traveled day of the year. Most Americans try to make it home to “give thanks” with family and friends
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. The first Thanksgiving was a 1621 feast shared by English colonists called Pilgrims and native Indians. The English Pilgrims had come to the New World in search of religious freedom.
Only 121 colonists survived the two-month ocean voyage to the New World and 41 of the 121 perished the first winter of cold, starvation, and disease. The English had arrived in late fall of 1620 with little knowledge of farming, hunting, or other survival skills. Native American Indians helped them stay alive by teaching them to plant corns, squashes like pumpkins, and other native plants for harvesting in the fall and storing for the winter months.
The English colonists of “New England” gave thanks for their first harvest in the New World.
Today, US Americans typically celebrate Thanksgiving with foods from that first harvest such as turkey, pumpkin (as pie), and cranberries (as sauce).
The “cornucopia” or “horn of plenty” is a frequent image often filled with food and flowers that symbolize [represent, stand for, portray] abundance [plenty of something].
refers to the “holiday” period starting around Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas and New Years.
Free Museum Fridays, 4-8;
pay what your wish 5:45-7:45pm
7-9 p.m. See School Bulletin Boards for directions and websites for more free museum schedules.
Free intimate student jazz evenings at the Manhattan School of Music, 7:30 or 8pm, check schedule at.: www.msmnyc.edu.
to 5pm except closed Sunday. and Monday., 7th Ave. at 27th Street in Manhattan
Saturday 5-10pm, , Enjoy a free evening of music, dancing, performances, art, etc. 2/3 trains to Eastern Pkwy./Brooklyn Museum.
November, From 8pm, Concert 150 W. 85th St, between. Columbus and Amsterdam Ave. C or 1 train to 86th St.
Tuesday in November 8pm , Peter Jay Sharp Theater 155 W. 65th St. Free tickets required available beginning 11/1 or take chances on standby. Julliard School Box Office. See information about other free Julliard performances on school bulletin board. 1 train to 66th St. or A,B,C,D to 59th St./Columbus Circle and walk north.
November Saturday 4-5pm, Super Sabado!/Super Saturday
Thursday in late November, 8:30pm, Concert at Broadway between. 62th/63th St., See Bulletin Boards for other free events. A,C,D,1,2,3, trains to 59th St./Columbus Circle or 1 to 66th St.
For over 85 years the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has begun at 9 am on Thanksgiving Thursday. The parade travels down Central Park West from the Museum of Natural History (77th St.) to Columbus Circle (59th St. at Broadway) and then down Broadway to Macy’s at 34th St. People of all ages line the parade route from 77th St. down to 34th St.
For best viewing, many people arrive at Central Park West near 77th St. before 6:30 am the morning of the parade. There is plenty to see before the parade starts, even at 6:30 am. Clowns and marching bands practice their routines. Parade floats [large vehicles decorated to be part of a parade] take their places. Workers inflate enormous balloons, the parade’s most famous attraction.
The balloons are in the shape of popular cartoon and storybook characters. It takes about 1200 people to handle the giant balloons, each of which can weigh more than 500 pounds. You can see the balloons being blown up the day before the parade on Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday from 3-10 pm near the Museum of Natural History just off Central Park West between 77th and 81st St.
Bring warm clothes and a warm drink as it can be quite cold. The parade lasts from 1½ to 3 hours, depending on where you stand. The closer to Macy’s, the longer it takes. Or stay home and watch it on NBC-TV starting at 9 am, as people do all over the country.
(excerpts, by Jack Prelutsky)
Thanksgiving Day is here today,
the great parade is under way,
and though it’s drizzling [gently raining] quite a bit,
I’m sure I’ll see all of it.
Great Balloons are floating by,
cartoon creatures stories high,
Mickey Mouse and Mother Goose,
Snoopy and a mammoth moose [the largest animal in the deer family]. . . .
It’s pouring now, but not on me,
I’m just as dry as I can be,
I watch and watch, but don’t get wet.
I’m watching on our TV set.
NYC Department of Health (DOH) has at least one free walk-in immunization clinic in each borough. Get a free flu shot or other vaccination. Check the school bulletin boards or DOH website for up-to-date information.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins on a Sunday in November, at 2 am. Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to sleep on Saturday night. DST moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, thereby “saving” an hour of daylight. Next Spring, we will change clocks forward and move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Remember the expression, “Spring ahead, Fall behind.” You can find the exact date this year at: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/timezone.html?n=179 .
Skate indoors or out. Bring your own skates or rent. See Institute Bulletin Boards for latest information
Walk over after class and admire the magnificent architecture of this famous train station and the holiday Sky Ceiling laser light show. Every half hour on the hour and on the half hour. [42nd & Park Ave.]
Stroll from the Institute to the New York Public Library between 41st and 42nd Sts. on 5th Ave. Admire Patience and Fortitude, the two famous stone lions wearing their holiday wreaths. Look at or join the ice skaters at the free Pond ice rink in Bryant Park in back.
Holiday Decorations. Continue along 5th Ave. from 59th St. to 39th St. to view holiday decorations, including the holiday tree at Rockefeller Center and department store windows. Or walk to Macy’s for their world famous holiday windows at 34th St. and 6th Ave.
The world’s most famous holiday tree will be on display until early January. Enjoy watching the skaters in the skating rink below. [5th Ave. & 48th St.]
Museum of Natural History Origami Tree and Holiday Barasaurs. The Origami Tree and 19 foot Holiday Dinosaurs greet visitors of the American Museum of Natural History. Pay-as-you wish admissions. [Central Park West between 79th/81st , C train to 81st, 1 train to 79th and Broadway]
Visit the non-denominational [non-religious] tree decorated with 1,000 Paper Cranes (large birds) at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. [Amsterdam Ave. & 110th St., 1 train to 110th & Broadway]
45 min. St. Cecilia Chorus performances Fridays at 6&7pm and Saturdays/Sundays at 3&4pm at the Seaport’s famous outdoor Chorus Tree. [Fulton St. between South and Water Sts. 2,3,4,5,J,Z, or M to Fulton. A,C to Broadway-Nassau. E to Fulton St. Then walk East to the East River on Fulton St.]
performed by New York Theatre Ballet, in the Winter Garden inside the World Financial Center (WFC) Winter Garden decorated with 100,000 holiday lights. The WFC is on the Hudson River in Battery Park. [You must cross West St. to get to the WFC. Take any train to lower Manhattan at or near World Trade Center, walk west, and cross West St. See map on School Bulletin Boards.]
Early December Saturday 5-11pm celebrates with free music, dance, performances, etc. [2/3 trains to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum].
First December Saturday & Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Native American performances of Native American market music at the [One Bowling Green across from Battery Park in US Custom House, 1 to S. Ferry, 4/5 to Bowling Green, or R/W to Whitehall.]
Crafts, music, pinatas, food and performance of Posadas y Pastorela, a traditional play. Pay-as-you- wish museum admission. Museum of the City of NY [5th Ave. @ 103rd St., 6 train to 103rd St. or 2/3 trains to 110th St.]
American children (and quite a few grownups) like to build snowmen and other figures out of snow.
I am a snowman cold and white
I stand so still all through the night
I have a carrot nose way up high
And a lump of coal to make each eye.
I have a muffler[scarf] colored red
And a tall black hat upon my head.
Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve the night of December 31, often at parties with family and friends. At midnight, people see out the old year and greet the new one, sometimes by ringing bells, blowing horns, or watching outdoor fireworks
To many New Yorkers, the 11,845 pound crystal Ball dropping at Times Square at midnight signals the start of the New Year. Huge crowds line Broadway from 43rd-50th Sts. and 7th Ave. as far north as 59th St. At 6pm on Dec. 31, the Ball will be lit and raised to the top of the 77” flagpole at One Times Square. At 11:59pm, it will make its 60-second descent to signal the start of the New Year. Viewing spots will be taken on a 1st come 1st serve basis. Police will close the blocks as they fill up with spectators. Dress warmly and protect your valuables. Or watch at home on TV.
December 22 begins the Winter Solstice. This is the first day of Winter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Good news! Each day after the 22nd will get a few seconds longer until Spring begins.
Ancient peoples in cold climates like Northern Europe feared Winter’s shortage of food and long days without sunlight when the sun seemed to disappear. They often developed ceremonies and rituals to “bring back” the sun. Today’s holidays at this time of year continue to “bring back” the sun by celebrating with light and greenery (e.g., lighted trees and candles at Chanukah or Kwanza).
Northern Europeans who settled North America also brought with them the story of St. Nicholas. Originally, he was the patron saint of sailors as well as of children. Stories about St. Nicholas included the bringing of simple presents to children. By the late 19th Century, the story of St. Nicholas was transformed into that of Santa Claus. By now, he has changed completely from a religious figure to that of a chubby little man with a jolly smile in a red suit who flies from the North Pole in a sleigh [a vehicle pulled to travel over the snow]. The sleigh is pulled by reindeer who help him to deliver toys and gifts all over the world on Christmas eve. (Or so some like to believe.)
The public skates free at The Pond at Bryant Park
behind the New York Public Library, between 40th/42nd St. & 5th/6th Ave. Rent skates for $10 or bring your own. Free lockers with your lock. [See School Bulletin Boards for hours and other places to ice skate in NYC.]
BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR
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