While most parades in New York City are organized, structured and timed to the minute, the Easter Parade, (star of stage and song, no less) is more of a pastel-colored free-for-all, a sea of spring-time whimsy winding its way up Fifth Avenue today. (Happy Easter.)
The paraders mosey (it can’t exactly be called marching) up Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets; many of those participating sport elaborate Easter confections atop their heads (as in hats), as do the spectators. The street is closed to traffic from 10 am to 4 pm, and the parade seems to reach its peak around Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
Once you’ve had your fill of the parade, take the kids to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan ( 212 721-1223; 212 West 83rd Street) where the day is dedicated to Easter crafts and activities. From decorating papier-mache eggs to painting a pastel mural, it’s all about Easter there today.
Easter egg hunts are taking place around the city at locations as varied as the Queens County Farm Museum (718-347-3276) in Floral Park; to Prospect Park in Brooklyn (718-965-8951).
And looking ahead to the end of the month, get ready for an Easter Bonnet Competition like no other. The bonnets are crafted by the casts and crews of various theater productions in New York as part of a fundraising drive. It caps off six weeks of fundraising and takes place at the Minskoff Theater on April 26 and 27th. Call 212 840-0770 to order tickets or for more information.
Can Mother’s Day be far behind?
Green hat? Check. Carefree attitude and sparkling shamrock pin? Check. Small leprechaun to accompany you? Check. (Just seeing if you were paying attention.)
Faith and begorrah, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and if you didn’t know by the calendar, you could certainly tell by the plethora of green-clad revelers.
The parade, which began 249 years ago (and you can bet someone is already preparing for the 250th anniversary) starts at 44th Street at 11:00 am today, and wends its way up New York’s Fifth Avenue; as you’ll note, no floats, balloons, cars or other “commercial aspects” are involved. It marches past St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 50th Street, past the American Irish Historical Society on 83rd (who knew?) as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and finishes up on 86th Street in the late afternoon, usually around 4:30 or 5:00 pm.
(By the way, St. Patrick’s Day is held every March 17 except when it falls on a Sunday; then it takes place the day before.)
Anyone actually know why the parade is held? It honors the patron saint of Ireland as well as the Archdiocese of New York, and also, of course, celebrates Irish faith and history.
Who knows who the Grand Marshall is?
Yes, if you said Honorable Raymond Kelly, New York City’s Police Commissioner, you’d be right.
One word of advice: Whether you’re Irish or pretending to be, going to the parade or avoiding it all costs, leave your car at home and take public transportation.
You’ll thank us, honestly.
So we’ve previously filled you in on the more traditional holiday department-store windows in New York…and now for something completely different. As you stroll along Fifth Avenue, admiring the various dancing snowflakes and singing candy canes, you may be brought up short by a display in a window on 38th and Fifth. Yes, those mannequins are live, for starters. And yes, depending on the time of day, they are indeed getting dressed.
The live display features two young women hanging out in what is supposed to be a trendy girl’s apartment. (Clearly these young women don’t have jobs, or responsibilities. or a kitchen.) They are seen mostly hanging out, doing their nails, reading magazines, and generally lounging around. At a certain point, however, they decide it’s time to get primping, and they strip down to their underwear and start getting ready for the evening ahead. Much of the display is taken up with their dressing, accessorizing, and changing into evening clothes.
The whole set-up, which is there until December 6, is an attention-getting ad for xoxo clothing, a line of trendy clothes aimed at young women (and seen on celebs like Jessica Alba.)
Not surprisingly, the windows are aimed at gift-buying boyfriends, and not surprisingly, men make up the lion’s share of the gawkers, especially at getting-dressed time.
One irate female pedestrian called the police last week–but word has it that the men in blue merely looked, smiled, and moved on.
If you are a retailer or designer and the economy is in terrible shape, you
A) Lie low, eat a lot of cookies, and hope the recession ends soon
B) 2) Open a multi-million dollar retail emporium on New York’s Fifth Avenue
C) 3) Start manufacturing rayon socks to sell in 99-cent stores
The answer is B—at least if you’re Tommy Hilfiger (or at least his sportswear company), whose company recently opened just such a store on Fifth Avenue in New York City in the middle of the worst recession in years.
Hilfiger is best known for his mid-priced American sportswear, and while Fifth Avenue may not seem like a natural habitat, stores like Abercrombie and Fitch and even the Gap have found a home there; it’s a natural Mecca for tourists. The 22,000 square-foot store (681 Fifth Avenue; between 53rd and 54th Streets) occupies the space formerly held by Fortunoff for 30 years. The store offers four floors of goods, and is the first to offer everything Tommy Hilfiger, from men and womenswear to accessories, denim and its home collection.
How much will this gambit cost? Estimates put the rent at around $1500 per square foot. If you’re feverishly doing the calculations, trust us–that’s a lot of sunglasses he has to sell every year.
His clothes may not be couture–but opening a store like that in the middle of this economy is certainly a luxury.
Pop-up stores—those that open for a limited period of time, often to sell a specific item or line–are nothing new in New York City; we’ve seen everything from Target to Delta airlines. The latest one to join the fray–and perhaps more in keeping with the economic times than the Hermes store that opened for the summer in tony East Hampton–is the new Gap concept store at 680 Fifth Avenue; one also opened recently on trendy Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. The New York store, which remains open through September 27 (Monday-Sunday; 10:30 am-7:00 pm) features Gap 1969Premium Jeans, and marks the 40th anniversary of the first Gap denim-and-discs store in, yes, 1969. (The Gap has previously featured pop-up stores in New York with items such as Pantone hued t-shirts and Havaianas flip-flops.)
This store–and the denim line–would seem to be a cheeky nod to the economic climate—on super-luxe Fifth Avenue, all the jeans in this new Gap line retail for under $70. It’s a good way to pull in tourists as well as locals–the jeans are designed with the same trendy fits that other, higher-priced lines carry, such as the looser Boyfriend fit, or the popular deconstructed (read: ripped, torn, shredded) style. It’s also, of course, less of a gamble to open a short-lived store like this at a time when even higher-end shops are closing at a rapid rate–if it doesn’t work, it’ll be gone in a month.
And lest jeans not seem as exciting as, say, a Hermes scarf, take heart in knowing that for the past two years, many insiders attending New York’s fashion week in September have made a stop at the Gap pop-up store a must.