Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Important New York Events on New Year's

As the New Year approaches, it’s interesting to take a look at important and historic events that took place at this time in history in New York. One of the most famous, of course, is the Manhattan Bridge. The bridge, designed by Leon Moisseiff, opened to traffic on December 31, 1909.

Interestingly, January 1, 1845 was the date when the Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn was completed and ready for traffic. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation of Emancipation, setting into motion the freeing of over four million slaves who were still being held in the South. Certainly, this event and the many documents from that day at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation and other locations signified a dramatic change in New York and around the country.

In 1874 on this date New York City annexed the Bronx. In 1892, Ellis Island became a reception center for the first time on this date for new immigrants. And, of course, in 1908, the ball dropped for the first time in Times Square, creating the now famous New Year’s Eve celebration.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Smart Screens Come to Manhattan

Manhattan’s Union Square is getting ready to incorporate new smart screens in to its phone booths. These real-time display gadgets will provide information on local services, current events, entertainment listings and community information.

The project, called City24/7 is named after the media and content company that created it. The new technology in Manhattan is a collaboration between City24/7 and several other private-public partnerships including New York’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group and LG Electronic USA.

The city plans to install 250 screens. 10 have already been put into place at payphones in Manhattan.  The technology, aimed at helping visitors and residents navigate the city's goings-on, offers several language options and numerous features for the disabled. Measuring 32-inches, the screens will also have access to mobile apps, as well as the ability to transfer content to mobile and internet platforms.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Manhattan College Breaks Ground for New Student Center

Ray Kelly, Police Commissioner, recently returned to the Bronx for the groundbreaking of the new student center of Manhattan College.

Mr. Kelly, a 1963 graduate of the school, is the center’s namesake. At 7,000 square feet, the building is to be built on a parking lot at the corner of Manhattan College Parkway and Waldo Avenue. According to President Brennan O’Donnell, the location serves as the school’s “front door to the community.”

“Kelly Commons, I like the way that sounds,” Kelly said during the ceremony last week.

Mr. O’Donnell explained that the building represents a major turning point in the college’s transformation efforts. The new center brings the college’s two campuses closer together, aiding in efforts to turn the school into a majority-residential school. For now, 80% of the incoming freshmen live on campus.

The new building will also provide a cultural haven for the entire neighborhood. Of the building’s five stories, the first two will offer a Starbucks, a bookstore and other programs and lectures to the public. The other floors will be limited to students and school staff, and will include a dining room, a conference room and a fitness center.

The school is also aware of other inconveniences it can potentially cause in the neighborhood. For this reason, it plans to open its Broadway parking garage to those who live on Waldo Avenue.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas at the Washington Jefferson Hotel

There is so much to do in the midtown Manhattan over the holidays – both for adults and children.  Experience the area with Gray Line’s “Holiday Lights” tour and enjoy the lights at Rockefeller Center, Central Park’s Tavern on the Green and Times Square.  For a bit of history, one cannot be in the area and not visit Macy’s – the first ever department store since the 1870s, to feature Christmas windows. And for those who want to turn their kids’ dream into a reality, the Gotham wintry wonderland is a must-see.

After the long day in the city,  Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel offers a smart, chic, and tranquil place to lay one’s head. Other spots to see in the New York area include Lord & Taylor.

Lord & Taylor this year marks its 75th anniversary of festive displays, boasting Santa’s hipster hang, snowy peaks and more. And Saks Fifth Avenue will not disappoint either, offering a chalkboard animation with cameras projecting the visitor’s face into a snowflake kaleidoscope.  The light show plays every eight minutes from 5 ‘til 10pm.  Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys and Bloomingdales make great entertainment stops for the whole family as well.

Christmas is truly a wonderful time for everyone – and this year – as in years gone by, midtown Manhattan is displaying the joy for all to see.