|In this issue:
Citi Pond Winter Film Festival Kicks Off
Get your parkas, earmuffs, and mittens ready, because the Citi Pond Winter Film Festival at Citi Pond in Bryant Park is back, presenting four great films on four consecutive Monday evenings. It all kicks off on Monday, January 23, with a screening of the romantic classic When Harry Met Sally. The series continues on January 30 with Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray as a grumpy weatherman who finds himself doomed to endlessly repeat the same day, and learns a great lesson in the process. Next up, on February 6, Johnny Depp cuts up the screen as Edward Scissorhands. All of those films begin at 7:00pm. The series winds up on February 13 with two showings of Disney’s beloved Lady and the Tramp, first at 5:30pm and again at 7:00pm.
Everyone’s invited to the Winter Film Festival. The films will be projected onto a gigantic 900 sq. ft. screen on the western end of the ice rink. You have a few viewing options: put on skates and take an evening spin on Citi Pond while enjoying the film as a dramatic backdrop; watch while sitting in one of the park’s movable chairs on the deck of Citi Pond (we suggest you dress very warmly if you opt for this); or have a drink and a bite to eat while watching from inside Celsius. If you choose the latter, look for movie-themed specials. Just imagine recreating the famous “spaghetti and meatballs” as you watch Lady and the Tramp with your one-and-only!
To enhance your film-going experience, stop by the fountain area at the western end of the park, where nine food kiosks from The Holiday Shops have extended their season until February 26. A big bag of flavored popcorn from Kettle Corn is a perfect choice, and a piping hot beverage from Big Apple Cider and the Aroma Espresso Bar will keep you toasty inside. Other choices include Wafels and Dinges for perfect renditions of Belgian waffles; Vegetarian Oasis for healthy, savory treats; mmm…Efes for Turkish treats; the Crepe Café; TopArepa for imaginative takes on mozzarella-based goodies; and Pickle Me Pete. If you forget your hat, scarf, or gloves, don’t despair: just drop by Down on the Farm for fashionable winter accessories.
Get Your Citi Storybook
To make it even easier to enjoy Bryant Park this early winter, Citi (generous sponsor of Citi Pond for seven years running) has created the Citi Storybook, a free six-page brochure packed with information and special deals.
Those deals include an opportunity to buy tickets to the Broadway comedy Stick Fly at 30% off, and discounts at Celsius, ’wichcraft, Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Cafe, and Papyrus when using a Citi credit card or Citi Debit MasterCard.
You’ll also find a schedule of four Music Nights at Citi Pond. The series, which includes DJs and one live performance and features a different musical genre each night, kicks off on Friday, January 27, with 80’s Music Night. The remaining dates are Wednesday, February 1 with R&B/Soul/Hip Hop Night; Friday, February 10, with a live Jazz performance produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center; and Friday, February 17, with Classic Rock Night. All music nights are from 7:00-9:00pm. You also get $4 off skate rental during that time.
The Citi Storybook includes incentives to open an account at Citi. You can pick one up at Bryant Park, or at any Citi branch in New York.
Treasure Trove of Info About 34th Street on YouTube
Oh, the things you can learn by following the 34th Street Partnership’s social media. For example, over at YouTube, the 34thStNYC Channel is chock full of entertaining and informative clips about New York’s most happening retail apparel District.
Did you know, for example, that Thomas Edison gave his first public presentation of his Vitascope movie projector in 1896 at the spot where Macy’s now stands? Have you ever wondered why the corner of Macy’s at Broadway and 34th Street is a separate building? How about a look at key District venues through the years from the 1980’s, before the 34SP came into existence, up to the present? You’ll find all that and more at About the District, one of the categories on the playlist.
There are also sections featuring Fashion Herald, 34SP-produced Events, Herald and Greeley Square Parks, and Street Scenes. That last one has some of the oldest footage of NYC in existence, shot by Edison’s company right at 34th and Broadway. There’s much more, so take this opportunity to learn more about the history of our neighborhood, and also about 34SP’s role.
You can also keep up on all the doings on 34th Street by regularly checking up on us at Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Broadcastr. And don’t forget Fashion Herald, Tricia Lewis’ incomparable guide to apparel shopping. FH has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page, as well.
Bryant Park’s Graceful Neighbors Cited
Readers of this newsletter have read more than once of Bryant Park propitious setting “in the shadow of some of New York City’s most iconic architecture.” We like that description because, along with the park’s architecture, cleanliness, and programming, our location is a major attraction for park visitors.
Well we aren’t just whistling Dixie: the New York Landmarks Conservancy recently conducted a survey asking New Yorkers to choose their favorite skyscraper. The results showed that three of the four most beloved skyscrapers are viewable from the park. The perennial favorite Chrysler Building, located just down 42nd Street, topped the poll, and the Empire State Building, which looms over the park from its moorings on 34th Street, took fourth place.
Most dramatic and interesting to park patrons was the third place finisher: The Bryant Park Hotel (formerly the American Radiator Building). The most prominent building on 40th Street, this “Modern Gothic/Art Deco tour de force” was designed by Raymond Hood and J. Andre Fouilhoux, and built in 1924. Perhaps “the world’s only monumental structure clad in black and gold brick,” the building resembles a glowing radiator at night. Once a company headquarters, the building began an exciting new chapter in its existence in 2001 when the chic Bryant Park Hotel opened.
The Bottom Line
To assist visitors to our neighborhoods, the 34th Street Partnership and Bryant Park Corporation maintain information kiosks staffed with friendly, multi-lingual attendants ready to answer any questions. 34SP operates three outdoor kiosks (outside the Empire State Building on 34th Street, at Greeley Square, and at Herald Square) and an indoor booth on the Amtrak level at Penn Station. BPC’s information kiosk is located at the corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. A look at the number of visitors making inquiries at the booths in 2011 shows just how vibrant our public spaces have remained throughout challenging economic times. We served a total of 503,359 visitors at the booths last year, a 26.7% increase over 2010, and of more than 250% over 2009.
Le Carrousel Holiday Hours
The Southwest Porch
The Pond at Bryant Park, made possible by Citi
Tuesday: August 2, 7:00-8:30pm, Reading Room
Citi Pond Winter Film Festival
Monday: January 31, 6:30pm, Ice Age