New York Today

Great morning on this wintry Friday.

The holidays are in complete swing at the “Little White House.”

Gracie Mansion — the museum and mayoral residence on the Upper East Side — is dressed up every single December, ushering in a season of formal advantage dinners, large open homes and intimate dance parties. It is the busiest time of year for the 18th-century house, which will welcome around 10,000 visitors this month.

We visited the mansion on a recent frosty evening to take in the décor developed by Rafanelli Events, which twice trimmed the Obama White Property for the holidays. The company’s perform at Gracie Mansion this year set out to reflect New York values and the initiatives of the very first family members.

We began our pay a visit to in the Wagner Foyer, the home’s entrance, led by Gabrielle Fialkoff, a senior adviser to the mayor. She pointed out her favorite adornment: plushy logs and mitten trees created out of 650 pairs of Michael Kors gloves and scarves.

Nearby, in the Blue Room, tabletop Christmas trees made of yellow college pencils and red and green crayons — a wink to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Pre-K for All system — sit atop a table in the center of the space. All of the supplies used to make the decorations throughout the home will be donated to local charities after the holidays, Ms. Fialkoff stated.

The residence has served as the official residence of the city’s mayor for 75 years. Every mayor but one particular (Michael R. Bloomberg) has lived in the residence because Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia moved there in 1942. While Mr. de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, reside in a private residence on the second floor, they also use the mansion for enterprise, which indicates the residence is a beehive of activity.

As we wandered previous wreaths and strings of Christmas lights, aides shuffled by means of stately rooms. The kitchen staff sent out ginger tea and prosciutto-wrapped melon for a meeting between the initial ladies of New York and Anchorage, Alaska. And Paul Gunther, the executive director of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy, which maintains the property, stopped by to welcome us.

In years previous, Mr. Gunther told us, the 1st lady has traditionally acted as a hostess and greeter and concerned herself with the comfort of the very first family, the operating of the home, and its décor — such as the vacation decorations.

“I certainly have not confined what I do to those tasks,” Ms. McCray said in an interview. Her $850 million mental overall health initiative, her independent nonprofit group and other perform have made her arguably the most influential 1st lady in our city’s history. “I would say the role that I play at Gracie Mansion reflects the person that I am,” she stated.

Whilst she has set aside some traditions of the initial lady, like figuring out daily meal plans, Ms. McCray kept a hand in this year’s vacation décor. She’ll also be welcoming hundreds of guests to her house this month and joining in on the vacation merriment — she was no stranger to the dance floor for the duration of the disco celebration thrown for the safety employees in the ballroom last year, we’re told.

“So several people work so difficult, at times without having spend, to make our city function and make it a far better spot,” she said. “All these people bring a specific glow to the holidays as nicely.”

Here’s what else is taking place:


Your front-door wreath will appear further Christmassy with the light dusting of snow we’re expecting this afternoon.

You might also feel like jolly old St. Nick. Polar temperatures are in the forecast: The high will be a chilly 31.

It will jump above freezing this weekend, and we’re not expecting any more of the fluffy stuff till subsequent week.

In the News

This week’s Metropolitan cover story: A handful of dozen of New York’s passenger elevators are nonetheless manually operated, forming a hidden museum of obsolete technology. [New York Times]

A Bronx councilman is facing an ethics inquiry over inappropriate comments produced to a staffer. [New York Times]

Two guys have been charged in the 2015 killing of the rapper Chinx. [New York Instances]

Fifteen inmates on Rikers Island have been indicted on charges that they planned and carried out an attack on a correction captain. [New York Occasions]

Fans of Saturday Night Fever gathered to celebrate at a space re-created to appear like the disco from the iconic 1970s film. [New York Times]

New Yorkers are raising issues about the way the city will cope with the absence of the L train, a line that carries 400,000 men and women each day. [New York Times]

Following years in foster care, an ambitious student gets a shot at pursuing his dream of going to college right after a opportunity encounter with a City Council member. [New York Instances]

The city’s longest-serving garbage collector is about to begin his 52nd year on the job — and is five years from becoming the oldest city sanitation worker in history. [New York Post]

An 18-month investigation discovered significant failures at practically each level of New Jersey’s patchwork system of health-related examiner offices. []

In “About New York,” the columnist Jim Dwyer tells that some transit officials are coming around to the concept that real estate owners who get wealthy thanks to the subways must contribute to the price of new transit technique projects.

Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Assisting Two Pals Discover Each Other

For a worldwide appear at what’s happening, see Your Morning Briefing.

Coming Up Today

Peruse the gifts at the Parklife vacation market place in Gowanus, Brooklyn. five to ten p.m. Open via Sunday. [Cost-free to browse]

Find out about the pagan rituals of holiday traditions and get an astrological forecast for 2018 at “Winter Myths” at the Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn Heights. 5 to 9 p.m. [Free]

Editors from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker talk about their craft at a panel at The New College in Greenwich Village. six:30 p.m. [Free]

Sing along to carols and classic vacation songs at a functionality by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan. 7 p.m. [Cost-free]

Rangers host Kings, 7 p.m. (MSG). Nets at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (YES).

Watch “The New York Times Close Up,” featuring The Times’s Roger Cohen and other guests. Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on CUNY-Television.

Alternate-side parking remains in effect until Dec. 25.

Weekend travel hassles: Verify subway disruptions and a list of street closings.

The Weekend


An exhibition from far more than a dozen regional artists, “Whimsical Winter Wonder … Exhibition” at the Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx. 9 a.m. to five p.m. [Cost-free]

The Immediate Shakespeare Organization performs a reading of “The Winter’s Tale” at Riverside Library on the Upper West Side. 1 p.m. [Cost-free]

A candlelight concert of baroque music, “Music for Yuletide,” performed by the Queens Consort, at St. Mark’s Church in Jackson Heights, Queens. 7 p.m. [Tickets start at $15]

An evening of stargazing in celebration of the approaching winter solstice at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Little Neck, Queens. 7 p.m. [$16]

Rangers at Bruins, 5 p.m. (MSG+2). Islanders host Kings, 7 p.m. (MSG+). Devils host Stars, 7 p.m. (MSG+). Knicks host Thunder, 7:30 p.m. (MSG).


Appear for waterfowl on a birding tour at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park, Brooklyn. 10 a.m. [Free of charge]

A performance of “The Present of the Magi” by the Queens Opera Theatre at Flushing Town Hall in Queens. 2 p.m. [$16]

Puppet shows and an olive press workshop at the Chanukkah Carnival in Flatbush, Brooklyn. 1:30 p.m. [$five]

Discover the Putnam Trail by candlelight starting at the Van Cortlandt Golf Residence in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. 5 p.m. [Free]

Giants host Eagles, 1 p.m. (FOX). Jets at Saints, 1 p.m. (CBS). Nets host Pacers, six p.m. (YES).

For much more events, see The New York Times’s Arts &amp Entertainment guide.

And Finally…

With the holidays upon us, you may possibly quickly discover your self visiting relatives in 1 of the far more rural corners of the nation — hiking the backlands, chopping firewood or, probably, throwing an ax.

If that is the case, and you’d rather not come off as an inept city slicker, you are in luck: New York City’s initial ax-throwing web site is opening right now.

Kick Axe, a 7,000-square-foot center in Gowanus, Brooklyn, has ten throwing ranges, a lumberjack-themed photo location, malt beverages and ax-throwing authorities on hand to give you the basics.

It is bringing a small more charm to a neighborhood already in the midst of a renaissance.

In case you are rusty on the rules, ax throwing is like darts’ far more daring cousin. Players chuck dulled hatchets at a wooden bull’s-eye in an try to make them stick.

“It’s edgy and dangerous, seemingly, though we take the correct security precautions,” said Ginger Flesher-Sonnier, the owner of Kick Axe. She discovered the pastime even though going to Toronto and decided to bring it to New York.

“It was so satisfying when it stuck in the wood,” she said, recalling her initial throw. “It was such a release.”

A 75-minute session in a private lane fees $35 per particular person, with an on the internet reservation and a group of six to 12. These coming with smaller sized groups, or throwing solo, can stroll in and spend $28, though you could be paired with other groups. According to the internet site, you have to put on closed-toed footwear, and higher heels are not permitted. Plaid shirts are not needed.

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