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Blog December 26, 2019

New York Has a Gift for Giving Happiness Year-Round

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This is a week of friends, family, and traditions. On Sunday, the eight-day festival of lights, Hanukkah, began. On Wednesday, people across the city celebrated Christmas. Today marks the start of Kwanzaa. And the promise of a New Year is just days away.

As we consider the special significance this week has for so many people, we’re also taking a moment to reflect on one of our favorite gifts this year and every year: the joy of living in or visiting New York City. Each week, this blog celebrates the mix of cultures and communities at the core of our city’s heritage. This week, we look back on some of the highlights of the events and activities that made New York a remarkable place to be.

During 2019, we:

Toured the city’s bookstores to get a sense of New York’s Literary Landscape and found plenty of havens for bibliophiles, including specialty shops for poetry, drama, political and social issues, mysteries, rare books, and more.

Rizzoli shelves holding their vast collections


Got to know The Real Native New Yorkers and the organizations and programs that preserve the city’s indigenous heritage and traditions. It was a good reminder that Canarsie, Rockaway, and Lenape Playground—place-names that we think of as quintessentially New York—take their names from the city’s ancestral peoples.

Native American pow-wows and other cultural celebrations take place throughout the year in New York. 

Credit: Tom Mac

Checked out the options for Outdoor Adventure in New York City. From Jet Ski jaunts beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to wreck dives in the Long Island Sound, and from zip lining on Governors Island to trapeze classes in Hudson River Park and Williamsburg, there are plenty of ways to jump-start your adrenalin here. 

Jet Ski under the Brooklyn Bridge


Explored more activities for nature lovers through our looks at the farms and campground that are Another Side of Our Urban Environment; Birding Opportunities in NYC’s Green Spaces; and Classic Day Trips, including one-day hikes on the Appalachian Trail.  

Governor's Island stays green


Gave you the inside scoop on 7 Ways to Save on Splurges and Learning to Enjoy NYC on a Student Budget

Grab a bike, take a spin through the park, and by the end of your ride, you’ve got a new set of friends.


Looked beyond Manhattan’s tourist attractions with virtual visits to New York’s Greenest Borough (The Bronx) and New York’s Most Multicultural Borough (Queens). We’ll be continuing the series in March with a look at what makes Staten Island worth a visit. 

Flamingos display their style for admiring visitors to The Bronx Zoo.


Introduced our Ethnic Eating in New York series, which launched with Discovering Caribbean Cuisine, continued this month with Discovering Middle Eastern Cuisine, and will appear again in February when we check out the flavors and styles of African cuisine. 

A table at Tanoreen laid out with a feast of starters common to Middle Eastern celebrations.


Invited you to Bring Your Dreams of Stardom to Life by taking one of the backstage tours offered by the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Radio City Music Hall, and the Broadway musical Wicked

A docent entertains a tour group with stories of Carnegie Hall’s star-studded history.


And in between, we followed events and activities that gave New York residents and visitors a chance to share in celebrations of cultures and traditions from all over the world. India. Ghana. Ukraine. Mexico. Latvia. Italy. Cape Verde. Ireland. China. Cuba. Mali. Scotland. Georgia. South Africa. Russia. Singapore. England. Argentina. Hungary. Spain. Haiti. Japan. Pakistan. Sweden. Canada. France. Nepal. Uzbekistan. And more.

Where are we going next? 

Anywhere in the world, because all the world calls New York home. That’s what we love best about our city—and about having this chance to share that love with you. 

From all of us here at T4 to all of you, wherever your travels may take you during 2020: we wish you a year of health, happiness, and discovery; of old and new friendships; and of peace and goodwill in every season and every corner of the globe.

Header photo credit: Will Steacy NYC & Company

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T4 Tip

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