Nonetheless at Dwelling for the Holidays
Like many Americans, Jacob Underwood, a 39-year-old economist, will be on vacation for the pandemic. “I usually travel somewhere exotic,” he said. “It’s very sad.”
But his apartment building, One Manhattan Square, an 80-story glass tower on the Lower Manhattan waterfront, comes to the rescue with a fine holiday.
“This holiday season we thought it was important to offer planning as safely as possible,” said Rebeca Park, a lifestyle director at Extell Development Company, which owns the building. “There may be more people living in One Manhattan Square than traveling.”
On December 17, the lobby will be redefined as a party venue. The Gallants, a jazz band whose musicians have toured Europe and Asia, will celebrate guests with live music. There will be a bar of hot chocolate overflowing with mini marshmallows, crushed Oreos, whipped cream and Irish whiskey cream for adults. A real Santa Claus will distribute gift bags containing holiday cookie decoration kits and candies.
Staff members will be there to ensure that everyone has fun while being covered and staying six meters away.
“I am very excited about the upcoming show. I mean who can see a live jazz band during a pandemic? Mr Underwood said: “These events really excited me and kept me positive.”
With the CDC urging Americans not to travel during the holidays, more New Yorkers are likely to spend the season in their apartments. Their buildings, especially the luxurious ones, try to make the best of the situation by providing fun experiences and gifts for tenants who are stuck in the house.
Like One Manhattan Square, Gotham, a Midtown West-based residential development company, organizes exclusive, one-time celebrations.
There will be a rooftop ski night where residents, both families and singles, can book for an hour to go out and make Christmas decorations and order tartines and crepes. There will be heaters to keep everyone warm as they enjoy the Manhattan skyline.
Last week, residents joined a free, virtual classroom with Alyssa Epstein, formerly Rock Rock Rita City. They learned a simple rocket-inspired dance combination and then listened to her stories about the performances and her secrets behind the scenes.
Similarly, 21 West End, an Upper West Side building along the Hudson, partnered with Resident, a high-end apartment building company, to teach its tenants how to bake the perfect pie (pre-batch dough will be delivered before class.) They also create winter bags filled with apple cider donuts and double chocolate bars that residents can get in the lobby.
Other buildings have decided that the best way to keep everyone in good spirits is to do everything with the decorations.
Grand Madison, at 225 Fifth Avenue, a historic site built in 1906 that was a hotel, warehouse and showroom before becoming a residential building, always has some decorations in the lobby. For a year the nutcrackers were scattered. Next, penguins. But this year, black-and-white laser prints of snow-covered evergreen trees are turning the lobby into a quiet forest. Red Cardinals and a Birch Menorah add to the serene atmosphere.
For URBN Playground, a company that manages the amenities of more than 15 properties in New York City, the idea was to make sure its residents would not miss their favorite holiday traditions. “This year we want to create so much normalcy for families,” said co-founder Jeremy Brutus.
All tenants have the opportunity to light Hanukkah candles together through a special Instagram Live service. The company also organizes private, Covid-friendly visits from Santa for families who are reluctant to go to busy malls.
Then there are the buildings that focus on the approach of the residents. The idea is that New Yorkers can not be with their families, at least they can be securely connected to each other.
HERO, a modern tower in Long Island City, launched the “Meet Your Neighbor” program in December. Residents who want to participate complete a profile they present. The building then suits people to exchange gifts, which they leave outside the other’s doors.
Minela Subasic, 33, an emergency medical assistant, bought an apartment at HERO that she shares with her fiancé, Morgan Chen, and their two cats. This is their first time in the city for a vacation, as they usually visit family in North Carolina or California.
“I was born in Bosnia and my grandmother always told me that neighbors are everything,” said Subasic. “I was born in Bosnia and my grandmother always told me that neighbors are everything.” . . “When there is an emergency, you usually turn to those closest to you.”
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