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Culture Dose | 12.17 The Holiday in NYC Edition

We originally had a larger list of things to see IRL over the holidays but then…Omicron. So we’ve pared it down a bit but here are our recommendations of what to do in NYC this holiday season.

“Unsilent Night”

December 19th in NYC BUT all over the country in various cities.

What could be more pandemic (no, we’re not clear of it yet!) friendly than an outdoor gathering of New Yorkers re-mixing the idea of traditional caroling? Since 1992 Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” has upended the old to bring in the new: instead of singing, everyone sets off from Washington Square carrying boom boxes (he loans out vintage ones) or speakers on smartphones, each blaring one of the composition’s instrumental parts. Meet up at the Washington Square Park Arch at 5:45, bring your energy, wear a mask, maintain social distancing but…as Phil says, let’s “make some righteous and joyful noise.”
Click here for details on how to participate.

Kline’s luminous, shimmering wash of bell tones is one of the loveliest communal new-music experiences you’ll ever encounter, and it’s never the same twice.” Time Out New York

2021 Washington Square Christmas Eve Caroling


ALSO meeting in Washington Square but more traditional, is this good old fashion caroling meet up. Join other New Yorkers on Christmas Eve under the Washington Square Arch next to the illuminated tree. Commencing at 5 pm, under the guidance of the Rob Susman Brass Quartet, accompany fellow crooners with rousing renditions of favorite Christmas songs. You don’t know the lyrics? No worries – songbooks are provided.

December 24th at 5pm

See the Windows on 5th Ave

We used to get up early to see the windows of the 3 Bs. (That would be Barneys, Bergdorfs and Bendels) Now it’s only Bergdorfs but the artistry of the window display is worth it. –and you can throw in Saks for good measure as it’s just a walk down Fifth Avenue. Be sure to have your camera!

Bergdorf Goodman 5th Ave. @ 58th Street for Bergdorf
Saks Fifth Ave 5th Ave. @ 50th Street

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

If you live in Brooklyn or visit New York during Christmas, these are the lights to see. You can take a bus tour or walk the neighborhood, but it’s not to be missed. A great thing to do in NYC this holiday season.


If museums are on the list it’s fun to hit them up on Christmas eve. They’re open and usually not crowded and they are wonderfully festive.

Our top two picks are:

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Christian Dior Exhibit Brooklyn Museum

If you’ve not yet seen it, get yourself to the Brooklyn Museum where Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams transcends the very idea of an exhibition. Suffice it to say this is our event of the year and it’s here through Feb. 20, 2022. A fairytale world for fashionistas, the level of craftsmanship and beauty should have broad appeal.

The Shape of Things, Carrie Mae Weems at the Park Ave. Armory

Hurry! Only through December 31st

Completely different but ALSO a “must see” in our book is this remarkable and provocative show by Carrie Mae Weems.

The news keeps on coming because the circus won’t leave town. That seems to be the reality of our political lives – but how to put it in context, poetically, urgently, profoundly touching on the core truths? A visit to Carrie Mae Weems poignant and penetrating retrospective provides ample food for thought.

“Weems’ unflinching gaze at what she describes as the “pageantry” and “circus-like” quality of contemporary American political life find form in a series of large-scale installations and a cyclorama (a panoramic image on the inside of a cylindrical platform) of six to eight projections of new and existing film footage where Weems addresses the turmoil of current events and the “long march forward.” Suggestive of a 19th-century carnival with dioramas based on spontaneous street memorials, peep shows, and a Pepper’s Ghost, The Shape of Things is an incisive, powerfully emotional, and critical reflection on events both deeply embedded in American culture and history and the explosive events of the past year.”

for more info click here

–KL Dunn

Listen to this podcast about the Dior Exhibit

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