City Never Sleeps by Alex Aleman
The city may be decked for Christmas, but let’s not forget about the other holidays celebrated in New York. Tomorrow is the first night of Chanukah. Whether or not you’re Jewish, a few fun Chanukah events are happening around the city that you don’t want to miss
Every year, Chabad in Brooklyn kicks off the start of Chanukah with the lighting of one of the world’s largest menorahs in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. The menorah stands an impressive 32 feet tall — the maximum height allowed by Jewish law — and has towered over Prospect Park every year since 1985. Each night’s lighting features live music and free giveaways. Past guests include Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Senator Charles Schumer.
If you don’t feel like making the trip to Brooklyn, Manhattan has its own menorah. This candelabra, stationed across from the Plaza Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, also stands at 32 feet and weighs 4,000 pounds. A lighting ceremony will also take place every night of Chanukah, but don’t expect to find any politicians or free food at this ceremony.
If you don’t feel like spending a night out in the cold, check out the Met’s new exhibit African Art, new York, and the Avant-Garde. This exhibition brings together African works from the collections of many key individuals of the 1010s and 20s such as Alfred Stieglitz, Marius de Zayas, and Agnes Meyer. These works of art from Africa and the Western avant-garde evoke the original context in which they were first experienced almost a century ago.
Chanukah runs from Saturday, December 8th to Sunday, December 16th. You can check out the first night of one of the menorah lightings this weekend, or you can visit both over the next 8 days. If you’re not into the Chanukah spirit, then find appreciation for another culture at the Met’s African art exhibit.