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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Spending Thanksgiving in New York City


Cars and pedestrians move through East Broadway St. in Manhattan. 

This year for Thanksgiving my boyfriend and I decided to go on a limb and trek all the way to New York City for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s always been my favorite part of the holiday to watch the parade, so I was really excited to see it in person for the first time ever. The only problem that comes with this is the fact that UMass Boston doesn’t have a full week for Thanksgiving break, so our time was extremely crunched. We had a bus that left Boston at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning and a bus that would return to Boston at 5 p.m. on Thursday (Thanksgiving day). With that said, we had barely 24 hours in the city since so much time was dedicated to traveling.

We made the best out of the 24 hours that we could. Our bus ride ended up taking two hours longer than it was supposed to, so we started cranky and hungry. We went to search for my favorite restaurant, Serendipity 3, immediately after we stepped off the bus … we knew it would be a long shot to get in here as it’s always so busy, and they stopped taking reservations for the rest of November and December.

With a line wrapped out the door, a close by American-style bar ended up being our dinner for the night. The worst part about New York City is how expensive the food is. As someone who is an extremely picky eater, it is so hard for me to try a new restaurant that’s expensive, because almost every time, I hate it. We are college students, and the burgers were the cheapest thing on the menu, therefore we both got a burger for dinner. I had half of mine and was done, but that’s normal as someone who is as picky as me. However, this restaurant was quieter than I anticipated and allowed us to relax and enjoy ourselves for a minute after a stressful morning. It really did have a nice atmosphere and I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn’t so disappointed with my favorite restaurant being so busy. At least I had nice company.

We stayed at an Airbnb in Harlem, and our host was great. She had just moved in, but she was from the area originally so she was able to give us some suggestions of things to do/see/eat nearby. It surprisingly wasn’t too loud for a city that never sleeps, and we were on the first floor so I was very impressed. The only problem with our Airbnb was how far we were from where the parade would be taking place. Since the parade starts at 9 a.m., and we wanted to get a good spot, we wanted to get there at around 7 a.m. With that said, our alarms were set for 5 a.m., but we overslept a bit and ended up waking up at 6 a.m. A close walk to the subway (something New York is superior over Boston for), and we were on our way. We got there in pretty good time and were able to get a good view near Central Park. 

The parade was amazing! All the huge balloons and floats that came through really brought the crowd a lot of joy. It got everyone into the Christmas spirit with Santa Clause, The Rockettes, and more. A ton of kids were there bright and early with their parents, and a few smart families brought ladders for the kids to stand on to get a better view! It was sweet to see the excitement of the kids seeing their favorite characters as giant balloons, and it was cool to see it for myself in person! 

I think if we went again, we would probably get a nice hotel and enjoy the view from the window. It’s much easier to do that and lounge in your pajamas rather than waking up early and bracing the cold and the crowd. However, it really is an experience in itself and I would suggest to anyone to go at least once. Try to stay in the city for longer than we did, so you have time to relax and enjoy your holiday! One of the best parts of New York is that everything is always open, so Thanksgiving dinner won’t be hard to find. Plus, not having to deal with the stress that comes with cooking for the whole family? If that doesn’t win you over, nothing will.

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief