We love Easter, it is such a beautiful and colorful holiday and New York City is one of the best places in the world to celebrate it.
On Easter Sunday which is on March 27th, the Easter Parade will take place along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Street. It is a wonderful celebration of everyone strolling in their Easter finery. Bonnets are taken to an extreme that only New Yorkers can reach. You can expect to see live rabbits, pet snakes, flowers, clowns, and much more. The street is closed to traffic for parade participants and people watchers from roughly 10am until 4pm. The area around St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the ideal place to see the parade. This annual tradition has been taking place in New York City for over 100 years, starting as a spontaneous event in the 1870s. Some things have changed, but the bright colors and all the flowers have not. People from around the world come to New York City to participate. New York’s Easter parade was one of the main cultural expressions of Easter and one of the fundamental ways that Easter was identified and celebrated in the United States.
In the mid-19th century Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church began decorating their sanctuaries with Easter flowers. Within a few years the practice expanded and the floral displays became defining examples of style and taste. People attending churches started to incorporate flowers into their dress.
As New York’s parade became a very popular event in 1880, other cities such as Philadelphia and Boston also developed their own versions. In the 21st century, Easter parades are conducted in many cities, with the most prominent ones in Richmond, New Orleans and Toronto.
These days the parade outfits range from elegant to outrageous. From outfits accented with live animals to civil war period costumes and the latest high fashions, there is a little bit of everything for the parade viewer, just as New York itself is very diverse.
Another big event in New York City although not as big and historical as the Easter Parade but still very beautiful is Macy’s Flower Show. This year the show dates are March 20th to April 3rd. The 15-day extravaganza themed “America the Beautiful,” features hundreds of thousands of flowers in gardens that present the different landscapes of the United States. You can basically take a floral tour of the entire country just in one place right in the heart of Manhattan.
The centerpiece of the show is the “All American Garden,” which boasts a floral replica of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, with a patriotic mix of red, white and blue blossoms at the base and a bright strawflower as the torch’s fire.
Nearly 100 people worked on the show for almost a year, including scenic designers, sculptors and carpenters. This year’s show includes 50 specimens of trees, and nearly 30,000 individual plants.
The event will also showcase top talent in the flower industry with a rotating “Bouquet of the Day,” featuring creations from six different floral and event designers. There is also a Children’s Garden which features a large brontosaurus made of succulents, and also buried fossil replicas that children can dig for.
A variety of special events will be held throughout the show, including a floral crown-making seminar on Monday led by floral stylist Christy Meisner Doramus, a class on how to build Southwestern terrariums on Thursday, and a wildflower bouquet seminar with Nic Faitos of Starbright Floral Design on Monday, March 28.
Easter in NYC is not only a visual holiday but also a culinary show. The best restaurants are presenting their versions of the perfect Easter Sunday brunch and since Easter is a family holiday, round up all the members of yours and hit up one of the best spots in the city for a festive feast. Here are a few of our favorite spots. The first one on the list is La Pecora Bianca which is a charming Flatiron trattoria. They will supplement their traditional brunch menu with a three-course holiday set menu for $35 per person. Chef Simone Bonelli will dispatch an amuse bouche of deviled eggs and caviar followed by a leek-truffle fondente on toast. For the main attraction, there will be a lamb burger with sheep’s milk cheese, red-onion chutney and fried sweet potato. Cap off the feast with sweet orange sorbet, an Italian Easter staple.
Another option is the beautiful Polo Bar. Ralph Lauren’s immaculately decorated restaurant will celebrate Easter with a selection of specials, such as a popover Benedict with creamed spinach and Gruyere ($23) along with corned beef hash with sunny-side eggs and cayenne hollandaise ($25). For those with a sweet tooth the restaurant is offering challah French toast with cinnamon-caramelized bananas, granola and Vermont maple syrup ($19).
The neighborhood brasserie The Smith at all three locations (East Village, Midtown, Lincoln Square), is offering Easter specials for $29 per person with mouthwatering dishes such as lamb shank with cauliflower cous cous, edamame hummus and za’atar gremolata. That star dish is complemented by offerings from the Smith’s regular menu, including breakfast pot pie, Sicilian baked eggs and vanilla-bean French toast.
We hope you will enjoy everything New York City has to offer and will come back for more next year.