Earn Your Turkey

nmai-by-tribeca-citizencourtesy-national-museum-of-the-american-indianI’ve always thought Thanksgiving weekend was backward: When I get a few days off in a row, I’m anxious to be out and about as soon as possible—but with Thanksgiving, the sit-around, lazy day comes first (unless you’re cooking, obviously). While much of greater Tribeca will be closed on Thursday—including the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 92YTribeca, Barnes & Noble, Poets House, and Tribeca Cinemas—it’s not a total wasteland. Here are seven suggestions that won’t take you too far from home.


1. Located in the stunning Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (above) is perhaps the most Thanksgiving-y thing you can do without leaving New York City—and best of all, it’s likely to be void of the field-tripping students than can make a visit on any other a day a bit overwhelming. The current exhibits are “A Song for the Horse Nation,” with many horse-related crafts (such as the mid-19th-century Northern Cheyenne quilled horse mask, right); “Identity by Design,” which looks at native women’s fashions (the beadwork is beautiful); and the art of Andrea Carlson and Annie Pootoogook. Admission is free, but security is near airport-level; I had to remove my belt, but not my shoes. One Bowling Green, 212-514-3700, nmai.si.edu; 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

2. As of today, the weather forecast is for gray skies and a high of 58 degrees—not ideal for a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge (or at least halfway and back), but did the Pilgrims complain about a few clouds? Buck up and bundle up.

hudson-river-park-by-asha-agnishirish-hunger-memorial-by-asha-agnish3. Or go west, exploring the Hudson River Park—where the grasslands along the boardwalk are tall and brown, and you can mark the progress being made on Piers 25 and 26. As you head south, stop at Battery Park City’s Teardrop Park (Warren/Murray), listening for the new sound installation, Murmeration, and continue onward to the Irish Hunger Memorial (below left; River Terrace, south of Murray). On a day when too many of us eat too much, taking a moment to pay respect to one of history’s great famines—and remembering how many people go hungry now—seems apt. Unfortunately, the Mercy Corps Action Center, where you can learn how to help fight hunger and poverty, won’t be open for the holiday.

4. Thanksgiving is also a rather appropriate day to explore Chinatown and ponder how our nation was founded—and made great—by all manner of immigrants. I’m a big fan of not planning a route when in Chinatown, instead wandering here and there, following my instinct and poking into whatever shops and restaurants seem interesting. Much will be closed, including the new Museum of Chinese in America, but not Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, where flavors include black sesame, durian, and pandan. 65 Bayard (Mott/Elizabeth), 212-608-4170; 11 a.m.–10 p.m., though the store may close a little early.

5. It strikes me as a stretch to link Thanksgiving with 9/11, a certain solemn patriotism aside, but the Tribute WTC Visitor Center ($10, 120 Liberty, 866-737-1184) certainly qualifies as something to do, and it will be open 10 a.m.–5 p.m., with the last entrance at 4:30 p.m. The free 9/11 Memorial Preview Site, over on Vesey, will be taking the day off.

courtesy-broken-embraces-resizecourtesy-fantastic-mr-fox-resize6. I have a long list of movies I’d like to see, and I’m hoping to put a dent in it this weekend. (I was forced to watch Where the Wild Things Are last weekend, and let’s just say it would have been a wonderful 30-minute film.) At Regal Battery Park City, according to Fandango: Wes Anderson’s much-admired Fantastic Mr. Fox; little-movie-that-could Precious; love-it-or-hate-it Twilight: New Moon; The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock; 2012; Planet 51; A Christmas Carol; Old Dogs; and something reductively called Ninja Assassin. At the Angelika: Me and Orson Welles (which The New Yorker‘s David Denby quite liked); Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans starring Nic “El Loco” Cage; Coco Before Chanel; The Messenger; Pirate Radio; and The Maid. At Landmark Sunshine: Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces; the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic The Road; the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man; and John Woo’s Red Cliff, starring the always fantastic Tony Leung. Film Forum, meanwhile, is showing Frederick Wiseman’s Paris Ballet documentary La Danse; The Sun, a portrait of Japanese emperor Hirohito by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov; and Jacque Tati’s classic Mr. Hulot’s Holiday. A pretty good slate, all in all! If I were choosing, it’d be Fantastic Mr. Fox, Broken Embraces, and La Danse. Everything else is Netflixable.

7. Of course, you could go to the gym (unless you belong to Eastern Athletic). Equinox Tribeca will be open 8 a.m.–3 p.m., while the hours at New York Sports Clubs vary by location: 217 Broadway, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; 151 Reade, 6 a.m.–3 p.m.; Battery Park City, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Whatever you do, here’s hoping it’s highly enjoyable!

Hudson River Park and Irish Hunger Memorial photographed by Asha Agnish for Tribeca Citizen.


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