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New York November 24–30: Black Friday Meditation & Christmas Tree Lighting

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Harold's Meat + Three

Courtesy of Harold's Meat + Three

Harold's Meat + Three

The best of what to do in and around New York this week.

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The holiday season is here, and New York knows how to celebrate. Start with a Thanksgiving meal at the recently opened restaurant Harold’s Meat + Three. Then escape the Black Friday madness with a meditation session at the scenic Wave Hill. Hit a multimedia poetry event featuring recordings from The Poetry Project’s 50-year-old archives, or usher in the holidays with the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.

November 24 | Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Feast at Harold’s Meat + Three
Not having Thanksgiving plans this year might actually be a good thing. Restaurants in New York rise to the occasion, offering plenty of options for hungry revelers. This year, check out the recently opened Harold’s Meat + Three restaurant, helmed by chef Harold Moore. Inspired by the “meat and three” dining tradition of the American South (a customer picks a meat main dish and three side dishes for his or her meal), the upscale cafeteria-style restaurant offers a large range of options for both your meat and your sides. For Thanksgiving, choose between turkey or country ham and pick from numerous sides, such as oyster stuffing or green bean casserole. It will be serving Thanksgiving breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, so you’re covered all day.
Harold’s Meat + Three, 2 Renwick St., New York | From $25 | website

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November 25 | Meditation
Black Friday Meditation
If the idea of Black Friday sends you into a panic, then retreat to the peaceful grounds of Wave Hill in the Bronx for a community meditation focused on going inward. Relieve the stress of Thanksgiving while clearing your mind as we move into the next set of holidays. Led by a member of the Yoga for Bliss team, this session—which is free with admission to the garden—will help center you as you focus on incorporating loving kindness and gratitude into your daily life.
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Wave Hill, Ecology Building, W. 249th St. and Independence Ave., Bronx | $8 | website

November 26 - 27 | Escape the city
Killington Resort, VT
We’ve finally been hit with some slope-worthy weather, so take advantage of it and head to Vermont’s Killington Resort to check out the 2016 Audi FIS Ski World Cup, which returns to the East Coast for the first time since 1991. Although reserved seating is sold out, there is a free access viewing area as well as free shuttles around the resort. It will be a weekend full of skiing as well as art shows, parades, movie screenings, fireworks, and lots of after-parties. If you need a break from the festivities, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Killington area, like exploring the Green Mountains in nearby Chittenden or meandering over to the Billings Farm Museum in Woodstock.

Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center

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November 29 | Poetry
Giant Night: Omniscient Tape Recorder, Part I
As part of the Poetry Project’s 50th birthday celebrations, the group is hosting a series of events that taps into its vast collection—one that includes over 4,000 hours of audio, currently being processed by the Library of Congress. This evening’s event, Giant Night: Omniscient Tape Recorder, Part I, will feature such scholars and writers as Tonya Foster and Anna Vitale excerpting and discussing recordings of landmark readings by poets, including Gwendolyn Brooks and Amiri Baraka. The goal is to showcase the rich history of the Poetry Project and to encourage active engagement with its archive. Although there is a small admission fee, the project has vowed not to turn away anyone who cannot afford it.
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM | St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St., New York | $5 | website

November 30 | Tree lighting
Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center
Whether you watch it on TV or try to snag a spot with a view at Rockefeller Center, it’s hard to escape the annual Christmas tree lighting. Thousands of people gather—and millions from around the world tune in—to see the lights turn on. The tree will be on display between W. 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues through January 7. This year’s tree, a 94-foot Norway spruce, will be decked out with 50,000 lights. Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Hoda Kotb will host the evening, and there will be performances by Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Kelly, and, of course, the Radio City Rockettes.
7:00 PM | Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center, New York | Free | website

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A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to an inquisitive toddler.

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