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Holiday

The Takeaway

The Art and Business Behind Holiday Songs

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's everywhere in the air right now — at the supermarket, the pharmacy, in elevators, and in streets of cities across the country — not good cheer, but that endless loop of holiday music. Aside from annoying cynics or providing a soundtrack to Norman Rockwell-times around the dinner table, well-worn tunes like "White Christmas" or "Here Comes Santa Clause" mostly mean big business for bands releasing Christmas albums.

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WNYC News

Retailers Open Extra Early, Tap Into New Technology to Draw in Customers

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Retailers are tapping in to new technology — specifically, smart phones — to boost holiday sales this season. And some are opening earlier than ever to draw in customers.

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The Takeaway

Target Asks Employees to Cut Festivities Short

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving typically conjures images of spending time with family, savoring long meals, and watching sports. For those working at the Target corporation this year, they will remain only images. The mega-chain store has just asked many of its employees to put on their work clothes at midnight on Thanksgiving night to prepare for Black Friday shopping. However, many are not looking forward to the extra hours.

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Features

Where to Watch: Prime Fourth of July Fireworks Viewing Spots

Friday, July 01, 2011

On Monday, the 35th Annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks will shoot over the Hudson River from six barges. The sky will light up between 20th and 55th Sts. in Manhattan. You can enjoy the show from any place that offers an unobstructed view of the sky over the river. Plus, check out other fireworks shows in the city this weekend.

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Features

Annual Three Kings Day Parade Comes To East Harlem

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

For many New Yorkers with roots in Latin America or the Caribbean, the holiday season doesn’t end until 12 days after Christmas. On Thursday, El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem is marking Three Kings Day with a festive parade down Third Avenue.

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Features

Seneca Falls Gets New 'It's A Wonderful Life' Museum

Friday, December 24, 2010

WNYC's Isaac-Davy Aronson spoke to Greg Cotterill, station manager for WEOS Public Radio and a Seneca Falls resident, about the new one-room museum and Seneca Falls' connection to the director of "It's A Wonderful Life," Frank Capra.

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Features

Activities For the Holiday Weekend

Friday, December 24, 2010

For the last 20 years on Christmas Day, New York City historian Seth Kamil has been leading groups on a walking tour of the Jewish Lower East Side. On one recent holiday, almost 700 people showed up to take the tour.

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The Takeaway

Christmas Movie Picks: Choosing Between 'True Grit,' 'Little Fockers' and 'The King's Speech'

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year for the movie industry. If you're still undecided about which movie to see, resident movie buffs Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer size up "True Grit," "Little Fockers" and "The King's Speech."

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Transportation Nation

FAA, NORAD Plan for Santa's Flight

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Santa is cleared for take off and he'll be tracked by NORAD, too (see video above).

In the federal government's yearly foray into fantastical Christmas fun, both aviation agencies have issued press releases about the most awaited (at least by children) aircraft of the year. Not only is Santa's sleigh is approved to enter American airspace, but, the agencies say, air traffic control, NextGen technology and other transportation technology will make his flight smoother, facilitating his crucial mission. It's child-focused outreach on behalf of the work of government, and a transportation teaching moment.

“Santa’s cockpit display will help improve his situational awareness by showing him and his reindeer flight crew their precise location in relation to other aircraft, bad weather and terrain,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “NextGen will help make this an extra-safe Christmas Eve.”

Santa, as seen from Air Traffic Control

See a full slideshow of how NextGen air traffic control technology will help Santa improve his aeronautical safety and efficiency over at the FAA website.

"...when air traffic controllers working the North Pole clear Santa One for landing now, Santa will be gliding down onto rooftops. This will be faster, save fuel and guarantee that presents are delivered up to 53 percent faster than in previous years. "

The North American Regional Aerospace Defense command—a serious military agency charged with detecting and responding to a potential missile strike or other airborne attacks—treats this yearly publicity opportunity in an appropriate tongue and cheek teaching style. "NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets." Followed shortly in their "how we track Santa" section with: "Amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature, which allows our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa." They've also created an interactive website of Santa's village with games like Santa's Bureau of Investigation.

NORAD's "about Santa" section explains what advanced technology has discerned about how he touches down on every house in the world in one night, "the fact that Santa Claus is more than 16 centuries old, yet does not appear to age, is our biggest clue that he does not work within time as we know it."

Links: FAA's Santa page, track Santa, via NORAD, on Google Earth, NORAD's Santa focused site.

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The Takeaway

Turkey and Tirades

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday dinners have another tradition that not everyone wants to celebrate: tense conversations about politics. It happened at Thanksgiving and it's likely to happen around Christmas, so we're looking at how to survive the seasonal dinner table arguments and how the issues in question have changed from last year.

Do you worry about political arguments over dinner? Do you have a strategy for surviving?

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Features

WNYC's Holiday Hit List

Saturday, December 18, 2010

For many New Yorkers, the holiday season is a hustle. But if you have time between shopping, eating and traveling, check out some of the Big Apple's most festive wintertime treats.

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The Takeaway

Long Tradition of Holiday Bonuses Likely To Continue

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Many sounds, sights and traditions have long been hallmarks of December…from decorating a Christmas tree to the singing of carols. And at least one seasonal tradition is specific to the workplace: the holiday bonus. But where did this tradition come from? And in our current economy, will it disappear?

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Features

What To Give (And Not To Give): NY Public Radio Hosts Weigh In

Monday, December 13, 2010

Still stumped on what to give this year? Here are some literary, musical and theatrical recommendations.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Hanukkah Gift Giving Strategies

Friday, December 03, 2010

Listeners call in to share their own gift-giving strategies for the eight-night celebration.

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Features

The Art of the Dreidel

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hanukkah began Wednesday at sundown and for lots of kids that means just one thing: dreidels and gelt. While to some dreidels are toys, for many they are works of art and objects invested with spiritual meaning. Check out WNYC's slideshow of high-art dreidels.

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Features

Rock Center Lights Up Acton Family Christmas Tree

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rockefeller Center's annual Christmas tree lighting takes place Tuesday night at 8:55. This year's 12-ton, 75-year-old Norway spruce comes from Mahopac, New York and is decked out with 30,000 multi-colored LED builbs.

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WNYC News

Local NYC Business Angle for Holiday Customers

Friday, November 26, 2010

The recession was not kind to small business owners. As they closed down shop, big-box discount retailers moved in to grab their customers. But this holiday season – when consumers at all income levels are expected to spend a little more – locally-owned specialty stores may get some of bounce.

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Features

TV Marathon: What to Watch (and Watch and Watch) on Thanksgiving Weekend 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

There's more to Turkey Day TV than Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Detroit Lions.

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Features

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Where Tradition and Pop Culture Meet

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Arriving this year to the big balloon party that includes regulars like Mickey Mouse and Snoopy are two new balloons: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Kung Fu Panda."

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Features

NY Stores Unveil Holiday Windows—Celebrity Chefs, Santa Claus, Bubbles and All

Monday, November 22, 2010

Barneys' Simon Doonan reveals all about his store's holiday windows. Plus, check out WNYC's suggested walking tour and slideshow of the windows.

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