Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Stream Bryant Park this Winter

Congrats! We've made it to the heart of Winter. By now you've probably binge-watched to the end of your online streatming queue and are looking for other ways to stave off winter's bite. It's time to get creative. We all know there's no better sensation than seeing a place you're familiar with be glorified on camera. "Hey! I sat on that bench!" It allows us the ability to insert ourselves into a cinematic universe separate from the slushy mess outside.

Feed your NY nostalgia with our list of content currently available for streaming, all containing scenes filmed within Bryant Park. Take a look and let us know if we missed any!

Glee - Season 4, Episode 10 - "Glee, Actually"
The Scoop: "Glee, Actually" is the Christmas episode of Season 4 and as such, it breaks from the ongoing chronicles of the McKinley High School Glee Club. Episode 10 focuses on the characters themselves through short "Love, Actually"-inspired vignettes.
Look Out For: Blaine and Kurt having a romantic night skating and singing (this is Glee, after all) to "White Christmas" at The Rink at Bank of America Winter Village.
Where to Find it: Netflix

We pipe in seasonal classics over our sound system, so don't sweat it if you haven't prepared a duet. Courtesy of FOX.
Jessica Jones - Season 1, Episode 4 - “AKA 99 Friends” 
The Scoop: Jessica Jones is a former superhero who opens her own detective agency, "AKA 99 Friends" sees our protagonist being watched while doing some sleuthing of her own.
Look Out For: Jessica and Simpson look through security footage for hints at who might be shadowing Jessica. Look out for the northwest corner of the park with cameos by Breads Bakery and Wafels and Dinges.
Where to Find it: Netflix

Want to feel like you're solving a mystery from the comfort of your own home? Watch a live stream of the park with our webcam and create your own narratives for all the people you see. Courtesy of Netflix.

Person of Interest - Season 2, Episode 7 - "Critical"
The Scoop: "The Machine" is an advanced supercomputer utilized by the CIA that uses data mapping algorithms to identify individuals who are about to be involved in violent crimes. The CIA has identified a prominent heart surgeon as a potential victim because of her upcoming surgery involving a prominent businessman. They must work to protect her and her wife from operatives looking to coerce them into killing the businessman.
Look Out For: Dr. Madeline Enright's wife is being stalked by operatives from a criminal organization who follow her movements throughout the park. Look for Le Carrousel and the Art Cart.
Where to Find it: Netflix

Thankfully, Bryant Park has top-notch security so you'll never need to worry about avoiding snipers.  You can, however, practice your strategic maneuvering skills during the warmer months with our table-top games.  Courtesy of CBS.
Law and Order SVU - Season 17, Episode 5 - "Maternal Instincts"
The Scoop: "Maternal Instincts" explores the familial dynamics between Detective Amanda Rollins, her delinquent sister, Kim, and their mother. Detective Rollins must not only work to solve an ongoing investigation but sort though the details of crimes her own sister is committing while walking a fine line between familial-preservation and law and order.
Look Out For: Detective Rollins confronts her sister Kim about a robbery she committed while their mother, Beth Anne, is seemingly clueless to the extent of her family's dysfunction. All at a bistro table along the park's 40th Street Allée.
Where to Find it: Hulu

Whether you're looking to mitigate a familial breakdown or simply enjoy a bite to eat, you can own an authentic Bryant Park Bistro Set, thanks to the Bryant Park Shop. Courtesy of NBC.

White Collar - Season 3, Episode 10 - "Countdown"

The Scoop: Neal and Mozzie are cunning con-artists who have worked together in the past to pull off major heists. Neal has charm and charisma and is good at manipulating people while Mozzie has a wealth of connections to the criminal underworld and knowledge of sensitive information. They must work together to regain possession of a missing Degas painting.
Look Out For: Neal and Mozzie meet on the Upper Terrace because they realize they must overcome their differences if they want to pull off a rare heist.
Where to Find it: Netflix

Do you have a skilled hand for painting forgeries? Perhaps consider a less-illegal creative outlet by applying for our Painter-in Residence program this upcoming summer.  Courtesy of USA Network.

The Scoop: Amy Schumer portrays a magazine writer of the same name who wrestles with varying ideas of commitment and relationship dynamics. The film follows her various dates and hook-ups as she slowly allows herself to fall in love.
Look Out For: Amy is on a date to the movies with Steven, played by John Cena, where they watch a fictional film that inexplicably features Daniel Radcliffe walking a horde of dogs in the park.
Where to Find it: Amazon Prime

You're welcome to walk your dog in the park as long as you keep it off of the grass and pick up after it. But also, please tweet us a photo of it, because we love dogs here. Courtesy of Universal.

Hang around Bryant Park long enough and you might just find yourself in the background on your favorite TV show!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Follow @bryantparknyc on Snapchat!

One of Bryant Park's fastest-growing social media channels is Snapchat. Now, it's even easier to find and follow us. Simply click this link on a mobile device, select "Open in Snapchat," and then click "Add Friend." It's that easy to stay up-to-date on all Bryant Park Snaps.

Follow us this weekend for all the behind-the-scenes at Winter Carnival--you might see backstage at our Skating Showcase, featuring just-crowned U.S. Men's National Champion Adam Rippon, former US National Pairs Champions John Coughlin and Caydee Denney, and the Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team; you might see real-time video updates during the Ice Ball; or you might catch great aerial stills of the park. Tune in this weekend to see for yourself!

We'll see you tomorrow at Winter Carnival!

Winter Carnival
Friday, February 5th and Saturday, February 6th
Noon - 10pm

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Satisfy Your Food Cravings at Winter Carnival

We caught your attention with the run down of our signature events at Winter Carnival. We sweetened the deal with a panoply of warming activities. Now we hope to reel you in with our latest dispatch: food. That's right, not only will Bank of America Winter Village be aglow with curling and brew house galore, but there will also be delicious food for purchase thanks to our friends at Hester Street Fair. Take a look at some of the tempting options below.

Returning to the park after delighting movie-goers at our HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, Óxido serves up a modern take on traditional Mexican fare. They hold a high standard for their burritos and tacos which means only the freshest produce and spices make their way into your order. These delicious bites are also made from scratch, so you know there's a little bit of love in every bite. You can't go wrong with the chili lime pork carnitas!

Inquisitive guests peruse the Óxido menu at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.

Good Stock Soups
What better complement to the winter spirit than a hearty cup of soup? Our friends at Good Stock believe that soup is the ultimate comfort food, and we don't disagree. Rather than as a side or a pairing with other dishes, Good Stock takes soups to the forefront using high quality ingredients and, well, good stock to create warm cups of joy that stand alone. Be on the lookout for their white bean, kale, and sausage soup as well as the roasted sweet potato and apple soup with hints of curry. They've also got a spectacular roasted tomato for fans of the classics.

Good Stock at Smorgasburg. Photo via their website.

Arancini Bros.
Arancini Bros. are no strangers to the urban street-food circuit, having had booths at both Broadway Bites and Penn Plates. The Arancini Bros. specialize in deep fried risotto balls, pulling from a history of Sicilian cooking to produce time perfected classics such as the ragu arancino filled with pork ragu and green peas. These morsels strike the perfect balance between crisp exterior and gooey tender interior making for a heart warming gastronomical experience. Perfect for a post-Skating Showcase snack.

Creamy, crunchy, and warm. Photo from Arancini Bros. website.
Wafels & Dinges
It wouldn't be a Winter Carnival without our friends at Wafels & Dinges. Having heeded the call of the dinge-hungry masses, Wafels returns to Winter Carnival bringing along some of our favorite Belgian treats. The team will be hawking authentic Liege waffles along with their famous "speculoos" cookie butter spread and a variety of other scrumptious toppings. If you swore off sweets as a part of your New Year's Resolution, they also have a variety of savory options.

Wafels & Dinges currently operates a year-round kiosk at the north-west corner of the park, perfect for when you have cravings outside of Winter Carnival.

Winter Carnival
Friday, February 5th and Saturday, February 6th
Noon - 10pm

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Invasion of the Snowcreatures

Over the weekend, Storm Jonas blanketed the park in over two feet of snow. While the snow presented a complicated puzzle for our Sanitation Crew, to the public it presented plenty of raw material to build snowmen of all shapes, sizes, and species. Take a look below at some of the snowy sculptures that appeared in the park!

This classic, 3-part snow person is probably excited about skating on NYC's only free-admission rink!
This friendly snow pooch looks like a great companion--until he melts!

With its headband garland, this snow person definitely stepped out of the 1960s.
These "snow women" enjoyed warm wafels while surrounded by snow that resembled powdered sugar. If you recognize the text on the top of the photo as being from Snapchat, you're right--follow @bryantparknyc on the app for exclusive photos and videos from the park.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Meet the Winter Village All-Stars: Gessy's Story

Meet our Winter Village All Stars, young New Yorkers who have been honored by Bank of America Winter Village for giving back to their communities. Each All Star was nominated by an adult in their life and 10 finalists were chosen. Today we highlight one of our noteworthy young All Stars!

A 12-year old from the Bronx, Gessy Sierra, gives back to her neighborhood through her love of music--singing in GOAL’s chorus where she has performed for veterans, mentally handicapped and formerly homeless members of the community.

Winter Village All-Star Gessy.

1. What is your favorite wintertime activity?

My family and I like to watch movies and watch Disney movies late at night.

2. What is your favorite wintertime snack?
Hot chocolate with graham crackers.

3. Describe your community service activity in three sentences.
I practice singing in GOAL's chorus every week, so that I can sing for the less fortunate in events like "Services for the Under-served." I love giving back to my community. I find doing community service to be helpful, fun and heart warming.

4. Why do you enjoy your community service?
I enjoy my community service because what I am doing helps people and makes them happy, which brings me joy.

5. What would your superpower be?
To bring love and happiness to everyone.

6. Pick 3 words that describe you.

Creative, loving, funny.
Thank you for your service, Gessy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ask Bryant Park: How Do You Manage Snow Removal?

Each snowstorm presents a new set of challenges, whether accumulation, duration, wind, ice, or other factors. Keeping six acres of park space and thousands of linear feet of sidewalk clear is a challenge, but we rise to the occasion. Here's an inside look at how we manage snow removal at the park.

The whole park was white on Sunday morning after the snowfall stopped.

Our general snow plan
Public safety is our number one concern when managing snow. Bryant Park manages the sidewalks on 42nd Street, 40th Street, Fifth Avenue, and Sixth Avenue (some of the most heavily-used sidewalks in the city) that form the park's perimeter. We dedicate our snow machines and manpower to those sidewalks because they serve many more pedestrians than the park's interior. After our crew has cleared sidewalks to a safe level, they direct their attention inside the park. That includes access to our amenities, including the park bathrooms, Winter Village Rink, and the Bryant Park Grill, which typically stay open as long as possible during snow. If snowfall is ongoing, these priority sidewalks and pathways are maintained, and other secondary paths, including our allees and less-used routes within the park, are tended to only if the priority paths are safely cleared.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Our Sanitation Crew has a fleet of machines, including snow blowers and brushes, and even a snow melter, to make the arduous process of snow removal a little less difficult. (The snow melter machine melts down snow so it doesn't sit in large piles around the park; the melted snow drains into the sewer.) In this teamwork spirit, our Sanitation Crew is sometimes joined by helpers from our executive office or other seasonal workers to make sure the park can be safely used by the public as soon as possible.

The Sanitation Crew worked throughout the storm and after to return the park to its normal order. If you recognize the text on the photo as being from Snapchat, you're right--follow @bryantparknyc on the app for exclusive photos and videos from the park. 

Snow removal during Jonas
This weekend's snowfall dumped a record amount of snow on New York City. Storm Jonas saw snow for approximately 24 hours, with heavy accumulation and high winds that quickly covered the just-cleared sidewalks. The Sanitation Crew worked during the storm to manage priority paths, and after the storm to do a complete dig-out of the park. And no, sadly, we didn't use the snow melter (though we did use our other snow machines)--there was simply too much snow for the snow melter to be effective!

The Rink was closed during the storm, but when Jonas subsided our rink operator worked hard to clear snow. Unlike the park, which has space for snow piles, snow must be completely removed from the rink--that means all the piles of snow had to be shoveled by hand, all while standing on ice! Now that's a tough job.

Considering how many tons of snow covered the park, it is remarkable that the park and rink were completely open to the public by Sunday afternoon. We are extremely proud of our Sanitation Crew and appreciative of everyone who worked together to get the park back to business as usual!

Park operations were back to normal by Sunday. 
This couple was able to take stunning wedding photos.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Keep Warm at Winter Carnival

By now you might have heard about some of the great signature events we have coming to Winter Carnival, but perhaps watching recently crowned 2016 US Men's National Figure Skating Champ, Adam Rippon, grace The Rink isn't your style. We get it, it's cold (but really, you should check it out.) Luckily we've got a host of great events and activities specifically designed to warm you up. Introducing the definitive list of cozy and heated events at Winter Carnival at Bank of America Winter Village.

The Brew House
One step inside our custom Brew House and you'll swear you've been transported to some far flung European village. Located on the skate deck, The Brew House is pumped full of long German beer hall style seating accompanied by heat lamps to ensure a cozy environment.

This year we've brought in some of our favorite comfort foods from local chefs. Be on the look out for treats from Arancini Bros., Good Stock Soup, Oxido, and Bryant Park mainstay, Wafels & Dinges. We'll also have local craft brews and spiced hot drinks available for purchase for the 21+ crowd and warm beverages like hot chocolate.

The Brew House was a crowd favorite at last year's Winter Carnival. Photo by Phillip Angert.

Brew House Events:
In addition to food and drinks, we'll also have some of our classic tabletop games available to play as well as the following great activities.
  • Trivia
    • New this year, join us for winter and NYC themed trivia, hosted by TriviaNYC. Gather together a team of 4 or fewer players and get ready to show off your smarts to win Bryant Park prizes. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams.
  • DJ
    • WFUV Radio personality, Corny O'Connell, will provide the soundtrack for part of the evening with a live DJ set. Saturday, February 6th, from 6-8pm.
  • Live Music
    • Relax with jams from atmospheric crooners, Wilsen, on Saturday, February 6th, from 8:15-9:15pm.

Bank of America Warming Lodge
2016 sees the return of Bank of America Warming Lodge, our favorite locale to warm up after participating in some Frozen Fingers Ping Pong and Giant Games. Furnished with plush couches, The Lodge is toasty inside and is open to all as a space to thaw out and recharge between events. Bank of America cardholders can show their card for a complimentary hot cocoa. Stop by the Upper Terrace and see what the big deal is.

Stop by and vedge like some of our 2015 attendees. Photo by Phillip Angert.

This year Bank of America is bringing in 3D chalk illusion artist, Joe Hill, to create a masterpiece within the park right outside the Warming Lodge. He will be preparing a 2D drawing of a wintry scene that, when viewed from the right angle, springs to life.
An example of one of Joe's previous works. We're excited to see what he comes up with! Photo via his website.

After you get your photo taken at the Icy Illusion Photo Op, return to the Warming Lodge for a complementary magnetic souvenir frame along with your printed photo. We hope to see you there!

Winter Carnival
Friday, February 5th and Saturday, February 6th
Noon - 10pm