Tag Archives: Christmas

Union Square Holiday Market – A Treasure Trove For Unique Gifts

An aerial view of the market
Source: urbanspacenyc.com

By Lakshmi: 

Who?  Anyone who is in the New York City area and is looking to pick up an eclectic collection of gifts for the special ones in your life.  It is also a lovely place to spend a few hours drinking and eating foods from New York and around the world.

What?  The Union Square Holiday Market is a collection of 150 vendors who come together under a holiday themed set up to display, extol and sell their wares.

How?  The market is located at Union Square right above the subway and you really can’t miss it.  For those who have been to the Union Square Farmer’s market, this is at the same location.  The market is open through December 24th daily.

Why?  For many a person out there, shopping and eating in one of the most amazing cities in the world is a perfect excuse to make your way to this holiday market.  From custom-made french truffles (“do not bite, let it melt” was our tasting instruction) to Turkish lamps,  unique maritime and religious pieces (“My boyfriend’s father used to be in the navy in India, is this from there?” was a question heard) to lovely bags crafted out of a single long zipper, from hot ginger tea from China to the infamous cookies from Momofuku, from handmade beauty scrubs and lotions with salt from the dead sea (look at how soft your skin feels after this treatment!) to tights painted with Japanese flowers and umbrellas, the list of items is endless.  To grab any last-minute gifts, head out here before December 24th.

For more information on the market click here:


Quincy Market: A Foodie’s Paradise

Quincy Market, Boston

By Rohan:

Who? Anyone who wants to experience the flavors of the world without breaking the bank and catch a glimpse of some American history in the process.

What? An indoor marketplace filled with food ranging in cultures. On one corner, check out authentic Ethiopian cuisine, on the other, sink your teeth into a sweet Belgian Waffle. The choices are endless at Quincy Market and sampling food from around the world is a breeze. The market was named after John Quincy Adams and is located in a historical building cornered off by cobblestone streets with sideshow acts and fun boutique stores.

How? The market is located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts in the Quincy Market Colonnade (Faneuil Hall Market). You can either drive or walk, at certain times of the year the area is stunning.

Why?  Imagine the cultures of the world meeting in a marketplace to share the unique flavors they have to offer. Delicious Indian crepes called Dosas are made fresh on the spot and the Italian gelato is a little piece of heaven. Whether you just want a slice of Brooklyn pizza or feel like a Middle Eastern wrap, there is something for everybody. When your meal finally comes to a close, enjoy some of the succulent desserts the market has in store. The most unique of delicacies will surely satisfy your sweet tooth

A Little Tip: Going to Quincy Market during the holiday season is an unforgettable experience. After you’ve traveled the world, step outside for cheerful live entertainment, a gorgeous tree-lighting ceremony, and endless rows of shops to get your holiday shopping done early. The market makes for a very festive atmosphere as local rock bands perform classic holiday tunes and lights hang from the sky, illuminating kids awestruck by the giant Christmas tree. Don’t forget to say hello to Santa!

Masquerade – An Evening in Venice

Venice by Night
Source: http://www.grandamericantours.com

By Rohan:

A single firecracker explodes, its fiery tails plummeting down to the Grand Canal. Its echoing noise bidding farewell to the day and welcoming the festive night to come. The last of the sun vanishes along the horizon as the beautiful full moon comes into sight. Lovers kiss on the Rialto, a gondolier paddles by, a baby cries in the distance. The shopkeepers pack their things and file into the labyrinthian streets of Venice as the sweltering day comes to an end and gives birth to a carnival.

An array of colored lights begin to flicker as if the circus is rolling into town. A troop of harlequins enter from the left, wearing animated masks and galloping through the silent streets. It is then that the city comes alive. Children run out on the streets, their sparklers crackling like a bonfire, their endearing smiles aimed at the man with the gelato cart.

More firecrackers go off, and an array of saxophones and guitars provide the night with a soundtrack fit for a Woody Allen movie.

Young lovers sit on the edge of the canal, their bare feet skimming the surface of the sparkling waters below. The man looks into the woman’s eye, chuckles, and lightly kisses her cheek. The smell of fresh gelato and steaming Italian coffee fills the air as people line up to grab one last snack to put an end to their day.

The band plays on. The harlequins and jesters dance. The children play. The lovers kiss.

On the corner is an older man, hands tucked in his navy blue sweater as he gazes into the horizon. His face is emotionless. He gets up and walks towards the canal, his feeble hand trembling as he reaches for the pocket of his neatly pressed khaki pants. He pulls out a coin and gently tosses it into the water, closes his eyes, and makes a wish.

The night is a masquerade, painted with the costumes of Halloween, the warmth of Christmas, the romance of Valentine’s Day, and the hope of New Year’s. It brings people together like the coldest of winters, while setting them free like the most beautiful summers. It is a time to reflect, to wonder, to love, and to dream.