Recreation

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2018 Edition

There will be 166 street fairs in Manhattan this year… down just a hair from 168 last year. But really, who’s counting?

2017 9th Ave International Food Festival

2017 9th Ave International Food Festival

They’re still great fun for those of us who love street food and cheap wallets and people watching. (And still an annoyance for cab drivers and others who find them a hindrance to getting around town.)

Here, once again, is my annual Manhattan Street Fair schedule and map.

As always, the information is here to help you find them or avoid them, depending on your inclination.

And, of course, I once again include the standard disclaimers. The information is presented as is, without any warranties, and always with the possibility that the event producers may change their plans at the last minute. There are a few outer-borough fairs, mainly gay prides. If anyone is interested in adding in a more complete catalog of outer-borough fairs, or, for that matter, using the code for the database for their own purposes, you are invited to contact me at .

 Principal data sources for this map are:

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2017 edition

Another year, come and gone, with no posts. Some day, I’ll figure out what this blog is for–but until then, it makes a good home for my annual Manhattan Street Fair schedule and map.

20150516_144120As always, the information is here to help you find them or avoid them, depending on your inclination.

And, of course, I once again include the standard disclaimers. The information is presented as is, without any warranties, and always with the possibility that the event producers may change their plans at the last minute. There are a few outer-borough fairs, mainly gay prides. If anyone is interested in adding in a more complete catalog of outer-borough fairs, or, for that matter, using the code for the database for their own purposes, you are invited to contact me at .

Have fun! Enjoy the food and the people watching! Buy a cheap bed sheet set!

 Principal data sources for this map are:

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2016 edition

20150516_144120This, unfortunately, has become my annual post to my old blog. But at least I write that much.

It’s time again, ladies and gentlemen, to remind you of my annual effort at compiling and presenting all of Manhattan’s street fairs for the year. As always, the information is here to help you find them or avoid them, depending on your inclination.

And, of course, I once again include the standard disclaimers. The information is presented as is, without any warranties, and always with the possibility that the event producers may change their plans at the last minute. Also, tracking just Manhattan’s street fairs is enough of a project as it is. If anyone is interested in adding in outer borough fairs, or, for that matter, using the code for the database for their own purposes, you are invited to contact me at .

Have fun! Enjoy the food and the people watching! Buy some socks!

 Principal data sources for this map are:

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2015 edition

Love ’em or hate ’em. If you live in New York City–particularly, in Manhattan–you cannot escape them.

20140622_135543From May through October, there are at least three of four every weekend–sometimes more.

With several exceptions, they all have the same food vendors (sometimes with four or five booths scattered along a single fair!).  They all have the same craft-and-T-shirt booths.

But they are also–to me–a lot of fun. I go to at least two a month for the fresh-cut watermelon and/or mango, for the Mozzarepas, and for the unparalleled people watching.

But it’s okay with me if you hate them, find them disruptive, whatever.

This map is for you, too, so you can avoid them.

The map opens pre-filtered to the coming week. You can see all the events for the year by clicking the [Clear Filters] button, and you can filter and sort to your heart’s content using the header, where column widths can also be adjusted. Click on a table row to see a popup indicating that event on the map. Additional notes and a list of street fair organizers and production companies are hidden behind the map itself. You can reveal them by clicking the arrow button at the top right.

I wish I had time to add street fairs for all the other New York boroughs… or for that matter, street fairs throughout the U.S. or around the world. This interface, which I built last year, is suitable for that use. If you’re interested in adding street fair information to this database–or using the interface on your own website, feel free to contact me: . Same address if you have any corrections or additions for this database.

 Principal data sources for this map are:

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2014 edition

Whether, like me, you love street fairs or, like some New Yorkers, you hate them, this is the only map I know of that collects all of Manhattan’s street events into one place so you can find (or avoid) them.

This year’s NYC Street Fair map looks quite a bit different from previous years:

 

Google’s newly-launched  Maps Engine was intended to make creating your own map–like my annual NYC street fair map–simpler and more powerful. But in practice, it meant essentially re-doing my map from scratch (almost) to produce something that, in the end, would be more cluttered and confusing for the user.

So I took this as a sign that it was time for me to do something I’d intended to do for a couple of years: build my own database and mapping system. I studied up on Leaflet and the latest version of DHTMLX and dove in. You see the result above.

The map opens pre-filtered to the coming week. You can see all the events for the year by clicking the [Clear Filters] button, and you can filter and sort to your heart’s content using the header, where column widths can also be adjusted. Click on a table row to see a popup indicating that event on the map. Additional notes and a list of street fair organizers and production companies are hidden behind the map itself. You can reveal them by clicking the arrow button at the top right.

Please email any corrections to me at

Principal data sources for this map are:

Other sources are indicated in the notes column.

 

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2013 edition

Another spring has arrived with its showers sweet, and so has another edition of my annual New York City Street Fair Map and List.


Full Google My Map with event listings in chronological order

Like last year, I made this year’s map by editing the previous year’s. But to fix some glitches, I actually hand edited the kml file. Now the dates and other descriptive material will (I hope) appear correctly in the mobile version of Google Maps, and the color codes for each month will be consistent.

For those viewing the map in Google Maps Mobile, please note that only the 100 events closest to your current geographical location will appear–regardless of whether they’re coming up soon or in later months. To see all 137 events (as of this writing), scroll down to the bottom of the listing. The remaining events will load, in date order.

The biggest producer of New York street fairs, Mardi Gras Festival Productions, was very late in putting its schedule up this year, and even so the slate has many TBA events currently listed. I’ll try to circle back later this spring and fill in the holes. Since this is a public collaborative map, you are welcome to do so, as well.

Once again, as with previous years’ maps, you’re encouraged to click through the link beneath the map to visit the Google My Map page, where a sidebar shows all the fairs in chronological order (the map is much less useful without this sidebar). The map is not only great for finding NYC street fairs (if you love them like I do), but also for avoiding the crowds and traffic–which is what my partner mostly uses it for.

I Love NYC Street Fairs, 2012 edition

I still love New York City street fairs, and I still find these maps very handy for getting my weekly dose, so I wanted to make one for 2012.

There’s a lot of work involved in collating the dates and locations from several web sites, and there’s no straightforward way around that. But I was hoping to at least automate the process of mapping that data. I looked around at several different systems for doing this and concluded that Google Fusion Tables would be the best tool. It comes in two tiers: simple UI platform and more a complex and powerful API platform. Unfortunately, I concluded that a) automating this project from table to map would require using the API and b) the API is somewhat beyond my humble coding skills.

So instead I took my very wise partner’s advice and just updated last year’s map, line by line. It proved to be easier than I had feared, and here’s the result.


Full Google My Map with event listings in chronological order

As with last year’s map, this includes every fair in Manhattan (only) that I could discover, including those from the three main producers plus Taste of Tribeca, Gay Pride, the BBQ Block Party, and more. It’s a collaborative map, so if you know of other festivals or want to add street fairs from other boroughs, be my guest.

All the fairs are color coded by month. Click through the link beneath the map to visit the My Map page, where a sidebar shows all the fairs in chronological order. The map is useful not only to find NYC street fairs, but also to avoid the crowds and traffic–which is what my partner mostly uses it for.

Ode to a Mozzarepa

Mozzarepa

A Mozzarepa in the wild

In my previous entry explaining my love affair with New York City street fairs, I somehow forgot to mention the Mozzarepa.

This distinctly New York innovation (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) is basically a variation on the popular Latin American staple, the arepa. It’s a round slice of pizza-type melty mozzarella cheese between two sweet cornmeal pancakes. A salty-sweet treat that can’t be beat.

I’ve never seen them anywhere but New York street fairs, and they’re yet another reason I look forward to my near-weekly excursion.

Several street vendors do knock-offs, but they’re often left on the griddle until they singe, or the cheese is the flavorless kind you get in cheap pizzas, or the sweet cornmeal isn’t sweet at all. In my opinion, the original is the best. And according to the manufacturer’s website, you can now order a case of 12 online for 27 bucks. I’d be tempted if’n I didn’t live right in the heart of Mozzarepaville already.

I Love NYC Street Fairs

The Annual 9th Ave International Food Festival

Not every New Yorker enjoys our street fairs. In fact, a lot of us hate them. Every season, the New York City papers are filled with stories about what a nuisance they are. With two or three running simultaneously each weekend day during the summer, the street fairs snarl traffic and displace parking spaces. And, it’s said, they’re all the same, with the same vendors pushing the same merchandise.

City government here has recently responded to citizen complaints with a plan to reduce the number and operating hours of the fairs. Activist groups are also pushing for greater variety among and within the fairs.

But, honestly, I couldn’t care less. I love New York City’s street fairs just the way they are (although I wouldn’t complain if there were more and varied local vendors). I pick up a new wallet, new socks, a new messenger bag each year. I can’t wait each week or so to enjoy a big plastic cup full of fresh-cut watermelon spears. And the people-watching simply can’t be beat.

In fact, I love them so much that in 2009 and again this year I created a custom Google Map that shows the dates and location of every street fair in Manhattan from April through November. If you love street fairs like me, or if you hate them and want to avoid them like herpes, check it out.

So far as I’ve been able to determine, this is the most complete listing available online, since it draws information not only from the websites of the three main street fair producers, but also includes several one-off events I happen to know about, like the Barbecue Block Party, Gay Pride, and the Ninth Avenue Food Festival, among others.

Here’s all the fairs, color-coded by month. Click the link below the map to jump to the full Google My Map, which includes a sidebar with all the events listed by name in chronological order.

Full Google My Map with event listings in chronological order

As I said, this map includes only Manhattan street fairs. But there are events scheduled in most of the other boroughs, not to mention Long Island, New Jersey, and beyond. My map is open to public collaboration, so please feel free to add any events you know of.

Gay journalists, cough cough

I would have posted about my great time at the NLGJA convention sooner, but I’ve been sick for ten days (more on that in a moment.) Now that I’m feeling a bit better, it’s time to catch up.

Loews Miami BeachNoel and I spent a few days in Miami Beach earlier this month at the 2006 National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association national convention. The programming at the convention was about like usual, but we had a great time because the Loews Miami Beach is such a spectacular venue for a convention. In addition to beautiful lobbies, rooms, restaurants, and fabulous service, the Loews also has a big, beautiful one-of-kind pool. And did I mention it’s right on the beach? It’s also walking distance to a couple of South Beach’s remaining gay clubs, which I’m sorry to say, have gone a bit tatty.

Still, the convention was, as always, a reinvigorating experience and a fun way to reunite with many of my gay friends and colleagues in journalism. Next year’s is in San Diego, which should be fun — and a little less humid, too.

Less than a week after returning from Miami, I came down with flu-like symptoms… and they just kicked my ass. I was off work for four days, then when I went back for one it just brought on a complete relapse, and I was home flat on my back for another couple of days, until I finally saw my doctor. The doc prescribed a simple antibiotic, and *pow*, within a day I’m better. I’m going back to the office again tomorrow, and this time I don’t think I’ll have any trouble.

Except now, Noel is out sick. But he thinks what he has is viral. We’ll see.

To the Berkshires and back again

ZoeyThe weekend before last I joined my friends Marty and Michael, and their new Jack-Beagle puppy Zoe for a weekend in the upstate New York Berkshire Mountains (photo gallery).We rented part of a horse country cabin, cooked, ate, slept, geocached in nearby Massachusetts, and swam in the pool. It was lovely and very relaxing. The only fly in the ointment was that Noel couldn’t come; he’s been so busy lately that I haven’t seen as much of him as I want.

But that problem got some attention this weekend. Noel and I spent the whole weekend together. We sent to a Judy Holliday film festival and saw two very different pictures: It Could Happen to You, and the much less commonly seen The Marrying Kind. Noel is a big Judy Holliday fan (via his mom), while I’d only ever seen one of her films before. She was really something; it’s really too bad she never got to make more movies.

We also saw Another Gay Movie (yes that’s the title), which I thought was vulgar without being funny enough. Funny in spots, but the filmmaker said he wrote the movie when he was pretty angry about what was going on with his previous film, and it kind of showed.

Still, it was great having Noel to myself for the whole weekend. It recharged my relationship batteries, so even if he’s busy for the next few weeks, I’ve got enough to ‘tide me over.’

DC Day Trip

More toastNoel and I made a quick day trip to Washington, DC, last Sunday for the 50th birthday of Noel’s longtime friend Bob (co-celebrated with the birthday of Bob’s partner, Alex; both pictured here). The party itself was a lot of fun, and a chance to meet numerous new and interesting people. The same cannot be said of the roundtrip drive from New York to DC and back again — 9 hours in all. But Noel, God bless him, drove both ways (I had a little too much sangria and champagne to drive the return leg as planned). So all in all, a good party.

R & R

I took a day off work after I came back from covering the Gay Games in Chicago, but it wasn’t enough. Not nearly enough. So I’m now taking a four-day weekend — and just staying home, taking care of a few errands, and watching some videos. In a way, I feel like I’m kind of wasting precious vacation days by putting myself under house arrest instead of travelling. But on the other hand, I have lots of comp days saved up (mostly from working company holidays that fall on weekdays when we still do the news)… and what I really need is a vacation from travelling.

Geocache ’06 #1

Noel and I did our first geocaching expedition of the year… a little late in the year, if you ask me, but we’ve been busy, and better late than never. We found two caches, and didn’t find one. By the end Noel was getting a little tired of it, and I had a couple of big ole mosquito bites, so we knew it was time to quit.

Right on TargetSo then we did what we often do when we go out to the ‘burbs — we hit the Big Box stores and chain resaurants that aren’t available to us in Manhattan. Picked up some socks, underwear and a few other discounted items at Target, and finished the whole thing off with a too-big dinner at Chevy’s. Yay.

Great movie week

Meryl Streep as Miranda PriestlyLast weekend, Noel and I went to see The Devil Wears Prada. It’s a really fun film with a wonderful performance by Meryl Streep that straddles the line between authentic and scenery-chewing.

But as it happened, there were whole stretches of the film I’ll have to see again because I got so excited by the fact that all the office lobby and exterior scene were filmed in the building where I work, The McGraw Hill-Rockefeller Center Building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas in midtown Manhattan. And a lot of the movie happens in those locations, so I spent scene after scene giggling and pointing like a little schoolboy. “I walk past there every day!” “That’s my elevator bank!” “That’s not where the security desk is!” And so on. I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so I can see what I missed.

Over the HedgeOn Independence Day, instead of fighting the crowds (as we’ve done in years past) to see the fireworks over the East River, we went to see Over the Hedge. Oh my God… Sidesplitting doesn’t even begin to cover it. I laughed so hard I literally thought I would pee myself. There’s a scene with a dog (I won’t say more) that I missed parts of because I was in hyperventilated hysterics. Now that’s a film I can’t wait for the DVD of.