5 Hot New Holiday Markets In New York City

new york city holiday market

Come December, New York City becomes a veritable mecca of holiday shops, festivals and bazaars. Most tourists are familiar with the classic gift emporiums at Grand Central, Bryant Park and Union Square. But those markets tend to turn off the newer, younger, more independent brands with their hefty vendor fees and multi-week commitments.

For a different scene, check out some of the city’s newer holiday markets, which offer food, drinks, workshops, art exhibitions and, of course, innumerable gift ideas from some of the city’s hottest up-and-coming brands. Here are five of the most buzz-worthy.

The Brooklyn Night Bazaar
The scene: A Williamsburg warehouse is transformed into a month-long hipster spectacular of art, music, food, drink and holiday shopping. Weekend nights feature concerts curated by Fader, Hype Machine, Gothamist and other musical tastemakers.
Gift ideas: Handprinted iPhone cases from Blissful Case, artisan soaps from Ebb & Flow, reclaimed wooden cutting boards from Grain.
When: Fridays and Saturdays, November 23 to December 22, 6 p.m. to midnight
Where: 45 N. 5th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Admission: FreeGIVE GOOD Market*
The scene: A two-day market featuring close to 40 socially conscious businesses owned by women, along with a full lineup of DIY craft workshops, film screenings, musical performances, art exhibitions and a panel on the role of entrepreneurship in women’s empowerment.
Gift ideas: Reclaimed leather handbags from Shannon South, contemporary cow horn jewelry from Kora, hand-knitted hoop scarves from Indego Africa.
When: November 30 to December 1, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Starrett Lehigh Building, 601 W. 26th St., Chelsea, Manhattan
Admission: Free

Bust Magazine Holiday Craftacular and Food Fair
The scene: A kick-ass selection of more than 200 vendors, selling handmade craft items, artisan foods and craft beers over two days. Arrive early; the first 300 shoppers each day get a free goodie bag.
Gift ideas: Artisan cosmetics from The Elixery, shibori-dyed pillows from Eighty8Percent, Hipster Bingo.
When: December 1 to 2, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 82 Mercer St., SoHo, Manhattan
Admission: $3

Hester Holiday Market
The scene: More than 40 gift and food vendors take over a historic Nolita building in this holiday shopping event from the organizers of the Hester Street Fair. Opening day on December 1 will feature a tree-lighting ceremony, animated light show and Christmas carolers.
Gift ideas: Upcycled charm bracelets from Tillydoro, handprinted socks from Strathcona Stockings, hand-blended looseleaf teas from Not Just Tea.
When: December 1 to 2, 8 to 9, and 15-23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 233 Mott St., Nolita, Manhattan
Admission: Free

Brooklyn Craft Central Annual Holiday Market
The scene: This two-weekend event features a curated selection of (mostly) Brooklyn-based crafters and designers. Holiday cocktails and spicy pupusas will also be on tap.
Gift ideas: Hardwood wine holders from Gowanus Furniture, quirky tees from The Fencing & Archery Printing Co., whimsical jewelry from Virginie Millefiori
When: December 15 to 16 and 22 to 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Littlefield Art Space, 622 DeGraw St., Park Slope/Gowanus, Brooklyn
Admission: Free

*Disclaimer: The author of this post is on the organizing committee for this event – another reason to check it out!

[Photo Courtesy: Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Facebook]

Photo Of The Day: Diwali Is Coming Soon

Though Diwali – India‘s festival of lights – is more than a month away, decorations are already starting to spread through the capital of Delhi. According to Flickr user The Delhi Way, the city will be soon be “glittering in ferry lights, diyas and candles” – traditional symbols of the Hindu holiday, which are intended to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Other Diwali traditions include wearing new clothes, sharing sweets with family and lighting firecrackers to drive off evil spirits.

Do you have any photos from traditional fall festivals? Upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

Victoria International Chalk Festival Debuts In British Columbia

victoria chalk festival We can now add another quirky festival to the already long list of creative events. Visitors and locals can go back in time to their childhoods, when playing with chalk was an everyday occasion. These sidewalk drawings, however, contain a bit more talent than your average 5-year-old-drawn stick figure and house.

The Victoria Chalk Festival will debut from September 12 to September 16, 2012, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and will continue on in years to come. The event is being led by famous international 3D chalk artist, Tracy Lee Stum, who will create a 20ft x 20ft 3D chalk art drawing at The Bay Centre’s lower level. Then on the 15th and 16th, local and international artists will join in by creating chalk masterpieces on Government Street, which will close to traffic.

“It’s a beautiful City with amazing people, architecture, culture and potential. Still, if we don’t keep working to create excitement and vibrancy, Victoria’s downtown can, and almost certainly will, fall into the sort of decline that other major cities have experienced,” says John Vickers, creator of the festival. “We need to keep downtown relevant.”

This event is free to the public.

For a more visual ideal of Tracy Less Stum’s chalk art, check out the gallery below.

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[All images via Tracy Lee Stum]

The Scottish Highland Games Head To Kentucky

haggis If you want to join in on the famous Scottish Highland Games but can’t afford the flight across the pond, you can head to Bardstown, Kentucky, this Saturday for their annual take on the event. While many people know of haggis, a Scottish dish containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs that are stuffed into a sheep’s stomach, as food, Bardstown is using the delicacy for something else: hurling.

All over the world, Highland Games showcase contests requiring brute strength, such as the caber toss, which requires participants to essentially throw a small telephone poll, and tossing blocks weighing 28 to 56 pounds.

“In Scotland, they used to use throwing events to determine their best warriors,” Kerry Overfelt, a three-time North American Highland Games champion and Bardstown resident who helped organize the inaugural Games three years ago, told NCB News’ Overhead Bin. “Most of the events are based on ways to kill people.”

The haggis toss, however, is based more on skill. This goes along with the theme of Bardstown’s events being a bit more lighthearted than the usual Highland Games fare. Children can compete in a mini caber toss using carpet roll cores, while men can enter the Bonniest Knees competition, where blindfolded women decide which male has the sexiest legs under their kilt.

And of course, there’s the haggis toss. It is said the event idea originated from a time when Scottish wives could bring their husbands lunch in the fields and peat bogs. Because they couldn’t easily cross the rivers, the women would toss the haggis to the men, who would catch it in their kilts. For those who think they may vomit from the thought of being covered in sheep guts, don’t worry. Bardstown uses mock haggis, either a beanbag or cornhole. Participants toss the object while standing atop a whiskey barrel.

“We miss out on some of the authenticity by not having an actual haggis,” said Overfelt, “but at the same time, we don’t have to worry about the haggis bursting open.”

[Image via Asta]

Hotel And Event Hosts Sued By Family Of Girl Killed Sliding Down A Banister

On October 30, 2010, 23-year-old Megan Duskey fell to her death at a Halloween-themed ball at the Palmer House Hilton. The young elementary school teacher at Orville T. Bright Elementary School was attempting to slide down a banister when she fell four floors. Now, Duskey’s family is claiming the girl’s death was the fault of the “Haunted Hotel Ball” hosts, and are suing for more than $500,000.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the family believes the event hosts allowed ticket-holders to consume an exorbitant amount of alcohol without supervision or protection. The ten-count suit, which was filed Tuesday, is naming Hilton Worldwide, the Palmer House Hilton, Surreal Chicago and Adrenaline Y2K as the hosts of the party.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office stated that Duskey was dead at the scene, ruling the death an accident.

While efforts on Tuesday night to reach Hilton Worldwide and Adrenaline Y2K were unsuccessful, CEO of Surreal Chicago, Brian Pfeiffer, declined to comment based on the fact Duskey’s death occurred in the lobby of the hotel, and not while she was at the party.

[Image via NBC Chicago]