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"My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they’re misunderstood. I don’t think people realize how kind New York people are." Bill Murray
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Brian (not his real name) was hot off the plane, a New York newbie taking a cab to his friend’s apartment, where he would be staying until he could find a place of his own.

The taxi stopped at the lights on 5th Ave and he looked out of the window as a touching tableau unfolded. A homeless man was rummaging around a trash can and triumphantly produced an almost-full quart bottle of milk. Unscrewing the top, he inched his nose towards the bottle then recoiled in horror. Disgusted, our milk man threw the plastic bottle to the ground with a violent flourish.

Just as it made contact with the sidewalk, it exploded … almost in slow motion … spraying rancid cow juice all over a passing woman on her way to work.

The cab pulled away.

Barbara (not her real name) was living in Dumbo, when there was literally NOTHING in Dumbo. Rent on her loft apartment was $3.50 a month (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but it was cheap, OK?) and it got so cold in winter, the toilet froze over. Her crazy artist neighbor once tried to smash her door down with a Louisville slugger. But that’s a story for another day. 

On this particular occasion, she was taking the subway into the city, crammed into an even more crowded than usual car. As the bodies pressed in, she became increasingly aware of strangers’ hands venturing where they shouldn’t be. There were at least three unidentified sets of grubby fingers groping in the dark.

As she weighed up her options, with literally no room to move, she looked up and locked eyes with a woman sitting opposite. Slowly, her rescuer beckoned with a finger – over here.

Without losing eye contact, she pointed down, at an available seat that had magically appeared, allowing Barbs to inch away and escape her attackers.

There is horror in New York, yes. But there is also humanity. January’s magazine will be all about Manhattan firsts. Your first seedy apartment. Your first celebrity sighting. The first time you cried on the subway or saw a rat or rode the Cyclone. Share your story with me, won't you? Let's do this together.
JUST ONE MORE THING!
Before we get to the weekend, there’s just one more thing. You see, I want to get to know you better. Fill out our five-minute survey and we'll say thanks by entering you into a drawing to win stupendous goodies (just in time for the holidays - yo!)

*An exclusive hard hat tour behind the scenes at Intrepid for two people.
*An eight pack of classes at Mark Fisher Fitness.
*A wine preference profile evening at Kilo with sommelier LJ Hollins.
*A three-show subscription package for two at MCC Theatre.
*One sustainable Keap candle.
*Tickets to see any New Victory season 2019/20 show for four people.
*Tickets to the premier of Redwood at Ensemble Studio Theatre for two people.
*A five-day juice pass from Fresh From Hell.
BEST LIFE CALENDAR

TODAY
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

Presley Ryan and Alex Brightman perform at the release of the cast album of the Broadway show, at the UES Barnes & Noble this afternoon. Find out more.

Star wrapping
Get your holiday gifts wrapped by a Broadway star all month, starting with the guys from Ain't Too Proud today. And Megan Rapinoe will be doing the honors on Wednesday. Find out more.

Alvin Ailey
The dance company performs the world premiere of a piece called Greenwood, which draws on a 1921 tragedy in Tulsa, when a young black man was arrested for attempted assault of a white teenage girl. Find out more.

Paige Turner
Get in the ho-ho-holiday mood with the showbiz spitfire in her new show, Jingle All the Way, featuring songs from Bing Crosby, Barbra Streisand, and Mariah Carey (as well as many others). Find out more.

TOMORROW
Print, Poetry, and Play
The art of printmaking gets playful at the Irish Arts Center’s family-friendly workshop, where you could walk away with your own holiday cards, wrapping paper, and tote bag. Find out more.

Holiday Blvd party
Bella Abzug Park comes alive from 2-5 with horse-drawn carriage rides, crafts, snacks, and the tree lighting ceremony. There are even rumors that Santa will appear. Directions here.

The art of scent
The fashion designer Anna Sui in conversation with key collaborator Jérome Epinette, who helps create her scent Fantasia. Find out more.

Bust craftacular
Shop women-made gifts and crafts and explore workshops on subjects from sex to spirituality at this two-day event at Industry City. Yes, I know it’s a bit of a schlep. Sorry. Find out more.

Peter and the Wolf
Isaac Mizrahi narrates, directs, and designs costumes for the classic children’s tale at the Guggenheim. There are three performances. Find out more.

Harry Connick Jr
The crooner begins his holiday residency at the Nederlander theater. Find out more.

Big Sleep Out
If you happen to be passing Times Square late on Saturday night, don’t be surprised if you hear Will Smith reading a bedtime story. The Big Sleep Out is a global fundraiser to help end homelessness. Find out more.

SUNDAY
Upcycle your clothes
That jean jacket that’s past its best? The pants that need an upgrade? Join MAD museum artist-in-residence Jennie Maydew and give your old clothes a new lease of life. Find out more.

Driedel brunch
The kinara is lit, the latkes are sizzling, and the presents are nestling gently under the tree. What’s that you hear on the rooftop? Could it be? Yes, it’s five new short plays to ring in the holiday season, served up with endless pancakes, bacon, and (Young)bloody marys! We love Ensemble Studio Theatre’s brunches! Find out more.

Jason Kravitz
You may recognize him from Kimmy Schmidt and The Practice, but you’ve never seen Jason Kravits (featured in the December mag) like this, making up an entire show based on suggestions from the audience. Find out more.

MONDAY
Red Bucket Follies
It’s Broadway Cares’ red bucket season, and it kicks off with this show of songs, dances, and skits at the New Amsterdam, with performances from stars including Christian Borle, Jonathan Groff, André De Shields. Find out more.

TUESDAY
The best films of 2019

Countdown Film Comment magazine’s annual poll in real time at this free event at Lincoln Center. Find out more.

WEDNESAY
All I Want for Christmas …

Is Attenion! Drag Race alumni BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon deal with the stress of the holidays with a little song and a lot of eggnog. Find out more.

Hell’s Kitchen Poetry Society
Cook up some new work and share it with your peers (if you feel like it). Find out more.

Winter solstice celebration
Reels, jigs, songs, and stories as the Irish Arts Center comes over all seasonal. Find out more.

The War on Christmas
Live from a military outpost near war-torn Santa's Workshop, a band of brave comedians creates a non-denominational, godless Holiday Special for the troops at Upright Citizens Brigade. Find out more.

THURSDAY
Winter’s Eve

Fountain House Gallery hosts an evening of music, art, and merry mingling. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Find out more.

Silent disco
It’s free. It’s fun. It’s overlooking the Rockefeller Plaza ice rink. Find out more.

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