The holiday season has begun in Audubon Park, with three traditions underway—one more than a century old, another approaching its first decade, and the third in its second year.
The Night Before Christmas . . .
Since 1911, the Church of the Intercession has presented a yearly reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s beloved poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) on the Sunday before Christmas. The program begins at 3:00 p.m. with a musical prelude and continues with the reading at 4:00 p.m., followed by a lantern procession to Moore’s grave in Trinity Church Cemetery. The event is open to the public free of charge. (For a history of the ceremony, read the Audubon Park Perspectives blog from December 2011.)
New York’s Oldest Christmas Tradition
A Holiday Reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (A Visit from Saint Nicholas)
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Prelude Music at 3:00 p.m. Program at 4 p.m.
William C. Rhoden, Award-winning Sportswriter, New York Times,
will read Moore’s poem at this year’s celebration
Riverside Oval Association’s 2016 Calendar
The 2016 Riverside Oval Association (ROA) has produced its ninth calendar featuring fourteen vintage images of lower Washington Heights and five contemporary photographs that show some of the same locations in 2015. The calendar is a fund-raiser for the ROA’s activities, particularly the ongoing gardening in the Riverside oval at the foot of 156th Street and the installation of tree guards throughout the Audubon Park Historic District.
The March image is a splendid 1922 photograph of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney at the dedication of the World War I memorial that she sculpted for the small park at West 167th Street and Broadway. The photographer is looking south, so in the background, you can see the north side of the Audubon Ballroom before its remodeling and the addition of its upper stories.
The calendar is available for $12.00 plus $2.75 postage.
Call (917) 301-1120, or
Write to V. Ducat, 790 Riverside Drive, Apt. 12A, New York, NY 10032.
Please write checks to: Washington-Heights Inwood Coalition (the Riverside Oval Association’s fiscal conduit).
April is a photograph of John James Audubon’s house less than two months after Lucy Audubon sold it to lawyer Jesse Benedict. A reproduction of the photograph in the 1923 Valentine’s Manual dates it from July 16, 1864, based on information in George H. Griffin’s diary. Griffin is one of the individuals standing on the veranda. (His cousin Edward P. Griffin was married to Jesse Benedict’s daughter Fanny.)
June features a lovely postcard view of the High Bridge along with a recent picture of the bridge. High Bridge, which was a popular attraction in northern Manhattan from its opening in the 1840s until the 1960s. This past summer, it was reopened to pedestrians after being closed more than forty years. Other images in the calendar include the totem pole that stood in front of the American Indian Museum when it was part of Audubon Terrace (August), an early view of the Sutherland (611 West 158th Street) when the lot across the street was still vacant (October), and a special photograph contributed by David Chalk of street boxing at the corner of Edward M. Morgan Place and 157th Street (July).
O, Tannenbaum . . .
For the second year running, Audubon Park has its own Christmas tree vendor on the corner of Edward M. Morgan Place and 157th Street, adjacent to Taszo Espresso & Wine Bar. The stand has trees of all sizes, as well as wreaths and other holiday greens. This year, another vendor has moved from a spot further up Broadway to the corner of Broadway and 156th Street. He also has a variety of trees and holiday greenery. Both stands are open round the clock from now until Christmas, adding a touch of holiday cheer to the Audubon Park neighborhood.
P.S. Audubon Christmas and New Year’s Greeting Cards
Artist Patri Feher has a line of Audubon ArtCards on Amazon, including some very popular holiday cards. She produces the cards with the “giclee” process, which lays the ink on the paper so that it appears painted rather than printed—much like a gouache watercolor. Because these ArtCards are individually printed, she can personalize them at no extra cost. Patri takes orders directly (for more than eighteen cards or special orders) and through Amazon. If you do not see your favorite Audubon print, she can probably produce it for you. Still time to order before Christmas or New Year’s Day!
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