New York: Balloons & Bites at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

You’re a New Yorker. You like the hubbub around the Thanksgiving parade, the bright, big balloons and the cheery tourists gawking around the parade route, but you don’t actually want to get up at 6 a.m. to get a good (standing) spot on Broadway and shiver your way through the day. No. No you don’t. So like any good New Yorker, you’ll find another way. A way that will allow you to see the parade without the crowds and still sit around and eat turkey and watch football on the day of thanks. Here’s your other way. Starting around 3pm this Wednesday, stroll on over to 79th and Central Park West to watch the balloons getting blown up. Take photos. Feel superior to the crowds that will show up the next day. Then go grab a bite to eat at one of these fine neighborhood establishments. Enjoy not cooking.

1. ‘Cesca – Old school southern Italian. Order the entire antipasti menu … it’s that good. 2. Bello Sguardo – Tapas by candlelight will get you in the mood. 3. Calle Ocho – Eight kinds of Mojitos, bright colors on the walls, and you’ll be dancing on the ones before you know it.

4. Citrus – Sushi and margaritas — the perfect cultural fusion. 5. Dovetail – Proper, tasty Anglophile dishes. Bread puddings and lamb meatloaf done right. 6. Eighty One – Locally sourced, melt-in-your-mouth lamb. It’s good enough to order twice. 7. Haru – One of the only Japanese joints in the ‘hood. 8. Isabella’s – Polo shirts abound at this UWS standby; order the pear salad and talk about your swing, and you’ll fit right in. 9. Land – Thai food with a skirt steak and snapper twist. Usurp the long line — put your name in, and go grab a beer next door while you wait. 10. Nice Matin – A crowded Pastis clone, uptown. French menu makes for great desserts.

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