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A brief history of the gingerbread house

A brief history of the gingerbread house The witch’s house in the two-centuries-old tale of Hansel and Gretel is today inspiring ever more extravagant gingerbread creations and constructions across Europe and the US The tradition of decorated gingerbread houses began in Germany in the early 1800s, supposedly popularised after the not-so-Christmassy fairytale of Hansel and Gretel was published in 1812. The Grimms’ original fairy tale includes the line: “When they came nearer they saw that the house was built of bread, and roofed with cakes, and the window was of transparent sugar.” (In later versions it became gingerbread, rather than just bread.) Inspired by the story, German bakers began to craft small decorated houses from lebkuchen, spiced honey biscuits….

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The best towns and small cities in the US: Ithaca, New York state

The best towns and small cities in the US: Ithaca, New York state This progressive lakeside town has gone its own way since the hippy years: we showcase its best bars, live music venues and restaurants In this series: Eugene, Oregon | Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Portland, Maine | Ventura, California | Missoula, Montana Outside City Hall is Ithaca’s smallest park. It’s the size of a parking space: the mayor’s parking space, to be precise. When the 24-year-old Svante Myrick was elected five years ago, he gave up his car, decorated the spot with benches and plants and welcomed all and sundry to use it as they pleased. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Emma John Tweet

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Vampire state of mind: how to join the world’s greatest Halloween parade

Vampire state of mind: how to join the world’s greatest Halloween parade New York’s Halloween bash is a wildly creative party – and it’s easier than you think to become a part of it As we turn into Varick Street in Lower Manhattan, a gore-splattered surgeon – his face peeling – is dragging a corpse down the sidewalk. Behind him, a bow-tie wearing, opaque-eyed zombie with dental health issues (half his mouth is missing) is checking his phone. Recoiling, my husband makes one final escape attempt: “Do we have to take part? Can’t we just watch?” Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Abigail Flanagan Tweet

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Harlem’s renaissance: how art, food and history are shaping its latest evolution

Harlem’s renaissance: how art, food and history are shaping its latest evolution The Harlem EatUp! food festival starts on 14 May – just one opportunity residents and enthusiastic newcomers have to celebrate and develop the culture of this historic New York district It was after midnight on a Wednesday and Paris Blues, Harlem’s oldest surviving jazz bar, was standing-room only. The dive has remained, stubbornly, much the way it has since it opened in 1969. There’s neither a cover charge nor fancy cocktails and patrons can help themselves to barbecued chicken and other comfort food for free. In the corner, Samuel Hargress Jr, the 81-year-old owner who lives on the premises, was holding court in a fedora and tweed…

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Manhattan transfers: New York’s boroughs by ferry

Manhattan transfers: New York’s boroughs by ferry Downtown New York has sights galore but the city’s expanded ferry service offers a more relaxed way to see its less famous neighbourhoods – and fabulous views back to Manhattan There are a lot of sights to tick off on a visit to New York City. Lots of tall buildings, lots of parks … and lots of people at all of them. But if you have seen the well-trodden attractions, it can be fun to find a more authentic side to the city. And this has become easier since the city expanded its ferry service. Two new routes, linking neighbourhoods such as Astoria in Queens and Red Hook in Brooklyn, were added…

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10 of the best restaurants near New York’s main attractions

10 of the best restaurants near New York’s main attractions It’s easy to grab a burger in Times Square but much more rewarding to walk a block or two and eat well with the locals. We asked our NYC correspondent to choose great places to eat near the city’s major sights Amy Ruth’sThe south end of Central Park is all tired-looking horses pulling carriages and people riding overpriced rented bicycles. But stroll to Harlem, at the northern tip of the park and there’s a wealth of good food. Amy Ruth’s is six blocks north of the top end of Central Park and offers real southern cuisine. The Rev Al Sharpton, named after the New York civil rights activist, is…

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