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    The Beacon scopes out the Holiday activities across NYC

    The Lodge: Bryant Park/NYBG

    The Lodge at Bryant Park
    Craving a bite of any delightful treat that still reminds you of Winter? With the end of the 2023 season, Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park introduced the annual and temporary reopening of The Lodge.

    Alongside the 17,000+ square foot ice skating and bumper car rink at Bryant Park lies the rink-side food hall, open to the public until March 3, 2024. Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and until 11:30 p.m. on weekends and select holidays, the Lodge Bar and rink-side food hall offers a wide variety of tasty food options, all available from the comfortable, indoor area.

    Whether it’s to take a sip of hot chocolate and admire the festive scenery, or to simply try delicious food, there is a lot to unpack at The Lodge. To discover the treats sold at the shops, we taste-tested the different food options available at The Lodge, and show what is a hit or miss.

    The Lodge is home to a total of seven shops. For this taste-test run, we decided to pick the trendiest foods often mentioned by customers from three shops.

    The Lodge is the perfect place to go with anybody – family, friend group, or even with a potential significant other.

    The indoor food lounge provides a cozy feeling of warmth while being able to enjoy and view the cinematic scenery of winter in NYC.

    Upon our entrance, we were greeted with many lovely stands that offered festive sweet treats, one of which we mentioned further on.

    To begin our taste-testing journey and deliver the most honest experience, we tried traditional Mexican sandwiches, refreshments, and pastries from El Pambazo.

    El Pambazo Shop

    1.  Agua de Jamaica:  6/10

    Hibiscus Iced Tea
    Sold at $5.00, this iced tea came in a bottle of approximately seventeen ounces. Similar to the taste of any other hibiscus iced tea, this light refreshment is amazing for any day, regardless of the weather. However, the drink was not as sweet as I expected, tasting watered down. Overall, it was not worth $5.00, but it was a decent refreshment alongside the food.

    2.  Chicken Tinga Pambazo: 8/10

    This dish is filled with avocado, queso, crema, lettuce, and tomato (shredded, cooked in chipotle tomato broth).
    This dish is a must-have. The Pambazo successfully mixed all the ingredients in a way that was extremely tasteful within one bite. It’s not much of a messy eat, which makes the experience much more enjoyable. Recommend trying it. its price point is at $16.50, however, it was worth every penny.

    3. Handmade Mexican Pan Dulce (aka. Concha): 9/10

    Shredded, cooked in chipotle tomato broth. Saving dessert for last, we decided to try pan dulce.
    I purchased the chocolate flavor and it tasted exactly like standard concha, which is not overbearingly sweet. Just note that the pan dulce was more expensive than usual due to the location and the scarcity of bread in the area.

    Stout NYC

    “Big Boy” Foot Long Hot Dog  Classic Hot Dog, Crispy Onions, Stout Sauce, potato roll: 9/10

    In all honesty, we said this was the best purchase of the day. We were delighted by the unique and authentic flavor of the artisanal sausage and sauce. The hot dog priced at $12 was much larger than a typical hotdog, making every bite even more savory and worth the price. The “Stout sauce” and crispy onions added extra flavor to the savory taste of the hotdog.  No negative comments. At all.

    S’mores More

    Marshmallow – Funfetti:  9/10
    To finish it off, we decided to quickly stop by the stands towards the entrance of The Lodge and try ooey-gooey marshmallows. Priced at $2.25, we expected the marshmallows to have more of a unique flavor and soft taste. However, we can confirm that it did not exceed our expectations whatsoever. The customer service was amazing, however.

    As a toast to this new year, celebrate by doing new activities. One of them should be checking out The Lodge at Bryant Park. What’s the next stop on your bucket list?

    NYBG GLOW and Train Show

    The New York winter experience can be a bit stressful if you don’t know where to look. Lucky for you, the New York Botanical Garden’s GLOW and Train shows can light up your night, providing some fun sightseeing!

    From mid-November to January from 5-10 p.m., the Bronx NYBG shows are a great addition to New Yorkers’ holiday plans!

    Regarding the tickets being $35-$54 for the GLOW and Train Show Packages respectfully, a Forest Hills High School student who attended the event said, “I think it was worth the ticket price because of the amount of work that [was] put into it. The gardens themselves were beautiful and the exhibit was even better.”

    Travel methods to get to the Garden may differ, depending on your borough. The events may be more enjoyable by taking a car ride, as they are in the Bronx, but the subway system can work just as well.

    However, the anonymous student commented on their struggle during their commute, saying, “That’s where it gets a bit more complicated, I think it was quite a hassle to drive there and I just feel like taking public transport would be worse.” Public transportation can be difficult to navigate during the holidays, so if that’s your method, try planning your trip to avoid any issues.

    You may work up an appetite once you arrive and walk around amongst the twinkling topiaries and the dandelion corner. Lucky for you, The Bronx Night Market is readily available with various cuisines to try.

    The student spoke about the hot chocolate offered at the market, remembering it being unappetizing, to say the least.

    On the other hand, the food was very delicious, and should be tried if you take a trip to the Garden!

    The train show is a short walk past the night market, and you get a beautiful preview of the show to come! Miniature trains pass by, and there are even some interactive ones that you can control yourself – a solid activity to enjoy with younger siblings or family members.

    Walking into the building greets you with miniatures of Coney Island structures throughout the years, along with New York monuments, such as the Grand Central Terminal. Trains pass all around, encompassing the space, while some even have passengers you can spot as they puff on by.

    The question is: Is this a worthwhile attraction for the winter in NYC?

    The student answered, “I would recommend [doing] it at least once if you live in NYC. I don’t think it needs to be an every-year thing but I was glad I went. It’s festive and cute too.”

    See it for yourself and add it to your list of activities for this winter!


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    Natalie Davis
    Natalie Davis, Web Editor and Designer
    Natalie is a senior in the Carl's Sagan STEM Program. She enjoys playing piano, rewatching Coraline, trying new foods, and exploring places in NYC. She also enjoys playing in the concert band. During the springtime, she enjoys playing Lacrosse and taking part in fundraising events.
    A. Bacchus
    A. Bacchus, Public Relations and Events Coordinator
    A. is a senior at Forest Hills High School.  A. is in the Zoned Program and is involved in the school's Yearbook Committee as Chief Editor. A. is also a member of We The People, the AP Government competition class, as well as one of the two Presidents of the school's Digital Media Club. A. enjoys listening to metal music, illustrating, and also plays the electric bass guitar.
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