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December 15, 2018

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December 14, 2017

YOUR DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY EVENTS GUIDE

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Holiday Celebrations and Shopping Continue Downtown!

Hopefully you found some of our gift ideas in the last newsletter helpful. As promised, we’ve done a round-up of restaurants and services offering gift cards or gift certificates.

Alvin & Friends: with the painting on each card by owner Alvin Clayton, whose colorful art works bring flair to the restaurant’s decor, the person you give it to may not want to part with it.; Barnes & Noble; Hour to Exit: New Rochelle’s new escape room (featured later in this newsletter); The Curtain Shop: Perfect for a loved one who wants to give a home a new look with curtains, drapes, window treatments and more. Also sells accessories such as specialty soaps and ample supply of cooking utensils and decorative accents on the second floor; La Herradura Mexican restaurant; Modern Restaurant and Lounge; R Cafe & Tea Boutique; Regal Cinemas at New Roc City; and Westchester Yoga Arts.

This list is not exhaustive! If you’re a BID-based business that offers gift certificates, please let us know and we will do a future post with your information.

Holiday Tree Lighting Recap: Thank you to the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce for presenting yet another successful holiday tree lighting with caroling, live music and hot chocolate! It was a wonderful evening for all. Click here for the Chamber’s pictures of the event!

Next up on the holiday circuit...Breakfast with Santa at FunFuzion at New Roc City. Facepainting, a breakfast buffet a visit from Santa, dancing and crafts. Join the fun on Saturday December 23rd from 9:30-11:30. Now in its 10th year, this event has become a family-tradition for many. We’ve included the event flyer at the bottom of this newsletter for more information on how to register! Meanwhile, Little Beehive’s holiday market at the train station continues (see flyer below).

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Tip for a Reduced Stress December

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Presents, parties, big dinners, shoveling, and school programs. If you’re feeling out of sorts, you’re likely not alone. Fortunately, downtown New Rochelle has resources to help you keep your cool. We caught up with local expert, Robert Kaku Gunn, Guiding Teacher at Empty Hand Zen Center for advice on how to manage the anxiety that crops up during this time of year (or anytime, really):

Find a place you can be undisturbed for a moment--an easy chair, an unoccupied room, or even in the middle of Times Square if that works for you. Imagine the face of someone you deeply love, or a place of which you’re especially fond. Take three deep, slow breaths, in and out, as you hold the image of the person or place in your mind’s eye. Continue focusing on your breathing while it finds its natural rhythm. Return to normal life when ready.

Danielle Radulski, teacher at Westchester Yoga Arts, 49 Lawton St.

“Mindfulness is big,” she said. “Being able to take a few minutes out of each crazy, busy day for yourself is really important, especially if you’re around a lot of people. Take a few minutes to sit by yourself, sit in silence, just focus on your breathing and reconnect.”

She recommended several techniques:

One, called “Square Breathing,” involves breathing in four steps -- inhale, pause, exhale, pause -- making each step last for a four count. Difficult at first? Try counting to three, or to two -- as long as you’re consistent.

“It helps your brain to quiet,” she said. “Using the same number consistently helps your body to establish that slow breathing rather than the shallow, short breath.”

Another technique involves putting one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach to trace the feeling of your breath. “As you inhale, feel the breath go into your throat and into your chest, and see if you can get it into your belly, then allow it to go the opposite way, like a wave. It’s another way to connect your mind and the body. Allow your mind to focus on the sensation.”

If you find breathing exercises to be frustrating, you can still take time for yourself.

“Even if it’s not a breathing exercise, even if it’s taking a few minutes to stretch, just doing something for yourself is really beneficial,” she said.

What are YOU Doing During School Vacation?

Vacation is great...for a little while. Then everyone gets stir crazy! Consider getting the wiggles out at Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park. It’s fun for kids...and the grownups too. We did a comprehensive blog post about this local downtown fun spot last year.

As usual, the library also has lot of wonderful events scheduled: Mexican dance classes with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, a fun art project and self-portraiture experience inspired by the book Only One You, and a live performance by Will Shaw, whose juggling, rope tricks, unicycling and more brings joy to all ages. (See our winter flyer below for dates and times).

Give us additional ideas of ways to spend time with kids downtown. Tag @NRBID us with pics your fun family-friendly downtown New Rochelle adventures on Instagram and we’ll help spread the word.

New Year Approaching

FunFuzion is offering a cleverly-priced $20.17 New Year’s Eve and a $20.18 New Year’s Day special, while Roc ‘n Bowl is featuring three hours of bowling with complimentary champagne toast at night (see attached flyers.) NoMa Social will have a New Year’s event with a dj, dancing, tapas and champagne toast and...a hangover brunch starting at noon the next day.

Not to miss with littles: Ring in the New Year at Noon on Sunday, December 31st. Families with children ages 2-10 are invited to celebrate the entrance into 2018 with an exciting noon-time countdown with a climactic 3,000 balloon drop in the Times Square-inspired atrium of New Roc City. Kids and parents will enjoy music, arts and crafts, face painting, clowns, snacks, dancing, games, rides, and giveaways. The event is free, but registration (which fills quickly) is required: 2017rinyatnoon.eventbrite.com

Welcome New Businesses!

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Hour to Exit: Escape rooms -- interactive games that challenge teams to use a series of clues to break out of a room in a certain amount of time -- are the latest fun craze to hit the nation, and now New Rochelle claims one of its very own: Hour to Exit, right in the heart of downtown at The Atrium, 466 Main St., New Rochelle in Suite 206. Learn more about this fun new spot, and the savvy entrepreneurs who opened it, in this recent article.

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Enchanted Flowers: The corner of Huguenot and Division streets has become Enchanted.The southeast quadrant of the intersection is now home to Enchanted Flowers, a thriving flower shop selling everything from single blooms to large arrangements to full-blown displays for weddings and whatever other event you want to liven up.For more than 20 years, the store operated on Pelham Road, with a longer name – Enchanted Flowers Boutique – but a smaller space. Eventually, that storefront could not hold the ever-blooming business.

“We needed more space as our business grew,” said Frank Egan, a member of the family that runs the shop. It is owned by his mother-in-law, Lynn Tarantino.

With some 2,000 square feet, the new store is three times the space it filled on Pelham Road. Eight tall windows allow breathing room for the engaging displays the staff create to show their best offerings for all seasons and holidays.

“My mother-in-law loves to decorate,” Egan said. His wife, Tiffany Egan, does as well.

They are also happy to have opened up in downtown New Rochelle, the heart of the city.

“You have all the jewelry stores, you see all these restaurants. It has a lot more than it used to,” Egan said. “You’ve got a hotel coming downtown. That building down the block (the 28-story tower rising at 587 Main Street) is going to be beautiful!”

The flowers range from roses, tulips and chrysanthemums to exotics, such as orchids, birds-of-paradise and king proteas.

“We offer flowers from Holland, from Ecuador and California,” Egan said. An especially popular blossom is the Happy Rose, also called a Rainbow Rose. Produced in Holland, the flower absorbs seven dyes so that each petal is a different color.

“They’re really nice,” Egan said. “We sell a lot of those for Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. People come from all over for those.”

The staff has created bridesmaids’ bouquets weaving diamond brooches with white roses and arrangements in the shape of the New York Mets and Giants’ logos, a guitar, an anchor and even a giant crossword puzzle.

They can also create arrangements with feathers – “They’re nice for a sweet-16 party or a Gatsby-style wedding,” Egan said – or with balloons.

“We can do it all right here,” Egan said.

Photo of the Week: Pictures of R. M. Fischer’s sculpture, Twilight of Dawn, lit up with solar-powered lights at Library Green.

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