Richard Linklater’s Boyhood Lead the List of New York Film Critics Circle 2014 Award Winners

new-york-film-critics-circle

The awards season started in earnest today when New York Film Critics Circle announced its 2014 recipients. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was the big winner, coming away with the Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Linklater) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette) awards. In a field that is proving to be wide open on several fronts, the NYFCC spread the wealth across the board, naming films and actors that– given the crush of worthy actors and actresses– could definitely use the push to the head of the line, especially small films that have garnered praise from the critics and audiences alike but has not been major hits at the box office and not widely screened at the moment.

Richard Linklater's Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

Founded in 1935, the Circle’s membership includes critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, and qualifying on-line general-interest publications. Every year in December the organization meets in New York to vote on awards for the previous calendar year’s films. John Huston once called the award “the greatest honor that anyone in my profession can receive,” and John Ford even admitted, “it means more to me than any other honor.” The New York Film Critics Circle have consistently recognized, championed and defended films that may otherwise have been slighted by audiences and the entertainment industry. Founded in part as a response to the Academy Awards’ sometimes dubious selections for the annual best in cinema, the NYFCC has from the start prided itself on striving to recognize a higher standard of film.

Among the categoriesare best picture, director, screenplay, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, cinematography, animated movie and best first film. Special stand-alone awards are also given to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the art of cinema, including producers, directors, actors, writers, critics, historians, film restorers and service organizations.

Below is the complete list for 2014:

Best Picture
Boyhood
Best Director
Richard Linklater
BOYHOOD
Best Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Actress
Marion Cotillard
THE IMMIGRANT, TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
Best Actor
Timothy Spall
MR. TURNER
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette
BOYHOOD
Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons
WHIPLASH
Best Cinematographer
Darius Khondji
THE IMMIGRANT
Best Animated Film
The LEGO Movie
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary)
Citizenfour
Best Foreign Film
Ida
Best First Film
Jennifer Kent
THE BABADOOK
Special Award
Adrienne Mancia

The Circle’s awards are often viewed as harbingers of the Oscar nominations, which are announced each February. The Circle’s awards are also viewed — perhaps more accurately — as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring esthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures. A complete list of previous winners is available on this site, along with a list of current members with links to their publications.

NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO SHOWCASE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE 1965 SELMA-TO-MONTGOMERY CIVIL RIGHTS MARCH

Iconic Photographs by Stephen Somerstein Capture the Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Early next year, the New-York Historical Society will showcase a powerful selection of photographs by Stephen Somerstein that chronicle the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March, honoring the 50th anniversary of the protest that changed the course of civil rights in America. On view from January 16 through April 19, 2015, the exhibition Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein will feature the work of the 24-year-old City College student, who felt he had to document “what was going to be a historic event.” He accompanied the marchers, gaining unfettered access to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, Joan Baez, and Bayard Rustin.

Stephen Somerstein, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to 25,000 civil rights marchers in Montgomery, 1965. Courtesy of the photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. speaking to 25,000 civil rights marchers
in Montgomery, 1965. Courtesy of the
photographer

Through 55 black and white and color photographs, Freedom Journey 1965 will document the quest for equality and social justice over the five-day march. Then the managing editor and picture editor of the City College newspaper, Stephen Somerstein recalls “When Dr. King called on Americans to join him in a massive protest march to Montgomery, I knew that important, nation-changing history was unfolding and I wanted to capture its power and meaning with my camera.”

The Selma-to-Montgomery March marked a peak of the American civil rights movement. From March 21 to March 25, 1965, hundreds of people marched from Selma to the State Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama to protest against the resistance that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and other groups had encountered in their mission to register black voters. By March 25, the group had grown to 25,000 people, which Dr. King addressed from the steps of the Montgomery State Capitol. Three months later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Stephen Somerstein, Folk singer Joan Baez in Montgomery, 1965. Courtesy of the photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Folk singer Joan Baez
in Montgomery, 1965. Courtesy of the
photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Two mothers with children watching marchers on porch, 1965. Courtesy of the photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Two mothers with
children watching marchers on porch, 1965.
Courtesy of the photographer

Somerstein took approximately 400 photographs over the five-day, 54 mile march. Exhibition highlights include images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressing the crowd of 25,000 civil rights marchers in Montgomery; folk singer Joan Baez, standing before a line of state troopers blocking the entrance to the State Capitol; white hecklers yelling and gesturing at marchers; families watching the march from their porches; and images of young and old alike participating in the demonstration.

Somerstein pursued a career in physics, building space satellites at the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Lockheed Martin Co. Upon retiring, Somerstein revisited the Selma photographs. Though he had sold a few of them, the majority were not showcased until he participated in a civil rights exhibition at the San Francisco Art Exchange in 2010. “I realized that I had numerous iconic and historic photographs that I wanted to share with the public,” says Somerstein.

Stephen Somerstein, Hecklers yelling and gesturing at marchers, 1965. Courtesy of the photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Hecklers yelling and
gesturing at marchers, 1965. Courtesy of the
photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Marchers on the way to Montgomery as families watch from their porches, 1965. Courtesy of the photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Marchers on the way
to Montgomery as families watch from their
porches, 1965. Courtesy of the
photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Man with American flag and marchers walking past federal troops guarding crossroads, 1965. Courtesy of the photographer

Stephen Somerstein, Man with American
flag and marchers walking past federal
troops guarding crossroads, 1965. Courtesy
of the photographer

On February 11, 2015, Randall Kennedy will examine the origins, designs, and consequences of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. How does this landmark act continue to resonate a half-century later, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling? Kennedy is a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and the author of For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law.

 

New-York Historical Society Mounts First Annual Holiday Express Exhibition Featuring Antique Trains and Toys from the Museum’s Jerni Collection

The New-York Historical Society will be transformed this holiday season with a vibrant and sweeping display of spectacular antique toy trains, toys and scenic elements. On view now through February 22, 2015 (Presidents’ Day), Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection is a dynamic exhibition that appeals to all ages, showcasing the beauty and allure of toys from a bygone era. The Holiday Express exhibition is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Stated Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society: “This collection will provide a wonderful new way for young visitors to understand how railroads supplanted canals as the favored mode of transport; how dozens of lines competed to funnel the raw produce of the American heartland to New York’s factories, shipyards, and piers; how the United States rail system experienced phenomenal growth not only upon the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, but also with the development of elevated railways in American cities; why, in 1865, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley famously took up the longstanding appeal for the poor and unemployed of New York City to ‘go west and grow up with the country.’”

Lutz Toy Company Floor toy train set, 1884. New-York Historical Society, The Jerni Collection.

Lutz Toy Company Floor toy train set, 1884. New-York
Historical Society, The Jerni Collection.

The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City and has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

Detail of Lutz Toy Company Floor toy train set, 1884. NewYork Historical Society, The Jerni Collection.

Detail of Lutz Toy Company Floor toy train set, 1884. NewYork
Historical Society, The Jerni Collection.

Brianne Train Station, ca. 1900. New-York Historical Society, The Jerni Collection

Brianne Train Station, ca. 1900. New-York Historical
Society, The Jerni Collection

A highlight of New-York Historical Society’s holdings, the Jerni Collection was assembled over fifty years by U.S. collectors Jerry and Nina Greene and is considered one of the world’s leading collections of antique trains and toys. It includes unique, hand-crafted and hand-painted pieces dating from approximately 1850 to 1940, featuring prime examples by the leading manufacturers that set the standard for the Golden Age of European toys, including the German firms of Märklin, Bing, Ernst Plank and Carette, as well as the American firm Lionel.

Märklin 5-gauge locomotive, 1905. New-York Historical Society, The Jerni Collection.

Märklin 5-gauge locomotive, 1905. New-York Historical
Society, The Jerni Collection.

Detail of Ferris Wheels. New-York Historical Society, The Jerni Collection.

Detail of Ferris Wheels. New-York Historical Society, The
Jerni Collection.

Holiday Express unfolds over a broad swath of New-York Historical’s first floor and the DiMenna Children’s History Museum on the lower level, featuring more than 300 pieces from the museum’s Jerni Collection that transform the space into a magical wonderland. Holiday Express displays designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, Batwin + Robin Productions and Big Show Construction Management, Inc. feature theatrical lighting, an ambient audio “soundscape” and other effects to engage visitors in an immersive experience. Antique trains move along more than 400 linear feet of railroad tracks that twist and turn overhead, winding throughout the first floor.

The exhibition begins at New-York Historical’s West 77th Street entrance, where movement and sound from four large-scale multimedia screens will make it seem as though trains are roaring through the rotunda. This space also features a circular display case with the Boucher “Blue Comet,” a rare toy train from the 1920s-30s that mimics the real Blue Comet, which ran from the New York metropolitan area to Atlantic City during the Great Depression. Other highlights in this case are a one-of-a-kind Märklin Post Office (1895), a large Doll & Co. Ferris wheel (1904), a Gebrüder Bing carousel (1880-1890), and aircraft flying overhead.

A 360-degree mountainous landscape on view in the Judith and Howard Berkowitz Sculpture Court features artifacts grouped into ten scenes, including a tunnel, train station arrival structure, fairground, harbor with a lighthouse, and an airplane fly-by.

An expansive display in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History features a variety of trains, stations and other buildings, aircraft, and ships and boats of all shapes and sizes, including the largest example of Gebrüder Bing’s Leviathan toy ocean liner (1920). The display in the Leah and Michael Weisberg Monumental Treasures Wall Case is highlighted by a subtle palette of lighting effects to evoke a time-lapse transformation from dawn to dusk.

Several illuminated cases in New-York Historical’s hallways feature thematic displays from the collection. A dramatically lit display along the Central Park West corridor showcases large-scale American pieces, including moving trains within an abstract landscape, as well as interactive elements like a crawl-through space and a pop-up semi-sphere, so kids can get an up-close view of the display.

The exhibition was curated by Mike Thornton, Assistant Curator for Material Culture at the New-York Historical Society. Consultants on Holiday Express: Trains and Toys from the Jerni Collection include:
Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP), an integrated architecture and exhibit design firm located in New York City responsible for the overall Concept and Design for Holiday Express; LHSA+DP is the designer of the New-York Historical Society’s highly popular, DiMenna Children’s History Museum.
Batwin + Robin, renowned “media storytellers” with over twenty years of experience in the theater, museums and other venues, were the media producers for the exhibition.
Big Show Construction Management, Inc., a company that bridges the entertainment and construction industries, provided the comprehensive project management services.

Mario Testino Unveiled as The Fifth Macallan Master of Photography

The luxury spirit, The Macallan, has revealed Mario Testino as its fifth Master of Photography. For the very first time in its award-winning series, The Macallan brings to life its foundation stones, The Six Pillars, through the eyes of one of the world’s most prolific portrait and fashion photographer. The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition allows him interpret The Six Pillars through the characterization of six individual personalities in his distinct, inimitable and luxurious style. (See the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nftd-OF11VM)

The Macallan Masters of Photography Limited Edition Pack - Mario Testino Edition (PRNewsFoto/The Macallan)

The Macallan Masters of Photography Limited Edition Pack – Mario Testino Edition (PRNewsFoto/The Macallan)

The Macallan Masters of Photography series features exclusive collaborations, conjoining the art of whisky making with the artist’s interpretation of the world of The Macallan. Previous editions were authored by iconic photographers Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, Rankin and Albert Watson.

Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies.  The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland, and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship.

As one of the world’s truly great whiskies, we seek to collaborate with the best photographers in the world. Not just those who have the technical ability, but something more,” remarks Ken Grier, Director of Malts for The Macallan. “The Macallan Masters of Photography is about the personal touch, we work with photographers with whom we have a shared passion to create beautiful collectables. Mario’s emotional engagement coupled with the level of his creative involvement, heralds an evolution of the role of the Master in the Masters of Photography series, one which has brought about an exciting visual celebration of our fundamental Six Pillars. Not only is he a historically important giant in contemporary photography, his elegance, charm and gentlemanly approach to creating this ultimate party has made him both a joy and an inspiration to work with.”

The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition is The Macallan’s most inspired to date, with the whisky bringing together six different casks to showcase the ultimate complexity. Each of these six perfect whiskies is the definitive representation of one of the Six Pillars: the Spiritual Home, Curiously Small Stills, Finest Cut, Exceptional Oak Casks, Natural Color and Peerless Spirit. Each pillow has its  own definitive character, flavor and aroma which when brought together; thus creating what many consider to be the perfect single malt with unparalleled depth, darkness and diversity. Each edition comprises a different Mario Testino print capturing The Six Pillars, an exclusive photo-archival booklet featuring a total of 20 images, shot by Testino during the process, one bottle of the single malt whisky and six miniatures from each of the selected six casks.

Renowned for his mastery of composition – the artistic arrangement and placement of visual elements within the picture – and for creating a reflective and intense connection with his sitters, be it celebrities or royalty,Mario Testino has now turned his lens to The Macallan. The Master Whisky Maker personally selected these six unique casks from over 200,000 maturing at The Macallan distillery to craft this limited edition expression.  He has achieved this through adding layer upon layer of character and flavor, reflecting the approach taken to the photography itself.   Shot in Beijing, in a former palace near the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square, the photographs showcase the vibrancy and luxury of The Macallan world, infused with subtle eclecticism and cultural allusions.

Presenting the first ever Masters of Photography design collaboration, each of the 1,000 Mario Testino Editions for sale globally (available worldwide starting at $3500)– of which there are four different variations, each featuring one of the four iconic shots taken by Mario – are presented in a beautiful, high gloss, black lacquered presentation box, designed together with Mario Testino. Inspired by the subtle elegance and rich Asian cultural heritage of traditional lacquered boxes, each presentation box is individually numbered and features a secret hidden compartment.

Whisky was the choice of drink in my country during the years I was growing up. When I was approached by The Macallan to take part in the Masters of Photography Series I decided to capture the moment when people get together to celebrate, in the atmosphere of a whisky environment – a whisky club!” says Mario Testino.

Born in Lima, Peru, Testino moved to London in 1976 where he made his home and began his career. His vision has made him a much sought-after creative partner in the fashion and beauty industries.  His work has been featured in magazines from Vogue to Vanity Fair and he has contributed to the success of many leading fashion and beauty houses through advertising campaigns, from Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana, to Chanel and Lancome.

As a portrait photographer Mario Testino works with the actors and celebrities of the moment, as well as receiving royal commissions from HRH The Prince of Wales, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HRH Prince Harry, (the late) Diana, Princess of Wales (including the iconic portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales for her Vanity Fair cover story in 1997)Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan and intimate shots of original supermodel Kate Moss spanning several decades.

The recipient of many awards, Testino has received the Medalha Tiradentes from the state of Rio de Janeiro, in 2010 the Grand Cross Order of Merit, his country’s highest honor and in 2013, the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to photography and charity. In 2012 Testino established MATE, Asociacion Mario Testino in Lima, Peru. MATE is a not-for-profit cultural organization that promotes and celebrates the arts of Peru and permanently hosts his own work. He has also published twelve books, including MaRio de Janeiro Testino, Kate Moss by Mario Testino, Private View and In Your Face.

New for 2014 is the The Six Pillars Tour (The Macallan Visitor Centre, The Macallan Distilleries LtdEaster Elchies, Craigellachie, AB38 9RX, Scotland. Tour duration: approx. 1 hour 45 minutes. Price per person – £15). Much like their curiously small stills, the small tour groups are limited to just 10 people to ensure a luxurious, personal experience. Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will explain how we create The Macallan‘s rich spirit in a working still house and introduce you to the ‘Six Pillars’.  You will learn how the company’s unparalleled investment in the finest casks contributes to the natural colors, aromas and flavors that set The Macallan apart. After a thorough immersion into the world of The Macallan, you will experience a nosing and tasting of four The Macallan whiskies as well as their very foundation, their wonderfully rich new make spirit.

Lands’ End Launches Holiday “#MonogramMonday” Campaign Searching for Monogram Matches

At Lands’ End, monogramming costs just $6 per monogram and $10 on most luggage, towel, and sheet sets. Most items can accommodate a monogram of up to 10 characters on one line. (Some items, like baby blankets, can accommodate a monogram of up to 15 characters on up to 3 lines.) To celebrate the company’s busiest monogramming season, today Lands’ End has launched #MonogramMonday, a fun campaign searching for individuals with initials to match monograms posted on Lands’ End’s social platforms.

holiday_highres_01

Each Monday at 8:00 a.m. (CST) from December 1December 22, 2014, Lands’ End will post a photo or video of a three-lettered monogram on Twitter (@LandsEndPR & @LandsEnd), Facebook (www.facebook.com/landsend) and Instagram (@LandsEnd_PR & @LandsEnd). The lucky-named individuals whose personal initials match the posted monogram in any order can enter at www.landsend.com/monogrammonday within 24 hours.  All entries matching the monogram will be collected and one winner will be chosen at random to win a $1,000 Lands’ End gift card each week.

holiday_highres_31

During the holiday season, November and December, the monogramming department will go through 3,600 spools of thread – the equivalent of 10,800 miles of thread. The company offers 30 different thread colors to help create a truly personalized look with a monogram, with Parchment being the most popular thread color during the holiday season due to the high volume of Christmas stockings monogrammed. Customers can choose from a single initial, three initials or a word, and then select from a variety of font styles for each choice, with “Mom” and “Dad” being the most popular monograms.

Monogramming at Lands’ End is our specialty and we love to see how creative our customers and employees can be with thread colors, phrases and words that help to uniquely personalize everything from cashmere sweaters, down vests, canvas totes and fleece throws to even slippers and socks,” said Steve Rado, SVP, chief marketing officer, Lands’ End. “We thought we’d join in the fun this season by offering a fun, engaging campaign focusing on monogramming.  So, check with us each Monday from December 1 through December 22 to see if your initials match.”

Experience “Santa’s Journey to the Stars” at Macy’s Herald Square This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is clear for takeoff at Macy’s Herald Square with the unveiling of its 2014 Christmas windows. Titled “Santa’s Journey to the Stars,” this year’s seasonal spectacular traces the adventures of Alex, a young boy who receives a magical and mystical telescope that enables him to experience the wonder of Christmas on other planets before landing back on Earth at the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Accompanied by his dog Bella and escorted through the galaxy by none other than the one-and-only Santa Claus, Alex’s otherworldly voyage will amaze and enchant children of all ages as they too embark on their very own out-of-this-world adventure. The 2014 Christmas windows at Macy’s Herald Square will be on display through December 26. It is estimated that during peak hours over 10,000 people per hour will pass by the windows.

Macy's Herald Square Unveils its 2014 Christmas Window Spectacular--"Santa's Journey to the Stars." John Minchillo/AP Images for Macy's Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Macy's)

Macy’s Herald Square Unveils its 2014 Christmas Window Spectacular–“Santa’s Journey to the Stars.” John Minchillo/AP Images for Macy’s Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Macy’s)

Created by Roya Sullivan, award-winning designer and Macy’s National Director of Window Presentation, Macy’s 2014 Christmas windows combine the wonder of modern technology with stunning visual elements and a dose of nostalgia. Following a child’s imaginary journey through space, the six Broadway windows will showcase one-of-a-kind planet-scapes, countless custom designed toys, handmade elves and an interactive game, all accented by thousands of LED lights. Nearly 85% of the installation is foam, with sculptures carved and treated to resemble a wide variety of textures and effects, such as the surface of the moon, or the gleaming face of one of the celestial beings within. In addition, spectators will be able to watch the story unfold chapter-by-chapter in animated form with the assistance of high definition video monitors set within each window.

Below is a brief description of each window, along with the story that is told as visitors move from window to window on their journey:

Window 1
Alex was an extraordinary boy, his telescope was no ordinary toy.
On the night he spotted Mercury he saw a sleigh and eight reindeer—then he and his dog Bella were soaring the skies! “Now you can join me among the stars
to see how other planets celebrate Christmas!”
They whizzed on past Mercury, which is a little bit quirky: hotter than an oven by day, colder than a freezer by night.

The story of “Santa’s Journey to the Stars” begins as our hero Alex is seen in his bedroom marveling at his favorite gift of all…a telescope from Santa. Suddenly, Santa himself appears and, quicker than a wink, Alex and his dog Bella are soaring through the skies on their extraterrestrial experience.

Window 2
The second planet from the sun, Venus is also a second source of North Pole fun: On this home away from home, Santa’s elves run a spare workshop to assemble all the gifts that fill the rest of the galaxy’s kids’ wish lists.

The excitement of the journey builds inside this window when Santa, Alex and Bella land on Venus. Little do the people on Earth know that Santa uses Venus as a second workshop to build toys for all the good little children in the galaxy. Venus’ elves are hard at work in this window as the conveyer belt whizzes by filled to the brim with the fruits of their labor.

Window 3
Because it’s the color of Santa’s jacket, Mars is called the Red Planet, and it has something that is very hard to hide: Olympus Mons is the highest mountain in our solar system, taller than any on Earth! When the holidays come, so too does the fun, and Martians decorate it to spread good cheer and mirth.

The next stop is Mars, otherwise known as the Red Planet, where our traveling trio takes a whimsical ride on a Mars rover, soaring high above the festivities below. The resident Martians have truly “painted the town red” in honor of the season and, as a salute to one of the greatest holiday traditions here on Earth, have incorporated balloons from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade into their jubilee.

Window 4
The two biggest planets have out-of-this world facets: Jupiter has a whopping 67 moons, each with its own tradition and well worth a visit. The folks on Saturn are speed demons and hold holiday races upon its rings.

After experiencing life on Mars, it is now off to Jupiter, the “Gas Giant,” and the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter has 67 moons, more than any other planet and, during the holidays, each moon tries to outdo the other with their fanciful holiday celebrations. A quick jaunt to Saturn finds the locals engaging in friendly competition as they race around the planet’s rings.

Window 5
Uranus and Neptune are known as the “Ice Giants” because they are the coldest of all. What’s even cooler is how their folks get festive at night
by throwing the galaxy’s biggest snowball fight.

The fun turns interactive inside our next window as Earthling onlookers are invited to play a seasonally inspired game which vividly lights up a miniature ice city. In the meantime, competition of a different sort occurs within the window as a snowball fight for the ages unfolds between our “Ice Giants,” Uranus and Neptune.

Window 6
Alex and Bella now knew all about the jubilation of the other planets’ celebrations! They would not forget soon what they learned about holidays across the planets and moons, but Santa knew they were ready for their own Christmas on Earth.

It all comes together in the grand finale of “Santa’s Journey to the Stars” as Alex comes back down to Earth marveling at all he has experienced throughout his otherworldly adventure. Finding himself at the Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade, our hero feels a warm and familiar comfort at the sight of the balloons floating on the parade route and, as his friend Santa Claus arrives at last to signal the start of the holiday season, he realizes that, no matter the fun that was had in space, there will be nothing like his Christmas celebration here on Earth.

img3950_9726_2592_1944

Macy’s was the first department store to feature Christmas window displays when RH Macy himself began the tradition of animated windows in 1899 at Macy’s original 14th street location and has been enchanting generations of spectators since. This year, spectators will view custom-made planets, handmade elves and custom toys, all highlighted by thousands of custom LED lights and each Christmas window display is a project nearly a year in the making as plans for the next year’s windows begin in January, almost immediately after the windows are taken down. It takes a dedicated team of over 250 of Santa’s helpers to bring the windows to life including Macy’s display artists, graphic artists, sculptural artists, animators, carpenters, electricians and music and sound experts, with  the installation of the Christmas windows accomplished in 21 days and nights.

According to Sullivan, “This year’s Christmas windows will symbolize the power of magical thinking and the tradition of storytelling where we celebrate, not only children’s imagination, but our own inner-child. We have combined our homage to today’s tech-savvy child with a nostalgic dream to travel through space with Santa. This theme is brought to life by combining the technological and interactive elements with old school artistry forming a unique marriage resulting in something original and artistic.”