Blog Archive


How the holidays in New York City have changed over the last 100 years

Holiday shopping 1946
Holiday shopping at Macy’s in 1946. AP PhotoCarl Nesensohn
  • There’s something magical about the holiday season in New York City.

  • Symbols of the holidays in the city, like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, have been around for decades.

  • Other traditions, such as holiday shopping, look a little different today.

  • The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up some traditions even more, and many major events are going virtual this year.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Big Apple usually draws millions of people from around the world to partake in holiday traditions like ice skating in Central Park and browsing iconic department stores’ decorative windows with hot cocoa in-hand.

While some features of the holidays in the city have stayed the same over the past 100 years, many others have changed. This year we’ll see even more changes to the city’s beloved traditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here’s what the

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  • November 28, 2020

Kiss Plan Massive, Extravagant (and Safe) New Year’s Eve Livestream Show in Dubai

Much of the world will be spending New Year’s Eve sequestered from one another in quarantine. Kiss, however, will be blowing up 2020 in 100 feet of flames in a lavish, decadent, record-breaking (and Covid-safe) rock & roll livestream in Dubai.

For their first show in an ongoing farewell tour — Kiss (and the rest of the live-music business) have been on pause for most of the year — they wanted to go bigger, even by their own notoriously grandiose standards. Deducing that it’d be the only way to properly scale their shows for an at-home audience, the group is plotting one of the highest production livestream experiences of the Covid-era, with a 250-foot stage, 50 surrounding 4k cameras, and what the band hopes will set the Guinness World Record for the biggest-ever pyro show. Kiss will be performing outdoors from Dubai’s Atlantis Hotel, and while a majority of fans

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  • November 21, 2020

‘Supernatural’s’ queer fandom kept it alive for 15 years, but the show never gave them what they really wanted

Actors Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins attend the Paley Center for Media's 35th Annual PaleyFest Los Angeles "Supernatural" at Dolby Theatre on March 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Actors Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins attend the Paley Center for Media’s 35th Annual PaleyFest Los Angeles “Supernatural” at Dolby Theatre on March 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
  • “Supernatural” is one of the longest-running scripted primetime series in US TV history, ending its 15-year run on November 19, 2020. 

  • The unlikely TV horror smash hit took off in the early 2010s, getting renewed for an additional 10 seasons after its originally planned season 5 ending. 

  • The long-time success of “Supernatural” is thanks to its passionate online fandom, which rose to prominence on Tumblr and was notably powered by a young, LGBTQ fanbase.

  • Insider interviewed former and current “Supernatural” fans about the show’s complex history with “queerbaiting” and LGBTQ representation.

  • This article contains spoilers for the last season of “Supernatural,” but not the final episode.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Supernatural” was never

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  • November 20, 2020

What Will This Year’s Ski Season Mean for Real Estate Investors?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, it was just as ski resorts were starting to wind down for the season. Now, as snow has started falling around the country and people are deciding whether it’s safe to travel, it’s clear this winter season could look very different from years past.

Ski resorts plan for business as usual — sort of

Back in March, some resorts decided to close up early. Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN) closed its North American resorts on March 15, 2020, a decision that negatively impacted its revenue. It decided to offer season pass holder credits to the next season in order to encourage renewal.

This move may have paid off. Vail, a stock which has been battered in recent months, reported that season pass sales through September 18, 2020, for the upcoming season were up 18% in units over the previous season, although revenue was down

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  • November 16, 2020

Oregon’s exploding whale, 50 years later: 10 ways to celebrate the big blast of blubber

On Nov. 12, 1970, a sperm whale carcass was blown to pieces on the Oregon coast, sending huge chunks of blubber falling not just onto innocent bystanders, but into the history books.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years. This is the same exploded whale carcass that earned national attention in the 1990s, regained fame in the early days of YouTube, and continues to captivate us to this day.

The legend of the exploding whale has been kept alive by a rotating cast of reporters, writers and at least one musician. Untold millions have watched the footage online. The r/Portland community on Reddit has paid homage with exploding-whale-themed upvote and downvote buttons.

That makes it easy to celebrate the exploding whale’s big anniversary this year.

Whether you’re watching the video for the hundredth time, reading Dave Barry’s column or listening to former KATU reporter Paul Linnman recount the tale,

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  • November 12, 2020

As pandemic rages, this winter could be worst in years for homelessness in Greater Cincinnati

CINCINNATI — They’re holding cardboard signs at intersections, making camp under bridge approaches and curling up in doorways to sleep.

A growing number of people are homeless and unsheltered in Greater Cincinnati, and advocates and service providers are worried the coronavirus pandemic could make this winter the most difficult in recent memory for hundreds of the region’s most vulnerable residents.

“It has been years since we had someone freeze to death on the streets of Cincinnati when there was not a shelter bed available for them,” said Kevin Finn, CEO of the nonprofit Strategies to End Homelessness. “But this year we’re potentially looking at a reality where people are on the street because they cannot access a shelter bed.”

Homeless shelters have reduced capacity to allow for social distancing between the people who sleep there. Some also are keeping space empty for people who are homeless and need to quarantine,

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  • November 12, 2020

Meet Joe Biden’s 2 Dogs, the First White House Pets in 4 Years – E! Online

For the first time in four years, and in a move that restores a centuries-old tradition, the White House is set to gain a First Pet. Actually, two.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was announced on Saturday, and wife Jill Biden have two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. The latter is also set to become the first rescue dog to live at the White House.

After the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Joe kept his promise to Jill to get a puppy if President Barack Obama won, gifting his wife with Champ, a three-month-old pooch purchased from a Pennsylvania breeder. Obama made the same promise to his daughters and fulfilled it, bringing home their first dog, Bo.

The Bidens’ granddaughters were the ones who named Champ. The name also has sentimental significance for the President-elect. In his 2008 Vice Presidential campaign speeches,

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  • November 9, 2020

Booking Holdings: Travel Recovery Will Take Years

Booking Holdings, the world’s largest online travel company, continues to feel the weight of the pandemic, warning investors Thursday (Nov. 5) that the outbreak’s current U.S. and European surge will make it very challenging to break even this year. But the company also said that it continues to innovate with things like an in-house “seamless payments network.”

“Although the progress we are seeing leaves me optimistic on the long-term outlook for our industry, I continue to recognize that it will likely be years — and not quarters — before the travel market returns to pre-COVID volumes,” Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel said on the company’s third quarter earnings call.

Booking Holdings, parent company of, Kayak, Priceline, OpenTable and other online-reservation brands, said gross bookings fell 47 percent in the third quarter from year-ago levels. However, at least that marked an improvement from the 91 percent drop the company reported

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  • November 6, 2020

20 Years Ago, Paper Mario Made the Mushroom Kingdom Feel Like a Real Place

The box art for the video game Paper Mario.

Artwork courtesy of Nintendo

As the biggest gaming franchise of all time, it’s unsurprising that the Mario name has sparked several offshoots, be it kart racing, golfing or board games. The majority have been good, often definitive of their respective consoles’ libraries, while others have been so shockingly egregious that they’ve spawned a sea of memes – lookin’ at you, Hotel Mario. Few, however, have been as truly divisive as the Paper Mario series, the first of which was originally released on the Nintendo 64 in Japan in 2000 and in other territories the following year.

It combined Mario’s block-bonking, mushroom-munching, turtle-hopping tropes with the turn-based battle and level-up systems of the role-playing genre, a setup that required more cognitive investment than jumping on enemies’ heads. This reimagining of the Mushroom Kingdom earned it widespread acclaim, while its Gamecube sequel, The Thousand-Year Door, would build on this success

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  • November 4, 2020

What’s new for this year’s ski season

a group of people standing on top of a snow covered mountain

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When the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the nation last March, life came to an abrupt halt and even ski resorts were forced to close early.

Vail announced on March 17 the closure of its 34 North American resorts and other ski properties that hadn’t already shuttered soon followed.

Some skiers were left wondering if the resorts would reopen in time for their spring ski trips, while others were already worried about the possibility of the cancellation of next season.

“I think a lot of people are worried about the unknown,” said Jamie Storrs, Vail’s senior manager of communications for the Eastern region. “A lot of this is new, but in the end, we’re all going to be

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  • November 3, 2020