Celebrating Thanksgiving in 2020

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Another holiday during the pandemic means another opportunity to find alternative ways to celebrate!  For many, this will mean a very different Thanksgiving for 2020.  CDC Guidelines advise against large, indoor gatherings – indeed, any gatherings with people outside of your household carry the risk of transmission.  However, with a bit of creativity, you can still enjoy the day and get to spend some quality time giving thanks with loved ones.

Virtual Dinner

Thank goodness for technology giving us virtual ways to see each other.  On Thanksgiving Day you can set up a video call with your friends or family – get in the kitchen together and prepare your meal, or set them up on a device and seat them virtually at your table. If you are not tech-savvy, don’t forget the power of a phone call to make someone feel connected and included.

Dinner Delivery

If you have family who live nearby, or friends and neighbors who you know will be alone, why not prepare their favorite elements of the traditional turkey dinner and drop it off at their house in advance?  Then you can arrange to eat “together” on the day.

Movie or Game Night

Family movie night or board games are a great way for people in your household to enjoy themselves. You can also extend this to people outside of your home – several movie streaming services, such as Netflix, offer a way to watch movies together even if you are in separate houses.  There are also apps that enable you to take part in games such as trivia or card games with other households via the internet.

Get Outside

If the weather complies, a good walk is a great way to blow off the cobwebs and work up an appetite!  If you are walking with members of another household, remember to wear your masks and keep your distance.

Give Back

As well as giving thanks, the holidays are also a good time to give back.  Food pantries or banks are always grateful for donations of non-perishable items and toiletries –  contact them to find out what they are most in need of.  Or get together with the children and write thank you cards to essential workers that can be safely delivered before or after the holiday.  Another way to mark the holiday is to take part in a gratitude activity – gather people in your household together and share things you are grateful for.  Even in these tough times, it’s possible to find reasons to feel thankful this year.

Let us know what your plans are for this Thanksgiving!

Tag us in your Thanksgiving adventures on Instagram and Facebook with #SelectSothebys!

 

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History of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Since 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has been the official kick-off to the holiday season. Each year, more than 50 million TV viewers joined by 3.5 million people in New York City tune in for this beloved event through Manhattan. In 2020, the parade will take place with no audience and will air on NBC and Telemundo on Thursday, November 26 from 9 am to 12 pm in all time zones. The parade will not take place along its usual route, but the broadcast will feature theatrical and musical performances from the casts of HamiltonJagged Little Pill, and Mean Girls, as well as the Rockettes, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots, the Muppets from Sesame Street, and many others.

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Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade, this event was started by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Employees and professional entertainers dressed in vibrant costumes to march from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street. That very first parade was such a success that Macy’s declared it an annual event. More than 250,000 people attended the inaugural parade!

ILNY_BLOG_034_53d7bf8f-785a-4875-a05d-57ba6639d10cIn 1927, the parade’s signature giant balloons made their debut. The first-ever balloon in the Macy’s Parade was Felix the Cat. The next year, Felix was filled with helium and simply released into the sky at the end of the parade. Don’t worry, this practice of releasing balloons skyward stopped in 1932. Since Felix, parade balloons have featured more than 100 of the world’s most beloved animated characters.

The parade continued to thrive through the 1930s, with crowds of more than 1 million people gathered in the city. Mickey Mouse made his parade debut in 1934.

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During World War II, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was suspended, due to demand for rubber and helium. Balloons were deflated and donated to the government, providing 60 pounds of scrap rubber to aid the war effort.

In 1945, the parade resumed and two years later, the film Miracle on 34th Street, featuring footage from the 1946 parade, made the Macy’s Parade a household name. The following year, the parade was broadcast on national television for the very first time.

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Macy’s creative team began building parade floats in 1968. To this day, parade floats continue to be designed exclusively by Macy’s employees. Floats stand up to 40′ tall and 28′ wide, but each float can fold into a 12.5′ by 8′ box for easier transportation to the parade route.

Of all the famed balloons in the Macy’s Parade, it’s Snoopy who holds the record for the most balloons in parade history.


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Updated 11/13/20 Nov 07, 2018 by I LOVE NY Staff

Dramatic Doorways | Five Homes with Colorful Front Doors

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A good first impression is everything. From Cape Cod to California wine country, these front doors greet guests with doses of cheery, welcoming color.

Striking Santa Fe Style

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Santa Fe, New Mexico | Neil Lyon GroupSotheby’s International Realty – Santa Fe – 326 Grant Avenue Brokerage

Sophisticated Southwestern design distinguishes this award-winning three-bedroom home in the exclusive community of Las Campanas, northwest of downtown Santa Fe. Contributing to the unique ambience are carved columns, archways, outsize ceiling vigas, custom wooden lintels and ceiling treatments, and distinctively detailed doors—including an arched double front door featuring a regionally fitting turquoise hue, ornate carvings, and rustic hardware. A covered pavilion and a traditional portal with a kiva fireplace offer intimate outdoor spaces with mountain views and access to a greenbelt.

Hillside Haven Near Hollywood

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Los Angeles, California | Jeffrey YoungSotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage

Perched on a hillside near Bronson Canyon, this cheerful two-bedroom home is a delightful aerie just minutes from Franklin Village and Hollywood. Vivid double front doors offer an inviting introduction to the home’s crisp, clean, light-flooded interiors as well as its balconies, sunny deck, refreshing new swimming pool, and thriving terraced gardens threaded with pathways. The home also includes an attached one-bedroom bungalow with a kitchenette—a perfect private retreat for guests.

Charming Carmel Cottage

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Carmel Valley, California | Courtney StanleySotheby’s International Realty – Carmel Rancho Brokerage

This remodeled three-bedroom home is replete with California charm. The light green shade of the entry door—and a Dutch door opening to the dining room—echoes the color of the surrounding grasses, ferns, and majestic oaks. In the living area, a dramatic stone fireplace creates welcoming warmth, and oversized windows take advantage of expansive views. Patios and a generous deck accommodate outdoor living with ease. The property also features a one-bedroom guesthouse and a studio, gym, or office.

Wine Country Retreat

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Napa, California | Cheri StanleySotheby’s International Realty – Wine Country – Broadway Brokerage

Beneath the dramatic pitch of this home’s covered entryway, a bold red door offers a welcoming burst of color and opens to the open-plan living room, dining room, and chef’s kitchen. The four bedrooms overlook and open to the five-acre property, which includes garden beds, a vineyard, pastureland, a barn, and a guesthouse or office with its own covered porch. The estate is ideal for indoor-outdoor living and entertaining, with sun-washed patios and terraces, a fire pit, and a tennis court.

Osterville Oasis

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Osterville, Massachusetts | Peggy Rowland & Samuel WilsonSotheby’s International Realty – Cape Cod – Osterville Brokerage

On a peaceful street on quiet Little Island, this lovingly maintained four-bedroom residence boasts a rare blend of elegance and comfort. The serene blue tone of the charming front door mirrors the nearby waters and opens to living and entertaining spaces—and beyond, an enviable expansive deck—all designed to make the most of the idyllic views of enveloping greenery, marshland, and sunsets. The home enjoys deeded access to the bay and is minutes from the marinas of Osterville Village.

Discover luxury homes from around the world for sale and rent on sothebysrealty.com

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The New SELECT is Here!

We are very excited to announce the revealing of our Fall edition of SELECT! Click here to read the digital edition.

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Stay Home | 4 Reasons Why Home Matters

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There are many famous quotes about home – “home is where the heart is,” “there’s no place like home,” and “home is where your story begins,” to name a few. These are sentiments we can get behind now, more than ever. Let’s settle into our favorite spots and take a look at the importance of home.

A Place to Reflect

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Home is a place where you feel most comfortable, which is why it feels so good to come home after time away. It’s a place where can you curl up with a good book and the place where your bed and pillow await after a long day. Now that many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before, we may forget that special feeling of “coming home,” and how nice it is to walk through our own front door every day to a place of warmth and familiarity. Now is a perfect time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go in the future – and yes, that can include a travel bucket list.

An Expression of Lifestyle

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As many of us are spending more time at home, we’ve been able to better evaluate the everyday functionality, layout, and aesthetic of our households. Our time at home right now affords us the opportunity to experiment with our space and whether it is truly working to best fit our needs. Consider reorganizing drawers, pantries, and closets as an easy weekend project. For something new, consider rearranging the layout of a room, ordering some new accessories or a new patio set, and if you have the time, trying a new paint color. Making small updates to your surroundings helps your home continue to be a place of comfort and inspiration.

Memories and History

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A favorite coffee mug from a special trip, a treasured family photo, memories of funny kitchen mishaps, and the first time you walked through the door and called this space home are all things to remember during a time like this – especially if you’re beginning to feel restless. Take a moment to look around your home and take stock of all it has provided over the years – let those memories bring a smile to your face. Remember, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t make new memories; virtually visit a museum or take in a live performance to help pass the time.

A Home Means Hope

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Having a place to call home sets you up for success and gives you a hope for a better future. New Story has provided thousands of homes to families in need and now, during this current health crisis, is helping families in the U.S. that are facing homelessness. Learn more about New Story and how you can make a difference and see how they’ve partnered with Icon to revolutionize how they’re building homes on the Apple TV+ series, “Home.”

Home is where the heart is – share your favorite part about your home in the comments below and remember, we’re all in this together.

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Selling Homes in a Time of Social Distancing

Selling Homes in a Time of Social Distancing

By Nick Reisman City of Albany

Realtor Dona Frank Federico is always on the phone.

“My husband says the phone is glued to my ear,” she said before meeting with a home seller near Saratoga Lake. “He’s probably right.”

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What You Need To Know

  • The real estate market is thriving in part on low interest rates created in response to the pandemic.
  • Saratoga Springs realtor Dona Frank Federico says she’s never been busier.
  • Existing home sales increased by more than 20 percent in June.
  • But the market can be fickle. The housing market collapsed in the 2007-08 recession.

She takes a personal touch with her work. Often people end up being friends with Dona after home is bought or sold.

But that personal touch has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, with mask wearing and hand sanitizer a must.

“The challenge is just making sure you know who you are around and asking all the right questions,” she said.

But believe it or not, Dona has never been busier. She works in the highly competitive Saratoga Springs real estate market. That’s been one of the few bright spots of the upstate New York economy.

National existing home sales rose more than 20 percent in June. That’s because interest rates haven’t been lower in years. It’s made easier to borrow money and buy a house.

The coronavirus pandemic has created economic chaos across the country, leading to skyrocketing unemployment.

And yet the real estate industry has been thriving. That’s driven in large part by those low interest rates, but also pent up demand and the likelihood that a lot of people just want to find ways of social distancing and move to rural areas now.

Dona knows what it’s like to work in an industry that’s been devastated by a recession. She got her real estate license back in 2006.

A year later: The housing market collapsed. Credit markets froze up and demand for homebuying fell.

But ultimately Dona stayed in real estate. Now she’s offering up that slice of the American dream and finding people places to live as our homes become a refuge during the pandemic.

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Where the wealth lives in the Albany region

By   – Research Director, Albany Business Review
 Updated 

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 Think about where the wealth lives in the region and few things might come to mind: Neighborhoods in Albany’s suburbs, downtown Saratoga Springs or summer homes on Lake George.

While those places are among the wealthiest in the region, a closer look at the data shows that wealth in the region is spread across many locations.

Topping The List is the 12148 ZIP code, which covers Rexford and bounds the Hudson River in southern Saratoga County. It has highest median household income in the region.

But while Saratoga County has the most entries on this List with 14, eight of the region’s 11 counties are represented among the 50 wealthiest spots in the region.

The Census data for 2018, the most recent available, pegs household income in Rexford at over $116,000 a year — one of only six ZIP codes to top $100K in the region.

By comparison, the national average for median household income in 2018 was $63,179.

The data comes from the five-year American Community Survey from 2018, and includes all ZIP codes with at least 2,000 residents.

Rexford is also the spot with the highest average value for homes at $340,700, coming out just ahead of Slingerlands ($340,400) and Saratoga Springs ($340,100).

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Your Guide to Saratoga Springs, NY

Your Ultimate guide for where to stay, what to do and where to eat & drink! 

Saratoga Race Track

Located 3.5 hours from New York City, most people associate Saratoga Springs for its famous horse racing. But has far more to offer than its equestrian reputation! Situated just below the Adirondack Mountains, its namesake comes from the natural springs which can be found all over this historic city. The springs, believed to have healing powers, attracted wealthy visitors for decades before horse racing made its debut in Saratoga Springs in the 1860’s.

Between these two highbrow attractions, money has been poured into this city over quite some time – resulting in some really fantastic architecture and cultural attractions. It’s the perfect spot for health, history, or horse buffs. Read on for your perfect weekend guide to Saratoga Springs, NY!

Click here for the full guide!

 

5 Ways To Keep Your Mind & Body Healthy While Working From Home

If you are starting to feel trapped and stagnant as you adjust to working from home, here are a few tips to help keep your mind sharp and your body healthy.

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Congratulations – Top Agent of the Month!

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Congratulations Allison Bradley – our top producing agent for the month of March!! Your dedication, hard work and professionalism is greatly appreciated!