Tag Archives: New York

Making Hanukkah Memories

This post is my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday contest. The rules can be found here: Details and fine print

Making Hanukkah Memories (225 words)

Shaina knew the Hanukkah story …

the miracle of one night’s oil lasting for eight …

how this connected her with Jews around the world and throughout history. 

She could recite the candle-lighting prayers in both Hebrew and English. 


But for Shaina, family traditions meant just as much. Every year, Bubbe visited from far away. 

Together, they enjoyed the sizzle of the oil … 

the scent of frying dough …

the delicious warmth of sufganiyot …

a holiday treat for all their senses.

But this year Shaina and Mommy planned a surprise.

“Bubbe!” Shaina pulled her grandma inside. Bubbe sniffed the air for the familiar smells of Hanukkah treats. Nothing. Bubbe looked puzzled.

“Tonight we’re going to see the World’s Largest Menorah.” 

Shaina, Mommy, and Bubbe rode the subway to the city. They swayed as it raced around a curve. She squeezed their hands when the train stopped. Shaina’s eyes grew big when they reached the sidewalk. Smiles spread across their faces. A giant menorah loomed above 5th Avenue. 

The scent of oil filled the air. They shared sufganiyot. as a crane climbed to light the Shamash candle and then the first night’s candle. Beneath the glow of the menorah, they discovered boxes with small menorahs for children to take home. Shaina chose one. A menorah of her own!  Making new memories is the best holiday treat of all.

Lighting the menorah

World’s Largest Menorah history and 2019 schedule


Bubbe – Grandma in Yiddish

sufganiyot – Donut in Hebrew

menorah – a nine-branched candle holder used at Hanukkah

shamash – helper in Hebrew; the shamash candle is the one used to light the other candles in the menorah 

Celebrating Dad’s Birthday

My father has been gone 5 years. He died less than 2 weeks after his birthday so the time between the two dates has become a time where I think of him often.

The first year, my sister and I went to my favorite hot dog stand from childhood and ate Chicago dogs with fries in his honor.

This year, I was with my nephew and we happened to notice a shop that sold ice cream filled donuts! When the children were little, he had convinced them even if they were full, there was a separate “dessert pocket” in their stomachs so they could always join him for dessert. His favorite dessert was profiteroles and this was basically a giant version of one.

Halloween done perfectly (Piermont part one)

Playing tourist yesterday in a quaint New York town on the Hudson River, I saw this inviting display outside of a store. I’m not a fan of scary decorations, artificial cobwebs (since I work hard to get rid of real ones), or anything with blood & gore. This embodies my idea of Halloween. 🎃 🧡🌼🎃🧡🌼

10 things I saw and learned in NYC

The pigeons are enormous! And in Union Square, you can find the “Pigeon Lady” who sells handmade felt pigeons and rats.

Seeing the Statue of Liberty is always meaningful. A good reminder of what truly makes this country great.

The 9/11 Memorial places a white rose on the name of those honored when it is their birthday.

The beauty of honoring a tragic event can be found in the buildings and fountain near ground zero.

There is a street near Battery Park where all the tree trunks are wearing crocheted blankets that look like they were made by my aunt.

Washington Park and the arch are reminiscent of European plazas I’ve been lucky enough to visit. Vibrantly populates on a beautiful February day.

There is a building in TriBeCa that looks like Jenga for giants.

Street art in Brooklyn looking at the Manhattan skyline reminding us to say yes to adventure.

Poets House in Battery Park is a hidden gem full of poetry anthologies for all ages in a magnificent glass building overlooking the water.

One World Trade Center from next to the Brooklyn Carousel.