19th annual Lunar New Year Parade

The Chinese New Year Parade is one of the biggest spectacles of Chinatown. New York City is  home to the highest Chinese-American population of any U.S. city. With an estimated population of 90,000 to 100,000 people, Manhattan's Chinatown is one of the oldest Chinese ethnic enclaves. 
The population density in Chinatown is 37% higher than New York and the median age in Chinatown is 13% higher than New York.In Chinatown 76.84% of the population is Asian.

2018 is the "Year of the Dog" according to the Chinese twelve-animal zodiac system. The Dog  is the 11th of a dozen zodiac animals in the Chinese calendar.
As one myth has it, the Jade Emperor decided to place animals in the order they arrived at his party. The monkey, rooster and dog were in another country helping a god defeat evil spirits, and afterward they headed to the emperor’s party together. Since they arrived at the same time, the emperor decided to order them based on when they met the other country’s god. The dog became 11th, after the rooster, whose year was 2017.
The Year of the Dog kicked off earlier this month,  on February 16, 2018. But the city's big party for Lunar New Year was today, on  a rainy Sunday afternoon. 

Skating in Central Park. Wollman Rink and Donald Trump.

Wollman Rink is a public ice rink in the southern part of Central Park, close  to the famous hotel Plaza, Tiffany and Trump tower.
Before Central Park was completed in the 1870s,  there was a  lake in the  park,  connected  to the City's water system,  that was used for skating.  On October 13, 1857  the Board of Commissioners of Central Park offered prizes of four hundred to two thousand dollars for the four best proposals for "laying out the park."  Contest entries came from both professional and amateur designers. First prize went to plan 33, the "Greensward" plan, submitted by the park's superintendent, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the English-born architect Calvert Vaux. On this plan the lake was labeled "skating pond".  In order to ensure proper skating conditions, the Lake was drained to a level that eased the freezing of ice each year.

The world's first artificial ice rink was made in London in December 1841. But it wasn't made from frozen water: the means to freeze large amounts of liquid simply didn't exist at the time.
The world's first mechanically frozen ice rink was the Glaciarium, opened by John Gamgee in a tent in a small building just off the Kings Road in Chelsea, London, on 7 January 1876.
The first  indoor rink  in New York City with a large ice surface of 20,000 square feet for ice skating was open in 1894 in Ice Palace at Lexington and 107th Street. This was the first of three artificial ice rinks that were operating in New York City during the mid-1890’s.
Two years later st. Nicholas Rink, the home of the St. Nicholas Hockey Club of the American Amateur Hockey League,  was open on the northeast corner of 66th Street and Columbus Avenue. The  builders included Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Jacob Astor.
In 1949, philanthropist Kate Wollman donated funds for a new kind of "artificial rink" to be built in Central Park.  Ms. Wollman gave $600,000 toward the construction of Wollman Rink as a memorial to her parents, Mr. J. Wollman and Mrs. Bettie Wollman, and her four brothers.
 The rink has been a success from the day it opened – over 300,000 skaters glided across the ice in its first year of operation. For the next 30 years  Wollman Memorial Rink was one of New York's most picturesque seasonal joys.  This rink has been included as a backdrop for numerous NYC movies, including “Serendipity” and “Love Story.”

The rink was closed in 1980 for a proposed two years of renovations.  The renovations were suppose to take 2.5 years, but 6 years later the rink was still in disrepair. The project was delayed repeatedly by errors in design and planning, and in 1986   it was halted because of leaks in its new refrigeration system. The rink was an emblem of civic dysfunction and    the city seemingly had no idea how fix it.  

In June 1986  the 39-year-old Donald Trump  made an offer to Mayor Ed Koch to rebuild the Wollman Memorial Skating Rink in Central Park at the city's expense.   He brashly offered to reopen the rink before Christmas.    “If Koch doesn’t like this offer,” Trump said, “then let him have the same people who have built it for the last six years do it for the next six years.”  
 Donald Trump said in an interview with the Times, "I don't want my name attached to losers. So far the Wollman Rink has been one of the great losers. I'll make it a winner.''
The offer was accepted and  Trump finished the job in just four months at a final cost 25% below the budget.   “I guess it says a lot about the city,” Trump said at the grand opening of the Wollman  Rink, “but I don’t have to say what it says.”

Last week, February 12 2018,  President   Donald Trump mentioned his successful Wollman Rink renovation from 1986 at a press conference for his proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.
 "It's really no different" than roads or bridges, he said of fixing the rink. A key feature of Trump's proposed infrastructure plan is a reduction of regulatory red tape, streamlining projects typically given a timeline of five to 10 years down to two.

The Wollman Rink is open  for skating  from late October to early April  weather permitting .  The price  for the skating   is high: $19( weekend) plus $9 for rent plus $5 for the locker. And meanwhile there is  a place in Central Park where you  can skate absolutely free if you  have  your own skates!   Located on the East Side between 72nd and 75th Streets, Conservatory Water is open for free ice skating when conditions permit and the ice is consistently at least six inches thick.