November 12th Show
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On today's show:
Holiday Travel with Christmas Markets
History of Thanksgiving
Special Guest, David Longfield-Smith with
Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida
Film Fest was a success, if you weren’t able to join us you can look up the films on the NIFF website and some of them will be showing up on Video on Demand through Netflix, etc.
Here’s the list of winners, and not unlike the Oscars, I tend to watch this list, then go on to the others if I have a movie night and can’t decide.
Film Fest Awards!
Audience Award: Short Film Audience Award: Narrative Audience Award: Documentary
Director Annie O’Neil Director Michael Curtis Johnson Director Shaina K Allen
*Up for an Academy Award Nomination
Neapolitan Award Rising Star Award Indie Spirit Award
Director Jake Oelman Director Thomas Torrey Director Chris Brown
Director Logan Kibens
The Magic of Christmas Markets
Holiday travel can be such a treat when you get yourself near some these exquisite opportunities. Christmas market offer the magic of Christmas on so many levels and Fodors.com, the masters of travel, helped inspire this incredible list.
Where: Nuremberg, Germany
The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremburg is arguably the most popular Christmas market in all of Europe. The market opens the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent, when crowds gather to watch the Christkind (German for "Christ-child") open the festivities. Shimmering with colorful Christmas light, more than 180 wooden stands sell handcrafted Christmas ornaments, toys, games, and holiday treats. Visitors can (and should) enjoy cups of mulled wine and rum punch, or try traditional Nüremberg bratwurst and gingerbread. End the night with a carriage ride around Old Town, and take in the Christmas greens and decorations.
Insider Tip: Every year, Nüremberg schoolchildren take part in a lantern procession that passes through the market. Don't miss the event, which usually takes place the week before Christmas.
When: November 27–December 24, 2015
Where: Strasbourg, France
Known as the “Capital of Christmas," Strasbourg is home to Christkindlesmarik, France’s oldest and best holiday market. Christkindelsmarik comprises twelve markets that are organized by product. Visitors can sample bretzels, pain d’épices, and hot spiced wine at the Alsatian food stands at Place des Meuniers, or stop by the Place de la Gare market to browse local produce and crafts. Place Kléber holds the piece de resistance: a giant Christmas tree with shimmering ornaments and lights.
Insider Tip: Visitors will find 60 small wooden huts in Place Kléber, where different organizations take donations and explain their charitable mission. In keeping with holiday spirit, many visitors leave gifts by the Christmas tree for those in need.
When: November 27–December 31, 2015
Where to Stay: Hôtel Gutenberg is steps away from the market, and faces the city’s famous cathedral. Hôtel Cour du Corbeauwas originally opened as an inn in 1580, but behind its Middle Ages facade lie luxurious interiors.
TIVOLI GARDENS' CHRISTMAS MARKET
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is known for amusement park rides and restaurants, but it's also home to a vibrant Christmas market. Every year in November, the park is decked with bright lights and decorations, and transformed into a Christmas village. Fifty different stalls line the park’s pathways, offering traditional Christmas products and entertainment. Guests can visit Father Christmas in his den, purchase Scandinavian knitwear and traditional Christmas tree decorations, and sample Danish holiday treats like aebleskive (a pan-baked doughnut) and glögg (spiced wine with raisins and almonds).
Insider Tip: Many restaurants in Tivoli offer traditional Danish julefrokost, or Christmas lunch. The holiday feast includes pickled herring, meatballs, roast pork, fried duck, cheese, and rice pudding. Visitors won’t walk away hungry.
When: November 14, 2015–January 3, 2016
Where to Stay: You can stay right inside Tivoli at the exclusive Hotel Nimb, but know that the prices are sky-high. For something less expensive but still within walking distance of the market, book at room at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.
Where: Barcelona, Spain
It's easy to deck the halls in Barcelona at the Fira de Santa Llúcia. The market offers more than 280 stands selling artisanal Christmas wares and decorations. Stands are divided into four sections: Nativities and figures, greenery and plants, crafts, and simbombes (traditional instruments used for caroling). Products include handmade clothing and jewelry, natural Christmas trees, and handcrafted Christmas decorations. Visitors can take a break from holiday shopping to listen to choir music or watch Catalan dance performances.
Insider Tip: One of the best days to visit the market is on the Day of Santa Llúcia, December 13. On this day, the market features traditional Christmas activities such as storytelling, caroling, dance performances, and a parade.
When: November 27–December 23, 2015
Where to Stay: The market is located near Barcelona Cathedral, and Hotel Barcelona Catedral is the perfect place to stay after a day of shopping and entertainment. Also nearby is the Hotel Catalonia Catedral, a centrally located property near all the city’s main attractions.
TORONTO CHRISTMAS MARKET
Where: Toronto, Canada
The Toronto Christmas Market combines Old World charm with modern-day holiday attractions. Hosted in the city’s Distillery Historic District, the market features festive lighting and décor plus musical performances from carolers and Bavarian brass bands. The market’s beer gardens and hospitality lounges are especially popular, as guests can warm up with beer, mulled wine, or hot rum drinks. Visitors can also browse through local, handcrafted products and check out the market’s giant Christmas tree. Those with a competitive spirit can take part in the World Caroling Challenge, a group performance of some of the most well known Christmas tunes.
When: November 20–December 20, 2015
Where to Stay: Many hotels offer discounted rates for guests who attend the Christmas market, including The Westin Harbour Castle and The Omni King Edward Hotel. The hotels are both located in downtown Toronto, with easy access to the market.
Where: Vienna, Austria
Visitors will feel like they’ve stepped into a fairy tale at Vienna's Christmas markets. The city transforms its most popular squares into colorful Christmas villages, where guests can shop, eat, and explore to their heart’s content. Rathausplatz offers more than 150 stands with Christmas decorations, sweets, and hot brandied punch. The Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung features handmade crafts, cribs, and ceramics. Visitors can enjoy choral performances or ride the Christkindl Express, a train through the city’s winter wonderlands.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss Vienna’s city hall: Located near Rathausplatz, the hall becomes a giant advent calendar during the holiday season.
When: The dates of each market vary, but most run from mid-November to December 26.
Where to Stay: Most hotels in Vienna’s city center are within walking distance of the markets. Fleming’s Deluxe Hotel Wien-City is located behind Town Hall, and Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof is just steps away from the city’s Imperial Palace.
MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Where: Manchester, England
Featuring a melting pot of Christmas traditions, the Manchester Christmas Markets are divided into nine sites with a total of more than 300 stalls featuring a wide variety of local and European products. Vendors offer everything from handcrafted leather bags to specialty jams, chutneys, and liqueurs. Visitors can also enjoy delicacies from different countries, including Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella, and Dutch mini-pancakes; to keep warm, there are cups of glüwein, Spanish beer, and French-style hot chocolate.
Insider Tip: Consider bringing your own mug: All drinks at the market come in returnable glasses and mugs as a part of an environment-conscious program.
When: November 14–December 21, 2015
TALLINN CHRISTMAS MARKET
Where: Tallinn, Estonia
Enter a true winter wonderland at the Tallinn Christmas Market. Set in Tallinn’s picturesque Town Hall Square, the market features illuminated snow sculptures, a large Christmas tree, and glittering Christmas decorations and lights. Small chalets throughout the market sell handcrafted products, and local caterers offer authentic Estonian cuisine. Visitors can sample everything from blood pudding with sour cabbage to gingerbread. The market also hosts several different holiday-themed contests, including one for gingerbread making and Christmas tree decorating.
Insider Tip: Although the market is open until 7 pm, hot Christmas drinks are served until 11 each evening.
When: November 20, 2015–January 8, 2016
UNION SQUARE HOLIDAY MARKET
Union Square Holiday Market – New York, New York
This expansive market is the place to shop and eat in New York during the holidays, find hand-blown glass, handmade leather belts, salsas and brew your own beer kits, and munch on sweet and savory treats from Momofuku Milk Bar, Arancini Brothers and Indian restaurants. There is even an information booth if you are not sure where to start.
November 16th – December 24th, 2012
Monday – Friday: 11 AM – 8 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 7PM
COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY MARKET
Columbus Circle Holiday Market – New York, New York
A circular market fills this New York plaza landmark with food, vendors and holiday cheer. Shop for wooden puzzles, clothes, truffles and shearling, and then grab a cup of cider to carry with you on a stroll into the adjacent central park.
November 28th – December 24th, 2012
Monday – Saturday: 10 AM to 8 PM
Sunday: 10 AM to 7 PM
Saturday, December 24th: 10 AM to 4 PM
Downtown Holiday Market – Washington, D.C.
This Holiday market nestled between the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum features 60 vendors a day, including regional artisans, crafters and businesses selling ethically produced goods.
November 30 through December 23, 2012
12 to 8 PM
Christmas Village – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This Large Christmas Village is situated in Philadelphia’s iconic ‘Love’ Park (JFK Plaza) and runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Organizers say they do it for the LOVE of Christmas!
November 22nd – December 24th
Sunday – Thursday 11 AM – 7 PMFriday – Saturday 11 AM – 8 PM
Christkindlmarkt – Chicago, Illinois
This German Themed market in Chicago is in its 14th year, and features vendors, etc, all in the shadow of an enormous Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza. Get your Gluhwein in a souvenir boot shaped mug!
November 20 – December 24, 2012
GEORGETOWN CHRISTMAS MARKET
Georgetown Christmas Market – Georgetown, Colorado
This quaint historic town in Colorado is hosting its 52nd Annual Christmas Market this year. You can stroll around an outdoor market, eat hot roasted chestnuts, ride in a horse-drawn wagon, and listen to a choir of angles, I mean children, sing Christmas songs. What more could you ask for at this time of year?
December 1, 2, 8 & 9, 2012
10 AM to 6 PM
DICKENS CHRISTMAS FAIR
Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco, California
This Dickens themed fair takes over the San Francisco Cow Palace Exhibition Halls for five weekends in the holiday season, creating 12,000 square feet of pseudo Victorian Christmas cheer. Enjoy all of the cheer, none of the Cholera!
Five weekends: November 23-December 23 including the Friday after Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Through History
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.
Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, it is suggested that Lobster, deer and swans or other fowl were on the Pilgrims' menu. The Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.
A 1653 French cookbook instructed chefs to boil the pumpkin in milk and strain it before putting it in a crust. English writer Hannah Woolley’s 1670 “Gentlewoman’s Companion” advocated a pie filled with alternating layers of pumpkin and apple, spiced rosemary, sweet marjoram and handful of thyme. Sometimes a crust was unnecessary; an early New England recipe involved filling a hollowed-out pumpkin with spiced, sweetened milk and cooking it directly in a fire (an English version of the same preparation had the pumpkin stuffed with sliced apples).
By the early 18th century pumpkin pie had earned a place at the table, as Thanksgiving became an important New England regional holiday. In 1705 the Connecticut town of Colchester famously postponed its Thanksgiving for a week because there wasn’t enough molasses available to make pumpkin pie. Amelia Simmons’ pioneering 1796 “American Cookery” contained a pair of pumpkin pie recipes, one of which similar to today’s custard version.
It wasn’t until the mid-19th century, though, that pumpkin pie rose to political significance in the United States as it was injected into the country’s tumultuous debate over slavery. Many of the staunchest abolitionists were from New England, and their favorite dessert soon found mention in novels, poems and broadsides. Sarah Josepha Hale, an abolitionist who worked for decades to have Thanksgiving proclaimed a national holiday, featured the pie in her 1827 anti-slavery novel “Northwood,” describing a Thanksgiving table laden with desserts of every name and description—“yet the pumpkin pie occupied the most distinguished niche.” In 1842 another abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child, wrote her famous poem about a New England Thanksgiving that began, “Over the river, and through the wood” and ended with a shout, “Hurra for the pumpkin pie!”
In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.
Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.
For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.
THANKSGIVING’S ANCIENT ORIGINS
Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.
As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.
Blue Zones Project
Special Guest, David Longfield-Smith,
Organization Lead for Blue Zones Project® Southwest Florida
David shared with us the extraordinary progess that has taken place over the last year. Over 200 organizations and 70,000 people have signed up! Worksites, Schools, Retail and Restaurants are joining and seeing immediate results and support.
To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.