New York

NYC's First-Ever Asian American & Pacific Islander Parade Is Happening This Weekend

Celebrations kick off this Sunday, May 15.

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of the Library of Congress
Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of the Library of Congress
Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of the Library of Congress

This weekend, New York City is in full parade mode. On Saturday, the Big Apple will be home to its first ever Japan Parade, while on Sunday, May 15, the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Parade will debut its first annual iteration.

Beginning on 6th Avenue and West 44th Street, the AAPI Heritage Parade will kick off at 10:45 am and wind its way north for 10 blocks on 6th Avenue.

In honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the event is also aimed at celebrating diversity in culture after the uptick in race-based hate crimes during the pandemic. In 2021 alone, violence and hate crimes targeting Asian communities have increased by 343%, the New York Police Department statistics show.

“Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates New Yorkers who contribute to the rich culture that makes New York the greatest city in the world,” Mayor Eric Adams said in an official parade announcement. “As we work to combat a spike in hate crimes, it is important to support and uplift our AAPI brothers and sisters.”

Starting this year, AAPI culture will be honored and celebrated regularly in NYC together with many other communities and heritages.

“When I first came to New York City, working as a peddler in Manhattan, I remember being amazed at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Columbus Day Parade,” John Park, founder of the Korean American Community Empowerment Council, said in an official statement. “I never dreamed I would one day lead Korean New Yorkers down Sixth Avenue for the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Parade.”

It’s a historical event for the whole community. “This parade signifies a historical moment where Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander Americans all come together at the heart of our diverse city to celebrate cultures and traditions while amplifying our voice in unity,” Dr. Bindu Babu, event co-chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Cultural and Heritage, said in an official statement.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

New York

How to Shop Local for Small Business Saturday in NYC

From West African packaged foods to hand-poured candles.

Egunsi Foods
Egunsi Foods
Egunsi Foods

Walk around any local neighbourhood throughout the five boroughs, and through empty storefronts, it’s clear that small businesses in NYC have been hit hard since the start of the pandemic.

This year for Small Business Saturday, not only can you show your support by popping in to your favourite shop, but by also making purchases online. Here are just a few brands to spend your money on this holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Coffee Project New York
Photo courtesy of Coffee Project New York
Photo courtesy of Coffee Project New York

Coffee Project New York

Various locations
This coffee roastery focused on inclusivity and sustainable practices has locations in the East Village, Chelsea, and Fort Greene, in addition to a training center in Long Island City. For the holidays, stay caffeinated with Coffee Project New York‘s special Around the World in 12 Days gift set featuring 12 global beans and tasting notes for each.

Egunsi Foods
Egunsi Foods
Egunsi Foods

Egunsi Foods (part of Harlem incubator program)

Virtual
This online packaged food brand started by ‘Yemisi Awosan when she was homesick for Nigerian flavours during college offers West African goods made with farm-to-table ingredients. From soups and stews to fufu and sauces, Egunsi Foods also has vegan items.

I Like It Black (part of Harlem incubator program)

Harlem
This cozy coffee shop highlights products from coffee roasters in the Black community. In addition to sandwiches, coffee beans, tea, and more, I Like It Black‘s space also offers a great view of Harlem’s historic 125th Street thoroughfare.

Lee Lee's Rugelach
Lee Lee’s Rugelach
Lee Lee’s Rugelach

Lee Lee’s Baked Goods (part of Harlem incubator program)

Harlem
This Harlem institution from Alvin Lee Smalls has been a NYC destination for rugelach since 1965. For sharing during the holidays, at Lee Lee’s Baked Goods, the popular Jewish treat that translates to “little twist” in Yiddish is available in a 12, 24, and 36 set, in addition to a special 26-piece gift tin.

Make My Cake
Make My Cake
Make My Cake

Make My Cake Bakery (part of Harlem incubator program)

Harlem
Make My Cake Bakery is run by several generations of the Smith family with recipes passed down from their matriarch, Josephine Smith aka “Ma Smith.” From cakes and cookies and pies and pastries, order flavours ranging from double chocolate delight cupcakes, coconut pecan cookies, cinnamon rolls, and black & white cake. There’s also an Upper West Side location in addition to the Harlem storefront.

Sugar Hill Creamery
Sugar Hill Creamery
Sugar Hill Creamery

Sugar Hill Creamery (part of Harlem incubator program)

Harlem
As longtime Harlem residents, the husband-and-wife team behind Sugar Hill Creamery opened their popular shop in 2017 to be a place for the neighbourhood to grab a seat and enjoy artisanal ice cream made from scratch. In addition to offering an array of flavours like the Chairperson of the Board (blueberry cheesecake) and Nunu’s Peach Cobbler (peach with cobbler crumbler), they also regularly host community based programs throughout the year meant to empower the Black experience while facilitating connection and storytelling. In addition to a location in Hamilton Heights and Time Out Market in Dumbo, products are also available for nationwide shipping.

Photo courtesy of Schaller & Weber
Photo courtesy of Schaller & Weber
Photo courtesy of Schaller & Weber

Schaller & Weber

Upper East Side
Schaller and Weber is an Upper East Side butcher shop that’s been offering German-style sausages and Northern European speciality foods for more than 80 years. If a single order of pate or charcuterie isn’t going to cut it this year, choose from an array of gift packs like the Christmas Gift Box with an array of items ranging from truffle brat to olive oil crackers.

Photo courtesy of Spoken Flames
Photo courtesy of Spoken Flames
Photo courtesy of Spoken Flames

Spoken Flames

Virtual
Spoken Flames is a candle company founded by Shavaun Christian and each candle is hand-poured and made with a natural coconut wax blend. Choose from selections like Sea Sea Me made with salt, melon, musk, and chamomile, and the LOL featuring notes of mango, lavender, and fresh linen.

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Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.

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