Gratitude has it own national holiday.
Thanksgiving’s the traditional time to take stock of appreciated gifts, and so it’s exactly the right moment to ask a few New Yorkers deeply rooted in their communities — the kind of people we cover online and in our news pages each week — to reflect on what they’re thankful for.
Chris Doeblin, owner, Book Culture
Most of all, I’m thankful to be married to the person that I love and admire and desire, for my two wonderful and beautiful 11-year-old daughters, for our home on 110th Street that is so cluttered, and needs so much work, where we love each other and share our family meals. We are all well. I am thankful for our extended family — for all of their blessings and the profound love that we all share. I am also deeply thankful, especially now, to be here in this community and to work in a bookshop that has been so challenging, but which is a bastion of civility, ideas and culture, especially now. Have a wonderful and loving thanksgiving, everyone. We are hoping for you.
Pauline Frommer, editorial director, Frommer Guidebooks and Frommers.com
I’m grateful to live in a city where one in every three is foreign-born. That means that travel—my passion as well as my career—is part of my daily life. In the morning, I have a long talk with the Senegalese mother of my daughter’s good friend about an upcoming sleepover…and the state of the world. Then I linger to chat with a Mexican porter in our building about his fears now that Trump is president-elect. At the grocery store, I trade pleasantries with the Jamaican-born cashier, and at work I huddle over layouts with an Italian-born photo editor. Each person brings the world to me and that means the world to me.
Catherine Hughes, former Community Board 1 chairwoman
On Thanksgiving Day, we remember an amazing act of kindness and humanity. A tribe of Native Americans came together to rescue a starving band of illegal immigrants who fled religious persecution and washed up on these freezing shores. Those original Americans ignored enormous differences of race, faith and national origin, and ignored their own short-term interests, to recognize the common humanity of those starving, storm-tossed Puritans – refugees rejected by the country of their birth. That founding act of compassion inspires me not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day, and never more than in these fearful times.
Telly Leung, actor, currently starring on Broadway in “In Transit.”
There’s the family we are born into, and then there’s the family we make. I feel a great sense of gratitude every day, when I walk to my theater. I live in Midtown and walk to work. I walk along Ninth Avenue, and run into so many people from the Broadway community – my family of artists. Hell’s Kitchen is also a thriving, diverse “gay-borhood” – a place that I feel safe holding my partner’s hand. As a traveling actor, I don’t always feel that way when I’m in other parts of the country. I am thankful for this sense of community and family.
Sue Susman, Upper West Side activist
I’m grateful for: Larry Wood, Director of Organizing at Goddard Riverside Community Center, who educates and advocates on tenant issues. Jean Dorsey, head of the Westgate Tenant Association at Stonehenge, who fights the good fight, helping her neighbors and the neighborhood. Economist Winifred Armstrong strengthens our awareness of neighborhood history. Sharon Canns, a tenant activist and board member of the West Side Neighborhood Alliance, is an enormous moral support. Anna Gago, in Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office, shares what she learns at every possible conference. Finally, my neighbors at Central Park Gardens, whose helping each other strengthens our tenant association.
Betty Cooper Wallerstein, president, E. 79th Street Neighborhood Association
Reading daily of tragic conflict and suffering the world over, I am thankful for living in a safe city and country offering much opportunity and aiming for good quality of life for all residents. I’m grateful for civic advocates in diverse neighborhoods. They volunteer countless hours toward improving living conditions and city services. Also, very grateful to our Upper East Side elected officials, who give needed attention and necessary support. I appreciate the freedom of the public to address any government agency or elected official for a response to an issue of concern. Thanks are due to our dedicated first responders and struggling local merchants. Additional thanks to Our Town and Straus News’s other free local papers covering community news not reported elsewhere. And I am most thankful for family and friends who share my deepest gratitude to the Hereditary Disease Foundation for its relentless research in treating incurable brain diseases.