By Carol Tannenhauser
We’re dusting off the Answer Column to address a question sent in by reader Sara, who wrote:
In years past, large stars have been installed on Columbus Ave around November 15th. This year there are no stars. Last year, small stars were installed on a light post every two blocks, which was disappointing enough, but this is worse. What happened to the stars? It would be great to know why there are no stars!”
Memory serves you well, Sara, except they weren’t stars, they were giant snowflakes! But you’re right; after years of adorning the avenue between 68th and 82nd Streets following Thanksgiving, they were absent last year because of confusion about where the Department of Transportation (DOT) would allow them to be hung.
“The rule is that they cannot be in an intersection or attached to any poles that have traffic signals,” explained Nicole Paynter, executive director of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), which arranges for and funds the snowflakes. “That means they have to be mid-block. But most of the blocks on Columbus only have one lamppost mid-block [you need two to string the snowflakes between]. A few blocks have lamposts on both sides, so we will be able to put the large snowflakes hanging over the street on those blocks that fit in the rules.”
The snowflakes are expected to be installed on [Updated] Sunday, December 4th. Paynter said. “We will have a mixture of the large snowflakes over Columbus, as well as [smaller] snowflake lamppost decorations.”
Thanks to Sara for asking! If you have a question about an Upper West Side issue, send it to email@example.com, subject line: The Answer Column, and we’ll answer it. You can read all our Answer Columns here.
UPDATE: The installation of the snowflakes was originally scheduled for Saturday, but, due to rain, it has been changed to Sunday, December 4th.