Category Archives: Events

May Day Festival

Our premier May Day Festival was held on the fourth day of this month, and by all measures was a resounding success.

More than twenty people showed up and contributed to the enjoyment — folks brought tasty food, decanted sparkling beverages, played music, frolicked on the grass, shared board games, looked fabulous in their pre-modern attire, took photographs, handed out flower crowns, welcomed newcomers, talked about both history and their own lives, built community, and helped us get everything set up at noon and then packed away at the end of the day.

The event was so well received that we’re resolved to organize more outings of this sort soon — keep your ears open for additional announcements, and we look forward to seeing you at our next outdoor festival!

Photos by Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin and Godiva de la Mer.

Evenings in Appleholm: Pilgrimage to Pride, May 31

The Canton of Appleholm invites you to join us for a sociable evening of historically-themed fun and glamor.

On Friday May 31, starting at 7 PM, we’ll visit our local progressive gothic cathedral, St. John’s, for a medieval-themed Pilgrimage to Pride event hosted by Internet personality the Greedy Peasant. Expect fabulous attire, cocktails, crafting stations, and campy performances.

Historical clothing is optional but encouraged, especially in bright chromatic hues to match the pride rainbow theme.

The cathedral is located on Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street. The closest subways are the 1 train or the B/C lines, both of which have Cathedral Parkway / 110th Street stations; there are also numerous bus lines in the area.

We’ll gather on the steps out front (or in the vestibule if the weather is inclement) and enter as a group. (If you miss us at the entrance, call Mathghamhain at 917-502-7795 to link up with us inside.) The event should last about two hours.

Tickets are available for $25 via the cathedral; higher-priced tickets are available for those who want to financially support the event, but they do not come with any extra perks.

The building is ADA accessible, with a ramp to bypass the front steps. Masks are optional.

This is not an SCA-organized event, so we’ll be joined by lots of other folks who are into history and DIY fashion, and might get a chance to connect with other people who share our interests.

Bodleian Library, MS Bodl. 614, folio 35r.

Grolier Gallery Visit

It was great seeing folks at the Grolier Club today for a viewing of their “Judging a Book by Its Cover” exhibit, including volumes with elaborately-tooled and decorated leather bindings from the fifteenth century onwards.

Our party of six also ventured upstairs to view a few additional tomes before heading around the corner for a wide-ranging discussion over a hearty lunch.

We’re on the lookout for more exhibits to visit in the months ahead, so please let us know if you have destinations to suggest, and we look forward to seeing you on our next outing!

Appleholm May Day Festival: Saturday, May 4

The Canton of Appleholm invites you to join us for a celebration of spring at our May Day festival!

In the spirit of a traditional May Day gathering, we will mark the change of the seasons and rejoice in the return of warm weather with period music and dancing, decoration of a maypole, garlands of flowers, fruity drinks, picnic finger foods, and cheerful company.

Our merriment will begin at noon on Saturday, May 4; if you’d like to help with setup you are free to join us at 11:30 AM. (If the weather is inclement, we will reschedule to our rain date one week later on May 11.)

We will gather in Sakura Park, a lovely city park located on Riverside Drive at 122nd Street, adjacent to Grant’s Tomb, a few blocks north of Columbia University. (See below for directions.)

All are welcome to join us. Feel free to RSVP or just show up. No Society membership or previous experience required. If you’re new to the SCA, we’d love to meet you!

This event is free. If you would like to contribute to our potluck picnic, please bring a shareable snack or beverage. (We’ll provide a serving table as well as paper plates and cups.) Flowers and other springtime decor are also welcome; contact the event steward to coordinate.

To heighten the experience, please wear clothing evocative of some era before 1600. Strict historical accuracy is not necessary; we just ask for you to make an attempt to step out of the modern world. If you don’t have period garb, we can provide an outfit for the day; send us an email with the sizes and genders in your party and we’ll do our best to outfit you.

Public restrooms are located across the street in the Federal Memorial Visitor Center, which is open until 4 PM.

Mathghamhain will be the day’s event steward — if you have any questions, please send an email to events@appleholm.eastkingdom.org, or contact me via Messenger, Discord, or SMS to 917-502-7795; on the day of the event, you can also call that number to reach me on-site.

We look forward to seeing you soon at our celebration of spring!

Event Site Directions

Sakura Park is located on Riverside Drive at 122nd Street, adjacent to Grant’s Tomb and just north of Columbia University.

By Car: This park is just two blocks from the West Side Highway and features plenty of free street parking along Riverside Drive within easy walking distance of the park.

By Subway: Take the 1 to 116th Street, then walk between along Broadway between the Columbia and Barnard campuses to 120th Street, take a left to reach Riverside, and proceed two more blocks further north. (The 125th Street station is half a block closer but the walk is steeply uphill).

By MetroNorth: Take any Grand-Central-bound line to 125th Street. Go downstairs to exit the station and walk west along 125th Street for one minute to reach the M60 bus stop. (You can pay for the bus with a smartphone or a “tap” of a credit card.) Take the bus to 120th Street and Amsterdam and then continue three more blocks along 120th to reach Riverside Park.

By Bus: The M5 bus stops just outside the park. The M60 stops on 120th Street at Amsterdam and on Broadway at 116th Street.

By Bike: There are CitiBike docks at 120th Street.

Our Inspiration: Pre-Modern Village Festivals

Villagers’ Celebration, woodcut by Nikolaus Meldemann, circa 1530.

Gallery Outing: Bookbinding at the Grolier, Saturday, April 13

The Canton of Appleholm invites you to join us on an informal weekend outing to one of our many world-class museums.

On Saturday, April 13, at 2 PM, we’ll visit the Grolier, an exclusive club for antiquarian book dealers and collectors. Their “Judging a Book by Its Cover” exhibition focuses on the art of bookbinding, and includes a number of impressively-bound fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and seventeenth-century volumes as well as more-recent items. Before leaving we’ll take a brief detour to their secondary exhibit on hieroglyphics, which also includes a couple of period manuscripts and very early printed books.

The Grolier is located at 47 East 60th Street, between Madison and Park. The closest trains are the N/R at 5th Av/59th St, the 4/5/6 at 59th St, and the Q at Lexington/63rd; there are also numerous bus lines in the area.

We’ll gather outside the front entrance (or in the lobby if the weather is inclement), then enter as a group. (If you have trouble finding us, call Mathghamhain at 917-502-7795.)

The galleries are small, so we expect to finish the exhibitions within an hour or so, and afterwards folks who are interested may walk across the street to Café Bilboquet for snacks and further discussion.

Gallery admission is free. The building is ADA-accessible. Masks are optional.

All are welcome to join us. No Society membership or previous experience required. Modern attire; come as you are. Feel free to RSVP or just show up. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Detail of “Bookbinder” from Jost Amman’s Book of Trades (1568)

Morgan Gallery Visit

We had a lovely trip to the Morgan this weekend, touring the “Medieval Money and Morality” exhibit and following it up with a visit to the opulent personal library of the Gilded Age robber baron himself.

Thanks to everyone who joined us, and we look forward to scheduling more of these local outings in the coming months!

Gallery Outing: Medieval Money at the Morgan, Sunday, March 10

The Canton of Appleholm invites you to join us on an informal weekend outing to one of our many world-class museums.

On Sunday, March 10, at 3 PM, we’ll visit the Morgan’s “Medieval Money, Merchants, and Morality” exhibit, which includes numerous manuscripts, artworks, and artifacts from the late medieval period and into the renaissance. Covering the period in which capitalism emerged and upended the medieval economic system, the exhibit focuses on the cultural and material products created by this transformation, as well as the social and religious forces arrayed against its rise.

The Morgan is located on Madison Avenue between 36th and 37th. The closest trains are the 4/5/6 at 33rd St, the N/Q/R/W and B/D/F/M at 34th St, and the 7 at Bryant Park; there are also numerous bus lines in the area.

We’ll gather outside the front entrance (or in the lobby if the weather is inclement), and then enter as a group. (If you miss us at the entrance, call Mathghamhain at 917-502-7795 to link up inside the museum.)

We’ll probably spend about an hour or so in the museum, and afterwards folks who are hungry may walk a block down Madison to get a snack in a fancy coffee shop.

Museum admission is an exorbitant $25 with discounts for seniors and students. The museum is ADA-accessible. Masks are optional.

All are welcome to join us. No Society membership or previous experience required. Modern attire; come as you are. Feel free to RSVP or just show up. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Met A&B Gallery Visit

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our trip to the Africa & Byzantium exhibit at the Met this afternoon!

Our party of eight viewed art and artifacts combining Byzantine, Islamic, and African influences, with origins spread over more than two thousand years and more than two thousand miles of north and east Africa, followed by a pleasant repast at a local diner (coincidentally run by descendants of the Byzantines).

We look forward to seeing you all on our next gallery outing soon!

Dance Studio Session, Sunday April 16

The Canton of Appleholm invites you to join us for our casual weekend renaissance-dance workshop: Taci e Balla — shut up and dance! 

On Sunday, April 16, we will meet at 3 PM at a local dance studio, Bridge For Dance, 2726 Broadway, between 104th and 105th Streets, in studio 2 on the 3rd floor. (Located on the east side of Broadway, upstairs from McDonalds, a minute’s walk from the #1 train at 103rd Street.)

We’ll continue to practice and expand our repertoire of sixteenth-century bransles (pronounced “brawls”). These are easy dances to learn; newcomers and first-timers are welcome!

We have the dance studio rented for just one hour, so arrive a few minutes early and be ready to dance!

Masking strongly encouraged. Please be aware of a significant accessibility limitation: there are three flights of stairs and this site lacks an elevator.

This event is free. All are welcome to join us. No Society membership or previous experience required. Modern attire; come as you are. Feel free to RSVP or just show up.

After the dancing, folks who wish to socialize may move to a nearby shop for coffee and nibbles.

English pen and watercolor painting, Tarantella dancers, by Gatta, 1828.

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.

This Saturday: Take the Train to Northern Craft Day

As previously announced elsewhere, the Crown Province is hosting a Crafts Day on Saturday, April 8 from 11 AM – 3 PM, just north of the city in New Rochelle, easily accessible by MetroNorth, and it would be lovely to see some members of the canton up there.

Hands-on activities will include painting fabric heraldic banners, as well as period tabletop games, leather crafts, calligraphy and Illumination.

There’s a MetroNorth train on the New Haven line that departs Grand Central at 10:05, stops at 125th Street & Park Avenue at 10:15, and reaches New Rochelle at 10:40; additional trains follow every thirty minutes. (The train costs $8.50 each way.) From the station it’s just a two-block walk to the New Rochelle Public Library, where we’ve reserved the meeting room.

This event is free. All are welcome to join; no Society membership or previous experience required.

Period clothing is welcome, but entirely optional; come as you are.

No food is allowed onsite, but there are a couple of casual lunch spots within walking distance.

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.