Miracle 22nd Street

Miracle 22nd Street

Miracle 22nd Street

Whether you ever believed in Santa or not, belief in kindness and generosity will always prevail.

We all know that Santa’s address is simply “North Pole.”  Since the North Pole is outside the United States, it has no zip code, not that it would need one for a letter to get there.

Does Santa have a pied-à-terre?  Apparently so and it’s an apartment #7 on W 22nd Street in New York City.

Jim Glaud and Dylan Parker lived in that apartment. And for the first few years several letters arrived addressed to Santa. A prank of some sort? Too few to be of any consequence, but in 2010 that changed: scores of Santa letters started to arrive.

1962-themed party

Jim and Dylan decided to do something and practiced a bit of subterfuge. They would have a holiday party and get a little help from their friends. It’s theme was 1962.

As people arrived other guests asked them, “Did you get a letter yet?”  Friend after friend selected a letter and read. Then they decided to help.

There were over 400 letters–more than party guests could do–so Jim and Dylan started to reverse panhandle.  Opening a brief case filled with letters, they asked co-workers, neighbors, and eventually simply people on the street, “Would you like to be Santa?”

Miracle 22nd Street

Nearly complete success

All but a few of the letters received a response. Sometimes Santa’s helper simply mailed the gift. Sometimes Santa’s helper hand delivered the gift.

Why 22nd Street?

Many have asked how the address became associated with Santa? Some guessed that somehow a school or church newsletter used the address (a member’s address?).  Or another suggested that it could be traced back to The Night Before Christmas author Clement Clarke Moore, whose estate was nearby. He had received letters written to Santa after the publication of his classic poem in 1823.

Miracle 22nd Street

Miracle 22nd Street

The Giving Goes On

They continued each year and not a single letter has gone unanswered since 2010’s first batch — with people from all over the country and the world swooping in to help.

Jim and Dylan have moved, but they kept in touch with the new tenants and politely ask them to join the legacy–which each has.

Nowadays, some of the then young recipients are old enough to become helpers themselves and have done just that.

Miracle On 22nd Street

Miracle 22nd Street

Miracle On 22nd Street is a non-profit run by Jim and Dylan and has spread well beyond New York City. In a 2016 People magazine article Jim said, “We’ve had people from Hawaii to Alaska, Germany to London, Nicaragua, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo — all helping. I guess that’s the power of social media. Why would a woman from Abu Dhabi care about some family from Corona, Queens? It’s amazing.”

The organization has an internet footprint, of course:

And there will be a movie that Tina Fey is writing.

Miracle 22nd Street

The Allusionist

Miracle On 22nd Street

I first heard of Jim and Dylan from a Radiotopia podcast (“Dear Santa“),  Helen Zaltzman’s The Allusionist, though, as is always the case, their story has being around the media for years.

Miracle 22nd Street

December Music et al

December Music et al

Bob Dylan

Mid-December 1960: Dylan leaves Minnesota for New York. He will stop at a number of places along the way. (see January 24, 1961)

Thelonius Monk

In December 1961: Thelonius Monk with John Coltrane album released.

From Michael Nastos in All MusicUniversally regarded as one of the greatest collaborations between the two most influential musicians in modern jazz (Miles Davis notwithstanding), the Jazzland sessions from Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane should be recognized on other levels. While the mastery of the principals is beyond reproach, credit should also be given to peerless bassist Wilbur Ware, as mighty an anchor as anyone could want. These 1957 dates also sport a variety in drummerless trio, quartet, septet, or solo piano settings, all emphasizing the compelling and quirky compositions of Monk. A shouted-out, pronounced “Off Minor” and robust, three-minute “Epistrophy” with legendary saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Gigi Gryce, and the brilliant, underappreciated trumpeter Ray Copeland are hallmark tracks that every jazz fan should revere. O

December Music et al

Bob Dylan

In mid-December 1961: shortly after recording his first album for Columbia, Dylan moved into his first rented apartment in the middle of West Fourth Street, a tiny, scruffy place above Bruno’s Spaghetti Shop, and persuaded his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, to move in with him. (see January 1962)

December Music et al

Jimi Hendrix

In December 1965: The Leaves released single of “Hey Joe” later covered by Jimi Hendrix. (September 24, 1966)

December Music et al

News Music

In December 1966: Simon and Garfunkel’s Seven O’clock News/Silent Night Beginning softly at first, a newscast reports various discomforting events and gradually overrides Simon and Garfunkel singing of Silent Night.

December Music et al

Rock Venues

December Music et al

In December 1973: New York bar owner Hilly Kristal opened CBGB in December 1973 at 315 Bowery in Manhattan, the site of his former establishment, Hilly’s on the Bowery. Before that, Kristal had put most of his energy into a West Village nightclub. When noise complaints forced him to close, he focused on his property in a less desirable part of town. (see October 11, 2006)

December Music et al