New York is a great place to spend Christmas. There are many wonderful things to see and do, but pride of place goes to the massive Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza. John Baiata, who works as a manager there, explains:
John Baiata (Standard American accent)
And this tradition began over 80 years ago:
The tradition has very humble roots . In 1931, in the middle of the Great Depression, a group of construction workers who were working on the site, erected a tree, basically, in a muddy field , and two years later was when the formal tree lighting ceremony began, when a Rockefeller Center publicist organized the first tree lighting ceremony in 1933.
THE COLD NORTH
And, of course, the tree is changed every year:
There’s been a lot of them . The tallest was 110 feet, a pretty tall tree, one of the most famous, though, was selected from a small town in Vermont near the Canadian border, and a new road had to be bulldozed just to get to that tree, and it made this historic trip down to Manhattan from the Canadian border; 375 miles!
The Christmas season officially begins in New York City when Santa Claus joins the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. This year it took place on Thursday, November 26th. But for most New Yorkers there is a more important event: the lighting of the Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Plaza. This year the ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 2nd at 9 p.m. It will be preceded by two hours of live music and dancing, which will certainly help warm up the expected large crowd . Every year, many people come to the Plaza a day early in order to guarantee a good view of this spectacular ceremony. Millions more around the world follow it on TV. The overall effect is breathtaking : 30,000 lights, as well as a star designed by Swarovski, suddenly come to life. But as Rockefeller Center manager John Baiata explains in the accompanying interview (see overleaf), the ceremony's origins were more modest. Like other New York landmarks (such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building) the Rockefeller Center was built during the Great Depression. Construction workers planted a Christmas tree on the site in 1931, but the tree lighting ceremony began two years later. The tree is changed every year and finding the right one is a major challenge . So too is transporting it to New York in a vast container, with traffic coming to a standstill .
SPEAK UP EXPLAINS
A huge event. “Um evento enorme”. Como já é sabido, o sotaque norte-americano é diferente do britânico, mas a pronúncia de palavras também tem as suas variações. Os norte-americanos, por exemplo, observam que, para os ingleses, a letra “r” é quase muda. Já os britânicos dizem que muito frequentemente os norte-americanos fazem a mesma coisa com a letra “h”, por exemplo, huge fica ‘uge e herb (“erva”) fica ‘erb.
You can’t help but feeling a warm glow.“Você não pode deixar de sentir uma sensação de calorosa felicidade”. Aqui John Baiata utiliza uma construção antiga, mas eficaz: you can’t but. Normalmente ela vem acompanhada do infinitivo (you can’t but feel), mas dizer feeling também está correto.
The Rockettes. The Rockettes é uma famosa companhia de dança que faz um espetáculo especial de Natal. Fundada em St. Louis, Missouri, em 1925, ela se transferiu para o Radio City Music Hall em 1932.
110 feet; 375 miles. “33,5 metros; 603 km”. Vale recordar que o sistema métrico ainda é pouco utilizado nos países anglófonos.