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Happy Acts in the Big Apple

Cold weather and wet snow couldn’t dampen spirits on the International Day of Happiness in New York City. Beginning with an early-morning showing at the Good Morning America headquarters in Times Square, the Happiness Wall gave early risers the chance to be some of the first in the nation to post their acts of happiness.

Encouraged by GMA weather anchor Ginger Zee, GMA visitors and guests—including Ben Stiller and singer Andy Grammer—posted their #HappyActs on the wall. Ginger also encouraged viewers to do their part to celebrate the International Day of Happiness in whatever way they could.

Good Morning America happiness wall

Many of those celebrating the International Day of Happiness made their way to the plaza near the iconic triangular Flatiron Building, where the giant orange Happiness Wall soon began filling with ideas and acts of happiness. For Matthieu Solelhac of Paris, France, who was visiting New York with his mother and sister, it was a fun opportunity to be a part of an international celebration.

Susie Bonnell of the U.K. was also happy to include a visit to the wall as part of her weeklong stay in the U.S. She wrote that her act of happiness would be to smile at others. “I’m always happy,” she explained. “My cup is always more than half full. And when you smile, it makes other people happy, too.”

Len Berzerk, who lives in the Bronx, used his visit to the wall as a chance to entertain others with his juggling skills. “It makes other people happy,” he says. “It’s therapeutic for me, and I enjoy the peace of mind it gives me. I like to live happy.”

Crowd pleasers

Other visitors to the Happiness Wall helped raise more interest in the day. Actor Jonathan Groff, currently appearing as King George in the off-Broadway production of Hamilton, visited the wall to share his own happy act. Jonathan, who also appears in the HBO series Looking, and played the recurring role of Jesse St. James in Glee, said his happiest act was providing the voice for Kristoff in the hit movie Frozen.

Jonathan wasn’t the only celebrity to visit the wall; Catherine Curtin, who plays officer Wanda Bell in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, biked to the Happiness Wall to be part of the event because she “loves a good cause, and happiness is a good cause.”

Volunteers from the no-kill shelter Animal Haven brought a trio of furry friends who are looking for homes, and Catherine quickly pitched in to help them on their mission.

“Today, happiness is about getting this dog a new home,” she said, cuddling a 4-year-old Pomeranian. Perhaps, as Charles M. Schulz once observed, happiness really is a warm puppy. On this particular day in New York, it certainly seemed to be part of the equation.

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