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A Look Back at the ‘Families Belong Together’ March Across Brooklyn Bridge

Thousands gathered in downtown Manhattan on Saturday morning to protest what they said was the Trump administration’s inhumane policy on illegal border crossings. The Families Belong Together march, one of hundreds around the country, started at Foley Square and took demonstrators to Cadman Plaza. Watch our video to see the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and hear what motivated New Yorkers to come out in the sweltering heat and call for the abolition of ICE, the reunification of families separated at the border, and more.

Video by Jennifer Perry.

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The Very Latest on the City’s Plan to Deal With the L-Pocalypse

(Photo courtesy of Buck Ennis)

Speaker Corey Johnson opened this week’s City Council hearing on the 15-month L-train shutdown with a dramatic flourish. He promised “dogged oversight” and suggested with a firm note in his voice that there better be a “hard stop” at the project’s anticipated completion date. As you’re probably aware, service is expected to be suspended for 15 months between Bedford Avenue and 8th Avenue starting in April 2019. Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DoT) and the MTA are working around the clock with new plans to ease the fretful minds of legislators and affected residents and commuters. Here’s the important stuff you need to know from this week’s hearing.

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A Trailblazing Tailor Offers the Wrongfully Convicted a Stitch in Time

From left: Darryl Howard and Daniel Friedman. (Photo via @bindleandkeep on Instagram)

Mark Denny went to prison when he was 16, for the robbery and gang rape of an 18-year old inside a Burger King in Brooklyn. He spent 30 years behind bars before he was exonerated, and the Innocence Project proved he wasn’t involved. “All the proof was right there, it was there that I was innocent,” Denny says. “But the prisoners, the guards, the judge and the jury, they’re so blinded by the awful crime that they don’t see innocence.”

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Will Your Lamb Gyro Survive NYC’s New Styrofoam Ban?

The city’s sytrofoam ban could affect food truck vendors like this one. (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Along with pillowy heaps of steaming rice, hot sauce and shredded meat, Styrofoam containers are practically ubiquitous among the city’s halal food carts. The foam trays contribute to the food trucks’ tantalizingly cheap offerings. But your favorite corner gyro or chicken biryani could soon leave you scrambling for extra change.

Last week, New York State Supreme Court judge Margaret A. Chan allowed a ban on single-use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam products and loose fill packaging (aka Styrofoam cups, containers and packing peanuts) to move forward. The ruling effectively ended a three-year legal battle between the city’s Department of Sanitation and the Restaurant Action Alliance, which opposed the new law.

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‘He’s One of the Good Guys’: Lower East Siders Recall Filming With Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain and Danny Fields (Photo via @anthonybourdain on Instagram)

Back in April, Anthony Bourdain visited some of his old stomping grounds (and new ones) in the East Village and Lower East Side for an episode of Parts Unknown, chatting with numerous local characters along the way. It’s unclear what will happen with this and other episodes Bourdain was filming prior to his unexpected death last week, so we spoke with some of the featured artists and business owners about their experiences with a reporter and raconteur who was known for keeping it real.

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What’s Up With the Lower East Side Ferry?

(image: Tara Yarlagadda)

On a cloudy May morning, maintenance workers were busy prepping the launch pad of the Stuyvesant Cove/Town stop on the Lower East Side ferry route. But the boarding ramp connecting the East River Bikeway along FDR Drive with the ferry launch pad remained roped off. An older gentleman named Bruce Goldstein, passing by on his Citi Bike, halted to inquire about this still-closed stop. Keep Reading »

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Annual Loisaida Festival Celebrates Puerto Rican Heritage, Rain Or Shine

(Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

The rain was out in full force this past Sunday, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of performers and Lower East Side residents who came out for a celebration of Puerto Rican heritage. For more than thirty years, the Loisaida Festival has served as an homage to Puerto Rican culture in the Lower East Side and back on the island. This year, the festival’s theme was “Bridging Resurgence: From Sandy to Maria.” According to the Loisaida Festival’s Twitter page, the theme served as “a tribute to the resilience of the Lower East Side, past and present, and in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.” Keep Reading »

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Meet the New Yorkers Who Might Actually Benefit From the L-pocalypse

With the L-pocalypse nearly a year away, the MTA and DOT have assured those living along the L train line that they’ll boost service on the G and JMZ lines, create a “busway” on 14th Street, and make cycling between Brooklyn and Manhattan safer. But that hasn’t quelled the fears and frustrations of those living in either borough; anger has been directed toward MTA officials at public meetings, and a federal lawsuit has even been filed.

There are some New Yorkers, however, who stand to benefit as a result of the closure, which may come as a surprise to negatively-affected residents. Of the approximately 250,000 who are going to be impacted, the L train shutdown is providing rare and exciting opportunities for a lucky few. Play our video to meet the lucky few.

Video by James Fox.