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Protestors to Cuomo: Kiss Your Job Goodbye

(Photos: Anna Venarchik)

In a testimony published on February 24, former government aide Lindsey Boylan describes New York Governor Andrew Cuomo forcibly kissing her after a 2018 meeting in his Manhattan office on 3rd Avenue. “I was in shock, but I kept walking,” she states. It is outside this office, between E. 40th and 41st Streets, that about 20 protesters gathered yesterday at sunset. Throughout this past month, challenges to the governor’s leadership have dominated news feeds and social threads. These challenges are now being taken to the streets.  More →

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For Little Italy’s Survivors, the Pandemic Is Just the Latest Challenge

Mulberry Street, Little Italy, c. 1900. (Photo: Library of Congress)

A famous photograph of Mulberry Street at the turn of the 20th century shows a neighborhood brimming with life. The street is packed with recent Italian immigrants, young and old. Carts and buggies crowd the streets like cars do today, with merchants selling products out the back. Produce stands are in front of buildings in the same way that outdoor dining patios have extended onto Mulberry today– except there are no tourists around them, just locals. More →

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Shakespeare in the Parking Spot: Cultural Venues Can Now Take to the Streets

Manhattan Ave between Maujer St and Grand St, a future Open Culture location. (Photos: Anna Venarchik)

For performance artists across New York City, today is a turning point in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Cultural institutions and entertainment venues can now begin applying for Open Culture, an initiative to revive performance arts after a year of shutdowns. “Although the COVID-19 [pandemic] has impacted the entire arts sector, nowhere has the effect been more direct, deep, and immediate than on the performing arts,” stated a COVID-19 impact analysis conducted by Argonne National Laboratory. Open Culture is a long-awaited step for the sector widely noted as the first to have closed and the last to reopen. More →

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Queens Drive-In Joins Indoor Theaters in Making a Return

Just last week, New York’s cinema scene looked like, well, something out of a horror movie. Movie theaters had been dark since March, and– even as New York City’s casinos, gyms, and massage parlors were allowed to operate– cinephiles had to drive to Long Island or New Jersey to watch a movie the old-fashioned style, making for a virtually unprecedented reverse bridge-and-tunnel situation. More →

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‘Kids’ Star Leo Fitzpatrick: Opening a Gallery Is Like Building a Skateboarding Team

(Photo courtesy of Public Access.)

The pandemic has been rough for museums and art galleries. The Met is on the brink of selling masterpieces to keep the lights on, and galleries — small, intimate spaces — are largely empty because of capacity-limiting social distancing guidelines. All of this makes the buzzy start of Leo Fitzpatrick’s new gallery on St. Marks Place, Public Access, twice as exciting. More →

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Underground Railroad Tours Are a Hot Ticket: Could NYC’s Abolitionist History Get Easier to Access?

Juneteenth Grove. (Photos: Anna Venarchik)

“It’s very spiritual for me to be . . . on these grounds where my ancestors walked and struggled. It’s amazing to be here on this tour,” Brooklyn native Michael Garrett said Saturday as he followed the wide-brimmed hats of New York City park rangers through Brooklyn Heights. More →

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What It’s Like to Start a Nursing Career During the COVID Crisis

(Photo: Alexa Shahrestani)

After witnessing the extreme stress on health care workers, you might wonder if the pandemic is discouraging prospective doctors and nurses from pursuing such careers. For Joanne Santiago, the opposite was the case. Santiago, a Brooklyn native, graduated from nursing school during the early stages of the pandemic, last spring. The challenges presented by COVID did not intimidate her, but rather catalyzed her to remember that such crises are what she and her peers had signed up to combat. With no second thoughts, Santiago began her first health care position as a registered nurse in the emergency department (ED) of Bellevue Hospital this past November. More →

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During Town Hall, Some (But Not All) Electeds Pledge to Cancel Rent

Charles Barron pledges to support rent reform bills.

Outraged activists, distressed renters, proud union leaders, mayoral campaigners, assembly members, state senators, and at least one reporter attended Brooklyn’s Tenant Town Hall last night. The participant list blossomed around 6:45pm, and neared 270 at its pinnacle. On the virtual discussion table was a package of nine bills to address New York City’s growing housing crisis, a crisis that mass unemployment throughout the pandemic has exacerbated. As many as one million current renting households in New York are at risk of eviction if moratoriums are lifted—or if housing bills aren’t passed to protect vulnerable tenants. More →