About Daniel Maurer

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Bars Are Now Selling NYC’s Favorite Illicit Street Drink, Nutcracker

After a high-profile crackdown last summer, nutcracker has made a return. But not necessarily on city beaches, where crowds have been sparse due to poor weather, a swimming ban, and concerns about public transportation. Instead, the highly potent fruit punches– sold in 8-ounce or 16-ounce bottles– have crept onto the menus of local drinking establishments. With restaurants now allowed to serve booze to-go, several licensed establishments have started appropriating a drink usually sold illicilty out of coolers on the beach, in the subway, or on street corners. To find out whether bar-bought nutcrackers and their frozen counterparts, phrosties, pack the same punch, we uncapped a few. More →

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NYC’s Closest Drive-In Reopens Tonight, and Advance Tickets Are Sold Out All Weekend

Drive-in movie theaters were briefly a light in the darkness when conventional theaters started closing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. But when we checked in with them two months ago, many of the drive-ins mentioned in the Times and other outlets were subsequently forced to close by ever more stringent shutdown regulations. With states now reopening, outdoor theaters like the Starlight, in Atlanta, are up and running again, and our favorite New York-area drive-in, the Warwick, is finally about to join their ranks. More →

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Seen the Doc About the World’s Wackiest Quarantine? 11 More Amazing Things About Biosphere 2

(Still from Spaceship Earth courtesy of Neon)

If you thought sitting around your apartment for two months was an ordeal, try sealing yourself indoors for two years, without even being able to leave for food because you’re supposed to be growing all of your own. That was precisely what eight men and women set out to do in 1991, when they entered Biosphere 2. The futuristic greenhouse was built across three acres of the Arizona desert by an ambitious and eccentric collective of dreamers who fell somewhere between a hippie commune and a Martian colony. More →

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When a Genghis Khan Restaurant’s Opening Is Scuttled, Cook-at-Table Becomes Cook-at-Home

The Japanese dish known as Jingisukan, or Genghis Khan, takes its name from the legend that Mongol warriors cooked lamb over their helmets. At Dr. Clark, a new Hokkaido-inspired restaurant in Chinatown, the plan was for diners to cook their marinated lamb and vegetables at their tables, using cast-iron skillets resembling Genghis Khan’s helmet. But when the coronavirus shutdown scuttled the restaurant’s March 15 opening, the operators had to shelve the armored skillets and come up with another plan of attack. More →

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Are New Yorkers Covering Their Faces? Depends Who You Mask

(Photo: Andrew Henkelman via Wiki Commons)

A little over two months ago, Bedford + Bowery’s Zijia Song decided to wear a face mask in public, but grew too self-conscious to keep it up. “People saw my face mask not as a sign of precaution and regard for hygiene, but a sign of ‘Yellow Peril,’” she wrote. Needless to say, times have changed. On April 2, Mayor Bill de Blasio told all New Yorkers to cover their faces in public, acting on a study cited by the World Health Organization that found that asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers were transmitting the new coronavirus. New York hasn’t gone as far as Los Angeles, where it’s now a misdemeanor to visit essential businesses such as supermarkets without wearing a face covering, but the thinking about masks has clearly changed.  More →