About Marialexa Kavanaugh

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As Filming Resumes in NYC, It’s ‘Lights, Camera…Action?’

Before Covid-19 tore through New York City, the film industry was alive and thriving. In February, Law and Order SVU was shooting its 22nd season at Chelsea Piers while Billions filmed on the Upper West Side. Roberto Lopez, a stunt coordinator and gear-rigger, was working on the set of For Life with 50 Cent when everything came to a screeching halt. “We were shooting a lot of stuff in the prisons, particularly Kew Gardens, which the show is about,” he remembered.“Then everything just shut down overnight. We packed up the sets and no one came back.” More →

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‘It’s Heartbreaking’: Why So Much Homelessness in the East Village?

(Photo: David Shankbone via WikiCommons)

“The East Village has become unsafe,” tweeted @kernie_sanders in a message to Mayor Bill de Blasio in late June. “I have never seen such desperation.” 

Already estimated at over 1,000 prior to Covid-19, the homeless population in the East Village and Lower East Side has only grown since the pandemic began. The Department of Homeless Services and the Coalition for the Homeless haven’t yet calculated a number, but hope to generate more data in the coming months. In the meantime, East Village residents have noticed an uptick in the number of unsheltered individuals.  More →

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Behind Closed Gates, Brooklyn Community Gardens Continue to Plant Seeds of Change

(Photos: Marialexa Kavanaugh)

On the corner of Hancock St. and Marcus Garvey Blvd. is a small patch of earth called the Hancock T&T Community Garden. A wooden sign protrudes from behind its fence, displaying portraits of iconic Black change-makers like Angela Davis, Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass. In large, bold letters are the words “The Gateway To The Ancestors,” which hang above these lines. More →

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Village Bars Reeling From Pride Cancellation Now Worry About Illegal Crowding

Pride weekend, 2016. (Photo: Rhododendrites on WikiCommons)

A year ago, the streets of the West Village were resplendent with rainbow flags sporting the number 50 to mark the bicentennial of the Stonewall Riots and New York’s first time hosting World Pride. Throngs of people from across the globe spilled out of the neighborhood’s iconic LGBTQ drinking establishments, swapping sweat and saliva. More →

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Doulas Take Deep Breaths Before Heading Back into Hospitals

(Photo: JennaRich via WikiCommons)

Three weeks ago, Anna Dejesus’ water started leaking. It was two months before her due date, so she was rushed to the nearest hospital. Her medical team immediately began trying to halt her premature labor, with hopes of keeping it on pause until it was safe to give birth. Her hospital stay was expected to stretch up to a month, and with the Covid-19 crisis restricting visitors, she was told it would be a solitary one. In search of solace, support, and skills for braving the weeks to come, she decided to call her birth doula, Melissa Murphy. More →