COVID

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New ICE Directive Leaves International Students Between a Rock and a Hard Place

(Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash)

Ngoc Dinh was still considering her options for the fall academic semester when Immigration and Customs Enforcement left her with no choice. 

A July 6 announcement from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) states that students on F-1 and M-1 visas will not be allowed to remain in the U.S. if their schools go completely online. This would affect both students who remained in the U.S. to complete their spring 2020 semester online, and those who came back to their country in mid-March. If schools decide to go with a hybrid or in-person model, students who want to stay must take at least one in-person course to keep their student records with SEVP active. More →

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As Housing Courts Begin Mulling Evictions, Protesters Demand Rent Forgiveness

“They are like vultures in there. They treat people inhumanely. They need to close this indefinitely, lock it down,” said a woman pointing to Brooklyn’s housing court, clearly traumatized by past experiences. She was one of many protesters who arrived at Livingston Street at 9am on Tuesday with a clear message: “Cancel rent.” More →

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When Rent Comes Due, Residents of Privatized Public Housing May Be Most Vulnerable

Ocean Bay apartments (Photo: NYCHA)

As New York City continues to progressively reopen and attempts to salvage the second half of summer, its public housing residents face looming evictions and rent crises. The statewide moratorium on evictions, which began to lift on June 20, was recently extended, but only for certain individuals, and back rent will still be due when the moratorium ends on August 20. More →

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New York’s List of Outbreak States Grows, But Are Mandatory Quarantines Actually Effective?

New York today added Kansas, Oklahoma, and Delaware to what is now a list of 19 states where Covid-19 is spreading rapidly. Travelers from the states, where there has been a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 or an average rate of infection of at least 10 percent over a rolling seven-day period, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in New York. Failure to observe the quarantine order could result in a $2,000 fine. But it’s not clear how the order will be enforced or whether it will be effective in curbing the spread of the virus. More →

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As Indoor Bars Remain on Ice, Beverly’s Closes and Others Struggle

(Photo courtesy of Hair of the Dog)

Seven years ago, Leah Dixon co-founded a charming dive bar named Beverly’s on the Lower East Side. Featuring a flashy, pink neon sign and artwork on full display, the artist-run bar was the ideal place for people to crowd together and feed off of each other’s positive energy. But once Covid-19 forced Beverly’s to shut down completely, the once lively bar struggled to get back on its feet.  More →

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Bike Ridership Continues to Rise During the Pandemic, Despite Road Blocks

Photo courtesy of Rafael Daher.

If there’s one thing Cris Matos doesn’t miss about her life before the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the way she moved throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The subway, Uber, and taxis used to be her religion. “Now, I can’t live without my bicycle,” said Matos. “I’m afraid to use the subway and I’m still concerned about getting inside a car with a driver I don’t know.” Whenever she needs to leave East Harlem, the first thing she does is plot bike lanes. More →

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Students Can Still Get Free Meals— From the City and Elsewhere

Mayor Bill de Blasio visits the Meal Hub at P.S.1 in April. (Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

As kids all over the city entered summer break on Monday, the New York City Department of Education decided to continue its Free Meals initiative. Originally restricted to students and, subsequently, children, the grab-and-go program was expanded in early April to include adults as well, and will continue to operate this way throughout the season. More →

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Bad Weather Leaves Outdoor Restaurants Stinging in the Rain

What’s worse than a rainy Saturday afternoon? A rainy first Saturday of outdoor dining after months of waiting. 

“That’s a pain,” said Jimmy, a bartender at Kenn’s Broome Street Bar in Soho as people deserted its outdoor terrace during an intense episode of rain. “We’re losing so much clients because of the weather. Usually it’d be crowded, especially on a Saturday afternoon.” More →