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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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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 →

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A Trailblazing Church Survives Fire and Pestilence to Mark Ash Wednesday

Last February, Middle Church gathered at their 128-year-old sanctuary in the East Village to observe Ash Wednesday. Like churches around the world, Middle Church administered ashes on their congregants’ foreheads. But quite unlike other churches, the community considered the finitude of human life by commemorating the full import of the date, February 26—the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s deathMore →

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Lunar New Year Kicks Off in Chinatown Without Quite as Much of a Bang

(Photo courtesy of Better Chinatown USA)

The Lunar New Year usually draws thousands to Manhattan’s Chinatown to watch the annual parade and partake in cultural festivities. Participants and spectators questioned whether they’d be able to celebrate this year, but a muted version popped off in Chinatown this afternoon — with confetti in lieu of fireworks. More →

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Valentine’s Day Won’t Be Quite as Sweet For Local Bakeries

Red Gate Bakery is hoping for a busy Valentine’s weekend (Photo: Trish Rooney)

Red Gate Bakery opened in December of 2019, two months before Valentine’s Day and three months before the pandemic hit. This year, during the East Village bakery’s second Valentine’s Day rush, they’ll offer a Red Velvet bread, heart-shaped Linzer cookies, and the strawberry Oreos that landed them on a Forbes list of best Valentine’s desserts in New York City. More →