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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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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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‘Cancel July 4,’ Protesters Say During Another Weekend of Marches

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

This year’s Fourth of July celebrations brought more fireworks, picnics and Black Lives Matter protests to the city’s streets. As demonstrations against police brutality sweep the country and the coronavirus continues to claim thousands of Black and Brown lives, many people refused to take part in acts of patriotism and celebrate the United States this year. 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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City Gets a Budget, But Occupy City Hall Isn’t Budging

In the early morning hours yesterday after the New York City Council approved the City’s 2021 budget, NYPD officers advanced on Occupy City Hall protesters that had filled Centre and Chambers streets in downtown Manhattan, pushing them into City Hall Park. Though efforts by the police remained largely non-confrontational, many of the structures and stations set up by organizers were destroyed or damaged in the process. 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 →