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Museum of Chinese in America’s President Nancy Yao Maasbach On Racism, Recovery, and Reopening

Among all of the arts and culture institutions that were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. the Museum of Chinese in America had a particularly devastating 2020. On January 23, shortly before the city grinded to a virtual halt in March, the Mulberry Street building that housed MOCA’s collections and archives caught fire. As the pandemic unfolded, anti-Asian sentiment also rose rapidly. Statistics gathered by advocacy groups show that across the country, over 2,000 Covid-related anti-Asian-American hate incidents were reported between March and June.  More →

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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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Laws Protecting Women From Violence Are Under Threat, and Not Just in Turkey

“Arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey” by G20 Argentina is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the last few days of July, black-and-white photos began filling up Instagram feeds around the world. Generally, they were solo, selfie shots of women, with hashtags like #womensupportingwomen and #challengeaccepted. Many celebrities jumped on the trend, including Cindy Crawford, Kerry Washington, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Aniston, using everything from old glamour shots to close-up selfies in order to, ostensibly, demonstrate their general solidarity with women. In a pandemic rife with internet challenges and online activism, it seemed, at first glance, another trend meant to bind us together with a vaguery, when everyone was looking for some form of connection. More →

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On the Corner With the Anti-Violence Crews Trying to Stem the Rise in Shootings

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

As the sweltering July heat baked the streets of Bed-Stuy Monday morning, mourners dressed in black and white filed out of Pleasant Grove Baptist behind the three-foot-long, cartoon-covered casket of one-year-old Davell Gardner, Jr, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn on July 12. The procession, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, spilled onto Fulton Street with a visible weariness; the weariness of a community wracked by death, facing another loss so horrific it is difficult to even comprehend. More →

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Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival Is Latest to Go Drive-In

Rooftop Films’ Brooklyn Drive-In

They closed down Lincoln Center and put up a parking lot.

The New York Film Festival is the latest to announce that it will screen movies a la drive-in. Film at Lincoln Center announced today that the 58th iteration of its annual festival will open with not one but three Steve McQueen premieres and will take place, in part, at the Queens and Brooklyn drive-ins that were set up by Rooftop Films earlier this summer. More →

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Despite the ‘Shift to Thrift,’ Some NYC Vintage Stores Are Running Ragged

(Photo via @woodensleepers/Instagram)

On July 6, Wooden Sleepers, a destination men’s vintage store on Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, announced it would be closing. 

“When I opened the shop on March 15, I didn’t realize it would be the last time,” Brian Davis, the store’s owner, wrote on Instagram. “I figured Covid-19 would pass and I could get back to business as usual. Fast forward 4 months and here we are, still closed.”

While Phase 2 of New York City’s reopening plan allowed in-store retail to resume June 22 under certain mandatory guidelines, Davis felt that his roughly 400-square-foot couldn’t meet the social distancing criteria. And with a newborn at home, Davis, who had been quarantining since mid-March, still had concerns about Covid-19. More →

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Rev. Sharpton at Funeral of One-Year-Old Shooting Victim: ‘This Is a Disgrace’

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

Davell Gardner Jr., the one-year-old boy who was shot and killed at a cookout on July 12, was laid to rest in Brooklyn yesterday, at a service presided over by Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop Albert L. Jamison. In a somber ceremony, attended by members of the community and prominent New York politicians and public figures, speakers remembered the short life of Gardner, while calling for an end to gun violence in the community. More →