Last week, our Seattle-bred writer told New Yorkers to stop being babies about the five-cent fee that the City Council had voted to impose for the use of plastic takeout bags. That plea fell on deaf ears, because on Tuesday, Governor Cuomo blocked implementation of the Bring Your Own Bag Law for at least a year. The Lower East Side’s own Margaret Chin was among those who dropped a W-T-F bomb, insisting that “carryout bag fees are the right policy” and that Cuomo’s move had quashed a measure that she and her colleagues in City Council had “democratically adopted” after slogging through “two years of hearings, reviewing evidence, reusable bag giveaways, and public debate.”
After a week of “secret talks” with leadership from one of the state’s most powerful interest groups, details are emerging regarding Governor Cuomo’s first major steps toward reviving 421-a. The New York Times broke the news yesterday evening about the first sign of a turning point for the controversial billion-dollar, affordable-housing tax abatement that was allowed to expire in January.
New York City’s 46th annual Pride March was bound to be even more political and urgent than usual. In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub during the weekly Latino night, feelings of solidarity, of mourning, and of resistance were more present than ever among this year’s marchers.
First the East Village got the city’s first kava bar and now comes its first hemp bar.
A large dark blue banner hangs just outside Brooklyn Dark Hemp Bar, amidst all the head shops on St. Marks Place. Earlier today, we found owner Lev Kelman setting out free samples of his ubiquitous Brooklyn Dark chocolate bars on the counter. Next to him, a coffee and espresso machine was primed and ready. Hemp chocolate brownies, pastries, and cookies were laid out on baking sheets in a small showcase on top of the counter. A few hemp t-shirts were displayed on a red brick wall.
In a big win for the Lower East Side, $335 million has been awarded to a barrier that will protect the Sandy-ravaged shores of the East River.