Photo by Brianne Sperber on Wikimedia
One of New York City’s largest and most beloved independent bookstores is asking for help. Citing a decline in foot traffic, a lack of tourists, and zero in-store events because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Strand Bookstore’s revenue has dropped nearly 70 percent compared to last year, owner Nancy Bass Wyden said on Friday. According to Bass Wyden, the business, one of the last bookstores of Union Square’s former “Book Row,” is not currently sustainable.
New Target store at 1863 Broadway on the UWS. Photo credit: AP Images for Target.
After construction and COVID-related delays, Target has officially opened three new small-format stores on the Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen, and Staten Island. The store at 61st and Broadway at Columbus Circle was first announced two years ago and was planned to open in 2019. Likewise, the store on 10th Avenue and 45th Street was first announced four years ago and was also planned to open in 2019. The store in the North Shore section of Staten Island is only delayed by six months.
Image: Michael Kowalczyk via Flickr.
The ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect on Monday, more than seven months after enforcement was set to begin. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on plastic bags was approved by state lawmakers last year with plans to begin enforcement on March 1, 2020. But a lawsuit from the Bodega and Small Business Association and a delay in a court decision on the lawsuit because of the coronavirus pandemic pushed enforcement of the new law back multiple times until a state judge ruled in August that the ban can begin on October 19. Starting Monday, grocery and retail stores that collect state taxes from customers will no longer be permitted to use plastic bags to contain purchases at checkout. Ahead, learn more about the Bag Waste Reduction Law, the exceptions to the law, and alternatives to single-use plastic.
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“I don’t get no respect,” goes the famous line by Rodney Dangerfield that would often echo through the Upper East Side comedy club in his namesake. And after the larger NYC comedy world has claimed that the state is showing them no respect in the wake of the pandemic, Dangerfield’s will be closing after a 50-year run. First reported by Vulture, the club announced this week that the coronavirus “placed a severe financial burden” on them, “making operations in New York City untenable.”
Photo by Tim Krause on Flickr
More than 60 parks organizations and community groups are leading cleanups at green spaces across the city this weekend, in response to a growing trash problem at parks. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, park use in New York soared, as it was one of the safest activities available to residents during the peak of the crisis. But the increase in visitors put additional strain on park management, which is struggling to keep up because of COVID-19 related budget cuts. On October 17, New Yorkers for Parks, City Parks Foundation, Partnership for Parks, and NYC Parks are encouraging New Yorkers to volunteer for a day of cleaning and beautifying the city’s parks in every borough.
How to participate
Photo of Bubby’s Tribeca, courtesy of Bubby’s
Though indoor dining is permitted at 25-percent capacity in New York City, a lot of people still don’t feel 100-percent comfortable with the idea. Luckily, the city made its outdoor dining program permanent and year-round and gave restaurants the go-ahead to install outdoor heat lamps. If you’re looking for one of these spots to dine al fresco without shivering, we’ve begun a running list throughout the city. Know of another spot? Let us know in the comments!
Check out the full list here
Photo by Billy Hathorn via Wikimedia Commons
When the Roosevelt Hotel opened on East 45th Street in 1924, it was connected to Grand Central via an underground tunnel, signaling its prominence among New York’s Jazz Age society. But nearly 100 years later, the Midtown hotel will shut it doors for good on October 31. As CNN first reported, owner Pakistan International Airlines said in a statement that the decision stems from “the current, unprecedented environment and the continued uncertain impact from COVID-19.”
Photo by Andrae Ricketts on Unsplash
Broadway theaters, which first closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will stay dark until next May 30. The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and show producers, announced on Friday it was suspending ticket sales to all shows for another seven months.
Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL
There’s exactly one month until the presidential election, but that’s still plenty of time to educate yourself about the issues at stake. To make things easier, the New York Public Library has released its 2020 Election Reading List, which features 200 titles for adults, teens, and children that “offer illuminating and engaging explorations of key voter issues, from climate change, foreign policy, and education to healthcare, political polarization, and movements toward greater justice and socioeconomic equality.”
Photo of the 79th Street Boat Basin by Jim Henderson on Wikimedia
In Amsterdam, houseboats are considered an affordable way to live in the center of the city. They’re also popular in other global cities, from London’s Little Venice to waterfront neighborhoods in Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Sydney. So why doesn’t New York City—with its 578 miles of coastline—have a thriving houseboat community, too? While it’s impossible to know for certain, recent estimates for Manhattan suggest that year-round houseboat residents or “liveaboards” may now number fewer than 50.
More on houseboat living and how to do it yourself