Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s office
New York on Friday became the first state to officially launch a digital passport for the coronavirus, which involves a smartphone app that shows proof of an individual’s vaccination or recent negative test. Developed in partnership with IBM, the “Excelsior Pass” is designed like a mobile airline boarding pass and is part of the state’s plan to reopen businesses, entertainment venues, and wedding reception halls. Following a pilot program tested at a Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center and at a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden earlier this year, the app will expand to smaller arts and culture venues and theaters on April 2, the same day live performances can return to New York.
Photo courtesy of TodayTix
Welcoming back the return of live performance in New York City is an outdoor concert series featuring Broadway stars. Next month, ticket-selling company TodayTix will host in-person performances by Lauren Patten and Derek Klena from Jagged Little Pill, Ana Villafañe from On Your Feet!, and The Lion King’s Bradley Gibson on the rooftop of a Manhattan building. The shows mark one of the first live ticketed events to take place in the city after over a year.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the opening of the Open Culture Program to allow live performances on designated streets. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
More than 100 streets in New York can become stages under the city’s Open Culture program that launched this month. Modeled after the Open Streets and Open Restaurant initiatives that close some streets to cars and let restaurants set up creative outdoor dining seating, this new permit type allows ticketed, socially distanced performances, rehearsals, classes, and workshops to take place on blocks in every borough. Mayor Bill de Blasio this week said the first three performances under the program would take place on Friday, with events in Mott Haven, Williamsburg, and Harlem.
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Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
It’s been one year since the city first shut down due to COVID-19. It’s been a long and painful 365 days, but we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Nearly 12 percent of New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated, and we have reopening dates for nearly every aspect of city living, including sports stadiums and arenas, restaurants, events, museums, weddings, amusement parks, movie theaters, and travel. Ahead, we’ve put together a list of all the reopening dates and details in New York City. We’ll be updating this list as more information becomes available.
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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
There’s no way to describe this past year in words. We can list all the adjectives–painful, scary, hopeful, etc.–but no combination can truly articulate what it meant to be a New Yorker during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Sunday, the city will mark March 14–one year since NYC lost its first resident to the virus–with an official day of remembrance for the nearly 30,000 city residents who passed away. For our part, we decided to speak with our fellow New Yorkers and ask who or what they would like to remember on this somber anniversary. It might be someone they’ve lost, someone who did something heroic, or a larger group or event that played a role. And with these raw stories, we think we can describe this year, through all the feelings that can never be put into words.
A vaccination site in Co-Op City in the Bronx. Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.
In early January, NY Post reporter Hannah Frishberg shared the story of how she received a leftover dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when she happened to be at a Brooklyn clinic at the end of the day. The healthcare worker who was scheduled to receive that dose missed her appointment, and therefore “It was my arm or the garbage,” wrote Frishberg. Since then, leftover doses have become more and more sought after, with some New Yorkers lining up at sites from 7am in the hopes of getting lucky. And now, a new New York-based website called Dr. B allows you to sign up on a formal standby list to be notified when local providers find themselves with extra doses.
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Photo by Norbert Kundrak on Unsplash
This Sunday, March 14 marks one year since the first resident of New York City died from the coronavirus. Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the date will be recognized as an official day of remembrance for the nearly 30,000 city residents who passed away from the virus. This week the mayor invited people to share the names and photographs of family, friends, and neighbors lost to COVID to possibly be featured as part of the city’s online memorial taking place on March 14.
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Nearly a year into the pandemic, decision-making in our cities has taken center stage. Locally grown proposals by council people, small business owners, and neighbors have proven the ability to cut through red tape and innovate quickly to solve problems. Outdoor dining structures and pedestrian-only streets were implemented at a rate thought impossible before. At the same time, top-down mandates about public safety and use of funds have been at best called into question, and at worst, completely fumbled. Slow action and political quibbles have left many critical decisions out of public hands.
In the face of many more important decisions to come about our city, it is high time to address a challenge that has plagued us long before the pandemic — the lack of substantial public input into big decisions.
COVID-19 testing site sat the Highbridge Recreation Center in Manhattan on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office via Flickr
A report released on Monday by the NYC Department of Health shows that 6.2 percent of new COVID cases in NYC are the B.1.1.7 variant (more commonly known as the UK variant), an increase from 2.7 percent in January. The estimate is based on 45 identified variant cases of the 724 specimens sequenced the week of February 8-14. The week prior, it was actually 7.4 percent. On their website which has been updated to include data on variant cases, the NYC DOH says that the UK strain is “more transmissible than other variants and may cause more severe illness.”
Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash
Jerry Seinfeld, Edie Falco, Cam’ron, Debbie Mazar, Whoopie Goldberg, Fran Lebowitz–these are just a few of the 25 New York celebrities whose voices were recorded by the MTA for a new set of subway PSAs. The announcements, which begin today, are meant to bring humor and some good old-fashioned NYC swagger to the subway as the city begins its recovery. The project was done in collaboration with Nicolas Heller, a talent scout who has gained notoriety for his popular Instagram account New York Nico. “This was such a dream project and I wanna give a huge thanks to my team who helped make this whole thing happen in less than 6 weeks with $0,” he wrote in a post today.
Hear some of the announcements