City Living

Celebrities, City Living, Policy

Billy Idol joins Mayor de Blasio in anti-idling message

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, February 28, 2020

billy idol, bill de blasio, idling, pollution, environment

Image courtesy of the Office of the Mayor

Motorists are getting a new warning: If you idle on New York City’s streets you’ll get a fine from the city–and a snarl from rocker Billy Idol. The mayor’s penchant for geeky dad humor and a dose of Gen X nostalgia make the collab a natural, and while it might sound as if it’s aimed at slackers in city government, the fresh and direct message is meant for the idling vehicles that befoul the city with noise and pollution.

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Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy

Image: Michael Kowalczyk via Flickr.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, passed by state lawmakers last April, goes into effect on March 1, 2020. Grocery stores and other retail establishments that collect state taxes from customers will no longer be permitted to use the familiar garden-variety plastic bags to contain purchases at checkout counters. Few argue in favor of their use: they aren’t biodegradable, cause major pollution, and kill wildlife. But we’re used to their presence, so our everyday errands may be affected, no matter how minor or worthy the change. What are the exceptions to the no-bag rule? What are our alternatives? What do we hope to accomplish by banishing plastic bags? For those answers and more, read on.

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City Living, Upper East Side

Photo by missvancamp on Flickr

Trader Joe’s footprint in New York City is growing again. The popular grocery chain will likely open a new store on the Upper East Side in a space beneath the Queensboro Bridge. Formerly occupied by Food Emporium, the space features a 5,000-square-foot Guastavino-tiled arcade and was landmarked by the city in 1974 as part of the bridge’s designation. Last month, Trader Joe’s opened a new location in the East Village, its 10th store in the city, with possible plans to move to a condo tower in Long Island City.

Details this way

City Living, holidays

Photo: Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

Forget the roses and chocolate, spend this Valentine’s Day enjoying a new book. As part of its 125th-anniversary celebration, the New York Public Library on Friday released an expertly-curated list of 125 books that inspire a love of reading. A team of librarians spent a year debating and choosing its 125 Books We Love list, which includes fiction and non-fiction titles published after May 23, 1895, the year the library was incorporated.

The full list, here

City Living, Transportation

50-year-old R-42 subway cars are finally being retired

By Michelle Cohen, Wed, February 12, 2020

The final run of the R42 trains on the A line near Hammels Wye in the Rockaways on February 12, 2020. Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

The NYC subway rolls a little further into the 21st century today: The MTA is finally retiring its Nixon-era R-42 trains. The silver half-century-old R-42s, first rolled out in 1969 (the same year “Sesame Street” debuted), will make their last run today along the A line before being permanently retired, having already been mostly replaced by the R-160 fleet (h/t NYPost). The new R-179s cars will eventually replace them (h/t Gothamist). The R-42 cars were scheduled to disappear in December, but the R-179s were pulled from the system due to problems with their door-locking mechanisms.

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apartment living 101, City Living, Features, NYC Guides, Policy, renting 101

Renters insurance in NYC: Why you should get it right now

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, February 10, 2020

© Daxiao Productions – Fotolio

Renters insurance is one of those things that you know is a good idea–and like so many New York City renters, you’ve been meaning to do it, but you may not have gotten around to it–until you wish you had. And though we hope we’ll never need it, it’s one of the few things in city life that’s simple, inexpensive, and worth every penny. Below, we explain why it’s an important investment to make, how to navigate the process of getting a qu0te and getting covered, and which provider might be best for you.

All about renters insurance, this way

City Living, History, Transportation

times square shuttle, times square curved tracks, nyc subway

The Times Square shuttle platform, Photo by Helvetica Fanatic on Wikimedia 

At the platform of the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle, a train track is hidden in plain sight. At both ends of the two-station line, tracks are numbered 1, 3 and 4, with no Track 2 to be found. As the New York Times explained, Track 2 once ran in its appropriate spot, between Tracks 1 and 3, but was taken out of operation nearly 100 years ago. After an attempt to expand the original 1904 line turned to major confusion for commuters, transit officials covered Track 2 with wooden flooring to make it easier for New Yorkers to walk to the new tracks.

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City Living, Upper West Side 

Photo of the Strand via Wikimedia Commons

After a long and dramatic saga, the Upper West Side’s Book Culture closed for good last month, but come March, the storefront at 450 Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets will have a new beloved book store as a tenant. The Strand announced yesterday that third-generation owner Nancy Bass Wyden signed a lease for the space, which will be renamed The Strand at Columbus Avenue.

Get the scoop

City Living, Union Square

Map data © 2020 Google

Don’t get too excited yet–it’s not opening until at least 2023, when the lease expires for the space’s current tenant, the Food Emporium grocery store. The Post reports that Target signed a lease for the 32,579-square-foot space at the base of 10 Union Square East. Target currently has seven stores in Manhattan, with two more set to open in Times SquareColumbus Circle, and Washinton Heights. One of their stores is just a few avenues east on 14th Street at Avenue A.

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City Living, Features, NYC Guides

The 10 best places in NYC to propose

By Rebecca Fishbein, Mon, February 3, 2020

Photo of The Strand Rare Book Room (top left) by Aaron and Whitney Photography; all others cited below

Some people think Valentine’s Day is a good day for a proposal, but those people are wrong. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that belongs to Hallmark, but the day you propose is one that belongs to you, without any intrusion on the part of a greeting card company. Still, if you’re going to pop the question, you’re best off doing it before February 14, so the pressure’s off and no one’s sitting at dinner stressing out over whether or not they’re going to accidentally swallow a ring in their champagne. Luckily, this city’s full of romantic spots ripe for love and impending marriage. Here are a few of our favorites, from a bookstore and a movie theater to parks and restaurants.

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