All images courtesy of Booking.com
Travel company Booking.com is transforming Midtown’s Bryant Park into a unique overnight experience this Valentine’s Day. As part of its “Love Letters to America” campaign, the company is celebrating cities across the U.S. that have been hit hard by the coronavirus and inviting others to share adventures they are looking forward to once it’s safe to travel again. As a tribute to the Big Apple, Booking.com has converted the Polar Lounge at the Bank of America Winter Village into an après ski-inspired chalet, available to book for two nights only on February 13 and February 14.
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Screenshot of PlowNYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared on Monday a state of emergency for New York City and much of the state as Winter Storm Orlena continues to hit the area with heavy snowfall, over 50 mph winds, and white-out conditions. While many New Yorkers are already working from home, essential workers still have to get to work. With the city expected to get 16-22 inches of snow, the Department of Sanitation has updated its interactive PlowNYC map to see if and when your street has been plowed and salted.
See when your street was plowed last
Photos courtesy of Marc A. Hermann/ MTA unless otherwise noted
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday unveiled a memorial dedicated to the 136 employees who have died from the coronavirus since March. The tribute, named “Travels Far: A Memorial Honoring Our Colleagues Lost to COVID-19” after a poem by Tracy K. Smith commissioned for the project, includes an eight-minute video featuring photographs of the frontline MTA workers who lost their lives to the virus. The video will run on 138 three-panel digital screens at 107 subway stations across the city starting Monday.
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Image courtesy of Wellness 4 Humanity
When the pandemic hit, health startup Wellness 4 Humanity pivoted its mission to aid in providing COVID-19 tests to the public. Unlike many other tests, theirs were all created to be taken at home, including the more standard saliva test, as well as a rapid test that gets results in 15 minutes. The Houston-based company has now broadened its reach with its vending machines, which will be selling at-home tests starting at $119 across cities nationwide. Here in New York City, the first machine is expected to pop up at the office building 225 West 34th Street, but W4H co-founder Pavel Stuchlik told 6sqft that we can expect more machines in easily accessible spots throughout the city.
Photo by Adrian Wilson / @plannedalism
Street artist Adrian Wilson decided to mark the momentousness of yesterday with a special NYC-themed tribute to our new President. At the 46th Street subway station in Astoria, he used stickers to change the “46th St” mosaic to read “46th Joe” with a change to the directional below to read “45th Out.” In his Instagram post, Wilson wrote, “Total cost including 4 train rides, $12. Anyone could have done it. But I had to do it. For Joe.”
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Stanziola, P. (1964) Mayor Wagner greets Dr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. at City Hall / World-Telegram & Sun photo by Phil Stanziola. 1964. [Photograph]; Courtesy of the Library of Congress
While some of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most memorable moments of his career happened further South, like the Montgomery bus boycott and his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, support for his goals hailed first from advocacy organizations based in New York City, like the National Urban League. King held sermons at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights, led a march from Central Park to the United Nations in protest of the Vietnam War, and received a Medallion of Honor from Mayor Robert Wagner. As a way to honor King and his immense impact on the advancement of civil rights, the city has named streets, parks, playgrounds, and more after the icon. On MLK Day this Monday, celebrate by learning about memorials dedicated to him citywide.
Learn more about NYC’s MLK memorials here
All photos courtesy of Gem Spa
While you can no longer order an egg cream at Gem Spa in the East Village, which closed its doors for good in May, you can own a piece of the legendary institution. The landmark newsstand, which has been located on the corner of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue for a century, is auctioning off iconic memorabilia and signage from the store, including its bright yellow storefront sign, egg cream equipment, and gates with designs by the artist Paul Kostabi. The auction has been extended to January 7 at 10 p.m.
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Photo by ozgecan on Flickr
New York City’s Open Storefronts program, which allows small businesses to use outdoor space in front of their stores to sell goods, has been extended through the fall of next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed an executive order extending the program, which was originally expected to end December 31, through September 30, 2021. The program will also expand the number of restaurants and retail stores that can use sidewalks to sell take-out. “We think that’s going to help them as they fight to survive in this environment,” de Blasio said Tuesday.
Photo (cropped) of the Village Voice’s Cooper Square offices by Ajay Suresh via Wikimedia Commons
In August of 2018, after 63 years as a NYC icon, The Village Voice folded. But in some good news for local journalism, the New York Times reports today that the Voice will “[rise] from the dead.” Brian Calle, chief executive of Street Media which owns LA Weekly, has acquired the publication from its current owner Peter Barbey. Calle said he will start publishing online content next month, with a quarterly print edition set to launch in March. He also said he hopes to re-hire former Voice staffers.
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Photo by Peter Burka on Flickr
More than 1,000 chain stores in New York City have closed over the past year, the largest year-over-year decline in over a decade. According to the Center for an Urban Future’s annual “State of the Chains” report, nearly one out of every seven chain retailers open at this time last year is now closed, due to the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the continued growth of e-commerce. Even Dunkin’, the city’s largest retailer, closed 18 locations in 2020, the first time the coffee chain experienced a decline since CUF began tracking chains 13 years ago.
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