Today marks one year since the first COVID-19 case was detected in New York. It’s been a long and painful 365 days, but we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. More than 8 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.
Before the coronavirus even hit New York City last year, anti-Asian racism and xenophobia struck the city’s Chinatown neighborhoods, affecting the residents and many small businesses. Throughout the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in harassment and violence against Chinese and other Asian New Yorkers, particularly stemming from racist misinformation about COVID-19. As The City reported, the Commission on Human Rights, recorded 205 cases in 2020 involving anti-Asian incidents, a nearly “sevenfold rise “compared to 2019. Hate crimes and attacks directed at Asian Americans have continued into 2021, in New York and across the country. Ahead, we’ve put together a list of local organizations to donate, for those looking to support Asian communities across the five boroughs. While incomplete, the list can serve as a starting point and will be updated.
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.
If you’re like me, sleep does not come easy. Whether your mind’s racing or you just can’t get comfortable, the most “relaxing” part of our day can often be the most frustrating. Add to that a year of pandemic- and political-related stress, and sweet dreams seem to be nothing more than a nightmare. But the right pillow can help in this department, whether it gets your body in the right position (all pillows are not created equal when it comes to side, stomach, and back sleepers), cools you down, or just brings the right amount of calming energy. Ahead, we’ve rounded up this year’s best available pillows for every type of sleeper at every price point.
Known for its record-breaking height and sophisticated Art Deco style, the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s, if not the world’s, most recognized landmarks. While the building is often used in popular culture as light-natured fodder—such as the opening backdrop to your favorite cookie-cutter rom-com or the romantic meeting spot for star-crossed lovers—the building’s past is far more ominous than many of us realize. From failed suicide attempts to accidental plane crashes, its history casts a vibrant lineup of plot-lines and characters spanning the past 90 years.
Like almost everything this past year, Mardi Gras is looking a lot different (New Orleans is even closing all its bars), but that doesn’t mean the festive, celebratory sentiment is lost. Here in New York City, there are plenty of bakeries with King Cake and other colorful treats, and restaurants have put together special seafood boils. There are also some virtual events so you can celebrate carnival safely.
Photo of Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge courtesy of NYC Parks/ Daniel Avila
Sledding has long been a New York City pastime during the long winter months, thanks to the many hills and slopes found in parks across the five boroughs. With an already impressive season of snow upon us, it’s the perfect chance to escape your apartment and get some fresh air and winter fun. Ahead, find the best places to go sledding in every borough, from scenic Sunset Park in Brooklyn to the natural rolling hills of Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park.
Heart-shaped pizzas, at-home sushi-making kits, red velvet cakes, sake and chocolate pairings–these are just some of the takeout offerings and treats that you can order this Valentine’s Day. Since most of us will be staying home, we’ve put together a list of local restaurants with special to-go menus, as well as shops that have yummy holiday treats and edible gifts and even some virtual cooking classes. Ahead, check out all the options and start planning your romantic day (or weekend!).
When the coronavirus pandemic struck New York City last March, many New Yorkers decided to temporarily stick it out at short-term rentals in the Hamptons. As the crisis continued and it became clear COVID was not subsiding any time soon, those tentative renters became buyers, aided by low mortgage rates and the ability to work from home. According to a report from Sotheby’s International Realty, sales activity in the Hamptons in the third quarter of last year saw a significant increase year over year at all price points as many sought more space and access to the outdoors. “It took a pandemic for folks to discover that the Hamptons is so much more than a swanky summer-only home destination,” Holly Hodder, an agent managing East End listings for Sotheby’s International Realty, said. “Thousands of people who have settled here for hundred-plus years as full-time residents know that anyone can find an affordable level.”
Photo by Rhododendrites via Wikimedia
Next Friday, February 12th, begins the Year of the Ox, an animal whose attributes are hardworking and honest. The Lunar New Year is a 16-day celebration, often marked by lantern festivals, parades, and fireworks. But since we aren’t able to enjoy a lot of these gatherings this year, we’ve rounded up some of the best safe celebratory events in New York City, including virtual dumpling-making classes, papercutting workshops, a small business crawl in Chinatown, and traditional Chinese dance and music performances.