Even before he was officially declared President-elect, Joe Biden began briefings about the pandemic, and since Saturday’s celebrations, his comprehensive, federally led strategy to combat COVID-19 finally feels within reach. Today, President-elect Biden announced the 13 members of his COVID-19 advisory board, made up of public health experts, scientists, and doctors. This group will help Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and him carry out their plan to not only beat the virus, but to prepare for future global health threats. Ahead, we take a closer look at the intricacies of the strategy and how it will benefit the entire nation, as well as New Yorkers, from a nation-wide mask mandate to an increase in testing centers to the establishment of a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force.
Portrait of George Washington via Wikimedia, Photo of Chester Alan Arthur via Wikimedia; Photo of Theodore Roosevelt via Wikimedia; Photo of Barack Obama via Wikimedia; Photo of Donald Trump via Wikimedia
New York City’s presidential history runs deep. Our nation’s very first president lived in the inaugural presidential mansion on Cherry Street during the city’s two-year reign as the country’s capital. As the 2020 presidential election finally wraps up, we’re taking a look at this original New York presidential residence, as well as those that followed, including Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama, and most recently, Donald Trump.
Photo courtesy of Estuary
Let’s face it–this year’s Thanksgiving is not going to be what we’re used to. Many of us won’t be able to travel to be with our families or don’t feel comfortable dining in a restaurant. But if cooking’s not your thing (or you’re just too damn exhausted from 2020), there are plenty of local restaurants offering to-go holiday meals. From classic turkey dinners at Bubby’s and The Smith to an affordable, family-friendly option from Sarabeth’s to something a little more avant-garde like Cote’s Korean prime rib meal or Aquavit’s Nordic-inspired menu, we’ve rounded up the best takeout Turkey Day options in NYC.
Photo by Ethan Covey for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
This year has been tough on all New Yorkers, but especially those unemployed, hungry, and experiencing homelessness. While every holiday season is a chance to give back to your community, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made helping those in need this year more important than ever. Ahead, find out where to volunteer and donate across the city, whether it’s contributing to Thanksgiving food drives, delivering holiday meals, making greeting cards for seniors, or donating to coat drives. Please note, each organization has put in place protocols related to COVID-19 that need to be followed, including mask and social distancing requirements.
Early voting at the Brooklyn Museum; © 6sqft
While over three million New Yorkers, including over one million residents in New York City, have already cast their ballots during the nine-day early voting period, millions more are expected to show up to vote on Tuesday. To help both voters and poll workers deal with possible long wait times and overall stress this Election Day, a number of companies are offering deals and freebies on November 3, from discounted rides to the polls to free food delivery.
Here in NYC, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have both advised against traveling for Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. One option is to host a virtual holiday. It won’t be the same, but it’s got its selling points (i.e. no squabbling with your mother-in-law in the kitchen or having dad refuse to turn the game off during dinner); it’ll just take some extra planning in advance. If you have family and friends local, you may want to consider a safe, outdoor meal. But we recommend buying a heater now and figuring out how you’ll keep the food warm. Ahead, we’ve put together a guide to planning a COVID Thanksgiving, no matter how you plan to enjoy the day.
Did you know the country’s first pet cemetery opened right here in New York, and still to this day is the world’s largest such burial ground? Hartsdale Pet Cemetery was established in 1896 by NYC veterinarian Samuel Johnson (an early promoter of the ASPCA), who provided part of the apple orchard at his Westchester retreat to serve as a burial spot for a client’s dog. Nearly 125 years later, this area is the resting place for more than 80,000 pets, from dogs and cats to reptiles to a lion cub who called the Plaza Hotel home. Known as “The Peaceable Kingdom,” the grounds are also home to a 50-ton above-ground mausoleum for a pair of spaniels and the War Dog Memorial, a post-WWI tribute to military canines that was the first of its kind. Even Diana Ross, George Raft, and Mariah Carey have buried their four-legged friends here.
Make staying home this winter more enjoyable with your very own working fireplace. While the city’s stock of apartments with wood-burning fireplaces won’t be getting larger after the city banned the construction of them a few years ago, there are still plenty of apartments that offer a cozy fireside amenity. Despite being somewhat of a rarity, owning a home with a fireplace doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve found seven apartments with working fireplaces currently on the market for under $1 million.
St. Paul’s Chapel via Flickr cc
Tis the season to voluntarily spook yourself! But if haunted houses and tourist-friendly ghost tours are not your thing, New York’s bustling burrows are home to a slew of the more naturally born spirits. You’ll find Dracula’s extended family on 23rd Street, a host of oracles on Orchard Street, and the site of the cruel crime that led to the nation’s first recorded murder trial on Spring Street. If you’re searching for a necropolis in the metropolis, here are ten of the best sites in New York to spot specters.
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.