December 13, 2021 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 52 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events!
Gov. Hochul is instituting a new mask mandate effective today (Monday Dec. 13) as the Covid case rate rises. In establishments like supermarkets that don’t have vaccine mandates, people must now wear a mask.
A vital part of life on the Upper West Side, the Hudson River is being restored by a once-ubiquitous New York City delicacy that was nearly wiped out by centuries of over-harvesting and pollution. As part of the Billion Oyster Project, “11.2 million juvenile oysters have been added in the past six months to a section of the Hudson River off the coast of Lower Manhattan, where they are helping to filter the water and creating habitats for other marine life,” The New York Times reported. “The waters are still too polluted to eat from freely…. But the water quality in the area is steadily improving…. Now, in addition to the [oysters] being introduced, wild ones are being found on the bottoms of piers off the West Side of Manhattan and the Bronx.”
In case you’ve been asleep for the past six months (or not reading the Rag), West Side Story, the new Steven Spielberg movie, debuted on Friday. The Atlantic called it, “an undeniable triumph.” But what if we told you — seriously — that it was originally supposed to be East Side Story? “In 1955, theater director Jerome Robbins approached writer Arthur Laurents and composer Leonard Bernstein with a new idea for a Broadway musical: a contemporary retelling of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ set among warring gangs of Jews and Catholics on New York City’s Lower East Side,” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It would be called ‘East Side Story,’ and it would take place at the turn of the 20th century during the holidays of Easter and Passover.”
On the subject of movies, an interactive map highlighting more than 50 iconic New York City movie locations, and an answer to the age-old question, “Why do filmmakers keep coming back?” are featured in Vulture. “New York is not the easiest place to shoot a movie….The city is crowded, cranky, and expensive….[it also] has an energy you can’t get anywhere else: the bebop beat, the sidewalk theater, the sense that the unpredictable is just around the corner. The architecture’s not bad either.”
The stabbing death of Columbia University doctoral candidate Davide Giri outside Morningside Park this month, brought to mind the murder of Tessa Majors, and renewed questions about the relationship between Columbia and Harlem, according to Ginia Bellafante in The New York Times. “Rising crime rates in cities around the country, where campuses typically have porous boundaries, resurrect questions about safety and institutional responsibility, about the tensions between elite universities and the surrounding areas they all too often view merely through the lens of potential real-estate acquisition….Like any university, Columbia is largely exempt from paying property taxes. In terms of the number of buildings and parcels of land it holds, Columbia is the second biggest property owner in New York City.” (The first is New York City.)
Finally, a 30-year-old man was fatally struck by a subway train at the 79th Street station of the downtown 1 train last Tuesday, the New York Post reported. It was the second of two apparent subway suicides in the same night. Please, if you have thoughts of harming yourself, reach out to a trusted other or call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The holidays can be tough. “NYC Well is staffed by trained professionals who can help you find the services that best meet your needs.”