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COVID Newsletters

Manhattan weekly newsletter (4/12)


Below is a round-up of events and announcements for Manhattan this week. Check your inbox Thursday for more COVID updates. (If you’re not yet subscribed, sign up here.)



Last Wednesday (4/7), I testified about how the City can better serve seniors living in NYCHA developments, such as making the vaccine more accessible to NYCHA seniors, establishing a NYCHA liaison within the Dept. for the Aging, and requiring NYCHA to annually report on development senior centers. Read my testimony before the City Council Committees on Aging and Public Housing here.



Restaurant workers can get vaccinated this Tuesday-Thursday (4/13-15) at 109 Malcolm X Blvd. (btwn 115th – 116th Sts.) in the City’s mobile vaccine bus. Register here. (They’ll be using the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, so registrants must be 18+.)

The pre-K application deadline has been extended to next Monday (4/19). Apply through your account.

The new City Cleanup Corps (CCC) will hire 10,000 New Yorkers to beautify and revitalize the city’s public spaces over the next few months, the Mayor announced last week. Corps members will make $15/hour, funded by federal stimulus money. Modeled after the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, the City program will remove graffiti, pressure wash sidewalks, design murals, tend to community gardens, and maintain Open Streets, particularly in the 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic and in key areas identified by community members. Visit to view open positions; another 7,000 positions will be posted in July, and then 2,000 more after that. 

Public beaches will open Saturday, 5/29 and outdoor pools will open Saturday, 6/26, the Mayor announced last week.

The City must finish installing wifi in family homeless shelters by the end of August, according to a federal court order.

Last month, nearly 900 schools were held harmless for $130 million that they would have had to pay back to the City due to enrollment declines. City officials are now allowing schools to roll over $50 million of that $130 million. Principals will have an additional year to spend a portion of their refunds. According to the NYC Dept. of Education, schools will be able to roll over $72 for every student on their roster, as long as they aren’t currently carrying a deficit.

The Rent Guidelines Board will meet four times over the next month to determine the yearly rent adjustments to rent-stabilized units. The public can watch or listen to these meetings (details here):

  • Thursday, 4/15 at 9:30 am – discussing the “2021 Income and Expense Study and the 2021 Income and Affordability Study”
  • Thursday, 4/22 at 9:30 am – discussing the “2021 Price Index of Operating Costs and the 2021 Mortgage Survey Report”
  • Thursday, 4/29 at 9:30 am – testimony from invited tenant and owner groups 
  • Thursday, 5/4 at 7 pm – preliminary vote on lease adjustments for rent-stabilized apartments, lofts, and hotels

The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project documents, which were previously heavily redacted, have been updated to be much less redacted. They can be viewed here under the 2018 Value Engineering Review Documents heading.

The MTA’s new bridge and tunnel rates went into effect yesterday (4/11). See the new rates here.




A food pantry operates the second Wednesday of every month at 2 pm at Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corp’s Mainchance Multi Service Center (120 E. 32nd St.). Bring photo ID to receive a bag of fruits, vegetables, and nonperishables. The next pantry date is Wednesday (4/14).

Residents of Wagner, St. Nicholas, and Polo Grounds NYCHA developments can fill out this coronavirus needs assessment to request assistance with SNAP, home food delivery, health services, and senior and caregiver support. A member of the MAP (Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety) will reach out to connect you with the services you need.

Applications open Wednesday (4/14) for Gathering for Justice’s COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. This one-time emergency assistance is open to girls and gender-expansive activists and organizers; youth released from juvenile detention or a group home during the pandemic; and parents or primary guardians of someone currently in juvenile detention.

Donate personal care items to fill the 700 gift bags Community Board 10 is presenting to seniors in Central Harlem next month. Click here to see the list of needed items.

Connections” is a reentry resource guide for formerly incarcerated people, published annually by the New York Public Library Correctional Services. The guide covers a wide range of topics, including housing, health, and job searching.

K-5 students can enjoy outdoor, after-school science programming in Harlem, sponsored by HYPOTHEkids and Street Lab. Programming runs from 2-5 pm:

  • Tuesdays starting 4/20 at Johnny Hartman Plaza (143 St. and Amsterdam Ave.)
  • Wednesdays starting 4/14 at Morningside Park (near 122nd St. entrance)
  • Thursdays starting 4/15 at Sheltering Arms Park (near sprinklers on 126th St.)

Register here.

Small businesses can get a free one-on-one tech support consultation from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Their tech expert can offer advice about building and managing a website, enhancing digital marketing strategy, collecting online payments, or setting up a database.

Submissions are open for visual and performing art events for the virtual Uptown Arts Stroll in June, hosted by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.

Applications close Thursday (4/15) for summer internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rising high school juniors and seniors can connect with arts, museums, and creative professionals as they develop their professional skills, network, and gain work experience. Interns receive a stipend at the end of the summer. Click the link to apply.

Registration for the NYPD police officer exam closes Tuesday, 4/27. The exam will be administered in June. Register here.

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute is seeking remote summer interns (undergraduate and graduate students). Apply by Monday, 5/3.

The Con Edison Up Neighborhood Match is now open for projects that crowdfund to tackle local environmental issues or bring joy and hope to communities through the visual and performing arts. The $5,000 match is on a first-come, first-served basis– and they’re almost out of funding. Click the link to learn more.

On view now, virtual art exhibit “Resilience 2021” celebrates the resilience of local artists from West Harlem and the surrounding community, a collaboration between the Children’s Art Carnival and Centro Civico Cultural Dominicano.




Tonight (4/12) at 7 pm, take a free virtual tour of the Garment Center Business Improvement District with licensed tour guide Mike Kaback. Click here to join the Zoom.

Every Monday-Thursday from 9:30 am – 4 pm, free walk-in COVID self-testing is available at Word Up Bookshop (2113 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 165th St.) in Washington Heights. Results will be emailed to you approximately 48 hours later. Children age four and older can be tested with a parent or guardian present.

Every day through Sunday, 4/25, free walk-in COVID self-testing is available at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.). The site operates weekdays from 9:30 am – 3 pm and weekends from 9:30 am – 5 pm, in partnership with NYC Test and Trace. Results are shared via email within 72 hours.

Tuesday (4/13) at 11 am, virtual panel “The Future of New York” explores how to build collaboration between government, nonprofits, and the private sector to make NYC run better and spearhead an inclusive recovery, hosted by government affairs firm Capalino. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/13) at 1 pm, the PEN America virtual series “How Writers and Activists Can Safeguard Protest Rights” continues with “Black Liberation and Protest: From Civil Rights to Black Trans Lives Matter.” Watch on PEN America’s Instagram Live, and see the rest of the series here.

Tuesday (4/13) at 1:30 pm, virtual panel “Funding and Financing Resiliency in Lower Manhattan” explores past experiences advancing resiliency projects and how that influences that FiDi-Seaport Climate Resilience Plan. Register here.

Tuesday (4/13) at 7 pm, virtual conversation “1619, 1654, 2021: Jews, Race, and US History” is part of the “Jews and Racism” series hosted by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and B’nai Jeshurun. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/13) at 7 pm, “The Future of Transportation” features Regional Plan Association President and CEO Tom Wright discussing how people will move around NYC following the pandemic. The event is part of Thinker Anonymous’ virtual conference “COVID-19 and the Future of New York.” Register here.

Wednesday (4/14) at 9:30 am, “Mayoral Forum on Aging in New York City” is hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine, LiveOn, and CityLimits. Click the title to register and submit questions to the candidates.

Wednesday (4/14) at 5:30 pm, learn about the COVID-19 vaccines, their side effects, and where you can get the shot during the next NYC Dept. of Health’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Community Conversation.” The virtual event will be held in English and Bengali. Click the title to register.

Wednesday (4/14) from 10 pm to midnight, the Uptown Wagon is hosting a free store for those experiencing homelessness, located outside my Northern Manhattan Office (431 W. 125th St.). Clothing, blankets, toiletries, and meals will be available.

Thursday (4/15) at 2 pm, “Census Bureau Data for Philanthropic and Non-Profit Organizations” dives into 2020 census data to help organizations’ proposal writing and to give a more complete portrait of those they serve. This virtual event is part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 Data Summit Series. Register for the virtual event here.

Thursday (4/15) at 5 pm, “Supporting Families in Fostering Independence during Remote Learning” is the topic of the weekly virtual “Parent Guide to Remote Learning” series from Rep. Adriano Espaillat and the NYC Dept. of Education. Register here.

Thursday (4/15) at 6 pm, webinar “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” discusses how to recognize common signs of the disease; how to approach someone about memory concerns; the importance of early detection and benefits of a diagnosis; and resources, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association and Columbia University. Click the title to register.

Thursday (4/15) at 6:30 pm, the virtual “Upper West Side en clave: Bailando en Bloomingdale” discusses Latin music in this Upper West Side community and how it has shaped the neighborhood’s working class, presented by Bloomingdale Neighborhood History. Click the title to access the webinar.

Thursday (4/15) at 7 pm, State Senator Liz Krueger hosts a virtual town hall, “New York City: What Can We Do After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccination?” NYU epidemiologist Dr. Celine Gounder will speak about reasonable post-vaccination activities, vaccine passports, and COVID workplace regulations. There will also be a Q&A. Click the title to register.

Thursday (4/15) at 7 pm, stream the off-Broadway production of FunikiJam’s “City of Hope,” the story of how music develops into beloved forms of artistic expression around the world, presented by Midori & Friends. Click the title to register.

Saturday (4/17) at 10 am, the Broadway Mall Association hosts a community clean-up of the malls from 135th – 155th Sts. Meet at Harlem Public (149th St. and Broadway). Email to register.

Saturday (4/17) at 11 am, dog owners 60+ are invited to “PET Pro Workshop: De-stress the Distress of Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety,” hosted by Search and Care. Click the title to register for the Zoom.

Saturday (4/17) at 2 pm is the final installment of “Open ’Tho Shut,” Theater for the New City’s outdoor performance series. Watch in person (East 10th St. between 1st and 2nd Aves.) or online.

Sunday (4/18) from 10 am – 4 pm, recycle your “e-waste” at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (Amsterdam Ave. btwn 75th and 76th Sts.), hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and Council Member Helen Rosenthal. Click here for a list of accepted items.

Sunday (4/18) at noon, join a “Spring Park Cleaning” in the South Village, Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen, hosted by Council Speaker Corey Johnson. Click the title to register.

Mondays at 3 pm through 5/17, Spanish-language COVID vaccine “train the trainer” session from the NYC Dept. of Health are aimed at helping community organizations, faith-based groups, and city agencies best address vaccine inquiries and concerns with their constituents. Register here.

Next Monday (4/19) at 6 pm, Colum McCann discusses his novel “Apeirogon” during a Hunter@Home virtual talk, presented by Hunter College. Register here.