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COVID Newsletters

Manhattan weekly newsletter (4/5)


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


My Land Use department is hard at work– we have 18 projects in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) pipeline throughout Manhattan listed below. (I’ve already issued 172 opinions since I became Borough President in 2014, more than any other borough.) This graphic explains how a ULURP proposal moves through the city planning process. 

  • 250 Water St. (ULURP No. TBD) – CB 1 
  • SoHo NoHo (ULURP No. TBD) – CB2
  • 314 West 43rd St. (ULURP No. TBD) – CB4
  • 495 11th Avenue (“Slaughterhouse”) (ULURP No. TBD) – CB4
  • Windermere (ULURP No. TBD) – CB4
  • Starrett Lehigh (ULURP No. TBD) – CB4
  • 343 Madison Ave. (ULURP No. TBD) – CB5
  • Grand Hyatt (ULURP No. TBD) – CB5
  • 260 Madison Ave. (ULURP No. TBD) – CB5 
  • New Providence Women’s Shelter (ULURP No. TBD) – CB6 
  • Lenox Hill Hospital (ULURP No. TBD) – CB8
  • NY Blood Center (ULURP No. TBD) – CB8
  • 629-639 West 142nd St. Rezoning (210261 ZMM, N 210262 ZRM) – CB9
  • FRESH Program Update (ULURP No. TBD) – Citywide, CBs 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Malcolm Shabazz Vendor’s Market (ULURP No. TBD) – CB10
  • Las Raices (ULURP No. TBD) – CB11
  • 107-111 E. 123rd St., Castle III (ULURP No. TBD) – CB11
  • Restoring the George City Map Change (ULURP No. C 180024 MMM) – CB12

Citywide text amendments, which aren’t ULURPs, that my staff are working on are:

I called for the first Veterans Treatment Court in Manhattan many years ago, and now, New York State has created universal access to VTCs, a type of problem-solving court that provides an alternative to incarceration for veterans who have mental health or substance use disorders. I’m thrilled to see this important victory for New York State’s nearly 700,000 veterans. With this policy change, NY has affirmed its commitment to the health and wellbeing of our veterans.

With the weather growing increasingly warm and people spending more time outside, I wanted to consolidate resources for the various Open NYC initiatives managed by the City.

Open Streets: A now-permanent program that closes streets to traffic to allow more space for pedestrians, cyclists, and restaurant goers. The application for new and returning Open Streets is now live. Last month, I released “The Future of Open Streets,” a report that visualizes six ways to redesign Open Streets to better serve communities.

Open Restaurants: A now-permanent program that allows restaurants to expand dining to sidewalks and in curb lanes. Apply here

Open Culture: Closes a street for outdoor arts experiences that arts and cultural institutions and venues can sell tickets to, through Sunday, 10/31. Open Culture programming is allowed only on designated streets (arts groups and I successfully advocated for the inclusion of streets above 116th St. after the program initially included no uptown blocks). Apply here.

Open Storefronts: Through Thursday, 9/30, allows ground-floor businesses to operate outdoors. Apply here.

Outdoor Learning: Allows classes to be held outside for the 2020-21 school year. The program is open to public, private, and charter schools and Learning Bridges locations. Click here to apply for park space, or click here to request a street closure.



As a reminder, all New Yorkers 16+ become eligible for the COVID vaccine Tuesday (4/6). New Yorkers 16-29 can begin scheduling appointments at 8 am on Tuesday (only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 16 and 17 years old). See this checklist for every vaccine scheduling website and phone number I know.

The opt-in period for in-person learning has been extended to Friday (4/9). Students in all grades are eligible to opt-in, though return dates to the classroom haven’t yet been announced. Fill out the Learning Preferences Survey or call 311.

Kindergarten Gifted & Talented program applications also close Friday (4/9). Families can rank up to 12 programs. Apply at, through your local Family Welcome Center, or by calling 718-935-2009.

Applications for 3-K have been extended to Friday, 5/28, and more 3-K for All seats are opening throughout April and May. School districts 4, 5, and 6 (East Harlem, Harlem, and Washington Heights) will have a 3-K seat for every three-year-old, according to the NYC Dept. of Education, which will offer 3-K seats to as many students as possible in the other Manhattan school districts. Applications and new seats are viewable on

The federal Paycheck Protection Program deadline has been extended to Monday, 5/31. The NYC Dept. of Small Business Services has compiled an information page for applicants. View a list of eligible lenders here to begin your application, or call 888-SBS-4NYC.

The new Mitchell-Lama Connect portal tracks Mitchell-Lama waiting list applications, similar to the Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development’s Housing Connect affordable housing portal.

Volunteer registration is now open for NYS “I Love My Park Day,” a weekend of cleaning up, planting, and helping restore state parks, historic sites, and public lands. Register here.

NYC Votes’ new ranked choice voting video explains how to fill out the ballot and how votes are counted. The video is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali.



Starting Wednesday (4/7), Lincoln Center kicks off its outdoor performance space, “Restart Stages.” Over the next month, the Lincoln Center campus will host free and low-cost outdoor performing arts and civic programs, beginning with a special performance for health care workers on Wednesday (4/7). Click the title for timing details when they become available.

The Tribeca Film Festival returns in person 6/9-20. The festival will be the culmination of NY PopsUp, the State’s outdoor performing arts initiative.

Stay up to date on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project and get maps to help you plan how to navigate the area around the work by signing up for weekly bulletins. The ESCR is continuing its work in Project Area 2, between E. 15th and E. 25th Streets. 

Free legal advice on issues like abusive debt collections and bank account or credit report problems is available from the New Economy Project’s hotline. Call 212-925-4929, Mondays from 4-6 pm and Tuesdays-Thursdays from noon – 2 pm.

Call the Legal Aid Society’s Access to Benefits Helpline for assistance with an application or recertification for benefits like HRA cash assistance, SNAP, or Medicaid (888-663-6880, Mondays-Fridays, 10 am – 3 pm).

The Riverside Food Pantry distributes food Tuesday-Friday from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm (The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive btwn 120th and 122nd St.). Donations of non-perishable food items are accepted on Mondays from 9 am – 5 pm. Most-needed items include protein-rich foods such as peanut butter and canned tuna, and staples such as cereal, pasta, rice, soups, and beans.

Applications close Friday (4/9) for fall performance residencies at the Center at West Park. Apply here.

Apply by Thursday, 4/22 for $10,000 “All In Neighborhood Grants” to fund community improvement projects, sponsored by the Citizens Committee for New York City. Attend a virtual info session Tuesday (4/6) at 5 pm.

$5,000 grants for East Harlem community groups are now available from the City’s Building Healthy Communities initiative. The Community Food Action grant funds community-led food projects, like distributing food to those in need and hosting cooking workshops. The Our Streets and Spaces grant funds community engagement activities in public spaces, like street festivals and caring for public space. Youth are encouraged to apply to both. Click the links for the applications, due Friday (4/9).

$1,500 grants are available to organizations that assist community members with affordable housing and overcoming homelessness. The grants are provided by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s We Are All New York Fellowship. Click the link to see the application, due Friday, 4/23.

The City’s Love Your Block initiative is offering $1,000 grants to support resident-led block revitalization projects. Learn more here, and apply by Friday, 4/23. Attend a virtual info session Thursday (4/8) at 5 pm.

Robin Hood’s COVID-19 Relief Fund is now accepting grant applications for nonprofits that provide frontline support to vulnerable populations.

Artists are invited to submit work to be displayed for sale in the windows of the former Bank Street Bookstore (Broadway and 107th St.). Known as “Art on the Corner,” the exhibit is an extension of the “Art on the Ave” exhibit along Columbus Ave. last fall. Submissions close Sunday, 5/2 and must reflect the history, culture, and diversity of the Upper West Side. 

Volunteer at the Battery Urban Farm and gardens.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s “Congressional Conversations” are available to view here. All of Manhattan’s House Representatives have been interviewed, as well as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Senator Chuck Schumer’s taping is TBA).

If you missed it last week, you can stream Assemblymember Inez Dickens’ RepresentNYC segment “Hidden Figures: Women Making a Difference Amid Adversity.” Click the title to watch.



Mondays-Thursdays 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.

Tonight (4/5) at 6 pm, playwright and director Richard Nelson discusses “The Theater of Being” during a Hunter@Home virtual talk, presented by Hunter College. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/6) from 10 am – 3 pm, human services organization Acacia Network hosts a job fair for security guard, residential aide, case manager, driver, and maintenance work shift supervisor positions. Pre-registration is required; contact or 718-299-1100, ext. 1100. The job fair is at 413 E. 120th St.

Tuesday (4/6) at 10:30 am, webinar “Reasonable Housing Accommodations in NYC” discusses disability discrimination and what happens if landlords don’t provide reasonable accommodations, presented by Sinergia. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/6) at 2 pm, virtual kickoff conversation for Sexual Violence Awareness Month “Violence Shouldn’t be Normalized: Unpacking Our Own Biases” is hosted by the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/6) at 7 pm, public advocate candidates participate in the virtual “Greater Harlem Unite: Next Gen Candidates Forum Series,” hosted by the National Council of Negro Women Manhattan Section, the New York Branch of the NAACP, the National Action Network Youth Huddle, Strategy for Black Lives, and Educated Voter. Click the title (the first link) to register.

Wednesday (4/7) at 1 pm, CBO staff who work with tenants and homeowners on housing issues are invited to a virtual training about rent freeze and property tax exemption programs hosted by the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. Register here.

Wednesday (4/7) at 6 pm, “Primary Residence & Co-Residency Succession” is the topic of Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s monthly virtual housing clinic, co-hosted with Goddard Riverside Law Project and TakeRoot Justice. Click the title to register.

Wednesday (4/7) at 6 pm kicks off the virtual dialogue series with artists who contributed to the digital exhibition “On Protest and Mourning” at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Featured photographer Jon Henry and artist and writer Qiana Mestrich will discuss Black mothers and the fear of losing their sons. Monifa Bandele of the Movement for Black Lives and Communities United for Police Reform will open the evening. Click here to register, and click here to see upcoming dialogues.

Wednesday (4/7) at 7 pm, virtual town hall “Ranked Choice Voting: Just the Basics” explores how to fill out your ballot, how your votes will be counted, and why this new voting process enhances the power of your vote, sponsored by State Senator Liz Krueger. Click the title to register.

Wednesday (4/7) at 10 pm until Thursday (4/8) at 5 pm, the Marlene Meyerson JCC will honor Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) by virtually reading the names of those among the six million murdered Jews. I’ll be joining to read at 3 pm. Register here.

Thursday (4/8) at 10:30 am, virtual panel “Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse” offers resources for survivors, presented by the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and the NYC Family Justice Center, Queens. Click the title to register and see panelists.

Thursdays in April at 1 pm, take a tour of the Battery Urban Farm. Register here, or register here for kid-friendly tours (Thursdays at 3 pm).

Saturday (4/10) at 9 am, families are invited to volunteer at the Battery Urban Farm. Volunteers will plant, weed, spread mulch, harvest, and more. Register here.

Thursday (4/8) at 5 pm, “Supporting Families with Stress Management 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 (4/8) at 5 pm, “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep: A Theoretical Background with Practical Tips” is presented on Zoom by Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech, and the Roosevelt Island Senior Association. Click here to register.

Thursday (4/8) from 6-8 pm, “Virtual Tenant Resource Fair” offers information about your rights in housing court, applying to SCRIE and DRIE, applying for tenant hardship, and more, presented by the Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development and Nazareth Housing. Register here.

Friday (4/9) from noon – 4 pm, a NYCHA St. Nicholas Houses community outreach event features resources on domestic and family violence, children’s services, gun violence, and trauma from community organizations and officials (my staff will be there). The event will be at the St. Nicholas Plaza in the middle of the development at W. 128th St. and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

Friday (4/9) at 12:30 pm, virtual lecture “Manners in the 19th Century” is presented by the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden. Click here to join the Zoom.

Friday (4/9) at 5:30 pm, the virtual “Equitable Recovery Agenda for New York” series continues with “The Right to Housing,” sponsored by Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. Register here.

Sunday (4/11) at 4 pm, online symposium “Disability in the Family: Exploring the Experience of Sibling Relationships” discusses the unique challenges and opportunities siblings encounter, presented by INCLUDEnyc. Spanish translation and closed captioning in both languages will be available. Register here.

Next Monday (4/12) at 2 pm, the virtual “How to Start or Restart a Business” program from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce kicks off with “Starting a Business at Age 50+.” Register here. Webinars continue through November.