Saturday, 20 January 2018
Items filtered by date: July 2017

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwired - Jul 10, 2017) - In celebration of National Ice Cream Day on July 16, McDonald's USA (NYSE: MCD) is celebrating its iconic vanilla soft serve -- made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives -- by treating fans at participating restaurants nationwide to free Vanilla Cones. Guests wishing to enjoy a Vanilla Cone need only download the McDonald's mobile app and redeem the Free Vanilla Cone offer on July 16 to enjoy this delicious cold treat. Today, @McDonalds jumpstarted the National Ice Cream Day celebration by complimenting Twitter users with personalized #SoftServed tweets. For 24 hours, select fans will receive surprise tweets from @McDonalds that are sweet just like its soft serve. All tweets were penned in partnership with digital property, Nerdist.

Published in News & Stories

Get ready to make those reservations: the 25th annual NYC Restaurant Week is set to launch later this month, with dozens of new restaurants participating. 

From July 24 through August 18, nearly 400 restaurants across the five boroughs will be offering three-course prix-fixe lunches for $29 and three-course prix-fixe dinners for $42, organizer NYC & Company announced Monday. 

There are 33 new restaurants participating in Restaurant Week this season, including: Benjamin Steakhouse Prime, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Boucherie, Bâtard, Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Farmer & The Fish, Feast, Fifty Restaurant, Flinders Lane, Fowler & Wells, Freds at Barneys New York–Downtown, The Gin Parlour, Haru Hell’s Kitchen, Jams, Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret, Lupulo, Meet the Meat, Mission Chinese Food, Nobu Downtown–Bar/Lounge, Ousia, Palm Tribeca, Philippe, Porsena, Rafele, The Ribbon, Rotisserie Georgette, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, Salvation Burger, Society Cafe, South Fin Grill, The Tuck Room, Untitled and Wallsé.

Also for the first time this summer, four NYC Restaurant Week Summer Tasting Series events will be offered with wine pairings for $75 a person, with tickets supporting local charities City Harvest, Citymeals on Wheels and Food Bank NYC. 

For a complete list of all participating restaurants in Restaurant Week and for more information, visit



Published in Headliners
Sunday, 09 July 2017 19:44

New York City events in July

Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.


French street fair

July 9, 2017 (12 to 5 p.m.)

Celebrate our French allies on Bastille Day by eating crêpes and éclairs, tasting wine and cheese, watching mimes and cancan dancers, and visiting the kids’ corner, on E 60th Street (from Lexington to 5th Avenue). Free.


Tap-dance festival

July 9 - 15, 2017

NYC locations

See public performances or take classes at Tap City.

French Restaurant Week

July 9 - 16, 2017

multiple locations


French Restaurant Week

July 9 - 16, 2017

multiple locations

French restaurant week includes special deals at dozens of restaurants on the days between America’s Independence Day and France’s Bastille Day.Includes special deals at dozens of restaurants on the days between America’s Independence Day and France’s Bastille Day.


Asian films

July 9 - 16, 2017

Watch recent hit movies from China, Japan, and South Korea at the New York Asian Film Festival at Lincoln Center and SVA Theatre.


Free concerts at MoMA

July 9 - 30, 2017 (Sundays 8 p.m.)

Attend four weekly jazz and classical music concerts at Summergardenin the sculpture garden of the Museum of Modern Art. Limited seating. Free.


July 9 - Aug. 31, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include tax and fees.


Free Summer Movies

July 9 - Sept. 20, 2017

NYC locations

Free Summer Movies are shown evenings at parks in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.



July 9 - Sept. 22, 2017

NYC locations

Enjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The (mostly) free concerts are popular, so arrive early.


Daytime cruise

July 9 - Oct. 29, 2017

Get great views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline on the one-hour standing-room International Sightseeing Cruise with narrated tour, leaving Pier 15.

Discount tickets $15 to $22 at Groupon.


Free film in Harlem

July 10, 2017

Outdoors Film & Music Festival begins with music at 6 p.m. followed by a movie at 8 p.m. or sundown at Marcus Garvey Park. Free.
  • July 10 - Get Out (rated R)


Hip-Hop Festival

July 10 - 15, 2017

Brooklyn locations

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival celebrates hip-hop culture with panel discussions, films, exhibits, and a big closing-day concert at Brooklyn Bridge Park.


LGBT arts festival

July 10 - 23, 2017

3 miles south

Fresh Fruit Festival features 40 works of gay and lesbian theater, dance, film, music, and visual art at The Wild Project Theater.


Lincoln Center Festival

July 10 - 30, 2017

Enjoy extraordinary opera, music, dance, and theater that showcases contemporary artistic viewpoints at Lincoln Center Festival in and near Lincoln Center.


Readings at the bridge

July 10 - Aug. 14, 2017 (7 p.m. Mondays)

Hear authors read, ask them questions, and get your book signed at Books Beneath the Bridge outdoors at Granite Prospect in Brooklyn Bridge Park.



July 10 - August 26, 2017 

Birdland showcases jazz orchestras, vocalists, and virtuosos every night on West 44th Street, with a $10 food or drink minimum.

Discount tickets $15 to $30 at Goldstar.


Cocktail show

July 10 - Sept. 2, 2017 

A ticket to The Imbible includes 3 craft cocktails plus a comic romp through the history of spirits and cocktails at New World Stages.

Discount tickets $25 to $49 at Goldstar.


Musical: “Groundhog Day”

July 10 - Sept. 30, 2017

Based on the film starring Bill Murray, Groundhog Day is about a big-city weatherman stuck in a small town and mysteriously reliving the same day over and over again, which gives him extra chances to find love, at August Wilson Theatre.

Discount tickets $69 to $119 at Goldstar.


Big Brother is watching

July 10 - Oct. 8, 2017

Direct from London, 1984 is George Orwell’s chilling vision of a future full of governmental surveillance and oppression at Hudson Theatre for age 13+.

Discount tickets $35 to $79 at Goldstar.


Big-band dance party

July 11 - 15, 2017

Midsummer Night Swing begins with a lesson in swing, tango, salsa, etc., followed by a live band in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.


Outdoor movies

July 11 - Aug. 8, 2017

See free movies outdoors at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Arrive early.
  • July 11 - Good Morning, Vietnam
  • July 18 - Anchorman
  • July 25 - Cocktail


Shakespeare in the Park

July 11 - Aug. 13, 2017

For tickets to Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, pay $500 as a “supporter” or get free tickets by joining a lottery or waiting in line.


A Bronx Tale

July 11 - Sept. 6, 2017

Set in the 1960s, A Bronx Tale is about a young man caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be, co-directed by Robert De Niro at Longacre Theatre.

Discount tickets $69 to $109 midweek at Groupon.


Afternoon sail

July 11 - Oct. 9, 2017

Your sail aboard the historic schooner Shearwater from North Cove Yacht Harbor includes a beverage.

Discount tickets $27 to $31 at Goldstar.


Film festival

July 12 - 17, 2017

Long Island International Film Expo screens more than 100 short and feature-length independent films from around the world at Bellmore Movies. Awards July 20.


Science magic

July 12 - 30, 2017

A physics demonstrator from Rutgers University performs amazing feats in That Physics Show using cold liquid nitrogen, burning hydrogen, and bright laser lights at Elektra Theatre.

Discount tickets $32 at Goldstar.


Free mellow music

July 12 - Aug. 16, 2017

American Folk Art Museum offers concerts Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m. Free.


French party

July 13, 2017 (6 p.m. to midnight)

1.7 miles SW

Celebrate with the French at the Bastille Day Ball, which has live jazz, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar at 404 NYC.


Broadway hits in the park

July 13 - Aug. 10, 2017 (Thursdays)

Bring a blanket to watch popular shows on and off Broadway perform their biggest hits Thursday afternoons at Broadway in Bryant Park. Free.


Thursday cruise with open bar

July 13 - Aug. 31, 2017 (Thursdays 7:30 p.m.)

The Happy Hour Cruise includes an open bar and views of the city at sunset and after dark, with food for sale, departing from Pier 83 for age 21+.

Discount tickets $49 to $59 at Goldstar.


Electronic music

July 14 - 16, 2017

multiple locations

New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF) showcases innovative electronic music and video art at Abrons Arts Center in June & National Sawdust in July.

Scary films

July 14 - 20, 2017

Enjoy new and old Scary Movies at Lincoln Center, and a vampire-themed costume party opening night.


Friday evening cruise

July 14 - Aug. 25, 2017 (7:30 to 10 p.m.)

Friday Night Sunset Happy Hour Cruise features scenic views and a no-host bar aboard Serenity Yacht, leaving Pier 40 at 353 West Street for age 21+.

Discount tickets $15 at Goldstar.


Music and beer party

July 15, 2017 (4 to 9 p.m.)

Tour de Fat is “a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs” with Fat Tire beer and music by “The Naked and Famous” at Pier 36. Children 12 and younger are free.

Discount adult tickets $19 at Groupon.


Waterfront day

July 15, 2017 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

City of Water Day celebrates the waterfront with boat tours, live music, family activities, games, and food vendors at Governors Island and elsewhere. Free.


Car race

July 15 - 16, 2017

Electric race cars speed through the streets of Brooklyn during the New York City ePrix, which has a grandstand plus an eVillage with displays and vendors.


New music

July 15 - Sept. 2, 2017 (12 to 9 p.m. Saturdays)

Warm Up is experimental live music, DJs and dancing in the outdoor courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens.


Current events comedy

July 15 - Sept. 3, 2017

Associated Press calls Newsical the Musical “The Daily Show set to music” since it tackles all of the news that’s fit to spoof, from politicians to celebrities, scandals to trends, headlines to gossip at Kirk Theatre.

Discount tickets $38 at Goldstar.


Classic soul & Motown revue

July 15 - Sept. 30, 2017

A Decade of Soul features R&B music of the classic soul era performed live on stage at B.B. King Blues Club ($10 minimum food/drink at tables).

Discount tickets $8 to $12 at Goldstar (Saturdays).


Latin street fair in the Bronx

July 16, 2017

Carnaval de la Cultura Latina promises “art, music, dance, and great food from Latino cultures, as well as a day of fun for the whole family” on Southern Boulevard (from 163rd St. to Westchester Ave.). Free.


Family magic show

July 16 & 23, 2017 (3:30 p.m.)

 The Amazing Max is “an awesome and amazing magic show “ [PBS Kids] at McGinn Cazale Theatre.

Discount tickets $25 at Goldstar.


Brunch on a sailboat

July 16 - Oct. 8, 2017

Enjoy skyline views on a two-hour Champagne Brunch Sail Aboard the Shearwater classic schooner, leaving North Cove Marina on Sundays.

Discount tickets $69 at Goldstar.


Jazz festival

July 18 - 27, 2017

Hear world-class jazz artists (including soulful singers, piano partners, and dueling drummers) at the Jazz in July Festival at 92nd Street Y.


Beer tasting

July 20, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)

Enjoy craft beer with food from local restaurants at Good Beer at 28 Liberty Street. Bring age 21 ID.


Games for everyone

July 21 - 22, 2017

two locations

Play fun games outdoors at Come Out & Play in Dumbo on Friday and Governors Island on Saturday. The Saturday event also offers a family version. Free.


Asian films

July 21 - 30, 2017

multiple locations

The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) screens films by and about Asians and Asian Americans at 4 venues in NYC, Astoria, and Flushing.


Emotional courtroom drama

July 21 - 30, 2017

Based on the classic movie with men starring Henry Fonda, Twelve Angry Women is a riveting drama with an all-female jury at Times Square Arts Center.

Discount tickets $15 at Goldstar.


Short plays

July 21 - Sept. 2, 2017

Summer Shorts is a festival of new American short plays at 59E59 Theaters, grouped in 2 series of plays.


Jamaican festival

July 23, 2017 (noon to 8 p.m.)

16 miles SE

Expect a big turnout at Jamaican Jerk Festival, which offers Caribbean food and Jamaican music at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens.


Rock concert

July 23, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

See two great acts when Boston + Joan Jett & The Blackhearts perform this summer at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh.

Discount tickets $20 to $60 at Goldstar.


NYC Restaurant Week

July 24 - Aug. 18, 2017 (except Saturdays)

NYC locations

Get a special deal on a 3-course lunch or dinner at 300 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week. Held in January and July.


Classical music festival

July 25 - Aug. 20, 2017

Attend concerts, operas, late-night recitals, and world premieres at Mostly Mozart Festival, performed by the festival orchestra and special guests at Lincoln Center.

Discount tickets $43 at Goldstar.


Outdoor concerts

July 26 - Aug. 13, 2017

Out of Doors is three weeks of world-class music, dance, and spoken word in the plazas of Lincoln Center if dry. Free.


Animation festival

July 27 - 30, 2017

Animation Block Party exhibits all genres of independent, professional, and student animation at Rooftop Films & BAMcinématek in Brooklyn.


Indian dance powwow

July 28 - 30, 2017

Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow features inter-tribal Native American dance competitions and a crafts marketplace in the apple orchard at Queens County Farm Museum.


Poetry festival

July 29 - 30, 2017

5 miles south via ferry

NYC Poetry Festival features 250 poets on three stages, plus food, beverages, books, crafts, and a children’s festival, on Governor’s Island. Donation.

Discount tickets $10 for two drinks (beer or wine).


Harlem Week

July 30 - Aug. 26, 2017

Harlem Week is a month-long celebration of local culture and history that includes performances, tributes, films, fashion, a children’s festival, sports events, a 5K, and a street fair. Most events are free.


Games for social good

July 31 - Aug. 2, 2017

Explore the ways games can improve lives at Games for Change, which features talks, workshops, a game arcade, vendors, and awards at Parsons School of Design.
Published in News & Stories

Romelu Lukaku was given a citation by police in Los Angeles after failing to heed repeated warnings over noise from a party last Sunday, according to TMZ. 

Lukaku, poised to complete a move from Everton to Manchester United, was warned by LAPD officers six times over noise from a daytime party following multiple complaints from neighbours, according to the report which posted what it claimed was an image of the citation.

On Saturday, United announced that they had agreed a deal with Everton to sign the 24-year-old Belgium international.

Lukaku trained with United midfielder Paul Pogba at UCLA in California on Thursday and could now be part of the club's first preseason session in LA on Monday.

United are set pay £75 million for the striker, who will move to Old Trafford after undergoing a medical -- scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles -- and agreeing personal terms.

Chelsea had made a last-ditch attempt to hijack Lukaku's proposed move to Old Trafford by matching United's bid on Friday.

But Lukaku has decided to join United and the deal should be completed over the weekend.

Published in Sports

Only a short distance from the famed Museum Mile and Madison Avenue designer shops, The Franklin Hotel is the perfect Upper East Side getaway near many top attractions in NYC. If you are looking for one of the best New York hotels near Central Park and other popular NYC attractions, visit the Franklin Hotel located at:

164 East 87th Street
New York, NY, 10128


Published in News & Stories

Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant

​268 W 135th St
Harlem, New York 10030

It is very nice to have authentic ethnic cuisine above 125th St. People in our neighborhood don’t have access to this type of fresh food. This food is a healthy alternative and worth me driving down from the Bronx!

Joel Carie

The food is great because you can taste all of the ingredients!  That’s what I like about it!”  

Imani Curry – Evangelist

Published in News & Stories
Saturday, 08 July 2017 04:26

The 13 coolest secret things to do in NYC

Discover the latest under-the-radar restaurants, bars, gigs, after-hours parties and more. (Just don't tell anyone.)

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Le Boudoir

There are many reasons why NYC is the greatest city in the world—its famous New York attractionsare known all over the globe. But what if you want to dig a little deeper? There are tons of things New Yorkers do better than anyone else, and throwing the coolest secret parties and cultural happenings are among them. There’s a whole world of hush-hush events in New York City, ranging from the sublime to the silly and way beyond that—good thing we're here to show you exactly where to find 'em.

Coolest secret things to do in NYC

Secret Loft

Secret Loft


So illegal warehouse raves aren’t your thing, and the spontaneity of a TBA address isn’t as appealing as the comfort of knowing where you’re going? We hear you—and so does Secret Loft, a venue that can host a bash—it once had a cat costume soiree, people!—and still has that roving, under-the-radar Bushwick vibe. The real hidden gem here is the free monthly Secret Loft Show, which has a lineup of legit comedians (from Comedy Central and the like), a postshow dance party and free pizza—a true triple threat.

How to get in: Check out Secret Loft’s Facebook page for event information, then show up at the McKibbin Street Lofts at showtime to look for other revelers. 255 McKibbin St, Brooklyn (

Photograph: Tak Wind Fotografi


Le Boudoir

Le Boudoir


The cellar-speakeasy hidden in the Brooklyn Heights French bistro Chez Moi is a cocktail bar fit for a queen. Modeled after Marie Antoinette’s opulent private chambers, Le Boudoir has its historically accurate design down to a T, with plush red-velvet–tufted banquettes, gilded frames, wooden paneling and a ceiling reproduction of the 17th-century parquet de Versailles flooring pattern. After ducking into the secret passage, sip appropriately named cocktails like the absinthe-based Dauphin and the 1793, featuring rye infused with sunflower seeds, served in antique-looking metal goblets, and lounge in a dimly lit grotto while discussing French politics…or something like that.

How to get in: Head through a bookcase door on the left side of Chez Moi, and step down a set of stairs. 135 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn (347-227-8337,


Brooklyn Heights
538 Johnson

538 Johnson


Screw all that “DIY is dead” talk. When it comes to off-the-radar concerts and nontraditional venues, Brooklyn is still where it’s at. Take the Bushwick loft 538 Johnson, a true house party (people really live there) where hardcore, punk and ripping rock acts (Dawn of Humans and the Men have both performed) reign, show publicity isn’t a thing, and sweat pours. Prepare for lots of moshing kids.

How to get in: Ask a crust punk. No, really, word-of-mouth is best. But 538 Johnson does have a Facebook page and occasionally updates on shows. 538 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn

Photograph: Alfredo "sheep" Hernandez 


Tucked behind an unmarked door at the back of Fort Greene’s beloved eatery Walter’s, the open-as-of-May Japanese izakaya, Karasu, is the newest speakeasy on the block. The elegant gastropub has a small but buzzed-about menu (spicy sesame duck wings, to start), but what packs ’em in are the drinks: a top-notch variety of sake, shochu and Japanese whiskey.

How to get in: Head to the back of Walter’s and through the unmarked door. Reservations are accepted on Karasu’s website. 166 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn (347-223-4811,

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz



Fort Greene


Since its inception in 2012, the loft-hopping after-hours affair Sublimate has gone from a sporadically booked treat to a hot monthly party that brings in DJ heavy hitters hailing from Ibiza to Chicago. Come rested: The nights, held in secret locations throughout town, can stretch to the 12-hour mark (the lack of megaclub douches and cheap-ass drinks should keep you perky and in a swell mood) and boast an awesome sound system courtesy of resident spinner Matt Sagotsky, whose aim is to create a diverse, come-one-come-all atmosphere. (Pssst: He tells us Sublimate is planning an extra-special blowout on August 20.)

How to get in: Sign up for Sublimate’s mailing list, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for location details, or purchase tickets on Resident Advisor.

Photograph: Luis Nieto Dickens

 Sat Aug 20 - Sun Aug 21



Take a peek at what goes on behind NYC’s closed doors during Chemistry, an erotic roaming party intended for uninhibited sexual exploration. With themes like “Spanksgiving” and “Garden of Hedon,” the Brooklyncentric rendezvous start off as social gatherings, with live jazz and drinks, and then transition to the down and dirty. But before you get, ahem, excited, this isn’t a free-for-all: Chemistry partygoers are a curated group of members chosen through a two-part application process.

How to get in: Apply online by answering a questionnaire and submitting a G-rated photo. Couples and single women only; single men are usually not allowed unless they and a FWB (friend with benefits) apply as a couple. If accepted, you’ll receive a follow-up email with details regarding upcoming events.

Photograph: Courtesy Chemistry NYC


Even though you have to enter through a backroom vault with a secret code, we promise it’s all completely legal—quite unlike the embezzling exploits of 1920s bankers Max Garfunkel and Marcus Tauster, whose former office building is the exact location of Garfunkel’s, which sits above burger joint the Burgary. (Peep newspaper clippings from the duo’s felonious heyday amid the framed vintage photos.) The aesthetic here is old-school glam: Purple tones, velvet couches, tufted club chairs and a wall-engulfing bookcase with novels and knickknacks.

How to get in: Book a reservation online, and you’ll receive a code for the vault that’s located at the back of the Burgary. Walk-ins are accepted if space allows. 67 Clinton St (212-529-6999,

Photograph: Liz Clayman



Lower East Side

80 Clinton Street Recording Studio

This clandestine music space—hidden behind an unassuming Chinese bakery and laundry off Clinton Street—is 10,000 square feet of regal sonic goodness. Housed in the old Clinton Star Theatre, an early-1900s vaudeville venue, this present-day recording studio holds composer-producer J. Ralph’s stunningly rare collection of vintage instruments and music equipment: Duke Ellington’s 1920s Blüthner Concert grand piano, a ’50s Seeburg V200 jukebox and an 1800s cast-iron aquarium home to 30-plus parrot fish. And those are just the furnishings. The old theater has 50-foot ceilings and superb acoustics, ideal for the in-business recording studio—and a swanky night-to-remember bash: Past invite-only ones have been thrown by the likes of Marc Jacobs.

How to get in: You can’t! (Sorry.) Unless you have big money—and an in—to throw a party there. Try your luck emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for rates and availability. 80 Clinton St




This reverse speakeasy—that is, a restaurant hiding in the back of a drinkery, in this case the Garret East—might sound familiar. (Its sister bar, the Garret, sits above a West Village Five Guys.) With space for only 20 diners, Dinnertable is decorated with wall-mounted planters, oddball prayer candles plastered with celeb faces, and photos of iconic Hollywood dinners. The food is made for sharing, but take one look at the lasagna bolognese, and you might not want to.

How to get in: Behind the curtain at the back of the Garret East, ring a doorbell that reads PRESS FOR FOOD. Dinnertable accepts some reservations on its website, but the majority of seating is set aside for walk-ins. 206 Ave A (

Photograph: Courtesy Dinnertable

Blkmarket Membership

Blkmarket Membership


For the past 10 years, the DJs of Blkmarket Membership have been hosting parties in Brooklyn warehouses, on rooftops and in lofts and have become a go-to for late-night techno- and house-heads. Expect big names like Ben Klock and Michael Mayer.

How to get in: Sign up through Only those they wish to come will be contacted back with the location.

Photograph: Jena Cumbo




Need proof that the NYC speakeasy is alive and well—and still, you know, kinda cool? Check out Featherweight, the East Williamsburg cocktail den from the mixology minds of Weather Up, which is hidden above the restaurant Sweet Science. Drawing inspiration from a former boxing gym that occupied the second-floor space, it’s an ace spot for sipping drinks with fancy-sounding ingredients (the Patagonia Punch has pisco, rum, Génépy des Alpes and orgeat) in an intimate—but not pretentious—rustic Polynesian-like setting. Lightweight drinkers need not apply.

How to get in: There are two ways to enter: through a door at the back of Sweet Science and on a landing outside. (If you opt for the latter, look for the huge painted mural of a boxer. The door below it with the feather on it is your ticket in.) 135 Graham Ave, Brooklyn (

Photograph: Courtesy Featherweight





The bad news: This covert Japanese-influenced restaurant, which sits beyond a butcher shop on Great Jones Street, has no published phone number. And the only surefire way to reserve a spot at this 25-seater is to get its digits from a previous diner. (You can also try your luck by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Visit Enquiry” for a chance to be selected for a reservation.) The good news: Getting into the super-exclusive space, which was once home to Jean-Michel Basquiat, will give you bragging rights for months. For being so VIP, Bohemian’s decor is quite simple—minimalist, with a Zen garden, lounge chairs and plenty of wall art—and its menu is down-to-earth (but delish!), with wagyu beef sliders and mac and cheese.

How to get in: Bohemian shares a storefront with Japan Premium Beef; find the long hallway to the left of the butcher shop, and ring the buzzer at the end of the hall to enter Bohemian. 57 Great Jones St (

Photograph: Zandy Mangold




This ain’t your Boy Scout troop’s overnight camp. Quarters is a new community-based project from Brooklyn artist Thomas Stevenson, the creator of Bivouac, an urban encampment experience that, over the past few years, has taken adventurous New Yorkers to rooftops for off-the-grid camping. (That’s right—no smartphones, tablets or any other connected devices are allowed.)Unlike at Bivouac, during which campers sleep in individual tents, Quarters is all about shared space—from the communal dinners right down to the massive multiperson tents where you spend the night. Get ready to get cozy, New York.

How to get in: Quarters occurs on an undisclosed rooftop for one week in mid-July. Check Stevenson’s website ( for more information as it becomes available.

Published in News & Stories

“The assassination of Officer Miosotis Familia is an affront to our City and to the courageous men and women of the NYPD who selflessly put their lives on the line each and every day to keep New Yorkers safe. This is a tremendously sad day for our City. Our hearts ache for Officer Familia’s loved ones, the 46th Precinct, and the entire NYPD family as we join together to mourn this senseless and horrific act of violence against one of New York City’s finest.”

Published in Parliament

Brian Lehrer: It’s the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Good morning, everyone. Well, you’ve been hearing about President Trump attending the G20 conference in Hamburg, Germany today, and his first actual meeting with Vladimir Putin. We’ll follow those developments later this hour.

But did you know that Mayor de Blasio is there, too? If not, it’s because the Mayor did not announce the trip until he was leaving last night. Among other things, it’s reported he’ll be the keynote speaker tomorrow at a peace and human rights event called Hamburg Has Attitude, as the Mayor continues to show attitude toward Trump.

And with me now live from Hamburg, Germany for his weekly Ask the Mayor segment is Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mr. Mayor, thanks for keeping your regularly scheduled appearance despite the last minute travel announcement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: It’s my pleasure, Brian. This is the most exotic Ask the Mayor we’ve done. So, I look forward to it.

Lehrer: You want to set the scene for us? Where are you right now? What are you doing? What’s it like?

Mayor: I am here at the City Hall in Hamburg, just got through with a meeting with the Mayor of Hamburg and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany. They’re both from the same party, the Social Democratic Party, and we met and had a very productive meeting talking about issues like climate change, immigration, and a number of issues that are being addressed in theory here at the G20 but much more being addressed, bluntly, by actions on the ground in cities and in local governments all over the world.

And the scene here is it’s a very dynamic situation. There are a lot of protesters here, the vast majority of whom are peaceful. There is unfortunately a small group of violent protesters, and it’s been a big challenge for the local authorities to deal with that.

But the Mayor of Hamburg made very clear, you know, this is a progressive city. This is a city that is very inclusive and they chose to host this G20 summit knowing they did not agree with the views of some of the participants but believing that global dialogue was important and believing that the right to protest [inaudible] democratic society was important.

So, I really want to say I’m very moved by the mobility of Hamburg’s choice but it’s obviously, on the other hand a very tense situation here.

Lehrer: And listeners, the Mayor may have world affairs on his plate today but you can still ask the Mayor about city issues as well. 2-1-2-4-3-3-WNYC, 4-3-3-9-6-9-2, or tweet a question @BrianLehrer, use the hashtag #AsktheMayor.

People usually think of the G20 as drawing heads of state. What are you doing there as Mayor of New York and why only announce it at the last minute?

Mayor: Well, first on why I’m here. I was invited by the government of Hamburg – both the city government and the state government which is run by the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party and they invited me as a colleague. They wanted, I think, to represent that fact that there are a variety of views in the United States on how to proceed on the big issues that face this planet particularly on climate change.

And I think they share the view that a lot of us do that while we see many national governments unwilling to address climate change or stumbling to address the larger issues of income inequality or migration, you know, these issues have to be addressed at the local level, and we all help each other, we all offer each other ideas, we all plan together. And I think the point here is that even if this summit meeting doesn’t produce bigger changes, and unfortunately that’s the prediction that it won’t, in the end local governments are going to have to lead the way on these issues until a stronger global consensus emerges.

And we have to support each other in that work. That’s true of mayors around the country. You know we’ve all been working together intensely in recent weeks to stop the Senate health care bill but that’s also true of mayors around the world particularly on issues like climate change where we all have to work together in the absence of our national government.

The announcement of the trip was going to be a few days earlier. The invitation came in something like 10, 12 days ago. We were going to announce it earlier in the week and then of course we had the horrible shooting of Officer Familia and it was important to focus on that and deal with that very painful reality.

I visited the 4-6 Precinct Stationhouse where she had served for so long and met with the officers there. You know obviously I did not want to do anything until we knew when the services would be. Her services will be early next week. So, that’s when it was finally time to announce that I was going to accept this invitation.

Lehrer: The presumptive Republican nominee for mayor, Assemblywoman Malliotakis, says you should be home being mayor in this week after that murder of Officer Familia. And the street homeless count was announced. It’s up by 40 percent over the last year. What’s your response?

Mayor: All the issues that need to be attended to, I’m attending to everyday regardless of where I am and my team’s attending to it.

Look, we have in the last few years added 2,000 officers on patrol for the NYPD. We’ve provided a lot more for our officers – the vests to protect to them, the panels that we put into patrol cars in the doors and windows. Obviously, this tragedy pointed out that we have to do more and we’re going to do more in terms of putting in the protective glass for the command vehicles.

All that work constantly goes on and will keep going on, and I feel so deeply for Officer Familia’s family. I was in the room when Commissioner O’Neill and I had to her 20-year-old daughter what had happened. It’s a very, very difficult experience, as you can imagine. But we also were able to her and all her family members that the NYPD and the City of New York will be with them for the rest of their lives. And so, we’re going to do everything we can to support them.

And when you talk about the HOPE Count that came out recently – look, there’s no question there is a problem there even though I think that count was taken on a day that might have inflated the numbers a little bit because of weather.

The central point is there’s a problem and it’s a problem I’m not going to ignore. There is a growth of the homeless population on the streets.

What I can say on the positive side is the Home-Stat strategy is working. It needs to grow. It needs to deepen. We’re putting more energy and resources into it because we found the kind of success we were hoping for but we got to do a lot more.

So, this is a situation where we have to turn the tide over time but I do believe we have the tools to do it. I believe the heavy, sort of, intensive focus, person by person on the street has proven to work and we’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of people to come off the streets and stay off the streets.

We’re going to redouble those efforts.

Lehrer: By the way, before we go to phones, I’m going to acknowledge – because people can hear it – that your voice is a little dusky. I’m guessing that maybe you were up all night considering the time change?

Mayor: You are a wise man. The – yeah, the flight that got me here did not involve sleep.


So, just got to do what we got to do.

Lehrer: It’s a common thing. The flights to Europe from New York frequently go overnight and with the time change it means – unless people can sleep on the plane – you just don’t get any sleep. So, my sympathies on that score.

David in Park Slope, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor as we go to him from Hamburg from his hometown, Park Slope. Hi, David.

Question: Hi, how are you doing? Good morning and good afternoon to the Mayor. There seems to be more of a street homeless problem and it seems to be one of these things that is just a little pain in the side that just can’t seem to go away. There happens to be a small homeless encampment about a block away from your Park Slope home or the YMCA, depending on how you look at. And it’s been there for about a month, month-and-a-half or so and it just can’t seem to go away. I’ve dealt with 3-1-1. I’ve dealt with the homeless assistance folks which do a great job at everything else. And the 78th Precinct as well has come there.

But these kids – and it looks they’re young people maybe in their 20s or so, maybe with a drug or opioid problem, who knows. But they need help and it just seems that you’re going against the wall here because there’s only so much legally you can do to get these people off the streets.

What else can you do?

Mayor: David, tell me just – let me start with the exact location. Where are you seeing this?

Question: 10th Street and 7th Avenue, Park Slope.

Mayor: 10th Street and 7th Avenue, which I know very, very well. So, just to affirm a very important point, David, first of all, we’re going to absolutely follow-up on that site and I’ll have the Home-Stat workers get over there right away to address it. Encampment is an important word.

There were encampments as we define them which means physical structures and places that people sleep overnight on a regular basis. That was bluntly tolerated in the city for decades and we ended that in this administration.

My order to Homeless Services, the NYPD is we will not allow any outdoor physical structures that are not legal structures. And we consistently enforce on that. The difference is not only having a clear enforcement approach and the people power, the NYPD officers and the Home-Stat workers to enforce it, but it’s also to offer the services – letting people know they can come into a safe place. These smaller facilities called safe havens. They can get drug treatment if they need that. They can get mental health services. We are now doing that on a citywide scale and again that has gotten a lot of people in.

So, on this location we’re going to go at that right away. I think what I’m hearing here is it’s a place where people congregate but not the encampment in the sense of the physical structures. But we’re going to get all over that right away.

On the bigger point you raised, David, look I think we know with street homeless – and this is very, very different than the homeless in shelter. Homeless in shelter, more and more, have been people who are working or have been working, family members rather than singles, families that the only problem they had was an economic one not a substance abuse problem, an economic problem – the cost of living in New York City. They could not keep up.

That’s what the shelter population looks like more and more, and those folks we can help in many, many way. And we’re also trying to stop people from ever entering shelter by giving them rental subsidies or legal assistance to avoid eviction. But on the street, it is sort of the more traditional face of homelessness – folks who do have, in many cases, substance abuse problems or mental health problems.

That’s where the very intensive hands-on work by the Home-Stat workers – constantly coming back, winning the trust individually of each homeless person, convincing them there is a safe place, a better place to be – that is working.

Now, sometimes we see people on the street who are bluntly just panhandlers, who are actually not even homeless, who – and we see this with some folks in their 20s and we see it with some older folks as well who are just out there making money by panhandling.

I wish that were illegal. It’s not illegal – to your point. But a lot of those folks do have a place to live but they could appear to be homeless. What our workers do is they differentiate is if someone really is homeless and needs that help to get off the street. We have that. It’s available.

Literally, we have plenty ability to reach people right now and bring them in. The panhandling is a much more subtle problem that we’re working on some solution for but we don’t have it yet.

Lehrer: Did you say you wish panhandling – just asking people for money – would be illegal?

Mayor: I’m saying that not as a matter of policy, I’m saying that as a human being, bluntly, Brian. To so many people, I think it’s off-putting and again it gets confused understandably for homelessness because you don’t whether someone has a home and is panhandling versus someone who literally has no place to sleep last night. I just wish it didn’t exist.

I know constitutionally, of course, it cannot be banned but I’m just expressing a frustration because I think it hurts the quality of life in many ways.

Lehrer: I’m just trying to clarify. Are you saying that you’re objecting to people making up being homeless when they’re not homeless? Or do you really not like poor people on the street asking others for money?

Mayor: What I’m responding to is, I think it, to many people, it does appear that someone is homeless. And, yeah, they give help to someone thinking that they are homeless. And I think some people are out there panhandling because they are truly in need. And obviously I’d rather address their problem directly not having them be out on the street panhandling. I’d rather help them because we would help them. Anyone in real need, we’re going to help them get a roof over their head. We’re going to help them if they need any kind of service.

We’re going to help them try and find a job. That’s what the City of New York does. But there are also people out there who are just begging for money and it’s not out of dire economic need, and that is frustrating to me.

Again, I know there’s no legal way to get rid of that per say but it is frustrating.

Lehrer: Martha from Brooklyn, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Martha.

Question: Hi. How’s it going? Can you hear me okay?

Lehrer: Can hear you just fine.

Mayor: Yes, we can, how you doing?

Question: Okay. So, I’m in Dayton, Ohio actually for the next four weeks but I live in Brooklyn, New York. And I think when I was here I must have missed the news story about the shooting of the police officer. So, I want to add my condolences –

Mayor: Thank you very much.

Question: This is actually about the police. My younger son who actually used to be on a baseball team with your son, Mr. Mayor, was just taken down by two uniformed police officers about two weeks ago in the middle of the day in Midtown, Manhattan in a case of mistaken identity. They roughed him up a little, not terribly, handcuffed him, pushed him down on the ground, performed what I think might be an illegal search of his backpack, and then accused him of robbing a 7/11. And when it became clear that they had the wrong guy, they let him go.

My bigger point is that he has had several interactions with the New York City Police Department, as had my older son who is now 23. And those interactions have been 100 percent negative and often physical. So, I know that there’s sort of a larger discussion about immigrant communities who don’t trust the police – my thing is that if this is happening to my son who happens to be biracial but doesn’t really look it, looks white to most people, I think, then it’s happening to dozens of other young people in the city which means there’s another demographic that don’t trust the police. So, I want to kind of point that out that I think that we have a lot of young people in New York City who when they see police officers, they see the enemy. And – 

Lehrer: And your question is what more is the Mayor going to do about it?

Question: My question is – is there any kind of official de-escalation training happening for the New York City Police Department? Because this is alarming to me, especially in light of this recent shooting – this horrible shooting of this officer – this us versus them with the police.

Mayor: Yeah, no, Martha – very powerful question. Look, I just want to tell you at the outset – before I talk about your son, and I’m very sorry for what he went through – that you hit a really important chord at the end there. We have got to deepen the change in the relationship between police and community. We have got to get people on the same side and feeling they’re on the same side. And it’s about mutual respect and an ability to talk to each other.

I was talking to an officer the other day in the subway who said that – and he offered this just spontaneously, it was a very powerful point – he said you know more and more people are talking to the police and offering the police information they need and trying to be helpful to police. And I said – why do you think that is? And he said because I think they don’t feel afraid of us anymore. And he said that positively. He said you know that we’ve made the beginning of a change where there can be an openness and a dialogue. And that’s very, very important. We need respect for police, but we need people to feel that they can have an actual open working relationship with police.

It gets to one of the things you pointed out at the end there, which is the de-escalation training. Yes, every single police officer is getting de-escalation training now – all the new recruits, and also as officers are retrained regularly – because we want to avoid the conflicts that have caused so much pain in the past for everyone involved. So and on top of that, we’re doing implicit bias training, which is absolutely crucial to helping everyone of all backgrounds weed out their biases so they can do the best public service. And of course, body cameras are on the way too. Those will be in place – all patrol officers by the end of 2019. I think that’s going to really deepen respect and a sense of accountability and transparency. So these are all very important pieces.

But I’m very sorry for what happened to your son because that’s not the intention. You know, it’s – even if officers obviously believe they have found someone who has committed a crime and they have to – if they think someone fits the description – of course they have to confront that person and pursue that. We do not want it to be in a way that creates those ill-feelings. And obviously we want to make sure there’s care given until it’s absolutely confirmed that the individual involved is in fact the suspect. I know it’s tough for police in the middle of an operation sometimes. I understand those challenges. But we do not want what you’re pointing out that young people get the conclusion in their mind that the police don’t understand them or are not positive towards them. That’s not going to get us where we need to go. I want to get to a day where young people see police officers and absolutely in the core of their being know that they can trust and communicate with that officer. That’s what we’re building. I think the NYPD is doing a very, very good job moving in that direction. And our officers are doing a very good job. But this pains me –

Lehrer: But more to go.

Mayor: This pains me.

Lehrer: Martha, thank you for your call. And good luck to you and your son.

After the horrible murder of Officer Familia, Mr. Mayor, there are questions being raised about whether St. Barnabas Hospital should have released the man who went on to kill the officer. He was reportedly released just an hour after his sister I think it was brought him in as a psychiatric threat. Is there a role for your office in that?

Mayor: Well, we are going to look very carefully at this. Obviously, the State, which regulates hospitals is looking at the situation, which makes sense. But we’re going to look at it too because I think, Brian, this gets to a much, much bigger challenge that we’re trying to take on through things like ThriveNYC, which is our big mental health initiative that my wife has spearheaded. And the hotline we created, which all of your listeners should know about – 8-8-8-NYC-WELL. Which by the way, if anybody, if a family member or a loved one thinks anyone might be a danger to others or to themselves, you can make contact with the police, but also if you’re trying to get some kind of counseling for someone, you can get that through 8-8-8-NYC-WELL.

But we are trying to deepen our strategies for identifying those who are not getting mental health treatment and may have any propensity to violence. We have an initiative NYC Safe that is all about finding those people and getting them treatment. Bluntly, huge numbers of people in our society in New York City and everywhere else are supposed to get mental health treatment and don’t get it. It’s not easily accessible. There’s no follow-up, there’s no enforcement. We’re trying to change that through a variety of city policies. The hospitals have to be allies in that. So we do need to know what happened here. But I think bluntly this goes way beyond St. Barnabas Hospital to a societal and governmental change we have to make.

Lehrer: And you announced funding for bulletproof glass for all police cars after this killing. Is there a new – 

Mayor: Well police cars already had it. This was for the command vehicles now, which are something that were not covered. You know, police cars got bulletproof glass and bulletproof doors in the previous announcements we made last year. Now we are going to obviously cover the command vehicles as well.

Lehrer: Peter in Flatlands, you’re on WNYC with Mayor de Blasio who’s joining us from Hamburg, Germany today where he is at a Hamburg city event in conjunction with the G20 summit. Peter, you’re on WNYC.

Question: Hi, good morning. Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor. I’m just asking very, very quickly – why the sea change in your decision to hand to the taxpayers your $2 million legal bill incurred due to your I guess meddling or trying to persuade the State Assembly through nonprofits?

Lehrer: State Senate. But yes, well let me explain to the listeners and correct me if I’m getting any facts wrong here. But you revealed since we last spoke that the taxpayers will be footing about $2 million of your team’s legal expenses in conjunction with those investigations into fundraising that ended earlier this year with no indictment, but a critical prosecutor’s report. You had previously indicated the taxpayers would not be on the hook, right?

Mayor: Yes, and it refers to my expenses specifically, not to other members of my administration. And let me clarify because I think the question muddled one piece of it. Anything that’s regarding elections – I did obviously work to elect a Democratic State Senate in Albany in 2014. We did not succeed. But that was an effort with I undertook with a whole heart and I thought was very important for New York State and New York City. That – any legal bills related to that have nothing to do with my City employment. Those have to be paid separately. We have to create a legal defense fund to do it. There is no City law governing that right now. So we’d have to wait until there is a City law passed to then be able to establish a proper legal defense fund.

But on the $2 million, which is related to my government service and things I did as part of my government work, my message is clear – I want to affirm I did try to go a different route. And I thought a lot about it and I came to the conclusion it just didn’t make sense that the consistent and appropriate thing is any employee who has not done anything wrong and obviously not as you said – clear, not indicted, etcetera – deserves legal representation from the City of New York just like, God forbid you had a legal problem, WNYC should cover your legal bills if it has to do with your employment. That to me is a fair and consistent standard. And I thought about it more and I thought you know, this is the standard that I ultimately think makes sense. That should be the standard for everyone going forward. It should be understood that this is going to be the standard if anything like this ever happens. But on anything that’s not about government work, that’s a separate reality. That has to be covered through a legal defense fund. And again, we need a new law to actually govern over that.

Lehrer: Regarding the trip you’re on right now, Politico New York says your basic trip expenses are being paid for by the sponsoring organization in Hamburg, but the taxpayers typically foot the bill for security and staff overtime on a trip like this. Is that right? And if so, why is it worth our money?

Mayor: So it’s not, I don’t think that’s accurate, let me clarify. The sponsors paid for my trip, my flight, my hotel, and for three staff members. The security costs – hard for New Yorkers to understand this – because it hasn’t really been explained well in the past, but I have by virtue of being Mayor of the biggest city in the country, and the number one terror target in the United States of America, our city – I have 24/7 security. It does not matter where I am in the world or in the country, I’m going to have that security. It is paid for as a matter of public service. That’s just a given. So that’s something I want people to understand. Whether I was at City Hall or Gracie Mansion, or in another state, or in another country, that security is going to be there and paid for any way you slice it.

Lehrer: Are you the keynote speaker tomorrow as I’ve read for an event billing itself as for peace and human rights and against the new nationalism?

Mayor: Yes, it’s a – you know, Hamburg as I said, and both the city government and the state government here in Hamburg – it is, by the way, a city very much like New York City in many ways. It’s the second biggest city in Germany. So it’s smaller than us on one level, but it’s very much a cosmopolitan city, a city with a long connection to the rest of the world, a very tolerant and open city. They’re hosting this summit, again knowing that they have real disagreements with a lot of the people who are attending the summit, but to amplify democratic values – a right to free speech, right to worship regardless of your faith, a belief in the power of a democratic society. And I’m honored to be the speaker at this rally. There will be other speakers obviously as well locally.

But to speak to those values, and now cities are going to keep acting on them, bluntly, regardless of what our national governments do because this is the new reality. And I’ll tell you, I’ve talked to my colleagues in Paris, and London, and all over the world, and certainly all over the cities of the United States. We increasingly recognize that cities are going to have to lead the way – in very material ways, it’s not just symbolism. We’re going to have to literally change policies around climate change by our own actions; on income inequality and raising wages and benefits by our own actions. You know, we’re more and more having to create the policies because our national governments don’t. So this rally is really to affirm both the positive values, but also the role that the grassroots have in keeping those values alive regardless of what happens in national elections or in national governments.

Lehrer: And by way of political analysis of this trip, the Times says it seems to be an international extension of your effort to portray yourself as a foil to Donald Trump and a national progressive leader. Politico New York also says foil to Trump and that you’ve made opposition to Trump a central plank of your re-election campaign. How much of those analyses of the trip do you accept?

Mayor: Well, I don’t. You know, when I started thinking about re-election, I like everyone else did not assume there would be a President Trump. And I looked forward to talking about the things that will be the core of my re-election – what we’ve done to get pre-K for all our kids, reduce crime, improve relationships between police and community, raise wages and benefits. That’s what I’m going to talk about. We’ve done those things. We’re going to do a lot more if the people give me a second term. But then Trump became a reality, and I think it was incumbent on me as the leader of the biggest city in the country to set a tone and to say we’re not going to be intimidated by President Trump and we’re not going to turn away from our values. And I’ve said many times this is not someone you get something done by compromising with or yielding to. He only understands strength, and we have to show strength. So that is the reality.

This invitation was offered to me by the hosts. It was not something I expected. It was not something I had talked to anyone about. It came in, and I was honored and I thought it was an important moment to stand up and speak out for these values. But the re-election campaign is going to be about the everyday, bread-and-butter issues that matter to New York families. And I think we have a lot to show for these last 3.5 years and have a lot more to do.

Lehrer: And before you go, one quick follow-up on what you were saying before about panhandlers. Considering your feelings about them – would you urge the public not to give money to panhandlers, so as not to encourage them?

Mayor: Yeah, I’ll tell you, and this one’s always a challenge, Brian. New Yorkers, I always say we have rough exteriors, but behind our exteriors beat hearts of gold. I think New Yorkers are compassionate people. And we often see someone panhandling and our better angels tell us you know, let’s help them out. But I often know that’s not ultimately the way to change anyone’s life. And for those truly in need – I always say the best thing to do is if you see someone you think is really homeless and really in need, call 3-1-1 and we will send a HOME-STAT worker right away to try and get them the help they need because standing on a street corner collecting change isn’t going to change their life. Things like mental health services and anti-addiction services and all are what’s really going to make the difference. But I, also again, I am frustrated because I know some people are out there who are not particularly in need and just are finding a way to get some easy money, and that does frustrate me. So I would urge all New Yorkers – if you see someone in need, call 3-1-1. If you don’t think someone’s for real, certainly do not get them money. I understand if your heartstrings are pulled and you see someone you think is in real desperate need, that’s human, that’s normal. But be careful, be discerning, I would say.

Lehrer: Thanks, Mr. Mayor. Good luck in Hamburg. Talk to you next week.

Mayor: Thanks so much, Brian. Take care.

Published in Parliament

*As First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray has redefined the role of First Lady, managing a robust portfolio to advance an ambitious agenda in support of all New Yorkers.

Ms. McCray created ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation, and she is recognized nationally as a powerful champion for mental health reform.

Additionally, Ms. McCray spearheads the Cities Thrive Coalition of mayors, with representation from more than 150 cities from all 50 states, advocating for a more integrated and better-funded behavioral health system.

As Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, she brings together government, philanthropy and the private sector to work on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including mental health, youth employment and immigration.

Ms. McCray’s other duties are extensive.

As co-chair of the Commission on Gender Equity, she is a persistent voice for creating a 50-50 city and world.

In partnership with NYC’s Police Chief, she leads the Domestic Violence Task Force.

And in 2015, with her signature, New York City became the first city in the country to join the United Nations Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative.

She is passionate about public service and leverages her platform in innovative ways to bring change where it is needed.

Ms. McCray believes that art is not a luxury and works closely with NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs on dynamic projects with partners like the Public Art Fund and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She oversees the Gracie Mansion Conservancy and is intent on making sure that the programming, installations and exhibits are more accessible to the public, and better reflect the rich history and many cultures that make up New York City. In 2016, she launched the Gracie Mansion Book Club.

Among her many awards and accolades, she was honored as the 2017 Change Champion by the National Council for Behavioral Health and recently received the BWA Health award for her leadership in NYC from the Black Women's Agenda, a national, 40-year-old nonprofit that promotes the well-being of African-American women and their families.

Ms. McCray has transformed the traditional responsibilities of First Lady, working in close partnership with her husband and becoming the first in her position to address a U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, testify before the New York City Council and serve as commencement speaker for a major college or university.

The First Lady is a graduate of Wellesley College and has accepted an Honorary Doctor of Science from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Ms. McCray and Mayor Bill de Blasio live in Gracie Mansion, the official residence, and are proud parents of Chiara and Dante.

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