Posted on July 5, 2021 at 11:17 am by Carol Tannenhauser

July 5, 2021 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 81 degrees.

Our calendar has local and virtual events.

The Metropolitan Opera and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have settled a months-long dispute, reaching an agreement that will allow workers to return in time for the 2021-22 season. “Per information supplied to OperaWire, the agreement was struck early on Saturday morning and includes a three percent wage cut and a 4 1/2 percent annuity cut for three years. There will also be a lump sum payment equal to eight weeks of bridge pay as well as several other concessions on both sides, per the source. The union itself later confirmed that the deal had been made….The Met Opera season is set to open in late September with a production of ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones.’”

“Tenants in market-rate apartments are not entitled to lease renewals” is the key phrase in The Real Deal story about the new owner of 215 West 84th Street — the Naftali Group — who bought the building last week for $71 million, and reportedly wants market-rate tenants out when their leases expire. “The firm warned residents they would face eviction if they don’t vacate once their leases are up, one tenant told the Commercial Observer. ‘I’m worried they’re going to lock my apartment and throw all my stuff on the street,’ said (the tenant), who has lived in the building for more than a decade. ‘I’m afraid to leave the building until our lease is up. That’s how scared I am.’”. The Observer reported that “A representative from the Naftali Group said it was too early to discuss plans for the property, although a spokeswoman with the union 32BJ SEIU said the owners were retaining the building’s workforce.”

The move back to congregate shelters for 68 homeless men who spent the pandemic in The Lucerne hotel on West 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue went as the city ordered last Monday. But events at The Lucerne over the past year have spawned a “homeless rights movement” that may have led to trouble at a midtown hotel: “25 residents locked themselves in their rooms and refused to leave,” wrote Curbed. “They said that between the highly contagious Delta variant and the fact that just 14 percent of homeless New Yorkers are vaccinated, it wasn’t safe to go back to congregate shelters.” CBS2 reported that “eventually, the last holdouts did leave the hotel.”

“In the decades before the Stonewall uprising in 1969, an L.G.B.T.Q. community took shape among New Yorkers on a remote Fire Island hamlet known as Cherry Grove,” The New York Times recounted. “‘…following the civil rights movement, Cherry Grove became more welcoming to Blacks and Latinas from the L.G.B.T.Q. community. That acceptance — and the joy characteristic of the place — foretold the flourishing of gay and lesbian life in New York City and beyond,’” said the curator of a new outdoor exhibition of photographs and other ephemera at The New-York Historical Society. “The seeds were planted in Cherry Grove.”

A New Yorker who stayed in the city through the entire pandemic recalls the pleasures of a tourist-free New York, in an opinion piece in The New York Times. “Since the natural history museum reopened, we’ve been back at least four times, this iconic destination (‘The Squid and the Whale’! ‘Night at the Museum’!) becoming a dependable last-second rainy-day option available without arduous planning. The ability to roam the city and impulsively enjoy its uncrowded wonders used to feel like the provenance of children’s storybooks or rom-com fantasies. So it’s a remarkable feeling to live in a version of New York where you can ask your kid, ‘What do you want to do today?’ and, when she says, ‘Go to the natural history museum,’ you … actually can.”

On a sad note, Jeffrey Williamson died last week after being hit by the driver of a U.S. postal truck, while commuting home from work in the Central Park West protected bike lane. The truck was turning right, onto the 86th Street transverse. An advertising writer and avid sportsman,Williamson, 71, was planning to retire this month, according to the Daily News. He lived on Riverside Drive with his wife, Chris Brimer, since 1980. “‘Last night at dinner we toasted our good fortune including having a great apartment and health and happiness in New York for the past 40 years,” she recalled. “He would never have left this city.’ The 62-year-old postal truck driver remained on the scene, at one point breaking down in tears as police investigated,” wrote the News. He has not been charged or summonsed.”