Broadway Theatergoers Say They Were 'Eaten Alive' By Bedbugs During 'Harry Potter' Play

By Paula Mejia

The Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child allegedly has some bloodthirsty freeloaders in the house. A woman who attended a performance of the play at the Lyric Theatre last week says she and her husband were attacked during the performance by the dreaded "You-Know-Who": bedbugs. 

The tipster, who asked Gothamist to withhold her name, says she and her husband had seats in the balcony, where they were "eaten alive during the play," she writes in an email. Afterwards, she says they found bites on their neck, arms, and hands, and sent us these triggering photos.

The two also apparently discovered a bedbug on one of their bags upon exiting the theater, which they bagged as evidence for the photo below.

Of course, bedbugs aren't strangers to our city's theaters, though anecdotal reports show them infesting movie theaters more frequently than Broadway houses. In December 2018, City Councilman Mark Levine introduced a bill that would require movie theaters to develop a program that would issue annual reports that they are indeed bedbug-free.

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Another Pedestrian Killed On Dangerous Stretch Of Amsterdam Avenue

By Christopher Robbins

Police have arrested the hit-and-run driver who allegedly killed a pedestrian in Hamilton Heights on Friday night. According to an NYPD release, 27-year-old Tyrik Cooper is charged with seven offenses in the death of 26-year-old Erica Imbasciani, including vehicular manslaughter, driving while impaired by drugs, leaving the scene of a serious crash, and driving without a license.

Imbasciani was killed on Amsterdam Avenue at West 141st Street, a stretch of road that the Department of Transportation has been attempting to make safer for two years.

According to NYC Crash Mapper, since February of 2013 there have been 549 crashes on Amsterdam Avenue from 110th Street to 162nd Street; three pedestrians and a motorist have been killed, 249 pedestrians and 84 cyclists have been injured.

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Emotional vigil held to remember young woman killed in hit-and-run in Hamilton Heights

By Lucy Yang

A vigil was held Monday night to remember a young woman struck and killed in Hamilton Heights by a hit-and-run driver who was allegedly on drugs. 

With candles in hand and tears overflowing, family and friends came to mourn 26-year-old aspiring artist Erica Imbasciani. 

She was innocently trying to cross Amsterdam Avenue at 141st Street Friday night when she was killed in a hit-and-run crash. 

Police say the driver of the SUV from the Bronx was on drugs at the time and was caught a few blocks away after ramming into another vehicle. 

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City Councilmembers Propose $100,000 Fine For 'Hideous' LED Billboard Boats


By Jake Offenhartz

The allegedly illegal, unquestionably irritating LED billboard seen floating through NYC's waterways in recent months could soon incur a much steeper fine from the city — assuming, that is, authorities ever get around to enforcing the law the advertising company is believed to be violating.

The controversial barge was first spotted in the city's rivers in October, and has since attracted plenty of scorn from New Yorkers partial to a waterfront view that does not include an aggressively bright, 60-foot screen blaring ads for beer and private helicopter rides. After the Mayor's Office deemed it "hideous" earlier this year, the Law Department sent a letter to the company behind the boat, Ballyhoo Media, giving them a two-week deadline to demonstrate compliance with a local zoning resolution that prohibits advertising on local waterways

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Will Congestion Pricing Create Parking Problems at the Periphery?

By Jeanmarie Evelly

Dozens of residents filled the auditorium at Cooper Union Thursday night at a forum hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, where attendees – some touting signs – offered their thoughts on congestion pricing, the proposal to charge cars a fee to drive into the borough’s traffic-snarled business district south of 60th Street.

Congestion pricing has been a central part of the state legislature’s budget negotiations, which are supposed to wrap up by April 1, though reports suggest lawmakers are still divided on the issue. So were speakers at Thursday’s forum, where proponents stressed the necessity of congestion pricing as a revenue source for the MTA, countered by opponents who expressed a litany of worries about the plan.

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Amtrak Angers Uptown After Blocking Views, Spraying Chemicals

By Brendan Krisel

Upper Manhattan residents held a rally Wednesday night to call out the transit company Amtrak for its poor treatment of uptown neighborhoods.

Residents held signs reading "stop Amtrak" near the site of a new billboard the company is constructing over its tracks on the west side of Manhattan. The billboard, located on West 155th Street between Riverside Drive and the West Side Highway, will block scenic views of the Hudson River.

"The view from 155th St up the Hudson to the GW Bridge is one of the most iconic views in NYC. And now it's about to be sullied by a giant billboard being erected by [Amtrak]. Our neighborhood is united in calling its removal," City Councilman Mark Levine said in a statement posted to social media.

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Upper Manhattan Residents Say Amtrak Billboard Would Block Their View Of River

Amtrak is under fire – not for its service, but a billboard.

Upper Manhattan residents and elected officials gathered in Washington Heights on Wednesday to protest the new sign on Amtrak property.

It hasn’t been installed yet, but residents describe the structure as a “monstrosity” that blocks their views of the river.

City Councilman Mark Levine said Amtrak offered to lower the billboard two feet, but the community wants it scrapped.

“We are upset about this, we do not accept it. It was done without consultation with the community,” he said. “It is visual clutter we don’t want and need.”

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Mark Levine on marijuana, e-cigarettes and the need to vaccinate

By Jeff Coltin

Who says a health committee has to be all about insurance premiums? Halfway through City & State’s interview with New York City Councilman Mark Levine, the health committee chairman said it was the most fun interview he’s ever done: “You’re hitting all these cool issues.”

But that’s just because in his role, Levine has been hitting some of the most interesting issues of the day, such as marijuana, e-cigarettes and a measles outbreak in Brooklyn.

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NYC's Long-Empty Stores Would Be Listed Under New Bill

By Noah Manskar

A Manhattan lawmaker wants to create a list of the long-empty stores that have plagued commercial corridors around New York City. City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal introduced a bill Wednesday that would establish a city registry of all storefront property that has been vacant for at least three months.

Doing so would give lawmakers a clearer picture of commercial vacancies across the city, a problem that has so far been tough to quantify on a large scale, the Democratic lawmaker said.

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La ciudad sopesa ampliar la ayuda legal por evicción a comerciantes

Por Ana b. Nieto

Renta. Renta. Renta. Cuando los pequeños comerciantes independientes de la ciudad hacen un listado con sus preocupaciones, lo que literalmente les quita el sueño, el alquiler del local comercial desde el que operan, ocupa los primeros lugares. Porque la renta es alta, porque vence el contrato, porque no se renueva o porque se ha iniciado un trámite de desalojo que suele acabas con un negocio y los empleos que genera.

El miembro del Concejo, Mark Levin, presentó el miércoles una propuesta para que los pequeños comerciantes puedan hacer uso de servicios legales gratuitos de la ciudad cuando hagan frente a un procedimiento de desalojo. Es algo que hace un año y medio se aprobó para casos residenciales y los desalojos se han reducido desde entonces un 37%. “Los procedimientos que afectan a los comerciantes no son tan elevados, un promedio de 174 al mes, pero están aumentando”, explica.

Lea el artículo completo aquí.

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