Hail the Bagel: Rockefeller Middle Flags Honor N.Y.C. Food stuff


Fantastic morning. It is Monday. We’ll see why distinct flags are flying in Rockefeller Heart this month. We’ll also come across out about state regulators’ most important thrust however to get hashish dispensaries open up to the general public.

Most of the time, there are at least two places in New York the place the flags of the 193 United Nations member states splash colour versus the stone-and-glass history of the cityscape: Outdoors the United Nations headquarters constructing, and all around the plaza at Rockefeller Middle.

This thirty day period, there will be only one.

The member states’ flags at Rockefeller Centre are being decreased and mothballed for April. Going up in their spots are flags that have to do with meals and dining establishments in New York, from bagels to egg creams to Michelin-starred dining places to storefront locations with the blue Health Section letter grade on the front door. An A, of program.

The foodstuff-themed flags were made for the fourth yr of an once-a-year flag undertaking at Rockefeller Centre that began in response to Covid-19 and celebrated New York and its resilience.

For this year’s flag project, the nonprofit City Harvest coordinated the flag display with Rockefeller Middle. Jilly Stephens, the chief govt of Metropolis Harvest, reported in an email that she uncovered it meaningful that the flags would be up on Earth Day on April 22, “because through our operate rescuing properly good surplus food items that would normally go to waste and distributing it to neighborhood food items plans, we are also addressing local climate alter.” The pandemic inflicted foods insecurity on homes that experienced in no way expert it: City Harvest said that the number of little ones browsing food items pantries was 55 per cent increased earlier in 2022 than it was before the pandemic. It expects to gather and distribute 75 million lbs . of food items this calendar year.

For the flags, Metropolis Harvest set out a connect with for artwork in January and assigned a choice committee of 11 staff members members to overview the submissions that came in. Metropolis Harvest also requested properly-regarded artists to contribute some of the flags aspect dining places in Rockefeller Middle like Naro, Lodi and Jupiter.

Just one of the entrants was Ria Sim, who life in the West Village and mentioned she was self-taught. She reported she spent 6 to 8 several hours a day during the pandemic drawing and posting visuals to Instagram. “I desired to convey New York to all people,” she reported. “I wanted people who noticed my Instagram posts to truly feel they had been inside my drawings.”

She explained her flag submissions have been the first that experienced been picked. “I noticed this task mentioned they have been welcoming people today whether or not you were being an novice or a expert,” she said. “I’ve under no circumstances been equipped to enter any contests due to the fact the contests I looked at experienced so a lot of conditions, and I really don’t fit the mould.” She said her strategy was “hard-core grammar school” — scissors, paper and crayons. The result is 3-dimensional and collagelike.

A single of the pictures she submitted was of croissants, quiche and cookies from the Maman cafe and bakery in SoHo. “If you have walked into Maman, my 1st thought was I wished there was a Maman when I was a little lady,” she said. “It was like a sweet tiny tea party position. It was somewhere I would have begged my mother to just take me.”

The artist Peach Jin Tao reported she did a flag of Ray’s Sweet Shop, the open up-all-evening mainstay of the East Village that she termed “the sweet tooth of New Yorkers considering that 1974.” She experienced painted Ray’s storefront in 2019 and, much more a short while ago, did a mural inside of. The flag took on distinctive worth soon after the 90-yr-outdated proprietor of the shop, Ray Alvarez, was beaten in an early-morning assault on Jan. 31. The police arrested a person on assault expenses a couple of days later on.

“The critical component is he’s holding the egg product,” Jin Tao mentioned. “Hopefully that captures his essence.”


Get ready for a sunny sky with temps nearly achieving the 60s. At evening, anticipate rising clouds and temps dropping to 50.


In impact until finally Thursday (Passover).

Hashish regulators in New York State could approve as numerous as 99 licenses for dispensaries right now in their greatest drive but to get shops open up to the general public.

The Place of work of Cannabis Administration released a record of possible recipients on Sunday, 5 times following a federal appeals court docket lifted part of an injunction blocking licensing in some of the state’s most populous regions. The governing board of the place of work is likely to approve the record throughout its typical regular conference today. That would make licenses readily available for the very first time in locations like Brooklyn and the Mid-Hudson location, where licensing was stalled.

My colleague Ashley Southall states that any approvals would comply with the opening of two new accredited dispensaries in Queens and Schenectady past week, together with the first owned by a woman who was harmed by the war on medication.

The girl, Extasy James, was just 3 several years aged when her father, a Jamaican immigrant, was deported for promoting cannabis, she reported. Her dispensary, Great Grades, opened on Thursday in Jamaica, Queens, the place she grew up.

James, 26, owns the company with her cousin, Michael James Jr., a cannabis attorney. She reported she hoped it would give the inspiration to be part of the authorized market for other folks whose households have been torn apart by enforcement. “Everybody that was deported, anybody that went to jail, you have an prospect and you have a likelihood,” she reported.

The dispensary is the first licensed one to open in the boroughs exterior Manhattan, and the initially positioned in a predominantly Black community that was a incredibly hot location of drug arrests. That reality was not lost on Donovan Richards, the borough president of Queens.

Richards, a previous Town Council member who led the community protection committee, pointed out that the dispensary is in the vicinity of the 105th Precinct, which he claimed had led the city in arrests and summonses for marijuana offenses in the very last ten years.

“So when I assume about what today implies, I believe of how long and how tough this societal change has been to get us right here,” he explained at the opening of Great Grades. “This is absolutely nothing quick of transformational for Queens, because what was at the time a tool utilized to focus on communities of color is now a vital and authorized piece of our financial puzzle that will build work, build prosperity, generate alternatives, in the exact communities.”

Dear Diary:

When I visited New York in excess of the summertime, I established a target for myself for a return visit that I had prepared for November: If there was a day with a higher temperature of around 50 degrees and no rain in the forecast, I would try to walk 100,000 steps in one particular working day.

A day came when the situations have been right, so I established out from Long Island Town at 2 a.m. and walked all the way down Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue to Citi Subject.

I realized from early morning La Guardia flights that Jackson Heights and Corona have been lively neighborhoods even in the middle of the night time and would be properly safe.

I headed again towards Manhattan as working day broke and walked the perimeter of Roosevelt Island. I particularly savored the statue honoring the journalist Nellie Bly, who exposed problems at an asylum on what was then recognized as Blackwell’s Island.

In the early afternoon, I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge for the 1st time considering the fact that the death of the creator David McCullough and reflected on what an attained historian and author you will have to be to get so many individuals to study a 600-website page e-book about a bridge.

It was a minor immediately after 6 p.m. when I exceeded the 100,000-action mark in entrance of the previous Union Square Cost savings Bank, wholly oblivious to the point that the creating was the new home of the Off Broadway present “Titanique.”

By the stop of the working day, I had recorded 113,772 techniques, and my appreciation for all of the city’s gems was even larger than it experienced been when I commenced out right before dawn.

— Tom Jensen

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send out submissions in this article and go through more Metropolitan Diary in this article.

Happy we could get with each other right here. See you tomorrow. — J.B.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can discover all our puzzles right here.

Melissa Guerrero, Shivani Gonzalez and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Now. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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