Posts tagged with "nyc"

Coi Leray Shares “Slide” Music Video

Today, budding star Coi Leray shares the flirty music video for her latest single “Slide” [feat. Gunna]. It is available on her brand new Now Or Never EP—out now.

WATCH IT HERE

Stream it HERE via Republic Records.

The steamy visual sees her shine like never before. Intercutting impressive choreography, charismatic rapping, and entrancing singing, the clip showcases every facet of this rising superstar as she also flexes one high fashion look after another. Meanwhile, multiplatinum Atlanta titan Gunna pulls up for a characteristically smooth cameo. His chemistry with Coi practically sizzles on screen.

Now Or Never continues to put up numbers and attract critical acclaim. REVOLT praised, “The New Jersey native is one-of-a-kind. Spreading contagious positive energy at all times, the 23-year-old continues to break down barriers with her music speaking for itself.” In addition to an interview with Cosmopolitan who raved, “the girl has got pipes, y’all!,” KAZI crowned her, “A trailblazing pop star.”

The six-track project showcases newfound vocal maturity and musical evolution, emphasizing her depth and range. Coi Leray set the stage for the EP with the single “Do Better.” Not only did it rack up a ton of streams, but she also received recent plugs from Pitchfork, Def Pen, and UPROXX. Meanwhile, HYPEBAE wrote, “In her latest song, Leray demonstrates her angelic vocals while spitting commanding bars,” and HotNewHipHop observed, “[she’s] proving that she can certainly hold her own in the industry.”

The lead-off “Better Days” [feat. Fetty Wap] has tallied over 5 million total streams, while the animation visualizer surpassed 1.3 million YouTube views. Additionally, Now Or Never boasts the slick banger “Slide” [feat. Gunna] and joins up with powerhouse girl gang on “I Like It” [feat. Kiana Ledé & Sevyn Streeter].

Coi Leray continues to attract widespread critical acclaim. Essence crowned her “a Gen-Z superstar,” and BET proclaimed, “With a few standout tracks under her belt, Leray hasn’t slowed down yet” as they crowned her BET Amplified “Artist Of The Month.” In addition to plugs from Respect Mag, HipHopDX, and more, HotNewHipHop highlighted the “important message” of “Better Days.” Also, Carlie Hanson touted it on her Billboard “Pride Playlist.” Coi appeared on Hot 97 and BET’s 106&Park Mic Check and graced the cover of Pandora’s “BET Amplified Artist” playlist.

TRACKLISTING

  1. Slide feat. Gunna (prod: Taz Taylor & MjNichols)
  2. I Like It feat. Kiana Ledé & Sevyn Streeter (prod: Rance of 1500 Or Nothin’ & 15Hunnit Boy)
  3. Do Better (prod: Losaddos)
  4. Fuq Boa (prod: TheRealTraxx)
  5. Better Days feat. Fetty Wap (prod: Nash B & Wymtime)
  6. Messy (prod: Rance of 1500 Or Nothin’ & D Swift & IamTash)

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ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Zendaya and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G) and Hollywood Records. In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

Vivienne Hu SS 2021

Vivienne Hu released her Spring/Summer 2021 Working from Home collection, a practical and motivating collection, made its debut in New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, 16th of September.

An expertly designed, fifty pieces ensemble by New York based designer Vivienne Hu focuses on relaxed and feminine comfort without sacrificing style to include homelike garments which can be worn both at home and elsewhere. In addition to original handmade accessories, this collection emphasizes the effortless transition from loungewear to luxury fashion. The Vivienne Hu collection is crafted with fluid fabrics, a joyful color palette, and trouble-free silhouettes.

The collection exhibits a blend of classic European elegance and New York downtown style, where the concept caters to women who have a strong sense of independence and a desire for displaying their femininity and personality in a unique way.

Vivienne Hu’s relaxed and practical collection pair modern silhouettes with interesting details. Her softened structures are strongly inspired by empowering oneself to get through the situation through the whole world. Her collections have been gracing New York Fashion week since 2014, and today, the brand includes womenswear, handbags, shoes, accessories, and cosmetics.

Vivienne Hu is a designer based in New York City. Before pursuing fashion, she received her bachelor’s degree in Finance from University of Hohenheim in Germany. She then worked in the Investment Banking industry in New York for several years. She eventually decided to change careers due to her zeal for fashion and her love of creativity and the arts.

After obtaining a fashion degree from Parsons School of Design, Vivienne Hu established her brand, and debuted her Spring/Summer collection in 2012. Quickly, she gained industry experience working at Oscar de la Renta and Yigal Azrouel. Hu formally launched her flagship store in Soho, New York in 2013. In 2016, she launched her second store at 107 Mercer Street, also in the heart of Soho, New York. Her designs have been featured in fashion magazines including WWD, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Bazaar, Art and Designs, and Elegant.

On her design philosophy and personal vision, Hu says “In the corporate world I see women lose their personal style for the sake of professionalism…forced to follow dress code and as a result being ‘uniform.’ Women should never be forced to give up something so personal …My vision is to break open this forced box by bridging the gap between personality and professionalism.”

Runway Video

Front Looks

Detail Looks

Katie Gallagher SS 2021

Used for centuries, the caustic mineral orpiment was a common garment dye and artist pigment, but as time moved on, its use proved too deadly. Orpiment’s rich yellow hue, similar to gold, still adorns ancient tombs and sacred spaces. The color qualities and duality of this lethal mineral serve as the inspiration for Katie Gallagher’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Orpiment.

Katie Gallagher is an American fashion designer and the founder of her namesake brand in New York City. She established the bran after studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and interning under big names in fashion such as Anna Sui. Looks by Katie Gallagher have been pulled by Lady Gaga’s stylish Nicola Formichetti, amongst others. Her designs have received attention from Vogue Italia, Elle, Interview, Refinery 29, and various New York based magazines. At ag 34, the designer is at only the very beginning of her career.

In describing her creative process and thoughts on design, Gallagher has said “I don’t believe that fashion is the end goal; stories, personalities, moods, ideals, and attitudes are. Fashion, when executed successfully, communicates these attributes quickly and eloquently.”

In this latest collection, Gallagher focuses on her color of choice for fall, yellow. Yellow, the color of caution, but also hope, is a fitting choice for the collective current mood during this global pandemic. Together, apart, we move forward cautiously and hyperaware. Orpiment features bold yellow garments, including a sheer Tulle dress and a lightweight Nylon Ripstop bomber jacket juxtaposing Gallagher’s signature black and white color palette.

Find more from Katie Gallagher on her website here.

ANDY MINEO RELEASES “SHIBUYA ROLL CALL” FEAT. WORDSPLAYED

Syracuse-raised, Atlanta-based artist Andy Mineo released his latest single and video, “Shibuya Roll Call” feat. Wordsplayed, to announce a new EP, Happy Thoughts, inspired by a trip to Japan with his Miner League crew. The video acts as a visual diary capturing Mineo and his team’s experiences on their travels throughout the country, prior to the COVID shutdown – watch it here. “Shibuya Roll Call” is the first installment of weekly content promised by Andy via Instagram, leading up to the release of Happy Thoughts on November 11 via Reach Records.

LISTEN TO “SHIBUYA ROLL CALL” VIA ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS

Discussing the single and video, Mineo states, “My buddy John [Wordsplayed] and I visited the Shibuya ward in Tokyo, Japan and were inspired by the scenery. Finding a fresh take on the world is hard to do if you stay in the same spot, so we wanted to pay homage to the experience we had and put the city on my fans’ radar. Sharing things that inspire me is central to my brand, so I hope this song encourages people to find out more of what Japan has to offer.”

Mineo grew up in the Syracuse area. A troubled kid, music became his constructive outlet. His mix of hip-hop and pop serves as an energetic, positive influence, with a focus on cultural influences and overarching visions to create unforgettable media experiences. Mineo’s 2014 single “You Can’t Stop Me” was certified Gold by the RIAA, and he has headed out on multiple 30+ date tours across the U.S., sharing the stage with artists such as Tory Lanez, Logic, Fetty Wap and Jon Bellion.

Stay tuned for more details on Happy Thoughts to be announced in the coming weeks

www.andymineo.com

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New York Botanical Garden Reopening

The Botanical Garden began phase 1 of its reopening plan, welcoming the general public to the grounds of its 250-acre site, on July 28.

NYBG is among the most comprehensive botanical gardens in the world, an urban oasis and integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City, anchored in the Bronx. In this next phase of NYBG’s reopening, visitors will once again be able to explore the Haupt Conservatory’s interconnected galleries, each featuring a different botanical habitat and specimens from around the globe. Outdoors, the verdant landscape is currently showcasing seasonal standouts such as striking cardinal flowers, mauve asters, and sweeping grasses among its one million plants.

Scenic paths and trails crisscross the Garden providing opportunities for discovery through encounters with nature. The gardens, outdoor collections, and natural features include the Native Plant Garden, with its meadow, woodland, promenade, and centerpiece water feature; Bronx River, with its waterfall, which runs through the 50-acre Thain Family Forest; layered and colorful patterns and plant groupings of the Perennial and Herb Gardens; lushly textured Chilton Azalea Garden; award-winning Rockefeller Rose Garden; inviting paths through the Ross Conifer Arboretum; Benenson Ornamental Conifers; and more.

Tram Tours, public programs, and group tours remain suspended temporarily as a safety precaution. The LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Edible Academy, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Hudson Garden Grill remain closed.

The first phase of NYBG’s public reopening was prefaced by Appreciation Week, when Garden Members, Bronx Health Care Heroes from the eight public and private hospitals in the borough, and Bronx Neighbors were welcomed with first access and complimentary tickets. Communities in the Bronx are among the most severely impacted by COVID-19 in New York City. Through this initiative, the Garden acknowledges, with gratitude, the dedication, strength, and resilience of Bronx frontline health care workers and residents. Free grounds admission for those groups, originally slated to conclude September 13, has been extended through February 28, 2021.

The Garden’s gradual reopening process incorporates enhanced safety measures based on best practices and guidance from health authorities and government agencies. New measures include requiring staff and visitors over the age of two to wear face coverings; increasing sanitization of public and staff areas; daily health screenings for on-site staff; supporting hygiene and social distancing practices; requiring timed-entry tickets purchased in advance; operating at a reduced capacity; and more.

The new, limited timed-entry ticketing system staggers visitorsߣ arrivals, promotes social distancing, and mitigates the risk of crowding in high-traffic areas. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required and will be confirmed by e-mail with the option to print or download a mobile ticket. Ticket options include the Garden Pass + Conservatory for access to the outdoor gardens and collections, the newly reopened Conservatory galleries, and the Courtyards; the Garden Pass for access to outdoor gardens and collections; and the Grounds-Only Pass, available to New York City residents only with valid proof of identification. Visitors who do not purchase advance tickets will not be guaranteed admission at this time. Garden Patrons and Members must also reserve timed tickets in advance. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website at nybg.org.

Decrease in Violence Following NYC Crisis Management Efforts

Labor Day weekend typically reflects an increase in violence in New York and other cities, yet this past weekend saw a dramatic decrease in shootings within areas patrolled by members of New York City’s Crisis Management System (CMS). Some CMS zones, including that of Southeast Queens, reported zero shootings. In Brooklyn, a coalition of over 100 people patrolled the streets in orange together to prevent violence.

New York City has experienced an outbreak of gun violence – an uptick of over 210 shootings in the past 28 days. Recent shootings have occurred primarily in areas outside of the 24 zones with CMS-affiliated organizations operating.

“Violence is a public health epidemic and our neighborhoods have been destabilized by COVID-19 and job loss. At the beginning of this year, CMS anticipated an increase in violence and we requested an additional $200 million from the city to increase the size and scope of the CMS system. The city approved an increase of $10 million, which will allow us to add four new sites to the network. It is good but not nearly enough,’ says Erica Ford, CEO of LIFE Camp, Inc. and one of the architects of the New York City Crisis Management System. “The work we do is the solution, we need to invest in what works.”

The community-based organizations and partners that make up the crisis management system are the secret ingredients making a difference and this weekend’s results have proven yet again that our presence and contribution to the public safety of New York is very important. We create opportunities for our community members to take a proper seat at the table in all the discussions that impact them and their neighborhoods. With the proper funding, we can cover more precincts and the City can feel more confident about a path to bringing violence to an all-time low.”  AT Mitchell, Man Up, Inc. and one of the architects of the New York City Crisis Management System

For reference, the Independent Budget Office estimates that the NYPD will exceed its overtime cap by $400 million this fiscal year, bringing the city spending on overtime hours to $668 million in the 2021 budget. Overall, the CMS receives roughly ⅓ of a penny for every dollar the NYPD receives. 

The Crisis Management System is a network of 24 community sites working in collaboration with 60+ community based organizations and ten city agencies to co-produce public safety in New York City.

K-POP Star Announces First Livestream Concert

Singer-Songwriter-Producer, Wonho, announced today, via Rolling Stone, that he will be partnering with LiveXLive for a global pay-per-view concert. This will mark his first ever live solo act and debut performance for his first solo album ‘Love Synonym #1 : Right for Me.’ The concert is scheduled for Saturday, September 26th at 8PM EST/ 11PM EST / Sunday, September 27th at 12PM KST. Tickets will be open for sale on Friday, September 11th at 11AM EST / 8AM PST at LivexLive.com.

WATCH “OPEN MIND” MUSIC VIDEO HERE

STREAM HERE ON SPOTIFY

STREAM HERE ON APPLE MUSIC

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The livestream pay-per-view performance is Wonho’s much-anticipated return to live performing. Wonho recently debuted his first single “Losing You” on August 14th, earning many great reactions from his awaited fans. Following that release, Wonho dropped his first solo mini album ‘Love Synonym #1 : Right for Me’, featuring the title track “Open Mind” on September 4th, which topped the Worldwide iTunes Album charts; taking up the #1 spot under U.S. Pop Album Chart, K-Pop Album Chart in twenty different countries including U.S., and catapulting to #6 under the U.S. All Genres Album Chart.

Immediately upon release, “wonho” was trending #1 worldwide on Twitter, with “open mind,” “#OPEN_MIND,” and “#Love_Synonym” following closely behind. As Wonho makes his first step as a solo artist with this eight-track mini album, he showcases not only his vocal skills; but also his lyrical, compositional, and production skills.

The title ‘Love Synonym’ symbolizes a new start that is different from Wonho’s music style and performances that he has shown before. ‘Love Synonym’ is a new definition of love that Wonho created in order to show his pledges and determinations that he will communicate with his fans. Wonho expressed his earnestness by participating in writing and composing five songs, including the title track “Open Mind” and the pre-released single “Losing You.”

The full performance on LiveXLive will not only feature songs from Wonho’s new solo album among other original and cover songs and a unique PPV experience with behind the scenes footage, docureality-style coverage. Premium tiered pricing includes VIP experiences, exclusive merchandise, meet-and-greets, and other event-exclusive perks. “LiveXLive is fortunate to be able to support Wonho’s return to his fans, the WENEE’s, and the career he loves. Our platform is built for moments like these and we are excited to power this one-of-a-kind concert experience together. We saw an incredible response for the Monsta X live show and anticipate Wonho’s solo breakout performance is perfectly timed to serve as the encore of a lifetime!” stated Dermot McCormack, president of LiveXLive.

Buzz surrounding his pre-released single, “Losing You,” which was dedicated to the fans who thought they may have lost him, took the U.S. Market by storm. Upon release, #WONHO_LosingYou_MV shot up to the #1 Twitter Trend Worldwide; and received notable mentions from publications such as PAPER Magazine, MTV News, Access, iHeart, and Rolling Stone, who stated,

“Performed entirely in English, the sweeping, piano-driven ballad showcases Wonho’s delicate falsetto, as he sings about protecting a cherished love despite all costs.”

Wonho also spoke to Forbes and Teen Vogue about his solo ventures.

“While these weren’t easy moments to face and endure, it was a time that made me think a lot and that allowed me to develop and grow — that was very important and precious for me. I thought of the fans waiting and supporting me … I feel a little more mature, and like I have more to say to the world.”

Late last year, Wonho’s fans tirelessly put forth efforts to show him he wasn’t alone in this world. Their message was heard globally, loud and clear; with multiple hashtags trending worldwide on twitter for weeks on end, online petitions garnering half a million signatures, fans taking it to the streets of Seoul writing supportive notes, and putting up billboards in Times Square, China and all over the world to support him.

As told by Forbes, “…fans had shown their support for the artist by sending the 2017 song “From Zero,” a special track co-written and producer by Wonho, to No. 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart to help prove his continuing viability and commercial appeal as an artist, songwriter and producer.”

After months of fan-driven fundraisers, online petitions, Twitter trends and love; Wonho is thrilled to be giving back to his fans. His fanbase’s new name is Wenne; and the fandom name represents the special bond between Wonho and his fans, who have been there to support him through the ups and downs.

Wonho sings passionately on the track “Coz anytime or place I’d be your shield, when you feel, like you ain’t got the fight in you to heal.”

The release of “Losing You” is Wonho’s first step forward in his solo career after signing with Highline Entertainment, which is a subsidiary label of Starship Entertainment—the home to K-pop groups including Monsta X, WJSN and Cravity—and houses viral EDM star DJ Soda [Read HERE on Forbes]. Back in early April, Wonho also joined Maverick Management’s roster, alongside Britney Spears, Madonna, The Weeknd, and many more big-name artists.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Marsha's House in the Bronx for 360 MAGAZINE.

Marsha’s House: Shelter for LGBTQ+

In Greenwich Village near where Stonewall Inn resides, a monument will be built to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, trailblazers and history-makers for the LGBTQ+ community. Marsha P. Johnson was a black transgender woman and drag queen, whose outspoken activism and radical vision during the Gay Liberation Movement continues to inspire people today.

A monument isn’t the only place bearing her memory. Marsha’s House- operated by the nonprofit Project Renewal- opened on February 15, 2017 to continue to serve the community as Marsha did, by taking in homeless LGBTQ+ young adults. With the added risks and discrimination that they face, Marsha’s House seeks to provide valuable resources and shelter to these LGBTQ+ youth.

According to a report done by the National Institutes of Health, around 62% of homeless LGBTQ+ youth have faced discrimination from their families. Jazmine Pérez, Program Director of Marsha’s House, stressed the importance of having a “safe space dedicated to [LGBTQ+ homeless youth]” as “New York City had never had housing tailored to their needs.”

These youth face particular adversities that are further complicated when alternative housing options do not have the facilities to aid them, or are outright discriminatory towards them. A study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that 41% of homeless and runaway LGBTQ+ adolescents they interviewed have major depression, in comparison to 28% of homeless heterosexual adolescents interviewed.

 Marsha’s House boasts a variety of programs catered towards some of the issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. Pérez outlines services which include “referrals to legal supportive services, education, healthcare, and employment programs.”

Additionally, clients that come to Marsha’s House are assured personalized living arrangements that assist each individual in finding employment and housing. “Our Case Managers and Peer Counselors meet with clients to ensure compliance with their individual living plan. They work closely with our Job Developer, Vocational Counselor, and Housing Coordinator to secure employment and housing.”

Concerns over Covid-19 pandemic are ever prevalent in the context of shared living facilities, like homeless shelters. However, Marsha’s House eases some of this concern by screening potential clients for the virus, enforcing social distancing, and cutting down accommodation from 81 beds to 60 in its 5-floor-walk-up facility. The facility maintains 20 rooms of various sizes, from single rooms to larger rooms that accommodate up to 6 people.

But Covid-19 hasn’t been the only adversity Marsha’s House has faced in recent years. The Trump administration has continued to be a source of disparaging policies and remarks against the LGBTQ+ community. On July 23, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development formally announced a proposal that would reverse the 2012 Equal Access Rule, which warrants protection for homeless transgender people against discrimination by homeless shelters and other federally funded alternative housing. 

This comes as a setback and large blow to the transgender community. A 2015 survey done by The National Center for Transgender Equality shows that “70% of respondents who stayed in a shelter in the past year reported some form of mistreatment, including being harassed, sexually or physically assaulted, or kicked out because of being transgender.” The HUD’s rollback on the Equal Access Rule would only serve to undo the progress that has been made to make homeless shelters more safe to the marginalized people that need them.

    “The rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have disregarded the very identities of our clients and staff, especially when it comes to the intersectionality of our existence,” said Pérez. “Speaking personally, as a woman of color with trans experience, I feel like I have three strikes against me in the eyes of this administration.”

Despite these incredible challenges they face, Marsha’s House continues to receive equally incredible help- from the support coming from their progressive state of New York, to the generous donors that help fund Project Renewal, to the operations staff that help run things every single day. “Our Marsha’s House Heroes are our operations staff. As essential workers, they have not skipped a beat with reporting to work and providing the support our clients needed. Being that we are a shelter, we operate 24/7/365, and our operations staff members are always here for their full 8-hour shifts.”

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Independence Day Drink

2020 Labor Day Celebrations

By Cassandra Yany

In the face of COVID-19, Labor Day weekend looked very different his year. Absent were the large family cookouts and pool parties, or the big end-of-summer beach crowds. Many cities even had to omit public fireworks to prevent mass gatherings. Though the long weekend did not bring the celebrations we’re used to, there were still plenty of safe ways to enjoy the holiday.

Virtual events allow you to take part in more activities in different locations than you would have been able to physically. Made in America, a festival started by Jay-Z in 2012, was set to take place in Philadelphia this past weekend. On July 1, festival organizers announced that it would be rescheduled to Labor Day weekend 2021. They said in a statement “Collectively, we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systemic racism and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country.”

This year’s lineup went unannounced, but last year’s festival was headlined by Travis Scott and Cardi B. Since the physical festival was canceled, a livestream showcasing the best performances took place on the music streaming service TIDAL throughout the weekend. The virtual festival included sets from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, Coldplay, Rihanna and many other chart-topping artists.

Nationally, a Labor Day virtual race was held by The Best Races for runners to run anywhere on their own time and submit their results. Participants who registered for the full package received a personal coach who was available Monday through Friday to provide help and answer questions during training, and provided encouragement and support on the day of the race.

Runners across the country were able to choose the distance of the race they wanted to participate in. Depending on what package they signed up for, they received a certificate of completion and digital medal, a 3-inch medal sent to their homes, a printable custom bib, a custom digital photo card that contains the race results, a digital running journal, a t-shirt, optional course maps and an optional pen pal program. 

Based in Portland, the Oregon Labor Movement held a statewide virtual Labor Day celebration and call to action on Monday. The organizers brought light to issues taking place in the state saying, “Working Oregonians are facing three crises at once: a deadly global pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing institutional racism.”

The event began at noon and featured talks from Oregon’s labor leaders, elected officials, and working Oregon citizens regarding their desire for change and their pursuit toward justice for workers. This event came after Portland’s rise to national prominence for their Black Lives Matter demonstrations and federal agents entering the city in recent months.

A number of virtual events were held in Los Angeles this past weekend, as well. HomeState, the LA-based Texas Kitchen, held its first Margarita Showdown in 2019, but had to move it online this year due to the pandemic and social distancing measures. The virtual event took place Saturday via livestream. Margarita makers in the area competed to see whose drink was the best.

Voters received eight bottled margaritas, along with limes and garnishing salt to try the different submissions from the safety of their homes. The winner chosen was El Compadre, a local Mexcian restaurant. The event was hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo, and featured musical performances by Chicano Batman, Spoon, Questlove, Fred Armisen, Local Natives and Angela Muñoz. All proceeds from the event benefit the organization No Us Without You! and the Watts Empowerment Center.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosted a virtual Labor Day Pies class on Sunday. In the class, participants were taught how to make a s’mores pie and key lime pie. Registration for the class included access to the Zoom video meeting, as well as the recipe and shopping list. Recipes can also be found on Gourmandise’s Instagram.

Some cities were able to hold in-person events following social distancing guidelines. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the Seaport District, upheld its tradition of free admission on Labor Day. The museum is typically closed on Mondays, but was open from 10 am to 5 pm for guests who reserved tickets. 

Monday was the last day for guests to see the exhibits Tschabalala Self: Out of Body and Carolina Caycedo: Cosmotarrayas. Also on display were the Sterling Ruby, Nina Chanel Abney and Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama exhibits. The ICA has increased cleaning and follows Massachusetts COVID guidelines by requiring all staff and visitors to wear face coverings, and allowing a restricted number of guests each hour. Spaces that don’t allow physical distancing are temporarily closed, and exhibition labels and printed materials have been made available online to reduce touch surfaces.


In New York City, a Labor Day Paint in the Park event was held in Central Park. The two-hour socially distant class was led by a master artist who gave step-by-step painting instructions. Participants were required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. Admission included a pre-sketched canvas and painting supplies, and parties were encouraged to bring food and drinks to snack on during the class.

For those who wanted to enjoy the holiday by relaxing at home with their favorite movie or TV show, a number of stores had sales to mark the end of summer. There were countless deals that shoppers could take advantage of to celebrate their work.
Many workers have faced great adversity within the past eight months, some losing their positions and having to move quickly to find a new one, and others doing their job in a way they never thought they would have to. Whether you stayed in or got out of the house for some socially-distant fun, Monday was definitely a day worth celebrating.

Rodent illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

CITY RATS × STREETS

By Althea Champion

Thirty-four years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, lush greenery and wild wolves freely inhabit the landscape, uninhibited by the burden of human life’s presence. Nine months after the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., another lifeform—one much less beautiful and romantic—roams the comparatively barren city streets of the U.S.: rats.

In East Coast cities, from New Orleans to Boston to New York City, residents are reporting sightings of rats swarming, scouring the city, capitalizing on the valuable real estate human beings recently left behind in pursuit of the safety of their homes.

The swell of rat turn-out is not simply because the once busy streets they cowered in the shadows of are now empty, but because they are starving and in dire straits. It seems that hard times are not unique to humans during these past few months, but are actually falling on rats, too.

“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported in a May update of rodent-control guidelines in respect to COVID-19. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

According to the Boston Herald, Boston is currently handling an impressive rat problem of their own, with the Allston/Brighton neighborhoods reporting a whopping 88% increase in rodent activity in comparison to last year.

“Boston is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Meghan Ottolini of the Boston Herald. “With residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats ‘the size of cats’ scurrying down the street in broad daylight.”

The waste that rats once prospered on is no longer available as a result of much frequented restaurants and bars closing their doors. Scraps can no longer be found without extensive searches. Thus, city rats, motivated by their acute distress and changing landscape, are resorting to desperate measures. 

In New York City, where restaurants are permitted to serve patrons outdoors as of June 22, rats are also showing up to dine at the literal heels of customers bating for crumbs, according to The Guardian.

In cities more than ever, the line between wildlife and the human race is slimming. Unlike those who live in more rural areas, animals are not something city folk come in contact with on a daily basis—aside from a dog, cat, and the occasional hamster. 

Perhaps this is changing. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of The Boston Globe suggests that the urban wildlifes—the coyotes in Chicago and San Francisco, mountain lions in Boulder, and the groundhog in Philadelphias—are perhaps lessening the “artificial division between ‘man’ and ‘nature,'” and maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps, humans do not have to be separate from nature, and rodents do feature in nature.

It is, after all, the year of the rat.