W42ST Daily 7/3/2020

On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies kicked the British out of the proud nation that would become the United States and claimed independence. They celebrated by setting off illegal fireworks in the street, eating an obscene amount of hot dogs, and drinking too much frose on the beach.

Phil and I (both technically Brits, though, as a Scot, my forefathers were just as oppressed by the English – you’ve seen Braveheart, right?) are doing our bit for the holiday by respectfully backing off for a couple of days. Normal service will be resumed on Monday.

In the meantime, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where we’ll still be bringing you all the important news, nostalgia, and pictures of dogs dressed as fast food snacks.

And, since every day is a school day here at W42ST, use these fun facts to amaze and entertain your friends and family over the weekend. Have a wonderful holiday!

America actually gained independence on July 2, 1776. 
  Benjamin Franklin originally proposed the turkey as the national bird, but he was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who preferred the bald eagle.
  Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness.”
  In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today the population of the US is 316 million.
  Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day. 
  When New Yorkers heard of their independence, they gathered in the Bowling Green section of the city and tore down a statue of King George III, which was later melted into bullets.

“You are sympathetic and understanding of other people’s problems, which makes you a sucker. You are always putting things off. That is why you will always be on welfare and won’t be worth a shit. Everybody in prison is a Cancer.”

That was my birthday horoscope this week, thanks to my (Scorpio) roommate. His wasn’t much better. “The worst of the lot. You are shrewd in business and can’t be trusted. You shall achieve the pinnacle of success because of your total lack of ethics. You are a perfect son of a bitch. Most Scorpios are murderers.”

And you know what? Both are shockingly accurate. If it’s your birthday this week, hello birthday twin!

And if you want to know your mean horoscope, email me and I’ll ruin your weekend too. You’re welcome.

The tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are behind on their rent were able to breathe a brief sigh of relief this week, when Governor Cuomo signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. The law permanently protects tenants from eviction if they have been unable to pay rent because of COVID-19. But there remains more questions than answers from beleaguered renters who have been laid off, furloughed, or have seen their freelance gigs disappear overnight – and who will emerge from this crisis still owing thousands of dollars in unpaid rent.

What are my rights? Can I break my lease? Can my landlord legally keep my security deposit? Will breaking my lease affect my credit rating? We asked a lawyer for some clarity. This is what they told us.

Hamilton premieres on Disney+ today. A filmed version of the stage show, it features most of the original cast, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr, Daveed Diggs, and Phillipa Soo. You’ll need a subscription to Disney + of course. But you can watch the stirring trailer as many times as you like here.

The Royal Opera House streams its sumptuous production of La Bohème today. Watch it here.

The Whitney live streams Kota Ezawa’s National Anthem today, an animation that depicts NFL football players taking a knee during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ Watch it here.

Johari Mayfield leads a dance class this afternoon, fusing HIIT training and African dance moves to create a workout that’s fun and sweaty! No previous dance experience necessary. Join here (and pay what you can).