Good morning and happy Friday. We’re waking up to freezing temperatures today — and it’s just going to get colder on Saturday and Sunday. Time for every layer you can find as the winds whip us into the weekend.

Council member Erik Bottcher led a group of volunteers around Hell’s Kitchen’s gay bars last night, handing out leaflets with safety tips following on from the deaths of Julio Ramirez and John Umberger. Read more…

Erik Bottcher leaflets Julio

The FIFA World Cup opens this Sunday in Qatar – and here’s where you can catch the games in the neighborhood. Go Team USA! Read more…

Hibernia Bar Soccer Football World Cup

What we’ve been reading

The cost of a yellow cab ride in NYC is going up. (NY1)

Security companies are using streetside trees to install check-in devices. (Gothamist)

More New Yorkers want to live solo — despite the rents! (The Real Deal)

The Irish Arts Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary and first year in its new home with a Holiday Ceili. (Broadway World)

New York’s vacant rent-controlled apartment numbers are down — but the housing crisis remains. (THE CITY)

Mariah Carey didn’t manage to grab the rights to “Queen of Christmas”. (USA Today)

Freeze Frame

Owl Port Authority Phylis Tseng

Owl-lo! The latest NYC visitor to come to grief near the Port Authority Bus Station this week was a small owl, rescued from near the bustling transport hub after what appeared to be a collision with a window. Read more…

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