What We Know About the Measles Outbreak in N.Y. – The New York Times

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It’s Thursday. Get ready for lemonade season, in a state where a kid’s right to sell it may soon be protected by law.

Weather: Warmer today, with highs around 70. A chance of light rain, but otherwise partly sunny. Showers are likely overnight.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until May 27 (Memorial Day).

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the neighborhood with the highest number of measles cases in New York City.CreditJohn Taggart for The New York Times

The worst measles outbreak in at least two decades has shown no sign of abating, and New York State accounts for the majority of cases, despite persistent pleas from officials to vaccinate.

New York City has confirmed at least 423 measles cases since October, almost entirely in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg (348 cases) and Borough Park (61 cases). The northern suburb of Rockland County has reported more than 200 cases.

The areas are home to ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in which misinformation on vaccines has spread through handbooks and hotlines.

How are local officials trying to curtail measles?

Public health emergencies have been declared in both New York City and Rockland County.

The city has issued summonses to those not following vaccination requirements, and has closed some ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools where unvaccinated students were attending class.

Can Albany take action against measles?

Most states allow for religious or personal exemptions to vaccinations, but Governor Cuomo has shifted his stance, saying that the seriousness of this “public health crisis” should override such exceptions.

Still, state lawmakers have resisted passing a bill that would eliminate the exemptions. “The lawmakers’ reluctance seems to stem from concern about angering ultra-Orthodox and other religious constituents who have often wielded political influence,” wrote my colleague Jesse McKinley.

[Why a bid to end religious exemptions for vaccines has stalled.]

State health officials now recommend measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations for children as early as 6 months old in outbreak areas. (The timetable from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the first dose of M.M.R. vaccine at 12 months to 15 months of age.)

I live near an outbreak. Do I need to get vaccinated?

Mostly, those who contract measles are children in schools, religious groups or other organizations with low immunization rates. Children younger than 5 account for about half of the more than 700 measles cases in the country.

Most adults in the United States are immune to measles. If you think you might be at risk for the disease, visit a doctor. For many people, there is no downside to getting a booster shot.


Big Bird welcomes Mayor de Blasio to Sesame Street.CreditAlbin Lohr-Jones/Sipa, via Associated Press

We finally know how to get to Sesame Street: Take the No. 1 train to the 66th Street-Lincoln Center subway station, then walk a few blocks.

New York City yesterday named 63rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan as “Sesame Street” in honor of the children’s program, which is celebrating its 50th year on television. (“Sesame Street” actually films in Astoria, Queens.)


Keith Raniere, founder of the group Nxivm, in 2009.CreditPatrick Dodson

Nxivm: Keith Raniere, a “sex cult” guru who was once idolized, will stand trial alone.

Same pictures. Same places. 68 years apart.

A Syracuse man who made racist death threats to former President Barack Obama and Representative Maxine Waters received a 46-month sentence.

Nordstrom will add two mini stores in its New York expansion.

New York art galleries: What to see right now.

The tax break was $260 million. The benefit to New Jersey was tiny: $155,520.

[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]

The mini crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

Howie, a baby wallaby, was brought into an East Harlem animal shelter yesterday and will be placed among its marsupial comrades at the Bronx Zoo. [Daily News]

The husband of a Bronx day care provider repeatedly raped a girl in his wife’s care, the police said. [Daily News]

A Brooklyn teenager wearing a tuxedo turned himself in to the police in connection with the fatal stabbing of another teenager. His mother was also arrested. [New York Post]

“It’s a weird, lonely job.” The Police Department has a squad of plainclothes officers patrolling the subway for “creeps.” [New York Post]

The declawing of cats could soon be outlawed in New York State, as support for a bill grows among legislators who call the procedure inhumane because it partially amputates a cat’s toes. [NBC News]

The photographers Builder Levy and Brian Palmer reflect on documenting social movements at the Brooklyn Historical Society. 6:30 p.m. [$5]

See “A Knock at the Door,” a play about parenting and generational trauma, at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [Free with R.S.V.P.]

— Elisha Brown

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.


CreditMichael Perlman

Anyone want a diner?

It’s free, if you can move it.

It’s the Shalimar Diner in Rego Park, Queens, and it closed in November after 45 years of serving breakfast and burgers and blue plate specials.

With the property being redeveloped, it has become another classic New York diner facing demolition — in other words, a case for Diner Man.

That would be Michael Perlman, 36, a writer and preservationist from Forest Hills, Queens, who works to save shuttered diners from demolition by using social media and other networking strategies to find prospective owners willing to move them to new locations.

Mr. Perlman said he had several parties interested in the Shalimar, which was seen in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and in “Blue Bloods.”

But since the property owner wants it gone, he said, “the clock is ticking.”

In 2017, when the Moondance Diner in SoHo closed — Kirsten Dunst’s character waited tables there in “Spider-Man” — Mr. Perlman helped find a taker. It was trucked to Wyoming.

In 2009, he helped get the Cheyenne, a railroad-car diner in Midtown Manhattan, hauled to Alabama.

Because most diners are manufactured in sections, they can be loaded onto trucks for reassembly in new locations, Mr. Perlman said.

“These diners are a prime aspect of Americana, and each has its own distinctive soul,” he said. “They’re public institutions, so it’s disheartening to see them demolished. I try to help them survive in a physical sense so they can make another community happy.”


Dear Diary:

I was a half-hour early for the Broadway show “Brooklyn Boy” starring Adam Arkin, so I went to the corner Starbucks.

There was a poster advertising a free cookie with the purchase of a coffee. But when I got mine, the barista said my order didn’t qualify for the offer.

I walked back to examine the poster. I was taken aback to see Adam Arkin was next in line.

“Shouldn’t you be at the theater?” I blurted out.

“Not unless they pay me overtime,” he said. “And I think they should give you the cookie.”

— Jill Morrow

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