The Day | Recreation and Rent Laws

tow zoneMichelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

Those who rise early to exercise can now add an extra drop of motivation to their morning protein shake as the ‘Summer in the Square’ fitness program kicks off today and continues through the summer. Every Thursday morning, starting at 7 a.m., running groups, yoga lessons and boot camp sessions will be held in Union Square. Events will also be held for children, including mommy and me yoga.

When one door opens, another begins to close: EV Grieve noted a new barber shop that opened on Avenue A between 13th and 14th Streets. Nearby, Exquisite DVD on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues has signage hinting that they might be moving out. The storefront is apparently up for rent, which, if it leaves, will add to the list of movie rental stores that have left the East Village in recent weeks.

In spite of numerous rallies and protests, the city’s rent regulation laws expired last night. State Democrats continually called for not merely an extension of existing laws, but stronger laws all together. Neither option prevailed when legislators failed to come to an agreement.

The State Assembly passed the Gay Marriage bill yesterday, 80-63. This was actually the fourth time that the Assembly passed the bill, and surprisingly this had the smallest margin of the four. That being said, all attention is now on the Senate, who are expected to bring the issue to a vote either today or tomorrow, though it is up to Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos when it occurs. So far, 31 of the 32 senators needed to pass the bill have publicly declared their intentions to vote in favor.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg took to the microphone to push for one of his biggest pet peeves: immigration reform. At a meeting of New York’s Council on Foreign Relations, Bloomberg said that he wants to create programs allowing foreign entrepreneurs and permanent status for foreign students in top industries, along with an increase in guest-worker visas and legal guest labor visas. He later took to his Twitter to continue to the push to “honor the values that made America great, and we must embrace the new realities of the 21st century economy.”