Published on December 27, 2021 at 14:46 by Carol Tannenhauser
by Carol Tannenhauser
2021 should be a turning point year. The mood on the Upper West Side was lively when Donald Trump was defeated, making room for a new administration. And after a brutal 2020 came the vaccine! Everyone was talking about the light at the end of the tunnel.
But the flash did not last; it was soon overshadowed by evidence that New York State and City had no idea of getting shot in the arm, despite having had three months to prepare. Words like “glacial” were used to describe the pace of vaccination rollout. The anxiety was increasing. The governor and the mayor fought. We wrote about it on January 6 – the day of the Capitol uprising, in which the hope of a united and happier New Year was further shattered.
But there were moments.
The House filed a lawsuit for Trump for the second time, and our representative brought a small piece of us all to the floor. The penultimate most watched Rag story in 2021 was Jerry Nadler brought a Zabars bag to court; Here’s what was in it. Click on the story – called by a reader “The best Rag story ever” – if you forgot.
The most watched story in 2021 happened nine months later, after the vaccine had undergone permutations that no one predicted: from scarcity to surplus; from “Get me vaccinated now!” to “Over My Dead Civil Rights!”
It turned out that neither Trump nor the virus was gone – and a new group was added to the mix: “Anti Vaxxers.” By September, Mayor Bill de Blasio had implemented a vaccine mandate that required proof of vaccination to enter training and entertainment venues and indoor dining.
On September 15, three tourists from Texas went to dinner at Carmine’s, the 91st family-style Italian restaurant and Broadway. A fight ensued. It was made from many ingredients that had simmered all year – vaccine mandates, racial conditions, interstate hostilities (Texas had just essentially banned abortion) – all in front of one of the neighborhood’s most famous and favorite places. The Rag was among the publications that broke the story: Three Texas women charged with assault on Carmine’s hostess over evidence of vaccination.
The third most watched story of the year had to do with the fateful “NYC Homecoming Concert” in Central Park. We reported on it, from the announcement to the shutdown, an unforgettable moment involving lightning, Barry Manilow … and a mayor who refused to face reality. Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s Central Park concert, whether you’re going or not.
Below are just a little bit of other stories we are proud to have run this year. Also, click on the links in the articles for other memorable 2021 stories.
As for 2022, it comes again with renewed hope. New drugs to combat Covid are being approved, and word is that Omicron, although highly contagious, causes milder disease and may be short-lived. Whatever happens, Ragen will be there to cover it and its significance for the Upper West Side.
And let’s not forget the joys of 2021 – the babies that were born and the promises that were made, the graduations and the short periods of respite we had when we were more free to do things and see the people we love.
Many thanks to our readers, tipsters, subscribers, advertisers, commentators and other writers, and a happy and healthy New Year to us all!
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