Watch: New York woman finds empty apartment behind bathroom mirror

March 5 (UPI) — A New York woman investigating a hole behind her bathroom mirror went through the proverbial looking glass and made a startling discovery — an entire empty apartment.

Samantha Hartsoe, who chronicled her discovery in a series of TikTok videos, said she was investigating the source of a cold draft in her Roosevelt Island apartment, and she tracked the blowing air to her bathroom mirror.

Hartsoe removed the mirror and discovered it was hiding a large, square hole into a dark room.

“Curiosity killed the cat, curiosity is going to kill me,” Hartsoe recalled thinking in an interview with NBC New York. “I can’t not know what’s on the other side of my bathroom.”

Hartsoe climbed through the opening and discovered the room was part of a two-story vacant apartment. She said she explored the whole residence, finding only trash bags, an uninstalled toilet and an empty water bottle.

“I was kind of expecting there to be somebody, especially with the water bottle being there,” Hartsoe told Curbed.

Hartsoe said she made sure the door to the unfinished apartment was locked before making her way back to her own residence. She said the front door to the vacant domicile was located elsewhere in the apartment complex from her own home.

She said she contacted maintenance to patch the hole in her bathroom and a representative from the management office is expected to visit her apartment soon to investigate her discovery.

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White House is not tracing contacts of guests and staff at Rose Garden event 10 days ago: New York Times

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The White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at a Rose Garden event 10 days ago for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, where at least eight people, including President Donald Trump, may have been infected, the New York Times reported, citing a White House official familiar with the plans. Instead, it is limiting efforts to notifying people who came into close contact with Trump the two days before he tested positive on Thursday evening, the paper reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has had a contact tracing team ready, has been cut out of the process. The White House official said the White House is following CDC guidelines that recommend focusing on contacts within a two-day window from diagnosis. But health experts said it was irresponsible to ignore the earlier event. “You cannot argue against the fact that five or six people who attended that event all got infected, unless you argue that that was all random chance,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an epidemiologist and contact tracing expert told the Times. “There were a lot of people working at that event, and so they need to be contact tracing that whole event.” Health experts have lamented the U.S. failure to conduct the contact tracing, isolation and quarantine procedures that have helped some countries and regions contain the spread of the deadly illness.

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New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden to officially reopen this weekend

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A special portion of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is officially reopening this week.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, which closed in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will begin to welcome visitors again on Saturday. It will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for,” said Aileen Fuchs, president and CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. “We’re thrilled to make this local treasure available once more for our community to find peace and wellness, and to enjoy the dynamic culture represented by the garden’s details and story.”

Snug Harbor staff members are urging visitors to maintain a distance of six feet from other guests, wear a mask while in the garden, practice good hygiene and stay home if they are sick.

Tickets, which are on sale inside Cottage E, are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (65+) and students, and free for children 5 and under and active military members through the Blue Star program. Entrance into Snug Harbor is free and there is ample parking.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden officially opened in June 1999 and is one of only two authentic classical Chinese scholars gardens in the United States. Materials were shipped to Staten Island in the spring of 1998, when a team of 40 Chinese artists and artisans from Suzhou constructed the garden. It has since attracted thousands and been the center of private events along with film and photo shoots.

This time last year, the CBS television show “Madam Secretary” filmed inside the garden.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden is located in the southwest corner of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terr. in Livingston, near the Healing Garden and the Connie Gretz Secret Garden. For more information, visit Snug-Harbor.org.

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Covid-19 News: Live Updates – The New York Times

Credit…Pete Kiehart for The New York Times

While families across the United States this summer were on edge about the coming school year, top White House officials were pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risk of sending children back to school, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

The effort included an attempt to find alternate data showing that the coronavirus pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children — a strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic.

A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff said she was repeatedly asked by Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, to get the C.D.C. to produce more reports and charts showing a decline in coronavirus cases among young people.

Mr. Short dispatched junior members of the vice president’s staff to circumvent the C.D.C. in search of data he thought may better support the White House’s position, said Olivia Troye, the aide, who has since resigned.

In another instance, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, pushed the C.D.C. to incorporate a document from a mental health agency inside the Department of Health and Human Services that warned school closures would have a long-term effect on the mental health of children and that asymptomatic children were unlikely to spread the virus.

Scientists at the C.D.C. pointed out numerous errors in the document and raised concerns that it appeared to minimize the risk of the coronavirus to school-age children, according to an edited version of the document obtained by The New York Times.

The gist of the mental health agency’s position — stressing the potential risks of children not attending school — became the introductory text of the final C.D.C. policy, leaving some officials there dismayed.

Credit…Fabio Bucciarelli for The New York Times

In the 10 months since a mysterious pneumonia began striking residents of Wuhan, China, Covid-19 has killed more than one million people worldwide as of Monday — an agonizing toll compiled from official counts, yet one that far understates how many have really died.

The coronavirus may already have overtaken tuberculosis and hepatitis as the world’s deadliest infectious disease. And unlike all the other contenders, it is still growing fast.

Like nothing seen in more than century, the virus has infiltrated every populated patch of the globe, sowing terror and poverty, infecting millions of people in some nations and paralyzing entire economies.

But as attention focuses on the devastation caused

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Trump, WH blend denials, justifications in reaction to New York Times story on taxes

While President Donald Trump’s initial reaction to the New York Times’ bombshell report that he paid little to no federal income taxes over nearly two decades was to dismiss it outright as “totally fake news,” his defense has since evolved into defense of tax-avoidance practices.



a man wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a news conference inside the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House, Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington.


© Ken Cedeno/Reuters
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a news conference inside the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House, Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington.

In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president attacked the Times for “bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information” and argued he was “entitled” to what he claimed.

“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” Trump tweeted, defending how much he has paid in taxes without directly challenging the specific numbers raised by the Times.

But he did not answer reporters’ shouted questions at a Rose Garden event Monday afternoon.

The paper denies Trump’s tax information was obtained illegally. ABC News has not independently verified the Times’ account.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks on COVID-19 testing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sept. 28, 2020.


© Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks on COVID-19 testing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sept. 28, 2020.

In a story published Sunday, the newspaper reported that the president paid just $750 in federal income tax the year he was elected and that same amount during his first year in office. The Times also found that he paid no federal income tax at all in 11 of the 18 years of information they examined.

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Trump is the only president in modern history not to release his tax returns and could resolve the lingering questions about his taxes once and for all by simply releasing the information voluntarily. But instead, Trump has claimed that an ongoing audit prevents him from doing so.

While it’s not true that an audit prevents the president from releasing the information, as even his own IRS commissioner has confirmed, it is the case that the president is undergoing a decade-long audit battle over a $72.9 million tax refund, the Times report found.

Beyond the intricacies of the Times’ reporting, the story paints a damning portrait of a president who was elected on his image as a wealthy and successful businessman but whose records tell a story of a deeply indebted and struggling business empire stretched beyond its means.

MORE:The Note: Stagnant race, battleground deficits highlight Trump debate-season challenges

The president’s evolving defense to the report followed a “Fox and Friends” appearance by his son and business partner Donald Trump Jr., who similarly attacked the report without disputing its key claims and defended the use of maneuvers by the president to lower his tax bill.

“It’s ridiculous. My father has paid tens of millions of dollars in taxes, if he does things where you get depreciation, where you get historical write-offs like we did when we took on the risk of building the Old Post Office in

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Trump’s Paris Agreement pullout could cause 400,000 deaths in New York alone: House Oversight report

President Trump’s controversial bid to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement could have devastating consequences for his former home state, according to a new scientific report out of Congress.



a large body of water with a city in the background: The New York City skyline is seen from the Staten Island Ferry.


© Barry Williams
The New York City skyline is seen from the Staten Island Ferry.

The report, produced by the House Oversight Committee and obtained exclusively by the Daily News ahead of its Saturday release, concluded that more than 400,000 New Yorkers could die prematurely from various illnesses related to climate change over the next five decades if Trump’s successful in rescinding the U.S. commitment to the landmark agreement.

The unsettling finding is based on research by Dr. Drew Shindell, a professor of Earth Sciences at Duke University and a leading expert on the health effects of climate change and air pollution.

The Paris Agreement requires nations to work together toward keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by limiting greenhouse gas emissions and investing in renewable energy. President Barack Obama and the leaders of most of the world’s other industrialized nations signed the accord in April 2016.

But Trump filed notice last year to pull out of the agreement. The U.S. exit officially takes effect on Nov. 4 — the day after the presidential election.

If the Republican president wins a second term and successfully cuts the U.S. out of the accord, the House Oversight Committee report predicts that the global average temperature would soar above 2 degrees Celsius, especially since the president has already rolled back “numerous key” environmental regulations during his first four years in office.

Such a temperature bump would cause a plethora of health issues across the U.S., including an increase in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as air qualities worsen, according to the report.

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) noted that the report’s gloomy predictions can be prevented if the U.S. recommits to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We could save hundreds of thousands of lives, prevent unnecessary illnesses and hospitalizations, avoid tens of millions of lost workdays, and save trillions of dollars in economic benefits — all right here in our State of New York,” Maloney told The News on Friday.

In New York alone, as many as 423,000 residents would die from climate change-related illnesses between now and 2070, the report assesses.

In addition to the staggering death toll, the report predicts that the temperature spike would result in 400,000 emergency room visits in New York over the same time period, including an estimated 5,700 hospitalizations of children with asthma.

There would also be a ripple effect on New York’s economy, the report says, with an estimated 45 million workdays lost, resulting in a $3.5 trillion blow to the state’s finances — above and beyond the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

White House spokesman Judd Deere disputed the committee’s findings as “completely partisan.”

“Other countries and the radical left remain obsessed with the Paris Climate Accord, which shackles economies and has done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Deere

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New York City-based antique shop to open new location in Hell’s Kitchen

The country’s leading architectural salvage company based in New York City announced that they will be opening their flagship store in Hell’s Kitchen next month.

Olde Good Things will open the new shop at 333 West 52nd Street. The 8,000 square foot store will officially open to the public at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2.

“We have been part of the New York City retail landscape for more than 25 years and we remain committed to the city and its residents,” said Jim DiGiacoma, Olde Good Things board member. “Our 8,000 square foot, two floor showroom is sure to become a true destination for both locals and out-of-town visitors, as well as architects, decorators and designers.”

The flagship store will feature a fresh look and signature architecturally salvaged items from some of New York’s legendary buildings. The new showroom will feature reclaimed architectural treasures including mantels, gates, columns, windows, as well as mirrors, lighting and plumbing.

The new retail store is the third New York City location. Olde Good Things currently has two other Manhattan locations including the Bowery and Broadway’s Upper West Side, as well as one in Los Angeles and two in Scranton, PA.

“Our stores will continue to offer architectural treasures that have been upcycled from the most prestigious New York historic hotels, Broadway theaters, prominent commercial buildings and industrial warehouses to create the most unique retail experience for the consumer,” adds DiGiacoma.

For more information, visit ogtstore.com.

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New York Homeowners: Stay Connected With Smart Kitchen Appliances

Every New York state homeowner wants to use technology to save money and make their home more energy efficient. But a smart home isn’t limited to using devices to control indoor temperature and turn on music. A smart home also has a smart kitchen.

There are many exciting and new appliances on the market to help get you organized and keep your kitchen running smoothly. Here are five appliances that can help you work smarter in the kitchen:

1. Interactive Refrigerators

Manufacturers such as Samsung have developed a smart refrigerator that’s interactive for the entire family. Not only will you be able to keep food cool at just the right temperature, you can keep track of expiry dates. You can also use the LCD screen on the outside of the fridge as a family calendar and message center and to watch the latest episode of your favorite television show.

Another benefit of a smart fridge is that it’s easy to plan meals. You can check the contents of your fridge no matter where you are using the smartphone app, stocking up on ingredients for a meal before you arrive home.

2. Smart Ovens

A smart oven will make your life much simpler. No more opening the oven door to check if chicken is roasted to the right temperature. The oven does it for you! Smart ovens are also great for baking, making it easy for you to control the temperature and achieve perfect results when making pastry and pies. Even better, you can use the smartphone app to control and regulate oven functions when you’re not at home. This means that you can preheat the oven when you’re on the way home, making it faster for you to get dinner on the table.

Do you always forget to put coffee, paper towels, and other kitchen supplies on your shopping list? Using WiFi connected buttons, you can easily and quickly reorder these much-used items and have them shipped directly to your doorstep. Many manufacturers are even integrating these handy virtual buttons into appliances, ensuring you don’t run out of dish or laundry soap.

4. WiFi Coffee Makers

Mornings are easy when you let your smart appliance brew coffee for you. Indulge in a remote coffee making system, such as the Behmor Brewer, and let the smartphone app control the brewing process. It’s convenient and easy to preset the controls so coffee is ready for you when it’s time to start your day.

With a bigger budget you can take coffee brewing to a whole new level by investing in advanced smart kitchen technology, such as GE’s French door refrigerator with Keurig’s integrated brewing system. Use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to let the fridge know when it’s time to start heating water for your cup of coffee.

5. Convenient Meal Prep

Make meal prep easier with the sous vide smart appliance. The sous vide process is all about vacuum sealing food in a bag and slow cooking in a hot water

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New York among three ‘anarchist’ cities named by White House to lose funds

Protests have been continuing in Portland, entering their third consecutive month in SeptemberImage copyright
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Protests have been continuing in Portland, entering their third consecutive month in September

The Trump administration has named three cities that are slated to lose federal funding after the White House accused them of tolerating crime.

New York City, Portland and Seattle are on the list of “anarchist cities” that Trump officials say have failed to stem crime linked to a summer of protests.

It follows a memo from Mr Trump earlier this month, threatening the move.

The mayors of the cities have promised to sue, calling Mr Trump’s move a political stunt.

A statement from the Justice Department on Monday laid out recent crime rates in the cities and how their police responded.

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Attorney General William Barr said in the statement.

He also called on Portland, Seattle and New York City to “reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens”.

Image copyright
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Police cars in New York City were torched in May following the death of George Floyd

All three cities have seen major protests since the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in May.

It remains unclear what federal funding may be cut from the cities.

In a joint statement, the mayors of Portland, Seattle, New York and Washington DC – which was on a shortlist of “anarchist cities” but was not included in Monday’s decision – accused Mr Trump of “playing cheap political games with congressionally directed funds”.

The mayors called the decision “thoroughly political and unconstitutional” and accused the Trump White House of “shirking responsibility and placing blame elsewhere to cover its failure”.

Violent crimes have generally declined in US cities since the 1990s, but have risen steeply in the past year in several cities including Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.

  • Fact-checking Trump on crime in ‘Democratic cities’
  • Are US cities seeing a surge in violent crime?

What is happening in those cities?

The move comes amid a summer of unrest sparked by protests against the police killing of black Americans. Some of the protests have led to major police reforms around the country.

In New York City, the rate of shootings and murders have skyrocketed as youth programmes and other social organisations have been placed on hold due to the pandemic. Cases of looting and vandalism have also made national news as protests for racial justice have sometimes turned violent.

Reacting to the Justice department announcement on Monday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called the decision “another one of President Trump’s games,” adding: “It’s insulting to the people of New York City and his [Mr Trump’s] effort to withhold our funding is unconstitutional.”

Seattle permitted the establishment of a so-called “autonomous zone,” where protesters forbade police from entering six square blocks of the downtown part of the city for nearly a month. The

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New York home nicknamed the ‘bubblegum house’ ‘is a 1970s time capsule

For sale: four bedroom home, 1970s decor, MUST like pink!

A home on New York’s Staten Island has just hit the market having had just one previous set of homeowners who lived in the house from the moment it was built.

Nicknamed ‘The Bubblegum house’, the dwelling is unique due to the fact that virtually every single room and furnishing is decorated in shades of pink.

From the carpet to the staircase and from the draws to the doors, there’s almost no surface that he been left free from a pinkish hue.

A four bedroom, three bathroom home in Staten Island, New York is drenched in shades of pink

A four bedroom, three bathroom home in Staten Island, New York is drenched in shades of pink

Pink carpet runs throughout much of the home's communal areas including a staircase

Pink carpet runs throughout much of the home’s communal areas including a staircase

It’s likely the home will be snatched up quickly given its $829,000 price tag and bold color palette

It’s likely the home will be snatched up quickly given its $829,000 price tag and bold color palette

The four-bed, three-bath home in Staten Island’s Grasmere neighborhood is drenched in pastel hues - and is mainly pink!

The four-bed, three-bath home in Staten Island’s Grasmere neighborhood is drenched in pastel hues – and is mainly pink!

The house, which was built in 1970, appear to belong to another era but it has been so well preserved it's in perfect condition

The house, which was built in 1970, appear to belong to another era but it has been so well preserved it’s in perfect condition

The four bedroom, three bathroom house was built for Barbara DeLeo and her husband, Richard, who both moved into the property in 1969.

Barbara, now 83, ran a local deli while Richard, who has since passed away, was an engineer for Verizon. 

After suffering a stroke two years ago, Barbara decided that after making a lifetime of memories at the home, it was time to downsize and the home is now on the market for $829,000.

‘Everyone calls it the bubblegum house,’ DeLeo said to the New York Post.

The soft pink carpet runs throughout the home including the bedrooms where mahogany furnishings have been installed

The soft pink carpet runs throughout the home including the bedrooms where mahogany furnishings have been installed

One of the homes four bedrooms is decorated in all-white giving the occupier a break from the pink tones

One of the homes four bedrooms is decorated in all-white giving the occupier a break from the pink tones 

The vast expanse of pink carpet gives this room an illusion of space and a give off a comforting atmosphere

The vast expanse of pink carpet gives this room an illusion of space and a give off a comforting atmosphere

Pink beddinng compliments the pink carpet and naturally pink skirting boards and pink mirror in this bedroom

Pink beddinng compliments the pink carpet and naturally pink skirting boards and pink mirror in this bedroom

There's no escaping the pink in this particular; bedroom with the fixtures trimmed in pink including the bedding

There’s no escaping the pink in this particular; bedroom with the fixtures trimmed in pink including the bedding 

A rocking horse in blue distinctly stands out among its pink environment in this bedroom

A rocking horse in blue distinctly stands out among its pink environment in this bedroom 

Another bedroom escaped the pink with a brown-tiled floor and wooden doors

Another bedroom escaped the pink with a brown-tiled floor and wooden doors

The pink stair case stands in the center of the woof paneled pink hallway

The pink stair case stands in the center of the woof paneled pink hallway 

A break from the pink can be had in this kitchen which is made up from blue, grey and black tiles

A break from the pink can be had in this kitchen which is made up from blue, grey and black tiles

A striking ruby red floor sees a departure from the pink, but not for long as pink wall tiles soon make up for it

A striking ruby red floor sees a departure from the pink, but not for long as pink wall tiles soon make up for it

The master bathroom is decorated with marble-style walls, extravagant chandeliers, and bold touches of orange

The master bathroom is decorated with marble-style walls, extravagant chandeliers, and bold touches of orange

A large upstairs bathroom has mirrored walls and a sunken bathtub which was specially designed for the home

A large upstairs bathroom has mirrored walls and a sunken bathtub which was specially designed for the home 

However, she reveals, originally the home wasn’t quite as pink. ‘When I first built the house, the central

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