Good Monday morning in New York City, where "black mayonnaise" is hard at work cleaning up the bottom of the Gowanus Canal. Here's what else is happening:

  • In Ocean County, New Jersey — a largely affluent, white and conservative area — the population is elderly and the vaccination rate is very low, which has led to an exceptionally high COVID death rate.
  • Despite the toll of COVID across the Garden State, the Wall Street Journal details how mask mandates in schools (which have since been revoked) pushed many Democratic parents to start voting for Republicans.
  • Three manhole fires in Times Square last night sent tourists fleeing in a panic, but the FDNY reported no injuries.
  • Someone who allegedly stole a catalytic converter — the hot car part that thieves have been taking — took off in a Porsche yesterday morning and successfully escaped the police, and a police gunshot, during a chase on the Belt Parkway.
  • A notable caveat in the state's continued legalization of to-go cocktails: You won't be able to order a full bottle of wine with your takeout.
  • Here's the history of why the Yankees make their players shave.
  • Despite reported concerns among Saudi investors that giving money to Jared Kushner's private equity firm would be a publicity stain for Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who is friends with Kushner, went ahead and invested $2 billion with the former Trump adviser.
  • "Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost," explained Sean Penn.
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  • And finally, cats cry, too: