Good Monday afternoon in New York City, where the Met Opera is going mask-optional. Here's what else is happening:

  • Among the Venezuelan asylum seekers arriving in New York City are a lot of college-educated professionals who want to make a living but are instead facing byzantine work permit issues.
  • E-bikes and e-scooters are all over the place in New York City, which is great for the micro-mobility revolution, if a bit challenging for bus drivers who now have to look out for people zipping around in their blind spots.
  • The carriage horse that collapsed near Central Park earlier this summer and sparked another wave of animal rights protests has died.
  • The New York City Department of Transportation launched a new parking app today.
  • Meet "Kevin Carpet," the boomer trust fund guy who lives in Queens and has spent the past several decades not working but instead going to night clubs, wrapping himself in carpet and letting people stand on him, which he insists is not a sexual fetish but rather some kind of performance art piece.
  • The House Oversight Committee has determined that Donald Trump's company charged the Secret Service $1.4 million for having agents stay at their properties during Trump's time in office, and that doesn't even include what the government had to spend for Mar-a-Lago accommodations.
  • Another development in the Trump-endorses-Lee-Zeldin story: the former president apparently waited until after the GOP gubernatorial primary to endorse because Andrew Giuliani was running.
  • According to scientists, the nicotine hit from vaping is pretty effective at making you poop, and people who try to quit often deal with serious constipation.
  • A TikTok-famous emu named Emmanuel has contracted avian flu after a wild geese caused an outbreak on Emmanuel's farm in Florida.
  • The next season of Real Housewives of New York will feature Jenna Lyons, who's best known for being a famous and successful designer for J. Crew and not really known for being a "real" housewife.
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  • And finally, makin' friends: