5 stories we loved in New York this week

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To stay on top of current events in 2017 is, to put it gently, a bit of a stressful endeavor. And while we have no intention of burying our heads in the sand here at Brick, we also think it's important to take the time to revel in the good news that's out there, especially on the local level. 

So, that in mind, let's take some time before the weekend to appreciate some of the heartwarming, progressive, or otherwise positive things that happened around the city this week:

  • Over the long weekend, more than a thousand people descended on Times Square for the "I Am Muslim Too" rally protesting the travel ban, and showing solidarity with Muslim New Yorkers. Mayor de Blasio was among those in attendance, and told the crowd that America is "a country founded to protect all faiths and all beliefs."

  • In that same spirit, anonymous activists unfurled a "Refugees Welcome" banner on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. It was quickly taken down, but the message was received loud and clear.

  • On a lighter note, reports are rolling in from the ARK—the new facilities at JFK airport catering towards horse and livestock in transit—and it sounds like a downright delight. To wit: staffers reportedly play Luciano Pavarotti for the horses as they're fed and hydrated, and the ARK's founder told AM NY, "It's like a fine hotel." The ARK is part of a larger expansion of services geared towards four-legged (or finned) travelers passing through JFK.

  • Elsewhere in the animal world: after a January bird flu outbreak that saw hundreds of city shelter cats quarantined, DNAinfo reports that affected shelters are officially resuming adoptions and are seeking homes for these happy, healthy pets. Consider getting yourself a furry new roommate if you don't have one already.

  • In a win for preservation, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved historic landmark status for 100 buildings in Morningside Heights, including the Cathedral of St. John The Divine. "The neighborhood’s unique architectural identity has survived remarkably intact into the 21st Century, and that must be preserved for the decades to come," said city councilman Mark Levine.