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City to host World Pride festival, get new museum and more in 2019

Other anticipated highlights include the debut of a new neighborhood and the possible legalization of recreational marijuana. 

The original torch for the Statue of Liberty

The original torch for the Statue of Liberty will be displayed in a new museum slated to open in May.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

New year, new city. From a new museum slated to open on Liberty Island to a new neighborhood opening its doors in Manhattan, the city will be getting a new look in 2019. Here is what to expect:

Cultural milestones:

Next year, the city will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, when a police raid of Stonewall Inn sparked demonstrations that helped launch the modern-day LGBTQ movement. The city will mark the occasion by hosting World Pride in the spring. This will mark the first time the month-long festival will be held in the United States.

New Yorkers will gain a new museum when exhibits detailing the 132-year history of the Statue of Liberty open, which is expected to occur in May. The museum has been in the works since 2016 and will contain the original copper torch removed from lady liberty in 1984.

Real estate:

Developers plan to officially debut the first half of the Hudson Yards neighborhood rising above the rail yards in west Manhattan this March. At that point, the development will include nearly 12 million square feet of retail, residential and office space as well as a performing arts center and a 6-acre park.

The 30 Hudson Yards office tower is on track to be the third tallest building in the city, at 1,268-feet, according to developers.

Another highlight includes a 16-story, copper art piece called the Vessel, which weaves together 154 staircases and 80 landings with views of the West Side that collectively resemble a honeycomb.  

Politics:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will begin his third term on New Year’s Day, with a special inauguration celebration on Ellis Island. He will return to Albany alongside an Assembly and State Senate with Democratic majorities, which has fueled Cuomo and Democratic colleagues’ optimism about the prospect of legalizing recreational use of marijuana, expanding protections for rent-regulated tenants and launching early voting in state elections.

Public Advocate Letitia James will be sworn in as the state’s attorney general, becoming the first woman and the first black person elected to the position as well as the first black woman elected to a statewide office.

Anticipating a special election to fill James’ post, several candidates have already announced their intention to pursue the public advocate’s office, including City Council members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams and Eric Ulrich and former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

In the Council, city lawmakers are slated to hold hearings about Amazon’s planned campus in Long Island City. The company’s controversial deal with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo may even be subject to hearings in Albany.  

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