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World Cup viewing parties, screenings and specials in NYC

No matter which team you follow, there’s a place for you.

Soccer fans watch the Day 2 World Cup

Soccer fans watch the Day 2 World Cup match between Spain and Portugal at O Lavrador Restaurant and Bar in Jamaica, Queens, on June 15, 2018. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

World Cup mania is officially here.

Soccer fans will turn out en masse through July 15 to bars and restaurants that screen the games as 32 nations battle for international bragging rights.

Prepare yourself for loud hollering and a plethora of food and drink deals.

Since you’re probably not going to Russia (where the games are held), we’ve gathered some viewing parties, screenings and events you won’t want to miss. The next World Cup is, after all, is four years away.


Brooklyn Bridge Park

Adidas Tango Tournament and World Cup celebration, June 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Show off your soccer skills in the Tango League to be crowned Tango MVP and represent the U.S. at the Global Final in Moscow during the World Cup final. If that’s not you, there’s plenty else to do. You can customize your own T-shirt, check out Adidas products, enjoy a post-tournament performance by Action Bronson, get your freestyling skills judged by Real Madrid’s Marcelo via live video connection, check out a live art installation and meet athletes who will make surprise appearances.

DUMBO Archway

Across from the Pearl Street Triangle

Watch the World Cup semifinals and finals underneath the iconic Manhattan Bridge Archway on a supersized screen. Bring a blanket or chair and prepare for a picnic with food you can purchase from concessionaires like El Super, Chickpea and Olive, Rice and Miso Everyday during the semifinals (July 10-11, at 2 p.m.) and from Wood Fired Edibles, Dosa Royale, Jianbing Co., Lonestar Empire, C Bao and more during the finals (July 15 at 11 a.m.)

Seamore’s DUMBO

66 Water St., DUMBO

This seafood spot is transforming its Finnley’s Game Room into a World Cup game room with a large projector screen and will serve up specials, from Modelo Shrimp to fried seafood po boys and more.

Threes Brewing

333 Douglass St., Gowanus

Catch any match at Threes in Gowanus, which will be serving coffee and pastries from Ninth Street Espresso and lunch by The Meat Hook. Starting at 11 a.m. during the week, boozy beverages will be on hand. Seating is first come, first served during the week and table packages are available ($850) for weekend viewing (which comes with food and unlimited drinks).

House of Yes

2 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick

Kick off the World Cup with Brazilian food and cocktails (frozen passion fruit) as you watch Brazil vs. Switzerland. The Brazilian Brothers Band will provide live music. The event is free and runs from noon to 8 p.m.

Milk River Restaurant & Lounge

960 Atlantic Ave., Prospect Heights

If you want to cheer on the Super Eagles of Nigeria, join the Afro Carib Network at this free viewing party from 2 to 6 p.m. There will be a chance to eat and dance and watch the game on multiple HD screens.

Clinton Hall

247 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg

Matches will be screened at all Clinton Hall locations starting at 8 a.m. (7 a.m. at its new Williamsburg location). There will be drink specials such as $5 Bitburger beer, a bucket of Modelo or Corona cans for $20 and the “German Handshake,” a Bitburger with a shot of Jagermeister for $10.


636 DeGraw St., Gowanus

Open early for your viewing pleasure (but not at 6 a.m.), Parklife will screen the Cup on two screens and offer breakfast tacos and drink specials so you can survive the early morning hours.

Sands Street Plaza

73 Sands St., DUMBO Heights

Watch the games through July 6 on an 80-inch screen as you spread out on “grass” with lunch available from Bluestone Lane, Taco Dumbo, Randolf Beer and Untamed Sandwiches.

Black Forest

733 Fulton St., Fort Greene, and 181 Smith St., Boerum Hill

Both locations, decorated to the nines, will host viewing parties all month long by screening all matches with its HD projector and 13-foot screen, and there will be food and drink specials.


56-06 Cooper Ave., Ridgewood-Bushwick

2 p.m. on June 15, 21-24, 28

Cozy up inside Nowadays’ living room-like space for select matches (Portugal v. Spain, Argentina v. Croatia, Serbia v. Switzerland, Germany v. Sweden, South Korea v. Mexico, Poland v. Colombia and England v. Belgium). The kitchen and bar will have food and drink at the ready as you cheer on your team. Free entry.

Miss Favela

57 South 5th St., Williamsburg

Cheer on Brazil at Miss Favela, a bistro next to the Williamsburg Bridge, that opens at 6 a.m. during the World Cup. You can also dance to live Brazilian music on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays for each of the matches.

Black Horse Pub

568 Fifth Ave., South Slope

This pub roots on England and serves a full English breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays and has a solid beer selection. All games will be shown live — as early at 8 a.m.

Russian Bath of New York

1200 Gravesend Neck Rd., Sheepshead Bay

It may not be the first place you'd think of to watch the World Cup, but this bath house has a sports bar where you can cheer on the Russian team. Make a day of it and hit up the baths between matches. 

Gotham Market at the Ashland

590 Fulton St. 

Gotham Market's Brooklyn location will celebrate the games with drink and wings specials, including a round of five shots for $30, $8 margaritas and select $5 draft beer. Fulton Hall features $1 wings, and $10 Moscow Mules while Bolivian Llama Party if offering $1 wings.


The Crown

50 Bowery, Chinatown

Watch your match on three TVs and a large projection screen through the month as you sip on drinks like the watermelon margarita ($10) or international beers that represent the competing countries for $5 each (Estrella from Spain, Palm from Belgium, Paulaner from Germany, Asahi from Japan and Corona from Mexico).


849 Sixth Ave., Kips Bay

June 16, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; June 17, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; July 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy free breakfast from McDonald’s as you root for your favorite team outside and listen to live entertainment. Then on June 26, Peroni, Wodka and Giffard will offer a free drink to guests as they watch the game. There will be games to play too, including bocce and cornhole. Proceeds will go toward South Bronx United.

Omni Berkshire Place Hotel

21 E. 52nd St., midtown

Watch the match on the hotel’s large projection screen out on its terrace with a bucket of beer and snacks (Cracker Jack, chips and salsa, giant soft pretzels and gourmet hot dogs). Guests can pick which game they want to watch and enjoy a Davidoff cigar if there’s a win.

Houseman Restaurant

508 Greenwich St., Hudson Square

All the matches will be on the bar’s new flat screen TV and specials, including a burger and beer deal for $22, will be up for grabs. The burger is a double patty with caramelized onions on top and the beer is Germany's Gaffel Kolsch.

The Paley Center for Media

25 W. 52nd St., midtown

Select games will be shown on Paley’s big screen in the Frank A. Bennack Jr. Theater over throughout the World Cup for free. Preferred seating will be given to Paley Center members.

Summer Garden & Bar

20 W. 50th St., midtown

Catch the kickoff of any morning game in the middle of Rockefeller Center, including a breakfast special with coffee, tea, a pastry and a fresh fruit platter for $15. There’s also an $8 Bloody Mary special for those who want to start the party early. After 11 a.m., there is a “Two-Touch Lunch Special” for $27 that includes any draft beer and a signature sandwich.

Chefs Club Counter, Dog Haus

62 Spring St., SoHo

Dog Haus, a California-based burger/hot dog/sausage purveyor is taking over Chefs Club Counter for a biergarten experience throughout the World Cup. Screenings, happy hours and raffles will be held through the month. For every purchase of two dishes, $1 will be donated to Hunger Kid City.

Haven Rooftop at the Sanctuary Hotel

132 W. 47th St., Hell’s Kitchen

Opening for lunch at 11:30 a.m., you can watch the games on eight TVs while you nibble on Buffalo wings, guacamole and chips and slides with views of the city. Cocktails include the Star Sangria and the Haven Mojito.


260 W. 40th St., midtown

If you want to cheer on Spain, head to Spanish tapas eatery Boqueria, which will screen each game every day, beginning at 6:30 a.m. with a breakfast menu with favorites like tortilla Española and Reveuelto de Gambas. All of the restaurant’s locations will show games during regular hours and will buy everyone in the house a beer when Spain wins. Spain is scheduled to play on June 15, 20 and 25 at 2 p.m.

Brats vs. Burritos at Cantina Rooftop

605 W. 48th St., Hell’s Kitchen

June 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cheering on Mexico? Cantina Rooftop is where you’ll want to be with a round of tequila shots for everyone on Mexico’s first shot. The game will be screened on five TVs on the rooftop and downstairs in the restaurant. A special Mexico v. German-themed menu will include beer-glazed brats and sauerkraut and pico de gallo and chipotle aioli on a pretzel roll.

Mustang Harry’s

Seventh Avenue at 30th Street, midtown

June 15-23, starting at 8 a.m., the Irish sports bar will serve a World Cup breakfast (bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, omelet wraps, corn beef and hash). Other specials, discounts and freebies that will last through July 15.

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

230 Fifth Ave., midtown

This swanky rooftop bar is hosting its own viewing parties, free with RSVP.

Pig roast at The Standard Biergarten

848 Washington St., Meatpacking District

Watch the opening ceremony on June 14 along with a whole roast sucking pig and German beer — for $18; it all starts at 5 p.m., and the pig roast is slated to return for the finals. And, starting at 10 a.m. daily, the biergarten screen games with an “around-the-world” beer bucket and a menu including bratwurst and pretzels. Those who want to catch the games before 10 a.m. can stop by the Cafe Standard (25 Cooper Sq., East Village), which is showing all the games with a menu of country-themed dishes.

Virgil’s Real BBQ

152 W. 44th St., Times Square

From 8 a.m. through dinner until July 15, you can catch the games on Virgil’s numerous TVs at all of its locations, including Times Square’s largest projection screen in a restaurant. Their World Cup specials include $20 Modelo pitchers, a “Kicked Up World Cup” lemonade for $7 garnished with World Cup flags and rotating food specials with country-themed cocktails.


118 E. 15th St., Union Square

Grab breakfast and a drink since SideBAR will be screening the games (even the early ones) all month long. For $10, you can get an entree and a drink (Bud Light, a mimosa or a Bloody Mary).

Legends NYC

6 W. 33rd St., Chelsea

Cheer on Iceland, since the U.S. fell short, with a “viking-style” viewing party with Reyka Vodka, which will be at Legends starting at 11 a.m. with an Icelandic Mule, the Afram and the Spiced Can Mule cocktails. Reyka will also be at the Blind Pig (233 E. 14th St., at 9 a.m. on June 16 and at Beer Authority (300 W. 40th St.) on June 26 at 2 p.m.

Bierhaus NYC

712 Third Ave., midtown east

Opening at 8 a.m., this German beer hall will be rooting for its home team by having beer maids hand out free Germany swag and offering a special menu. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., choose one entree and you’ll get a free half-liter of Hofbrau beer, a mimosa or a Bloody Mary for about $17. And don’t worry, there are eight TVs and a giant projector screen to view the game. There are fees for high demand-games, including the Germany games, so RSVP to find out what they are.

INNSIDE Brasserie

132 W. 27th St., NoMad

Sit on an outdoor terrace and watch the games on a giant projection screen at INNSIDE, which will also have a “Soccer Spritz” drink menu with options for $10 or a Bud for $4. RSVP at 917-409-5171.

Boulton & Watt

5 Ave. A, East Village

Opening at 11 a.m. June 14 for the kickoff game, Boulton & Watt will keep the games on throughout regular business hours and will have drink and food specials, including $10 Kelso Pilsner steins, $16 weekday soccer lunch, and if you bring your passport when your home country is playing, you’ll get your second drink free. RSVP at 646-490-6004.


48 E. 12th St., Greenwich Village

Cheer on your team the Italian way with Neopolitan-style pizza at Ribalta, which will screen every match on its 16-foot HD projector screen. When you buy two beers, you’ll get the third for free. There’s also a special Margherita pizza with tomato-vodka sauce in honor of the first World Cup in Russia.

The Spaniard

109 W. 4th St., West Village

The matches will be on in the late mornings and afternoons on two large screens at this whiskey bar, which also has bites. During the course of the month, one lucky winner will get a trip for two to Germany (thanks to a sponsorship by Bitburger).

D Pet Hotels Chelsea

104 W. 27th St., Chelsea

June 16 at 6:30 p.m.

OK, this isn’t technically a viewing party, but we thought you should know — this is a “World Pup Cup.” Dogs will be divided into two teams and “compete” while running around an indoor, artificial grass soccer field. Dog sports coach Alex Middleton will officiate the game, which will be announced live by comedians Richie Redding and Katie Kaller. You can enter your canine or just watch. A portion of the proceeds go toward Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. $48.

“Eating the World Cup”

June 18-28, 7 to 9 p.m.

Location TBD

What could be better than soccer? A soccer-themed food event, that is. This dinner series will feed you for eight nights with cuisine from 32 countries represented in the World Cup in buffet-style meals. Tickets are $50.

Zum Schneider, Kafana, Edi & The Wolf, 7B, Esperanto

107 Avenue C, East Village

Bars on the block will take overflow from Zum Schneider, which will be rooting on Germany and host a party after each Germany match. When you show up, you'll get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a trip to Germany by Bitburger. The restaurant will open at 10:30 a.m. every game day through June 24 and then at 9:30 a.m. from June 25 to July 15.

The Australian

20 W. 38th St., midtown

If you're team Australia, head on over to The Australian, which will be showing all games live on 22 TVs with drink specials ($5 Peroni, $8 Moscow Mules and $8 frozen mules, $12 deer and beer and $6 Jager shots). There is a $10 cover for live games and doors open at 5:30 a.m. Breakfast will be available for those who are there at the crack of dawn until 11 a.m.


245 W. 29th St., Chelsea

For every French goal, you'll get one free glass of Champagne and will be privy to happy hour specials during every game. It will open at 5:30 a.m. for the first game on Saturday, June 16.


11 E. 32nd St., midtown

Root for South Korea at this Korean eatery in midtown that's open late. Bangia is opening its doors at 7:30 a.m. for early Korea matches.


100 3rd Ave., East Village

The 1970s-inspired bar will screen matchups from the quarterfinals onward, starting July 6. Fans can enjoy the bar's retro vibe with "creative cocktails" as well as discounted Heineken beer buckets (six beers for $30) plus the bar's regular food menu. Enjoy the games on a 36-foot projection screen from a plush couch or at the bar. 

Industry Kitchen

South Street Seaport

You can watch the games along the East River during the kitchen's normal business hours, 11 a.m. to midnight. The waterfront bar area will feature special cocktails like the Blue Moscow Mule with Tito's vodka, Owen's ginger and lime and blueberry puree. The kitchen also is offering a Cheeto Ball Pizza — Cheetos crunchy crust, mac and cheese cream sauce, peas, caviar and silver and gold mozzarella ball. 


Basurero Restaurant

37-17 Steinway St., Astoria

Get rowdy with the crowd at Basurero, which roots on Colombia. The restaurant features both indoor and outdoor seating, with a large menu of Latin breakfast foods, lunch specials and entrees like steak. 

O Lavrador

138-40 101 Ave., Jamaica

Head to this restaurant that specializes in seafood dishes to cheer on Spain and Portugal. Every game will be screened here with specials ($5 red sangria goblets, $4 Jack Honey shots, $3 Coors Light drafts and half-priced wings) and a free shot for those who wear the winning team's jersey.

Queens Brewery

1539 Covert St., Ridgewood

The Ridgewood brew hall is committed to showing every single World Cup game. The brewery, which is just steps from the Halsey stop off the L train, is opening its coffee shop at 6 a.m. to show the early matchups. Early rising fans who want to get into the spirit with a few beers will have to wait until 8 a.m. — it's the law, after all. There's no cover, and liters of beer are $7. 


Papaye Restaurant

2300 Grand Concourse

Ghanaians are cheering for their home team at this popular African restaurant. You can feast on traditional foods as you watch the game.

Kick off to Summer World Cup Party

1994 Bruckner Blvd., Castle Hill

Coca-Cola is sponsoring a party at the ShopRite on Bruckner Boulevard with a screening of the Argentina v. Croatia game on June 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the parking lot. There will be giveaways and food.

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Transit fares in NYC: MTA to begin retiring MetroCards in May 2019

The MTA will begin a staggered rollout of its new fare payment technology in subways along the Lexington Avenue line, from Grand Central to the Barclays Center, and on buses on Staten Island.

The MTA's new fare payment system will roll

The MTA's new fare payment system will roll out beginning in May 2019 with commuters able to use specific contactless credit or debit cards or mobile wallets from Apple, Google and Samsung. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

The MetroCard’s days are officially numbered.

The MTA will launch its new fare payment system in May 2019 along a stretch of the 4, 5 and 6 trains and across all bus routes on Staten Island, allowing riders to use mobile wallets or bank cards to pay for a ride, according to MTA officials.

It’s the first significant step in the staggered rollout of the new contactless payment system, part of what will be a long phase out of the MetroCard for a next generation, high-tech model.

“We do a lot of talking about a modern system and 21st century system,” said MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein. “This is proof and this is a great example of us taking our system . . . and making it on par with the systems around the world that are considered world-class. We’re a world-class city and we deserve a world-class system and this is one example of that.”

The MTA is currently testing the new fare readers, or “validators,” and plans to begin installing them on railings of Staten Island buses and in front of turnstiles in the selected Lexington Avenue line subway stations as soon as this October.

In May, the tap-and-go system will launch at every turnstile along the line between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn and on all Staten Island local and express routes. The MTA plans to detail the launch to its board on Monday.

Riders will eventually be able to pay to board subways and buses in a variety of different ways — either by tapping bank cards, a proprietary smart card, or their phones up against a reader. Gone will be the days of waiting in line to load up MetroCards. But the initial launch will have its limits.

In addition to MetroCards, which won’t be completely phased out until 2023, commuters will only be able to use specific, contactless credit or debit cards or mobile wallets from Apple, Google and Samsung to pay for fares during this initial launch.

The MTA won’t unveil its new smart card until February 2021, when it will be available to purchase like any gift card at drugstores and other convenience stores. Vending machines within stations will follow in 2022. And a new app, to which riders can attach their bank accounts and pay fares, is still under development.

“A lot of work is being done on the app,” said Patrick Foye, MTA president, who is spearheading the project. “Our goal is to provide customers with a single, seamless, superior customer experience and we’re making a great deal of progress toward that end. And we’ll be reporting on the app and the customer experience as we go forward.”

Most riders will have to keep their MetroCards handy for the time being; a citywide launch of the new fare system won’t come until 2020. The technology is being developed by Cubic Transportation Systems, which is also the operator of the MetroCard, through a $573 million contract that is currently moving ahead on time and on budget, according to Foye and Bradley Feldmann, Cubic’s CEO.

“Our aim is to improve the user experience and to work our way through all the bureaucracy,” Feldmann said.

Also still unclear is how the MTA board will craft fare policies tied to the technology, which has the potential to improve the service quality and affordability of the transit system.

Policies like systemwide, all-door bus boarding could reduce the time buses spend at stops. And what’s known as “fare capping” could end the debate over whether it makes more financial sense to pay for a monthly MetroCard or a per-ride one by capping payments once riders become eligible for weekly or monthly rates.

The authority has come out in support of all-door bus boarding. But the initial fare tech roll out on Staten Island will only feature new readers at buses’ front doors. Each bus, however, will be wired so that the readers can be easily installed on back doors when the new policy is crafted. Weinstein said the MTA board must lead the decisions on the new policies.

“The MetroCard kind of revolutionized the subway system by allowing riders to transfer; it really changed the way people used the system and it actually opened up the entire city,” said Nick Sifuentes, the executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

“But the benefits of MetroCard didn’t roll out until after it was first released, which was sort of a shortsighted move,” he added, referring to perks such as monthly rates and free transfers.

Both Sifuentes and Jon Orcutt, a spokesman at TransitCenter, stressed that new polices should be crafted and put in place in tandem with the new technology. Fare capping, a London innovation, could be a great win for fare equity, Orcutt said.

“We have the perverse situation now where the people who can afford the most upfront costs get the steepest fare discounts,” Orcutt said. “What we’d like to see is more specificity on when we’ll be able to use rear doors for boarding local buses and whether we’re going to go in some of the initiative directions that places like London have gone . . . I think if you want to sell people on why they have to change, you want to offer new benefits.”

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New York Aquarium’s ‘Ocean Wonders: Sharks!’ exhibit to (finally) open in Brooklyn

Superstorm Sandy severely damaged the aquarium in 2012, delaying the long-planned shark project.

Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium, talked Thursday, June 7, 2018, about the museum's new shark exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, which is set to open June 30. (Credit: Jeff Bachner)

It’s time for one of the world’s most misunderstood animals to come out of the shadows.

“Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” — a new exhibit at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium in Coney Island — shines a light on these majestic creatures with a sweeping narrative that aims to replace any fear of them with awe.

The $158 million exhibit, which opens June 30, includes nine galleries, 115 marine species and 18 different kinds of sharks and rays in tanks that allow them to both glide above the heads of visitors and meet them at eye level.

And the new 57,500-square-foot building that houses “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” is a spectacle all its own. Wrapped in a “shimmer wall” — a flowing work of art comprised of 33,000 small aluminum flaps — the structure includes a rooftop classroom and deck with a sweeping view of the Coney Island boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a stunning comeback moment for the aquarium, which was severely damaged by superstorm Sandy and suffered delays for the long-planned project.

“This building is dedicated to the idea that we need to understand, conserve and value sharks,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the aquarium and a vice president at the Wildlife Conservation Society. “And we also need to understand, be aware and connect it to the wildlife in the waters around New York.”

Children (and ambitious adults) can immerse themselves in the colorful, aquatic experience by crawling through a transparent tunnel inside one of the tanks.

Watching sharks, rays and a sea turtle gracefully navigate the tank representing the massive Hudson Canyon’s Edge sets a peaceful, even meditative, scene.

“I think people come in with a very singular idea of sharks and it’s usually pretty fierce: It’s a predator that is going to eat me,” said Dohlin. “That’s just not the story about sharks . . . they are a diverse, ancient and fascinating group of animals that is under tremendous pressure right now.”

Overfishing, pollution and other man-made problems are the biggest threats to sharks, which play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy.

Visitors are also likely to be surprised by the diversity of marine life in the waters that surround New York. Sand tiger sharks, harbor seals, lined sea horses, cownose rays and even whales are among the animals that can be found in the New York Bight, which runs from the tip of Long Island at Montauk to Cape May in New Jersey.

“We don’t think of ourselves as a maritime city, like Seattle and San Francisco, but we are,” said Dohlin.

As visitors enter the exhibit, they are serenaded by the sounds of the sea before stepping into a mesmerizing coral reef tunnel packed with colorful tangs and angel fish along with zebra sharks and other species. It’s a perfectly planned “wow” moment, Dohlin said, and one meant to drive home the message that sharks are vital to some of the marine habitats we love the most.

Mobiles and hands-on displays emphasize the need for a balanced ecosystem. And you can even safely stick your hand into a shark’s mouth — or at least a child-friendly model — to check out different types of teeth.

Interactive displays explain how rarely sharks reproduce and when they do it’s in small numbers.

“Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” doesn’t shy away from the ugly reality of overfishing. A graphic video shows how sharks are fished for their fins and then cruelly dumped back into the water where they sink to the bottom and drown.

“It’s a terrible thing,” Dohlin said. “It’s not just the waste but the inhumanity. Living animals are tossed back into the water to die.”

The New York Bight tank highlights the marine life found close to the city’s shores while another gallery allows visitors to experience a walk-through of a shipwreck — important habitats for marine life.

The last room in the exhibit is packed with information and hands-on activities about how to conserve the environment by recycling, cutting down on single-use plastics and consuming sustainable seafood.

Dohlin said he is especially proud of the rooftop classroom.

“This is the most impressive piece of real estate in the entire building,” he said. “It’s dedicated to classroom space because that’s paramount for us.”

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